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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

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Saturday walk - Horsley to West Byfleet, with optional Thames extension

Horsley to West Byfleet....or Weybridge
Length: 15.4 km (9.6 miles), with possible 3-4 mile extension to Weybridge
Toughness: 3 out of 10

10.03 train from Waterloo (10.12 Clapham Junction, 10.19 Wimbledon) to Horsley, arriving 10.48.

For walk directions click here, for GPS click here

A day return to Guildford would definitely cover both outward and return journeys. Whether you could persuade the sometimes stern SWT train guards that a Horsley return was valid from West Byfleet I do not know....

This walk made a great pre-Christmas outing in 2016, despite there being a missing footbridge over the river, which we got around some way or other: I forget exactly how: but it may even be fixed by now. I remember a pleasant mix of scenery, including heathland, fields and woods, and despite the map showing a proximity to a motorway at one point, not much traffic noise.

There is a wonderful riverside pub, the Anchor, 12.7km (7.8 miles) into the walk, if you can hold off your hunger pangs that long. It is large and popular but serves food all afternoon and so getting there after the main lunchtime rush may be no disadvantage. The numerically-gifted among you will be aware that it is very close to the end of the walk, so you also don't need to fret about leaving much before dusk. For the same reason this pub would make a good tea stop.

Otherwise, there is the Black Swan reached by a short diversion some 3 miles into the walk at Martyr's Green: I don't know this establishment but from its website it looks to have nice food.

From memory West Byfleet has a cafe or two.

EXTENSION: Judging from the turnout on last week's Knockholt to Otford walk the standard walk may be enough for many of you, but for those wanting a longer walk, the suggestion is to switch at West Byfleet to the West Byfleet to Hampton Court walk and walk the first three miles or so of that to Weybridge. This is an easy walk along canal and riverside paths (though directions, click here, or GPS, click here, might be useful to get you started) and Weybridge has some nice riverside pubs. It is then about a mile to walk through the town to the railway station. No directions provided for this, but Google Maps or passers-by should be able to direct you.

Trains back from West Byfleet are at 27 and 47 past (there are also trains at 06 and 36 past, but these are stopping services, arriving at Waterloo only 5 minutes before the next fast train).

Trains back from Weybridge are at 06 and 36 (slightly faster) or 12 and 42 (slightly slower). T=3.214


Walker said...

N=30 on this walk on a day that was cloudy but w=bright-at-times. Though I say so myself, this proved a good winter pick as it was really remarkably un-muddy - lots of fairly dry heaths and woods and a canal path that was firm underfoot.

We put our top negotiator onto the job but despite his best efforts the Anchor still said it could not accommodate us, even two tables of six at 2.30pm. So lots went to the early pub which I hear was perfectly satisfactory. A few did squeeze into the Anchor. I fell between two stools, thinking lots had gone on to the Anchor when they had not. In the end three of us ate at the kiosk by the A3, joining two sandwich eaters.

I likewise failed to find the Semaphore even though lots did and said it was worth the detour. There was general agreement the the directions are confusing at this point. Ideally the Semaphore directions need to be boxed off from the main directions - and having two routes to it is over-complicated.

The footbridge over the river is still gone with no sign it will ever be reconstructed. But the golf course has laid a wood chip path to its bridge 20 metres to the right, suggesting it is at least resigned to walkers using this.

We kioskers got to the Anchor by 2.30 and stopped there for nice puddings. We then saw most of the rest of the group traipse into the pub for tea in dribs and drabs. I personally regretted not getting a chance to talk to many of you during the day - but that is often the way with big groups. I don’t know if anyone walked to Weybridge: the vast majority were happy with the standard walk (walk posters take note). But three of us, inveterate walkers in the dark, did a triangular night route along the canals, ending in West Byfleet, and just got the 18.06 train.

Anonymous said...

5 caught 5:06pm train and met three others who walked to Weybridge. So, looked 6 did the extension. I'd say the earlier lunch served us well as Anchor provided a nice tea break for the afternoon although they run out of teapot by the time we got there. (They could not serve tea in a cup as they only had posh tea leaves). 5 hardcore tea drinkers had the second chance at Costa near the West Byfleet station.

sylvia said...

Just to add for the record that five of us who were mainly sandwich eaters headed for the Anchor Pub and came to the part nearing the closed footbridge. Not knowing that there was an alternative bridge we did a detour as advised by the notice and following GPS which meant we joined the canal much earlier, probably walking about a mile or so extra. It was quite pleasant as an alternative route. After sandwiches, pudding and cancelled tea at the very busy Anchor three of us walked onto Weybridge along the canal and got there in darkness. This part of the walk is okay, not great, and it's quite a long way to the station when you get to the town - possibly there is a shortcut you can take direct from the canal. It was nice to bump into the others who got on the train at West Byfleet!