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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, 29 December 2019

Sunday Walk - Now A Tad Longer: Box Hill & Westhumble Circular - a hilly 10-miler in the North Downs

Length: 16.1 km (10.0 mi) [for shorter versions, omitting Headley Heath: see pdf]
Ascent/Descent: 548m; Net Walking Time: 4 ¼ hours
Toughness: 7/10

Take the 09.46 Dorking (Main) stopping service from Victoria (Battersea Park 09.50, CJ 09.54, Wandsworth Common 09.57 etc.), arrives Box Hill & Westhumble at 10.56.
Or  take the 09.41 Dorking (Main) stopping service from Waterloo (Vauxhall 09.48, CJ 09.56, Wimbledon 10.10 etc.), arrives Box Hill & Westhumble at 10.51. [Check timetable the day before if strike still on!!!]
Return trains are on xx.10 (to Waterloo), xx.14 and xx.44 (to Victoria).

This short but strenuous walk climbs up a series of hills in a clockwise loop north and east of Box Hill & Westhumble station: Norbury Park, Mickleham Downs, Headley Heath and Box Hill itself.
There are many fine viewpoints on this walk and in several places you can see your earlier route from a new perspective.
Norbury Park Nature Reserve is described by Surrey Wildlife Trust as a ‘working landscape’ which includes one saw mill and three farms. The prominent house at its centre was built in 1774 and has had several famous owners and tenants, including Leopold Salomons, who donated Box Hill to the National Trust in 1914, and Dr Marie Stopes, the family planning pioneer.
Box Hill and Headley Heath are both owned by the National Trust, which has introduced special breeds of sheep and cattle to restore more of the downland to its original ‘unimproved’ condition; unfertilized land is richer in wild flowers. This diversity also supports many butterflies: 40 of the 58 British species have been found on Box Hill.

Lunch: King William IV (food all day) or the Running Horses  (food all day), both in Mickleham (6.2 km/3.8 mi).
Tea: Stepping Stones pub (open all day) or  Pilgrim Cycles (open to 16.00) near/at Boxhill & Westhumble station.

For summary, map, height profile, some photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.64

Stargazer is away...

2 comments:

Walker said...

I am sure someone will do a proper report soon, but this was a lovely energetic walk (to work off all those mince pies), well attended (16 or so? I did not count) and in w=gorgeous-sunshine. We even ate outside at the King William IV. A real tonic.

Thomas G said...

Well, and I thought you might do a proper report...
Here goes: n=15 (about a handful of those car drivers), initially overcast but soon breaking, so mostly w=gorgeous-sunshine. Not much deep mud on this route but plenty thin slithery layers on steep chalky ground, making for careful traipsing down the hills (I'm not aware of any falls). The additional mini-loop in the morning (making this a "tad longer" than previous versions of the walk) works well, we thought: the woods crossed on it are mainly plantation, so not THAT interesting compared to the rest, but one gets fine - and different - views down the Mole Valley to Leatherhead.
Service at the pub was fast and food quality good, so top marks for the William IV on a busy day for them. The picnickers had eaten either in the playground in Mickledon or moved on to the Gallopps to bathe in sunshine there, and most waited for the lunchers to catch up with them, only 1 walker sped ahead.
1 other then got waylaid by following old printed directions from 2012 (a 6-way junction (now) was a four-way junction (then) and the resulting "turn first right" direction consequently led him astray). Some stopped at the NT Cafe at Box Hill (the group was still largely together at this point), and only one walker moved ahead fast enough from there to catch the 15.44 train. All other train travellers found themselves on the 16.14. (The cafe in the bike shop had unfortunately shut for the day at 14.00 hours.)