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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, 27 January 2018

Saturday walk - Milford to Haslemere - Sandy heaths = less mud?

Milford to Haslemere (Book 1, walk 27)
Length: 18.7km (11.7 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10

9.15 train from Waterloo (9.22 Clapham Junction) to Milford, arriving 10.05.

Buy a day return to Haslemere.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

I don't think this walk has ever been done in winter, but it crosses lots of heathland, at least in its later stages and so one might hope that it would have less mud than other walks (heath = sandy soils). This might be less true in the early stages out of Milford, but keep the faith....

Normally a 10.15 train is specified for this walk, but (before you complain....) normally we are doing it on a long summer day. I thought an extra hour's daylight might be useful, given the walk length: also given that there is just one lunch pub (quite popular: gastro with prices to match).

In the afternoon the original version of this walk took a somewhat quixotic route down into the valley. The variation which keeps to the ridge is much to be preferred and the diversion to Gibbet Hill is recommended

The National Trust cafe at the Devil's Punch Bowl is closed for a few weeks for refurbishment, but despair not as "hot drinks and snacks will be available from a catering outlet on site". Otherwise, carry on to Haslemere where my good friend Dr Google says Hemingways, the cafe opposite Darnleys that gets all the plaudits from walkers these days, closes at 5pm; Darnleys itself closes at 5.30pm; and Costa Coffee, with that boring inevitability that makes it such a successful chain, closes at 7.30pm.

Trains back from Haslemere: four an hour: the faster ones are the 02 and 32 past, taking around 50 minutes. The 15 and 39 past are ten minutes slower. T=1.27


Anonymous said...

I've done this one in winter before. I think it's a good choice. The stretch across Bagmoor Common in the morning may well be boggy but after that there's plenty of sandy paths.

Ian T said...

n=25 at the station. A w=dry-morning-and-wet-windy-afternoon
Despite the presence of sandy soils, there is mud a-plenty on this walk in winter. Quite a tough walk with its ups and downs and long muddy bridleways. Not that I’m complaining mind, I can’t get enough of the stuff myself :( .
Anonymous was right about Bagmoor Common being boggy. I managed to step off the path into a ditch :( The welcome signs have gone, btw.
The 3 Horseshoes was OK I guess. I don’t know about the food, I wasn’t on the same table.
After lunch about half wimped out and headed for Witley. Diehards such as myself went the whole way.
I think I still prefer the descent into the Devil’s Punchbowl over the detour round the right hand side. The views would be good if it wasn’t for the trees. I wonder if a detour round to the left would work.

Walker said...

Sorry to hear about the mud. This is a challenging time of year to pick walks......

Anonymous said...

After a splendid lunch at The 3 Horseshoes in Thursley, 10 of us, lightweights / people who have a life outside of just walking ( delete as appropriate ) took an off piste route to Witley which reduced our total walk for the day to 15.6 km ( it didn't seem that far but so the sat nav told us and apparently The Sat Nav is the truth much as in Google is the truth. In the old days you would argue a point in the pub and it would likely never be resolved but now you check Google and that is the truth and no argument but maybe that is a discussion for another time, I will check with Google )

The morning was a bit of a route march resulting in us doing something like 6 k an hour and one of the fellow walkers quoted
We have no time to stand and stare.
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

I should have slowed and we, who wanted to, could have slowed down but the lazy gene was whispering in our ear something along the lines of 'if we keep those walkers in front in sight we won't have to find the route for ourselves' and thus we followed.
Note to self for the future - let those at the front go and then relax into the walk and the lazy gene has just piped up with ‘ yes and then we can follow a slower walker ‘

But i digress - in the afternoon we duly followed the person in front who did a sterling job of leading us and arrived at Witley around 5 to 3 - time for refreshment but sadly there was none to be had. We could wait 15 minutes or so and catch a train to Haslemere and then catch a fast one of we could wait 40 minutes or so and catch the next stopper to Waterloo. 9 of us chose the train to Haslemere where the man at the station Pucino had his busiest session of the day whilst he served us drinks and snacks.
We then caught a fast train back to Waterloo and waved to the one who had stayed on the platform at Witley but

Woe are we Alas Alack Alarm There is no turning or going back For in the Present In the Here and Now we are and always shall be.

and she waiting on the platform did not see us

Good day out but wayyyyy tooooooooooo fst
Monsieur Whin Gin

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much to Arthur Dent and Bridie for leading us in the afternoon to Witley. Great day out plus time and energy left to enjoy London's night life!