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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, 6 May 2019

Bank Holiday Walk - Holmwood to Gomshall - Leith Hill and Surrey heathlands

Book 1 Walk 42 - Holmwood to Gomshall

Length: 16.7 km (10.4 miles). Option to go long by continuing to Guildford - total 17 miles or 19 miles
Toughness: 6 out of 10

London Victoria: 09-25 hrs   Horsham service  CJ 09-32 hrs;   Sutton 09-54 hrs;    Epsom 10-05 hrs
Arrive Holmwood: 10-29 hrs

Return  Assuming rail companies are running a Saturday service (not showing on rail websites)

Gomshall to London Waterloo via Guildford:  15-50 hrs, 17-50 hrs and 19-50 hrs
Gomshall to London Victoria via Dorking Deepdene: 16-04 hrs and  18-04 hrs

Rail ticket: buy a day return to Gomshall any route permitted. You might also be required to purchase a single from Dorking to Holmwood on your outward journey, although I have never been asked to do so.

Last year when we posted this walk on the May Day holiday some of us were caught out by Great Western running a Saturday service from Gomshall whilst showing a normal Monday service on their website timetable.  Hopefully this year we have got it right but no harm on you checking this out for yourselves.

If we have the timing right for today's posting, we should benefit from the last of the bluebells in the many woods along the way and the start of the azaleas and rhododendrons, particularly those in Leigh Hill Rhododendron Wood -  well worth the detour today, all as explained and shown in the Directions.

Elevenses today can be taken in the Leigh Hill Tower cafe, an hour into the walk. Then I recommend your taking the detour to the Rhodo.Wood before rejoining the main route before the hamlet of Friday Street - and your first lunch-stop option - the Stephan Langton Inn. Booking a table indoors is essential on a Bank Holiday a few weeks before your planned visit: otherwise, you take a chance with an outdoor table on the day. Some 40 mins later into the walk you come to your second lunch option - the Wotton Hatch - more of a family pub and very busy on Bank Holidays but you can usually find a table inside or outdoors.

After lunch its over heathlands before you drop down to Gomshall with its tea options. You can continue your walk to Guildford via Shere by either reversing the opening leg of  the Book 2 Walk 13, Guildford to Gomshall via St Martha on the Hill - a total walk of some 17 miles, or following  Book 1, Walk 14 Gomshall to Guildford via Albury Park - a total walk of 19 miles. Trains from Guildford are four an hour.
Walk Directions are here  L=1.42


Sal said...

Think I may join - need to tackle some more hills. You just turn up at Holmwood at 10.30am on the 6th?

Walker said...

That is correct. We meet on the station platform on arrival.

Sal said...

Thank You, will keep it in mind!

Unknown said...

Hi, this is my first time wanting to join. 10:30am at Holmwood station. What gear would you recommend? and how will i identify the walking group? sorry if this is obvious

Walker said...

You are very welcome. Yes, we meet on the platform at Holmwood station. Don't worry - it is a quiet rural station so the group will be obvious. As for gear, boots or footwear comfortable for walking (trainers are fine if you can walk 10 miles in them: mud should not be an issue at this time of year). Otherwise, water, a waterproof in case it rains, and the directions or GPX. See this page for info on how our walks work: we have no leaders, which is a very important difference between our walks and other walking groups...

Unknown said...

Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

you're so kind WalkeršŸ˜Šwell done

Anonymous said...

According to National Rail, there are more return trains than usual running tomorrow, which is good. At least one per hour:

15:53 – 16:57 London Waterloo
16:04 – 17:18 London Victoria
16:52 – 17:57 London Waterloo
17:06 – 18:18 London Victoria
18:06 – 19:18 London Victoria
18:09 – 19:27 London Waterloo
19:06 – 20:18 London Victoria
19:21 – 20:23 London Bridge
19:56 – 20:57 London Waterloo

Tony said...

(First-up: special thanks to the volunteers that maintain the walks and organise the walk posting.)

A good number of walker-types on the train led to speculation that perhaps a Meetup group had posted the same walk? On arrival it wasn't long before n=22 self-identified with the Saturday Walkers Club group that formed on the station platform, many of whom were on their first SWC walk (welcome!)

The group set off and unintentionally spilt at the first opportunity with the minority opting for the alternative start. All experienced the same weather: w=light-cloud,-sunny-intervals-and-a-sly-north-westerly-wind to test our clothing options. The next test being the ascent of Leith Hill where cakes and hot drinks were welcomed as the group tarried a while, rested and enjoyed the panoramic views.

Many were persuaded to detour to the Leith Hill Rhododendron Wood: spectacular colourful and fragrant blooms our reward.

The front-runners pushed-on past the first pub stop (the Stephan Langton Inn - very busy) and made the second (the Wotton Hatch) in record time. Under-promised, over-delivered and generously sized portions were dispatched and the group, having gathered, once again split as some determined to make the earlier trains amidst speculation that the published Saturday timetable (promising hourly trains) WAS A LIE.

The determined minority did make the earliest train, the next wave braved the tunnel under the railway line - the Lavender Goose (tea room and interior furnishing) their reward. Others reconnoitred Abinger Hammer where there is another tea room. Walk tales told and excellent cakes (and not-so-excellent tea) consumed, the majority adjourned for the 17:06 from Gomshall station. (Hourly trains after all!)

Big hills climbed in good company on a not-so-big day out of London.

Sal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sal said...

Thank you very much for organising it and giving directions