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This Week's Walks - Archive

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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, 22 January 2020

Wednesday walk Haslemere Circular

Haslemere Circular T=1.22

Length: 14.0km (8.7 miles), 4 hours 15 minutes walking time.
5 out of 10

"This short walk is through very beautiful countryside. It is mainly National Trust land - mixed woods and heathlands of bracken, gorse, heather and bilberry, with fine views from Black Down (280 metres/919 feet), the highest point in both Sussex and the South Downs National Park.

The bridleways just after the lunch pub can be very muddy, even in dry weather.

Trains: Get the 1000 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (Woking 1025). Frequent return trains. Buy a return to Haslemere.

Lunch: The suggested lunchtime stop is the Red Lion pub (tel 01428 643 112), by the village green at Fernhurst, offering quality home cooking. It serves food from noon until 2.30pm daily.


7 comments:

Anonymous said...

the 10am to Portsmouth looks canceled. There is a 10.15am one.

Sandy said...

Hi, I’m at Woking - there seems to be a 1043 from here getting to H’mere 1116. Not sure if that’s the one you’re getting Anonymous, but I hope to see someone there. Need to be back promptly so I won’t be going to the pub for lunch

Walker said...

Sorry to anyone at Haslemere. Trains all cancelled at Waterloo. We were waiting for the 10.15 but it was delayed and the driver, who was waiting with us, was doubtful it would run. So we switched to the 10.24 to Box Hill. One bailed out. Seven of us are doing Box Hill to Leatherhead. Annoyingly, just after we left Waterloo the 10.15 left just fifteen minutes late.

Walker said...

At least n=10 set off to do this walk, and maybe one or two succeeded. There was Sandy at Woking, as seen in an earlier comment, and I hear another actually got to Haslemere. Eight more assembled at Waterloo for the specified train to find it and most other Portsmouth line trains cancelled due to the sudden onset of the 21st century in the Havant area, or some such disaster. The 10.15 alone was not cancelled but the minutes ticked by and the only change was it went from “on time” to “delayed”. Confidence was dented by the fact that its driver was standing next to us and seemed dubious that it would go, and by the “next fastest train to...” section of the departure board saying 11.00 for the next train to Guildford.

So we cast about for alternatives and alighted on the 10.24 to Box Hill. Hurried attempts to change our tickets to this route at the ticket office were scuppered by the fact that a) changing one walker’s ticket took about five minutes and b) the only other two available ticket windows were embarked on negotiations of a length and complexity to make Brexit seem snappy. Eight of us got the train nevertheless, using our Haslemere tickets, but one immediately bailed out again at Clapham Junction (what private griefs she had, alas, I know not, that made her do this).

So...seven of us got to Box Hill, and after some discussion elected to do Box Hill to Leatherhead. Except four needed the loo and so we went straight down the road to Burford Bridge, where the car park has public loos. Except three could not wait for the four in the loos, so they walked along to the Stepping Stones path and we four left behinds (to coin a phrase) set up to climb the hill by the back slope.

We met at the top, however, where the W=mist largely obscured the view. This lasted all day, which was a bit disappointing, though atmospheric in its way. The gloom was enlivened by at least half a dozen song thrushes practising their song, even though they should not really be doing this for another three weeks. The ground underfoot was not mud-free, obviously, but was reasonably firm throughout the walk.

Three had sandwiches and we did not see two of them afterwards. Four of us lunched at the Running Horses and one joined us for a drink. After lunch one wanted to continue to Leatherhead but four of us set out to do the loop back to Box Hill station, with talk of extending the walk to Denbies for tea. But in the end the lure of Box Hill station proved too much (even though it was only 2.30pm) and only one - me - carried on to Denbies, a pretty little route enlivened with the sight of my first bluebell shoots of the year.

And so I sit here at 3.40 penning these lines (and to one of my fellow walkers I say: they actually DON’T keep the scones in the refrigerated cabinet) and wondering what tender mercies South Western Railways have in store for me on the way home - what signal failures, what broken down trains, what emergencies requiring the attendance of the emergency services and necessitating terminating a train at Surbiton at 10.30pm and requiring one to pay £28 for a taxi to Richmond... (you may have noticed a bit of recent experience creeping in there...) And during such crises, will the onboard train guards, who strike so resolutely in defence of their public utility, actually have any information of any use whatsoever to offer passengers - anything better that I can get from the live train app, anyway?

JohnL said...

N=4 three got off two trains at about 11.30 to join one motorist. We set off in low wet cloud getting to the Red Lion quite quickly for an excellent lunch. It was drier and clearer as we walked up the famously muddy path after lunch although there has been so much rain you could walk in the mud free stream bed for much of the way. Low cloud again towards the top so we did not visit the temple. Two of us had tea in Darnleys which stays open to 5.00 PM. An enjoyable day out and many thanks to those who had the persistence to get to Haslemere.

Gabriella Palmano said...

I was the one who continued alone after lunch to Leatherhead along the River Mole and jolly pretty it was too. Not too muddy and certainly not flooded. An enjoyable finale to a good days walk. I loved the mist up on the top, it added to the atmosphere. Thank you guys, for salvaging a walk from the wreckage at Waterloo.
Much to my surprise and pleasure I was permitted to use my return ticket from Haslemere on the Leatherhead line, and the trains were running fine, so all‘s well that ends well.

Walker said...

So n=12 in all, by my calculation.

I forgot to mention, by the way, that annoyingly just minutes after we left Waterloo, we found our from the online train tracker that the 10.15 to Haslemere did after all depart, just 15 minutes late. It is the complete lack of information from the train companies in these situations that is so teeth-grinding. The train obviously was there or approaching Waterloo when we decamped to the Box Hill train: if they could just have said that to waiting passengers rather than just having it on the board as “delayed”