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Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Bentley to Farnham - woodland, heather, maybe even a swim

SWC Walk 184 - Bentley to Farnham
Length: 24.5km (15.3 miles) but with shortcuts reduced to 20.1km (12.6 miles)
Toughness: fairly flat, from what I remember (But see note ** at end of post)

9.53 train from Waterloo (10.00 Clapham Junction, 10.11 Surbiton) to Bentley, arriving 11.02

If you just miss the above train, the 10.00 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo gets to Woking at 10.24, from where the above train leaves at 10.30

Buy a day return to Bentley (Hampshire: not the one up north!!)

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here and for details of the lunch options etc click here.

Waterloo is (hopefully) back in action and the heather is (hopefully) in full bloom. Combining the two is this walk which is fairly wooded in the morning but crosses a large area of heathland in the afternoon. It also passes Frensham Great Pond where it may be possible to swim if there are no algal blooms - see the walk homepage for details.

I have only ever done this walk (the shorter version) in January when it made an excellent and varied outing on a fine sunny day. Lunch arrangements are slightly unconventional. On that January day we lunched at the Best Western Hotel at Frensham Pond, which had a somewhat posh dining room but did pleasant food. It was table service so slightly slower than a pub, but that was more of an issue on a short winter day than it will be at this time of year. I see that in summer they also do bar food, including some meals, in their garden. They are also a popular wedding venue, so that may or may not be an issue today. Possibly phone them on 01252 795161 at the start of the walk to see if they can accommodate you.

Otherwise there are cafes early in the walk in Alice Holt Forest and mid-walk at Frensham Pond - tea, cakes, soups and sandwich-type places as far as I can tell. The Barley Mow in Tilford, two thirds of the way through the walk, is more of an early tea option that a lunch one, as it stops serving food at 2.30pm.

There is a shortcut from Frensham Little Pond to Tilford and a shorter (but more suburban) route into Farnham - this is the 20.1km (12.6 mile) version of the walk.

Trains back from Farnham are at 28 and 58 past till late.

** The author rates it 7 out of 10 for the main walk, 3 out of 10 with the shortcuts. I did the shortcuts last time and 3 out 10 seems right for those, but such an increase in toughness for the main walk implies hills of Alpine proportions on the section beyond Little Frensham Pond. I see no particular sign of these on the Ordnance Survey map. T=3.184

1 comment:

Sean said...

For what it's worth I would have rated the two options as 6/10 and 4/10 (rather than 7 & 3). There are indeed no lurking Alpine hills on the longer version, but it is a fair bit hillier.