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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.

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Saturday, 23 December 2017

Saturday walk - Effingham to Westhumble (or Dorking) - pretty bits of Surrey

Effingham to Westhumble (or Dorking) (Book 2, walk 14)
Length: 15.2km (9.4 miles) to 18km (11.2 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10

10.03 train from Waterloo (10.07 Vauxhall, 10.12 Clapham Junction, 10.19 Wimbledon) to Effingham Junction, arriving 10.45. Be warned: I have a feeling that neither this train nor the arrival station has a loo.

Buy a day return to Effingham Junction. On the return leg you might be liable to pay the short hop fare from Box Hill or Dorking to Leatherhead, or the Effingham return might be accepted.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

I realise that this walk had an outing on a Sunday not too long ago, but it is an easy outing, not too far from London, and has the advantage at this time of year that both Polesden Lacey (lunch) and Denbies Wine Estate (tea) will be in festive mood. Who knows, you might even find time for some last minute present shopping. A bottle of Surrey Hills, maybe??

The range of lengths for this walk is explained by the two possible add-ons. If you want a pub lunch, the Sir Douglas Haig in Effingham village is reached by a 1.7km (1.1 mile) diversion, just 4.2km (2.6 miles) into the walk. If you end in Dorking rather than at Box Hill station you add 1.1km (0.7 miles) to the walk. If you do both, you walk 18km (11.2 miles).

Or you can simply opt for lunch at Polesden Lacey, whose self-service restaurant seems to have upped its hot food offering recently (at least, it has a more impressive hot food counter than it used to). Meanwhile Denbies is a great place for tea, with a good range of cakes, so long as you get to it before 4.30pm or so (the centre closes at 5pm, the cafe a bit earlier).

The advantage of finishing at Dorking* is there are more trains:

Trains back from Box Hill go at 28 past until 18.28, then 19.01 and hourly at 01 past. If you miss a train, take refuge in the nearby Stepping Stones pub.

Trains back from Dorking are at 04 and 34 past to Waterloo and 26 and 58 past to Victoria. Journey times are similar but they take different routes through South London. You may encounter automatic ticket barriers here, meaning you may have to pay a supplement on your Effingham return: but it is Christmas, so if you ask nicely, who knows....?

* If it is dark when you come out of Denbies and you want to finish at Dorking, follow its car driveway down towards the main road, turning right with it just after the railway bridge. This brings you to a big roundabout, where you go straight ahead. Dorking station is on the left in a few hundred metres. This route is probably not hugely longer than the Box Hill ending. T=2.14


Anonymous said...

Another refreshment stop would be The Stepping Stones pub, about 50 metres from Boxhill station or the small cafe in the old station house at Boxhill station. Or, if you're feeling energetic towards the end, you could follow the example of a few walkers on this walk's last outing and nip up Boxhill to have tea at the NT cafe at the top.

Anonymous said...

Polesden Lacey self service restaurant was serving good sized helpings of hoe cooked food recently. The small farm shop there and the one later on at Denbies are handy for last minute "foodie" Christmas presents.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Walker's note about the loo, you pass toilets on the right just after you leave Effingham Junction station platform.

Walker said...

N=18 on this walk, including at least one late starter. The weather was w=mild-and-grey. Seven of us did the pub diversion (in my case to check the directions, so thanks to the others for coming too): we arrived at the pub at 11.45 and clearly looked in such desperate need of a drink that the pub opened early for us. Nice food, perhaps a little slow in coming but then we did catch the kitchen on the hop.

The rest presumably lunched at Polesden Lacey, which I hear was busy but now does good-sized portions. We ran into two of them at tea in Denbies.

Nothing much else to say (unless the PL crowd want to make a separate report): this is always a pleasant little walk and it filled the hours of daylight very well. Then we all got trains home to do other things (one even set off to do food shopping in Dorking....)

Anonymous said...

Just to add, there were in fact 2 late starters both of whom met up with the group at Polesden Lacey.

Surrey Hills Brewery has opened at Denbies. There's a point of sale at the back of the main building, where you can buy beer from the cask or to take home