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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.

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Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Wednesday walk Ockley to Warnham - Rural delights and bluebell woods 'twixt Surrey and Sussex

Book 1, Walk 47 - Ockley to Warnham

Length: 16.5 km (10.3 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

London Victoria: 10-25 hrs     Horsham service via Epsom   CJ 10-32, Sutton 10-54 hrs
Arrive Ockley: 11-33 hrs

Warnham to Victoria: direct service at 16-18, 17-18, 17-46, 18-16, 18-46, 19-16 and 20-18 hrs.
Service via Horsham: 16-39, 17-39, 18-09, 18-39, 19-02 and 19-39 hrs

Rail ticket  a day return to Warnham will suffice, although a day return to Horsham any route permitted will give you the option of returning via Horsham if you just miss a direct train.

This walk has a lovely out-of-the-way, rural feel to it, with no traffic noise (although during the morning the tranquility can be spoilt by overhead 'plane noise if Gatwick's landing - take off paths are overhead today - let's hope they are not). Bluebells should be in full bloom in the many woods we walk through today. You have a choice of two very good pubs for your lunch stop - The Punchbowl in Okewood Hill requires a short detour from the main route - described in the Directions - and the Scarlett Arms in Walliswood - a favourite of mine.
After lunch you walk through farmland and more woods as you head for Warnham - for tea at the Sussex Oak pub. Allow at least 20 mins from this pub to Warnham railway station, some 1.3 km away.
Walk Directions here  L=1.47


Walker said...

It rained on the journey down, which was not encouraging, but it had stopped by the time N=12 of us disembarked at Ockley. Thereafter it was w=cloudy, sunshine occasionally trying and failing to break through - until we were on the way home, when, inevitably, the clouds parted.

At the start we were just “doing names” on the platform when - I may be right, I may be wrong, but I am perfectly willing to swear... Actually, I definitely am right: a nightingale sang on Ockley station. This is only the second time I have ever heard one, the previous time being the day before when I visited Knepp Wildland especially to hear one. This is why I recognised it today: and yes, they do sing by day too.

Otherwise this is a walk through territory where, as the walk notes say, nothing has ever happened. A kind of Adelstrop country, where no one comes and no one leaves on the bare platform. Except there are also bluebells, wild garlic, yellow archangel, and lovely beechwoods whose new foliage even on a dull day was an eye-aching bright green. The bluebell woods are not big show-stoppers. No Dockey Woods or Old Simm’s Copses. But little bits and pieces throughout the walk, some full out, some not so. It all made for a perfect April outing.

Five of us lunched at the Scarlett Arms. One of the delights of midweek walks is that even tiny pubs have room, though this one was by no means empty. Four of us were persuaded by another diner to have the fish pie. It arrived hot on the outside but barely warm in the middle. Three of us sent it back and it returned twenty minutes later slightly less barely warm in the middle, at which point we ate it anyway. Very nice it was too. So far no ill effects..... We all got free coffees for complaining - even the ones who had not complained, which doesn’t seem quite fair.

At the end of the walk the pub in Warnham did mega pots of tea. Eight got the 17.18, three the 17.39 to Horsham and one perverse soul (me) the 17.46. On the idyllic walk to the station one of my companions said; “This is not the best bit of the walk, is it?” Then I saw a swallow, my first of the year.

Anonymous said...

Hi Walker
Gosh you heard a nightinglae sing. Wish I was there to hear it. Was walking and exploring Ashridge estate bluebell woods today . Yes Dockey wood was at its best so was Flat Isley, Crawley wood and Old Copse. Luckily no rain just cloudy. Saw and heard a cuckoo flying on way to Berkhampstead plus swallows too. Black caps was at Alpine meadow. I think there are resident there now according to a local bird watcher.

Walker said...

It is interesting that you heard - and saw! - a cuckoo at Berkhamsted: I heard one last year there too. Must be a good spot for them. I wish you had been there to hear the nightingale too: the other eleven showed only polite interest. “Well, it doesn’t really change my day,” was one reaction I got.

Anonymous said...

Hi Walker I see Marcus has posted a walk tomorrow for Tring Blue bell. I may repeat the walk tomorrow as the bluebells were great in other woods which I discovered wondering around. At least its free for Dockey wood on weekdays. I think by next week blue bells may be over. See on some walks in the future.