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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

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Sunday Walk - Witley to Haslemere (Greensand Way), map-led but straight forward

Length: 17.2 km (10.7 mi) [18.2 km if going to the lunch pub]
Ascent/Descent: 282/333m; Net Walking Time: 4 - 4 ½ hours
Toughness: 4/10

Take the 10.00 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (10.12 CJ, 10.39 Woking), arrives Witley 11.05.
Return trains from Haslemere are on xx.17, and xx.49, journey time from 57 mins. Buy a Haslemere return.

This walk is one of 11 stages of the Greensand Way - a waymarked long-distance path in the Southeast of England. This is the first section of it, but for logistical reasons, it is posted in reverse, as Haslemere is a better place to finish, having pubs, tea rooms, and more frequent trains.
The walk starts gently over open agricultural land, and crosses the A3 to Thursley. Its St. Michael and All Angels church is worth a visit. There are some benches with a lovely view in the churchyard (a good picnic spot). A nearby grave has a poignant 'husband died 1917 wife died 1980' epitaph. Lunch is in The Three Horseshoes, a gastro-pub with a nice beer garden, just off the route, north of the church.
After lunch you climb a peaceful spur to Gibbet Hill  (272m), with dramatic views into Devil's Punch Bowl. The area was once notorious for highwaymen. In 1786, a sailor (buried in Thursley's church, and commemorated by the Sailor's Stone) was robbed and murdered after drinking at a pub in Thursley. The three murderers were caught and hung here. After the summit, the walk follows the rim of Devil’s Punch Bowl to Hindhead (NT visitor centre and café, pub). Finally, it’s down the south side of the hill into Haslemere. The centre has some nice old buildings, tea rooms, and a Wetherspoon’s. The station is about 10 mins walk away.

Lunch: The Three Horseshoes in Thursley  (500m off-route, after 6.1 km/3.8 mi, food to 15.00).
Tea: Lots of choice in and around Haslemere’s High Street, including Darnley’s and Hemingway’s  Cafés, plus The Station House, opposite the railway station.

For summary, map, height profile and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.145

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

hi, is there a shortcut for this walk please? doesn't seem to mention anything in notes, thanks

Thomas G said...

As this is following the Greensand Way, in priciple: no.
In practice, there are (at least) 2: 1 is shown on the route map, the direct route to H'mere Station w/o going through the village centre. 1 other is fairly obvious on the route map: from Gibbet Hill follow the restricted byway along Hindhead's ridge in a straight line down to the road, rather than following the GW looping around the Punch Bowl to the Cafe and hotel pub.

Thomas G said...

As autumnal walks go, this had pretty much everything bar leafshowers (no wind = no leafshowers): w=blue-skies, colourful leaf displays, leaf-filled holloways, mushrooms galore, mud but not too much of it, grassy paths not being too wet, fine far views (from North Downs to South Downs) etc. pp.
n=16 walkers, of which 5 had lunch at The Three Horseshoes in a first wave, replaced by 2 more when we left: those 2 had studied the mushrooms and fungi with so much interest that they took twice the time! 2 of the picnickers had joined us at The Horseshoes, the rest were never seen again. 5 of us 7 then tried a different descent route from the Punch Bowl to Haslemere (and shortcutted in the process), 2 others followed the GW into town. All 7 met at The Station House for a convivial drink or three...