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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, 7 April 2018

Saturday walk - Holmwood to Reigate - a gentle walk with the North Downs as a backdrop

Length: 16.3km (10.1 miles) according to the home page, 15.3km (9.5 miles) according to the pdf
Toughness: 2 out of 10 - very gently undulating

9.31 train from Victoria (9.37 Clapham Junction, 9.59 Sutton) to Holmwood, arriving 10.32.

A day return to Holmwood ought to be accepted on the return journey: the stop before Holmwood is Dorking and return from Dorking via Redhill is perfectly legitimate.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

There are places like the North Downs, the Weald, the Greensand Ridge, and there are bits in between. This walk takes you across one of the bits in between. The North Downs are a pleasant feature on the northern skyline but you never actually walk on them. The only real hill is a ridge to the south of Reigate at the end of the walk.

Hard though it is to believe after the endless grey and cold of March, this is the time when spring really starts to spring. I have no specific information on floral delights on this walk, but this is the kind of territory where flowers ought to be popping up on verges and butterflies flitting between them, if we ever get some suitable weather.

There is one pub for lunch. It has accommodated two parties of midweek walkers without griping in the past year and a quarter, but has not been tried on a Saturday for quite a while. It has a garden if the weather is nice. If it proves booked up, all I can suggest is a (map-led) migration 2-3km to the north to the villages of Brockham and Betchworth, both of which have pubs. You could then switch to the Dorking to Reigate walk (a very pretty walk in spring, but alas too short for most SWC-ers these days): actually, this makes an interesting way to extend the walk, if 10.1/9.5 miles is too short for you.

Once in Reigate there are lots of tea options. To those listed in the walk document, I might add the very nice cafe in the park that you cross as you come into town.

Allow 15 minutes at least to walk to the station from the town centre. Trains back are at 14 past the hour direct to Victoria (38 minutes) or 19 and 34 past to London Bridge, changing at Redhill (48 mins): these London Bridge trains stop at Coulsdon South. T=3.32


JohnL said...

If the Plough at Leigh is fully booked there is the Seven Stars Inn at Dawes Green, Leigh, RH2 8NP 01306 611254 which is only a minor diversion and add adds about 1 km to the walk.

Walker said...

n=14 on this walk. Weather: w=Mainly_cloudy-but-with-some_pale_sun: some gloopy mud still but a definite drying trend. Later several people told me that they had decided not to do this walk "because it is boring - just flat fields". Flat it is, certainly: fields, one would have to agree, featured strongly. But not without interest. In particular, doing it at this time of year revealed a succession of bluebell woods. Not out yet of course (we saw one or two very tentative flower shoots) but they would look spectacular in two or three weeks time. In the meantime there were quite a lot of wood anemones and primroses and celandines an daffodils to cheer us up on the way. One sharp-eyed walker saw a stoat.

The pub accommodated the eight of us that wanted to eat there without a problem. An efficient place with quite a varied menu - even a vegan option (though more by default than design). After more fields and the final wooded ridge, we arrived in Reigate ludicrously early at about 3.15pm. Here everyone flew off in opposite directions, some to the train, some to the tea room. But four of us went to the big glass-walled cafe in Priory Park - recommended, with a good choice of things to eat - and sat outside to enjoy the warm hazy sun. Can't remember the last time we did that on a Saturday.