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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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Saturday, 16 November 2019

Saturday walk - Holmwood to Gomshall - A wooded climb to the south east's highest point

Length: 16.7km (10.4 miles) T=1.42
Toughness: 6 out of 10: a big climb to start, then downhill mostly

9.25 train from Victoria (9.32 Clapham Junction, 9.54 Sutton) to Holmwood, arriving 10.29

Buy an "any permitted" day return to Gomshall. This technically does not cover you for the one stop from Dorking to Holmwood, but it has never so far been an issue....

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here and for a map of the route click here.

This walk needs no introduction to most of you, but you have to go back to 2016 to find it posted in November, and on that occasion it poured with rain so hardly anyone turned up. No chance of that happening this year, I am sure...

For those who don't know it, it is a climb up Leith Hill, the highest point in South East England - higher than you might think, with views southwards to the sea and north eastwards to Canary Wharf on a clear day - where the National Trust tea kiosk provides a traditional elevenses stop. There is then a descent to lunch either in the Stephan Langton or Wotton Hatch, both doing food all afternoon, so don't bust a gut.

Throughout this there are woods galore, displaying whatever is left of autumn leaf colour.

Tea is at the Abinger Hammer tea rooms or the Lavender Goose (closing 5pm), and Gomshall also has two cosy pubs - the traditional Compasses and the more upmarket Gomshall Mill.

Trains back are annoyingly only at two hour intervals. The 15.50 goes to Guildford, where you change for Waterloo, and the 16.04 goes via Redhill, where you change for East Croydon, London Bridge or Victoria. Either way it is 1 hour to London. This pattern then repeats at 17.50/18.04, 19.50/20.04 etc

There is a bus (number 32) from outside the Compasses Inn to Guildford at 16.19, 17.19 and 18.19, and from the opposite side of the road to Dorking railway station at 16.56 and 17.56. The 16.19 and 18.19 takes 25 minutes and might be useful if you just miss the 16.04 or 18.04 trains, The 16.56 takes you to Dorking in 23 minutes, from where there are several trains an hour to London. But time savings would be fairly marginal over simply spending a convivial time in the pub in Gomshall waiting for the next train. The 17.19 and 17.56 buses offer no time savings at all and are only mentioned in case the train service is interrupted.

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=20 on this walk. So nice to see lots of familiar faces after a run of wet Saturdays with disappointing turnouts. The weather was w=sunny-to-start-and-then-cloudy. Autumn colours past their best but with a fair showing of coppery (and sometimes gold) beech leaves.

After the always enjoyable climb - including SWC veterans doing the “steep bit” undaunted - some of us stopped for tea at the Leith Hill kiosk, where the Shard and the sea through the Shoreham gap in the South Downs were both visible. We then descended through plentiful woods to Friday Street where 14 (?) of us had lunch. The pub insisted on table service but was not busy when we arrived and took our orders quickly. The food came relatively swiftly too. It is always a delight to eat at the Stephan Langton.

We all (mostly?) left lunch together but got strung out in the afternoon. I arrived at the Lavender Goose tea room at 3.30pm to find four others having tea and around six queueing to order. But there was then a wildebeest-style stampede to the 3.50pm train (those queuing having ordered takeaways) and by 3.40pm I was left alone with the newspaper. However two other walkers, feeling the walk was too short, had gone for an extra loop up onto the North Downs and I met up with them at 4.30pm for a drink in the Compasses Inn before we all took the 5.50pm train home.