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This Week's Walks - Archive

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.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Heather near Haslemere

SWC Walk 144:  Haslemere Circular

Distance:  Approximately 15.5 miles or 25 km for those more metrically minded

Difficulty:  7 out of 10  

Train:  Take the 10:00 AM Portsmouth Harbor train from London Waterloo to arrive at Haslemere at 10:48. Return trains from Haslemere are three or four times an hour until about 22:00.  Buy a day return to Haslemere. 

The height of heather season seemed the perfect opportunity to explore this particular walk option which has never been done before….. Initially, we will follow the “main route” of walk SWC 144 from Haslemere to Thursley via Gibbet Hill.  After lunch, we will then continue along the route to Thursley Common and explore the “extension within the extension” which should -- at this time of year -- be ablaze in purple heather.  At the end of the extension, we will then mostly reverse walk the various “short cuts” and “alternate start” back to Halsemere via the Devil’s Punch Bowl (with one little exploratory stretch to avoid repeating the Greensand Way). You can find more information about the walk and download the walk instructions here.

The recommended lunch spot is the lovely community-owned Three Horseshoes (01252 703 268) in Thursely (6.5 miles/10.5 km into the walk) which serves food until 3:00pm.  Tea and late afternoon refreshments can be had at the Devil’s Punchbowl Café (2.8 miles/4.5 km from the end of the walk).  Further post walk libations can be had at a number of hostelries in Haslemere.

Enjoy the walk!



Anonymous said...

I did a walk across the heathlands in Haslemere last week and can report the heather is in full bloom and looking fantastic.

JohnL said...

Looks wet tomorrow so we plan to shorten it a bit by joining you somewhere around NT cafe / Gibbet Hill and also finishing at NT Punchbowl cafe. J and J

Stargazer said...

On yet another wet Wednesday, 6 walkers assembled on the platform in Haslemere to explore a new circular variant of this walk (taking advantage of the various options in the instructions) in w=light-rain-quickly-turning-heavier-and-more-persistent requiring a pit stop to don waterproof trousers under the rail bridge...We took the main route up to Gibbet Hill where the views were muted but still expansive -- all looking quite different dressed in the foliage of high summer (as compared to mid-winter -- when the walk was last done). As we approached the Devil's Punch Bowl the floral highlight of the walk became apparent as the hillsides where covered in heather -- slightly passed its prime, making a mottled collection of purple and orange hues. Arriving in Thursley (a bit damp) we found 2 others comfortably ensconced in the pub, making for a total of n=8 on the walk. After a leisurely lunch we set off in lighter drizzle to explore the extension within the extension and were treated with another wonderfully colorful display of heather and other heathland flora. The route interestingly took us on a boardwalk out over the heart of a very watery looking bog. Heading back to Haslemere we explored an alternate route where we encountered some frisky young bulls and also navigated most of the short-cuts backwards to avoid overlap with the outward journey. Somewhere along the way the rain stopped and skies started to clear generating some good views from the various viewpoints on the return leg. Back in Haslemere around 18:00 -- most headed for the train while two enjoyed a gin and tonic at the nearby railway inn pub and caught the 19:02. All in all an enjoyable day out on an interesting and varied variant of the walk.....