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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

Monday, 7 May 2018

Bank Holiday Walk - Holmwood to Gomshall - bluebells and rhododendrons

Book 1, Walk 42 - Holmwood to Gomshall

Length: 16.7 km (10.4 miles)  Option to extend to Guildford - another 7 miles
Toughness: 6 out of 10

London Victoria: 09-31 hrs    Horsham service   CJ 09-38, Sutton 09-59 hrs
Arrive Holmwood: 10-32 hrs

Return: Gomshall to Waterloo via Guildford:  15-53. 16-53, 18-07 and 19-07
Return: Gomshall to Victoria via Redhill (R) or Dorking Deepdene (D): 16-04 (D), 17-06 (R), 18-06 (R) and 19-21 (R)
Return: Guildford to Waterloo: 4 trains an hour

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Gomshall any route permitted. On your outward journey you might be asked to purchase a single from Dorking to Holmwood, but usually not.


If I've got the timing right, and luck is on our side, you will have both bluebells and rhododendrons on display to add to your enjoyment of today's nice walk.
Leaving Holmwood you have a choice of opening legs before you start your ascent of Leith Hill, where I suggest you pause for elevenses at its tower. Then I suggest you take the detour to include the Leith Hill Rhododendron Wood walk, before rejoining the main walk near Leyland Farm.
The lunch pub in the hamlet of Friday Street, the Stephan Langton Inn, is likely to be very busy today, so you might like to continue your walk for another 40 minutes until you reach Wotton and the walker friendly Wotton Hatch pub, where you stand a better chance of finding a table.
For tea at walk-end I recommend the Compasses Inn at Gomshall Mill.
If planning to continue your walk to Guildford, I recommend your reversing the Book 2 walk, Guildford to Gomshall.
T=1.42
Walk directions here  L=1.42

20 comments:

Walker said...

You would only have to pay from DORKING to Holmwood on the outward journey, since via Dorking is a perfectly legitimate route to Gomshall.

Walker said...

Tillings Tea Room is now the Lavender Goose. This appears to be a retail store with a cafe attached, so the amount of seating will be dramatically reduced, I presume (it was shut when I passed it). It is open till 5pm daily. The Abinger Hammer tea rooms are still there though I am not sure if they open on a bank holiday.

Anonymous said...

Hope to get bus from Wotton then train to join the walk at Holmwood. If the bus doesn't run on bank holidays, I'll walk to Leith Hill and hopefully join you there!

Anonymous said...

hi guys

no trains to holmwood all trains cancelled. sorry marcus cant go on this walk after all.
hope you guys found an alternative walk.

monica

Anonymous said...

There’s a 10:01 train to Holmwood. Anyone still intending on going?

Anonymous said...

All trains cancelled. I'm off to do Saunderton via Bledlow.
10.07 train from Marylebone. Joe.

Anonymous said...

Suggest getting the 10.01 from Victoria to Dorking and doing the Dorking to Gomshall instead. 10.01 gives time for adjustment and ticket to Gomshall is valid for this.

Anonymous said...

Dorking to Gomshall is walk 147 in reverse
or Dorking Circular walk 274

We can decide on the train

Anonymous said...

Will be on the 1001 train, from another Anonymous.

Celine said...

I am in the 9:31 train from Victoria to Gatwick. Will stop at Dorking to take the replacement bus to Holmwood. It seems quite fast.

Anonymous said...

I’ll be on the 10:01 Dorking train
Ranjna

Anonymous said...

We should be able to do the main walk using the replacement bus service

Celine said...

Glad to see the last comment. I have a black and pink backpack “le coq sportif”. Say hi if you see me. Arriving at Dorking in a few minutes now.

Anonymous said...

10:01 train will get to Dorking at 10:50. Happy to share a taxi if the wait for the bus to Holmwood is too long.
I’m wearing a pink skirt and carrying a blue rucksack.

Anonymous said...

About n=24 walkers in total. It's hard to know exactly how many as the comment about trains to Holmwood being cancelled caused some confusion, resulting in few walkers taking a later train and 2 opting for a circular from Dorking. In fact, the service was running with trains as far as Dorking, where a Bus Replacement service awaited for the short hop to Holmwood. This walk with it's woodlands and 4 or 5 refreshment options proved a very good choice in such w=sunny_and_hot weather.

Anonymous said...

Glad some of you had a good day's walk with the bluebells and the woods in a hot day like today. Wish I had gone but was confused by the train cancellations etc. Well soemtimes these train websites are misleading.

Monica

Marcus said...

My apologies for the confusion over the outward train service for today's walk. As recently as last Friday afternoon I checked in person at Victoria station that the 09-31 service to Horsham was running on Bank Holiday Monday, to be told it was. But over the weekend Southern decided to change the termination point of the 09-31, from Horsham to Brighton, to help the service to the seaside town, a service otherwise affected by engineering work. Given the expected hot, sunny day, this was a sensible decision by Southern. Unfortunately, to speed along the service, intermediate stops between Dorking and Horsham had to be omitted, but no problem - Southern put on a rail replacement service for these intermediate stops, including Holmwood, which worked very well. The problem was these changes to the service did not filter through to website information.
Just to expand a bit on Anonymous's report on the walk, when twenty plus SWC walkers arrived at Holmwood station, there was a similar sized group of male Meet-Up walkers, waiting at the station and planning to do our walk. They set off just ahead of us on the alternative start (which offered better shade) but the Meet-Ups let us through whilst they waited for additional members to join them. Some of us stopped for elevenses at Leigh Hill tower, which was very busy, as expected, whilst others set off in anticipation of securing a table for lunch at the first pub en route. Four of us took the detour to the Rhododendron Wood,to find a blaze of rich colours - white, yellow, deep pink and vivid red rhodos and azaleas, above a carpet of bluebells. The rest of you really missed out. Said bluebells elsewhere on the walk in places were still in full bloom: in other places, like ageing walkers, they were beginning to flag.
Most took sandwiches and picnicked along the way. Four of us dined at the Wotton Hatch, with its chaotic ordering system, and I believe four had lunch at the Stephan Langton. By now our group was well dispersed. Those that made Gomshall in time for an early train were fortunate. The Travel Gods decided to play another trick on the rest of us, as our scheduled train never showed up. So it was a pleasant bus ride into Guildford after refreshments in Gomshall ( but DON'T mention the rip-off tea in the Gomshall Mill), then a delayed train back to London.
A nice walk in very nice company on a very hot day, but an outing somewhat spoilt for some of us by the vagaries of the rail companies.

Sarah said...

Wonderful walk, thank you, the colours in the brilliant sunshine were so vivid and bright - felt like I was in another world it was perfect.

Have got a polite suggestion, the walks have a very early start particularly as you have to leave lots of time to collect your train ticket these days. Any chance of posting a later time?

Anonymous said...

Polite reply: 9.31 is not that early. Also, it is easy to buy a ticket online in these modern times. If you look more carefully, you'll find relatively little used ticket machines in the big stations.

Marcus said...

Final thought: those of you armed with hand held devices - please be less trigger happy with them. At least two of you posted incorrect information on our website which probably put off a number of would-be attendees today. Please remember - train company websites often lag behind latest events. Perhaps better to let walkers work out what best to do when at the train station, as many of us did today.
Thanks !