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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, 5 January 2019

Saturday walk - Witley to Haslemere via the Greensand Way

Length: 17.3km (10.8 miles) T=3.145
Toughness: 5 out of 10

10.15 train from Waterloo (10.22 Clapham Junction)  to Witley, arriving 11.10

Buy a day return to Haslemere.

This is NOT the book one walk but a map-led walk along the most westerly section of the Greensand Way. Walk details are here, a printable OS map here and the GPX here. There are no written directions but waymarking on the Greensand Way tends to be fairly good.

The midweek walkers gave this an outing in late November, when the weather was wet and only four people turned up. But it struck me as an interesting idea - a different route across familiar territory (including the famous high heathland surrounding the Devil's Punchbowl).

The lunch pub is the Three Horseshoes in Thursley: I have slight trepidation about this, since in the summer it failed to serve food to a large group of us due to a wedding. Hopefully love springs less eternal in January, but ringing ahead to secure a table might not be an awful idea. The emergency backstop would be the National Trust cafe at the Devil's Punchbowl, open till 4pm and also an early tea option. Otherwise the familiar tea delights of Haslemere are outlined in the walk details.

Trains back from Haslemere are at 02, 15, 32 and 39 past the hour, the 02 and 32 being the fastest (49 mins and 51 mins), but the 15 and 39 not that bad (58 and 61 mins)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for scheduling this. I will be looking out for the poignant gravestone you mention.

Anonymous said...

Shall be attending this walk and thanks for the posting as I could not make it the last time. Hope to see some of you.

Walker said...

18 got off the train at Witley, 2 had come by car and joined us soon after the start of the walk and 2 who had got the train an hour earlier were seen briefly just before lunch. So n=22 in all.

The weather was w=cloudy, to the disappointment of some who had hoped the previous day’s sun would be repeated. But it was dry at least - and dry too underfoot. Was there ever a January walk with so little mud? My boots needed no cleaning at its end, which is almost unheard of at this time of year. Sandy soils may have helped, but a lack of recent rain is the most likely reason.

As for the route, a fair chunk of it is used in other SWC walks (Milford to Haslemere, Haslemere to Farnham) but this version of it was very pleasant and contained some nice new bits. I particularly found the route up the east side of the Devil’s Punchbowl very interesting, albeit that we did vary it a bit with a visit to Gibbet Hill and a diversion onto the route of the former A3 for better views. Earlier we found the murdered sailor’s grave in Thursley churchyard and in the same location and on a later grass verge saw some unseasonably early snowdrops.

Most of the group ate in the Three Horseshoes. Booking a table for 8 was not a bad idea but a similar number also found a place in the bar area without any trouble. Service was friendly and reasonably fast. The pizzas were declared a bit bland and I found the menu a bit over-meaty, but in the end all, including two vegans, were adequately fed.

A few got to the National Trust tea room at the Devil’s Punchbowl in time but most, I think, pushed on to get to Haslemere before it got too dark. It was a while since I had done the old book one descent from the Punchbowl and it was interesting to remake its acquaintance. Others tried more scenic ways off. Several of us got to Hemingway’s in time for tea and cakes: a few of us went to the White Horse pub too (or instead).