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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, 16 February 2019

Saturday walk - Haslemere to Midhurst via Henley

Length: 22.6km (14.1 miles), but reducible with shortcuts to 19.3km (12 miles) or even less: see ** below.
Toughness: 8 out of 10

9.30 train from Waterloo to Haslemere, arriving 10.25

From Clapham Junction, get your old friend the 9.29 (Exeter-bound) train to Woking, changing there (arrive 9.47, depart 10.02) for the above train.

Buy a day return to Haslemere. T=3.263

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here. For the walk home page click here.

There are three different versions of this walk, but this one is generally considered to be the best. It has become a firm favourite of the midweek walkers but has not had a Saturday outing since 2016.

** Don't be too put off by the advertised length: perfectly good short options are available to reduce the walk to 12 miles, and in fact it can be shorter than that because a direct path from the ruins of Cowdray House to the bus stop (see paragraph 62) shaves off a loop of the walk into the town of Midhurst (charming though this is if you have the time/energy/daylight). Lastly but not leastly, everything after the Cowdray Estate Farm Shop Cafe is on easy tracks and can be done with no trouble in the dark or (if the skies are clear) near full moonlight.

The morning short cut, albeit that it is only slightly shorter, comes with my recommendation as it has magnificent views from the top of Black Down. It and the main route come together at the Temple of the Winds, with its awesome southern panoramas - like being in a spaceship.

For lunch the desirable choice is the Duke of Cumberland pub in Henley (not the River Thames Henley, by the way: another one) but it tends to be booked up. You are advised not to rely on lunch here unless you have phoned to secure a table, or unless it is a nice enough day to sit outside, when it has a capacious unbooked garden (though even then check to be sure they will be serving food outside).

Otherwise a 1km diversion brings you to the Kings Arms, a perfectly adequate pub, 7.7 miles into the walk, or 7.4 miles via the morning short cut.

In the afternoon you cross a smallish ridge, with more nice views and then there is a choice of a direct descent into Midhurst, saving 1.8 miles, or a longer route, apparently more scenic (I have always opted for the short cut!).

A factor in deciding which afternoon route to take is that you want if possible to get to the gorgeous Cowdray Estate Farm Shop Cafe, a bit before the end of the walk for a truly scrumptious tea. It closes at 5pm.

At the end of the walk you have to get a number 70 bus (ultimate destination Guildford) back to Haslemere: these go at 16.05, 17.0518.05 and 19.10 (last bus).

Trains back from Haslemere are at 02 and 32 past ONLY today (slightly reduced service). The bus gets to Haslemere station, the stop before the town centre, at 30 past (35 past in the case of the 19.10), so you will need to be very quick to make the 32 past train even if the bus is on time. But if you miss a train there is a very cosy pub opposite the station to wait for the next one.


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anyone attending this walk? Hope to see some of you. Good weather this weekend.
Monica

Anonymous said...

Appears that there are engineering works and no direct train from Waterloo to Haslemere and have to change at Woking etc. Does not sound attractive may switch to Wye circular. Any advise anyone Walker perhaps? Love to do this walk not done before. If any brave soul is attending this walk I will take a chance.
Monica

Sean said...

The Waterloo-Haslemere-Portsmouth Hbr trains are running as Walker posted. It's only the slower Haslemere services which aren't running from Waterloo, which is why you have to change at Woking if you're travelling from Clapham Jct.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks Sean in that case I will attend this walk and hope to see some of the regular faces. Hope you are well Sean.
Regards
Monica

JohnL said...

The Duke of Cumberland says it is fully booked and it looks a bit cold to sit outside so I have booked a table for 6 at the Kings Arms at 13:00. I got the impression there is more space available there so perhaps someone could book another table if that seems appropriate at Haslemere Station. Joanna and I plan to start from Marley Common and join you somewhere near Blackdown Farm.

JohnL said...

N=8, W=fog, Fog most of the day especially on higher ground, views may have been there but we could not see them. Five of us had lunch at the Kings Arms. Welcoming with log fires, friendly staff and good food and beer. Steak and ale pie was excellent. One had lunch at the Duke of Cumberland which squeezed her in despite being fully booked. However £23 for bangers and mash and a glass of wine seems pricey. Cowdray Estate Farm Shop Cafe does a first class cream tea, although a first class price (£8) and running out of scones just after 4.00 pm.