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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, 18 August 2018

Saturday Walk - Tadworth via Headley Heath Circular - Hopefullly [heather] (part two)

Length: 14km (8.8 miles) or 19km (11.9 miles)
Toughness: 8 out of 10: mainly gentle inclines but some steep ups and downs

9.47 train from London Bridge (10.02 East Croydon) to Tadworth, arriving 10.38

Tadworth station is within zone 6: use Oyster, contactless etc

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

I had hoped to offer you a sure-fire heather spectacular this week, but South Western Railway has the monopoly on those and at time of writing they are still negotiating with the RMT, with the possibility of Saturday strike action.

But then - aha! - I thought of a walk that goes over heathland and is served by Southern trains (Ah! Ever reliable Southern!). The star attraction here is Headley Heath, run by the NT, but whether it is heathery heathland or the other kind, or how much of a mix of both, we will have to find out. Whatever, this is a nice wild walk over interesting terrain and one, moreover, that only seems to have been done by the SWC in autumn or winter before. So let's see what it is like in summer.

There is a shorter option - 8.8 miles - that stays more on the heathland and gets to the suggested lunch pub, The Tree after 4.6 miles (if my maths is correct: this info could be supplied in walk document...). The main walk makes a longer loop onto Box Hill - up via Juniper Top and coming up to the NT Box Hill tea room, where you could have a light lunch. It then works its way back to the Tree, reaching it 12.4km (7.7 miles) after leaving Tadworth.

There are also a couple of minor extensions you can do if on the main walk - via White Hill (+1.7 miles but also 250 feet of ascent) in the morning or along the North Downs Way after lunch (+1.7 miles, an extra 450 feet of ascent). See the walk directions for details.

Tea is at a pub 20 minutes walk from Tadworth station.

Trains back are at 13 and 43 past the hour. T=3.139

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have been eyeing the Milford to Haselmere walk for awhile. It would be wonderful to do it with the club. RMT permitting.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys

I am attending this walk as I am getting a break from the builders. Like to do the full main walk and possible extension and care to join me? Yes hopefully some heather too.

Monica

Anonymous said...

For those who wish to take the short cut in the morning, if you take 10:47 train - an hour later, with any luck, you will arrive at the pub at similar time to the group which did the long version via Boxhill in the morning. I am told by the ‘official’ source, more heather will be seen with the short cut than the long version.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip re short cut. A few of us plan to take the 10:47 train.

Anonymous said...

“Sources close to the walk poster” say that there MAY (could possibly, might plausibly be expected to be) more heather in the short cut as it stays on the heartland while the main route goes into the non-heathy Box Hill.

Walker said...

N=27 on this walk, a number reached after complicated calculations and the collating of various reports from those on the specified train, the one an hour later, the one in between etc. The various factions did manage to meet and mix, so that was good. All possible variations and options of the walk also got a thorough airing.

There was no heather. Just a tiny patch. So it was the other sort of heath after all. Only five butterflies all day. Most of the downland flowers were over (though there was a good showing of clustered bellflower on Juniper Top). The weather was w=mostly-grey, with even a feeling at times that it might rain. It did not, but it felt a bit like summer was over despite the sticky humidity.

In places the directions could definitely do with some TLC. The Tree proved an efficient lunch pub with big portions even of the vegetarian dishes, which made a nice change. People enjoyed their drink at the Bell but yours truly would like to lodge a protest at this being described as “the tea pub” as it does not do hot drinks. My companion and I (as the restaurant reviews say) backtracked 300 metres to the Blue Ball, a glorious place with a glassed-in terrace and garden which does proper tea in pots and serves nice deserts. Mention this as a tea option in the walk directions, please, and don’t assume everyone finds 1970 time-warp boozers charming.

Andrew said...

Agree with tea pub feedback. Thought I'd already changed it. Will do.

Walker said...

The reccomended tea pub is, I see, changed on the home page but not in the pdf. The latter proved influential yesterday, with walkers scorching my suggestion that we stop at the Blue Ball by waving paper instructions at me and saying the Bell was the “official” tea stop.

Sandy said...

Indeed, an enjoyable day with varied company thanks to the variations different groups chose. I finished the walk at Mickleham to get the bus home and avoid the SWR strike - had to run down White Hill to catch the 1624 after dallying in the lunch pub, but this was a good way of adding the morning short cut and extension routes to the main walk.
I've suggested a couple of edits to the directions on the walk comments page.