Further details on walks - 2011

Sunday 9th January - Book 2 Walk 12d Farnham Circular

14.4km (8.9 miles). Toughness: 4/10

Take the 10.07 train from London Waterloo (Clapham Junction 10.14), arriving Farnham 11.13. Return trains are 00 (direct) and 30 (change at Woking) minutes past the hour.

A pretty Surrey ramble, starting off along the river Wey, via gentle pastures, heathland and attractive villages.

There is no lunch pub on this walk so bring some snacks to keep you going until Farnham where there is a choice of hostelries. The Borough, Farnham (tel 01252 715237) is a fine old co aching inn which welcomes non-residents into its comfortable, sofa-filled lounge, and serves generously proportioned cream teas, as well as sandwiches and light meals until around 10pm in the evening.

Please note, for the instructions, you will also need Volume One of the Time Out Country Walks book as the first part of the walk is from Volume One Walk 12 Farnham to Godalming. The later stages then pick up from Book 2, walk 12a as above.

Walk report

Sunday 6th February - Book 2 Walk 12a Guildford Circular

12.3km (7.8 miles). Toughness: 4/10

10.00 train from Waterloo (calling at Clapham Junction 10.09), arriving Guildford 10.40. Return fast trains are 05 and 35 past the hour back to Waterloo.

For a short excursion, this walk has plenty to offer both in terms of lovely Surrey scenery and interesting places to visit - the route takes in both Watts Gallery and Loseley Park.The suggested lunch stop is the Watts gallery cafe which is 3.4 miles into the walk. There are plenty of tea places to choose from in Guildford, including a choice of various coffee chains as well as the riverside cafes at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre or Debenhams.

Walk report

Sunday 6th March - Book 1 Walk 27 Milford to Haslemere

18.6km (11.6 miles) or approximately 9 miles finishing at the Punchbowl.

Trains: 10am London Waterloo (calling Clapham Junction 10.09 & Woking 10.31) arriving Milford 10.55.

Return trains from Haslemere (on the same line) are 42 and 17 past the hour. Buy a day return to Haslemere.

This is a remote and solitary walk (once out of Milford which requires a bit of road walking) through beautiful National Trust countryside ending up at the spectacular Devil’s Punchbowl.

Lunch; The National Trust’s Devil’s Punch Bowl Café serves as a late stop (eta 2.30/3pm) and is open until 5pm. From here it is 80 minutes walking time to Haslemere railway station. Alternatively, there is a bus at 15.23 and 17.23 from near the café which drops off in Haslemere ten minutes later.

The Three Horseshoes pub in Thursley, earlier on in the walk is another lunch option. Darnleys tearoom in Haslemere High Street is a favourite tea stop (tel.01428 643048). However you would need to arrive by 4pm. Costa coffee is an alternative.

Walk report

Sunday 3rd April - Book 1 Walk 15 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells

18.9km (11.7 miles) Toughness 5 out of 10

10.38 Margate train from London Charing Cross (change at Tonbridge arrive 11.20 depart 11.29 Redhill train) arriving Leigh (Kent)11.33.There are frequent direct trains from Tunbridge Wells back to Charing Cross. Journey time about 55 minutes. Buy a day return to Tunbridge Wells.

The route of this walk is through a landscape of great beauty, confirming the description of Kent as the Garden of England. It proceeds through the grounds of Penshurst Place, with fine views of the house, taking in a truly pastoral landscape of rivers, lakes, woods and rolling hills.

The suggested lunch stops are in the lovely village of Penshurst, either the Leicester Arms or the delightful Quaintways tea room which serves fine teas and sandwiches. There are a selection of tea places in Tunbridge Wells.

Walk report

Sunday 1st May - Book 2 Walk 13 Guildford to Gomshall

17.1km (10.6 miles) Toughness 5 out of 10

Trains: 10am London Waterloo (Clapham Junction 10.09, Woking 10.32) arriving 10.40 Guildford. Return trains from Gomshall are every TWO hours - they are 16.43 and 18.43.

North Downs ridges, valleys and bluebell woods.

The route starts with a steep climb out of Guildford, followed by a walk over a fine unspoiled section of the North Downs that includes Pewley Hill and the hilltop church of St Martha-on-the-Hill. From there the route passes through undulating farmland beneath the North Downs escarpment following the ancient Pilgrims Way to the cute village of Shere. Then it climbs on to the Downs for a further section which has a mix of woodland and a fine viewpoint. You then descend to the village of Abinger Hammer for tea, before looping back to Gomshall. Download updated instructions here.

Walk report

Sunday 29th May - Extra Walk # 74d Christchurch (via Stour Valley Way) to Barton on Sea.

Approx 8 miles Toughness 3 out of 10

A good opportunity to take a long journey out of London for some sea air, when you have Bank Hol Monday to recover! This coastal walk takes in the Nature Reserve at Hengistbuy Head (also the site for some of the most expensive beach huts in the country!) for a view of Christchurch Harbour and the surrounding coastline. It passes Highcliffe "castle" on top of the cliff and then follows some beach walking (tide permitting) along some secluded stretches of sand to tea at Barton on Sea.

Buy a 'super off-peak day return" to Christchurch. You can buy it at any station and travel at any time. The cost with a Network rail card is around £27 from Waterloo (£24.80 from Clapham Junction). If you don't have a rail card, organise a Groupsave (i.e. 4 people travel together from the same station.

8.54 London Waterloo (9.03 Clapham Junction), arriving Christchurch 11.15 - journey time 2 hrs 12 mins. Return trains from New Milton are hourly direct e.g. 19.01 journey time 1 hr 44 mins. There is a 10 minute bus journey from Barton to New Milton station. The X12 runs hourly until 7:15 pm to New Milton station. Its about 2km inland if you wish to walk.

Download instructions:

Christchurch to Hengistbury Head (via Stour Valley Way) section

Hengistbury Head to Barton On Sea section

Walk report

Sunday 26th June - Book 1 Walk 19 Hever to Leigh

8.8 miles 2 out of 10 toughness

This is a fascinating and very beautiful walk through the Garden of England. It includes two castles, a stately home, rivers, ponds, woods, undulating hills and three lovely villages: the National Trust village of Chiddingstone; Penshurst, with its half-timbered houses; and Leigh (pronounced 'Lie'), with its large cricket green, dominated by the Church of St Mary.

On Sundays there is no direct service from London stations to Hever. You will therefore need to travel to East Croydon, either from Victoria (dep 9.47, arr EC 10.02) or from London Bridge (dep 9.42, arr EC 9.54) and then take the 10.15 train from EC to Hever (arrives 10.46).

For the return journey there are hourly direct trains from Leigh to London Bridge at –51 past. There are also hourly trains at –05 past but you will need to change at Tonbridge for the London Charing Cross train. The journey time for both routes is about 1 hr.

Buy a day return to Leigh (Kent). Download instructions

Walk report

Sunday 24th July - Extra Walk 62 Lymington to Barton-on-Sea

9.8 miles/Toughness 2 out of 10

A delightful, flat coastal walk starting at the attractive seaside town of Lymington in the New Forest. Passing by the colourful yacht marina, the route joins the Solent Way which winds through tranquil salt marshes and a nature reserve where many different types of birds can be spotted. After lunch there is a short amount of esplanade walking followed by a very gentle cliff top path with fine views of the Needles and the Isle of Wight. Tea is at the Beachcomber café which has a lawned outside seating area overlooking the sea. Plenty of swimming opportunities en route.

Cheap Promo Fares

Buy a day return to New Milton. Southern are running a promotion which will give you 25% off (despite the blurb about having to use it on a Southern Trains route it seems to apply to SWT as well) - use this link.

At the time of looking (sunday 17 July) there is a £19.55 return to New Milton available with a railcard. The normal fare with a network railcard is around £30! You have to collect your ticket from any station with a self serve ticket machine. I have all this information on good authority from trusted members of SWC. However you need to check it out for yourself, advance planning recommended!

Trains

X1 Bus runs 2 hourly (16.37 and 18.37) from the cafe at Barton on Sea. The bus will arrive at New Milton station at 45 past the hour in time for the 01 past the hour trains back to London, journey time 1 hr 48 mins direct.

Download instructions

Walk report

Sunday 21st August - Book 2 Walk 5 Tring circular

17.6km (11 miles) 4 out of 10 toughness

There is also a Shorter walk Option from Ivinghoe Beacon to Bridgewater Monument: 13.2km (8.3 miles)

A classic Chilterns ramble. The first part of this route, following the Ridgeway to Ivinghoe Beacon, is exhilarating, offering fine downland scenery and a stunning view from the Beacon itself. By way of contrast, you are then plunged into ancient Chiltern woodland, owned by the National Trust. All of the climbing is in the first half of the walk: the second half is all flat or downhill. The suggested lunch pubs are well over halfway into the walk. However most of them serve food all day so a late lunch shouldn’t be a problem.

Trains:

Return trains from Tring to London Euston: --11 and --57 past the hour

These walks are self led so please bring a copy of the instructions.

More details here.

Walk report

Sunday 18th September - Extra Walk 92a Circular Walk from Penshurst

A lovely walk in the heart of the beautiful Kent countryside stopping at a rural pub for lunch and a delightful tea room at Chiddingstone Castle. The walk starts at Penshurst station which is some distance from Penshurst itself (not visited on this version of the walk). After the silent morning there is the opportunity to meet up with the regular Saturday Walkers at the Rock Inn for lunch.

Trains:

There are two options, depending on whether you want to travel from Charing Cross or Victoria which arrive at Penshurst within 2 minutes of each other.

OR

Return trains are close together at 35 and 37 past the hour, changing at either Tonbridge or Redhill.

Directions here.

Sunday 16th October - Extra Walk New Forest Circular

A circular walk from Brockenhurst station through the New Forest stopping at a rural pub for lunch.

09:35 - Waterloo (CJ: 9:45), arrives Brockenhurst 11:17

Return trains are 09 minutes past the hour direct

Directions here, without the usual detail as it is a new map led walk.

Walk report

Sunday 13th November - Extra Walk 117 - Midgham Circular

Walk 117: Aldermaston to Woolhampton - starting at Midgham walk option.

An undulating Berkshire walk through some pretty sections of woodland with stunning displays of colour in autumn.

Trains go from London Paddington (changing at Reading), to Midgham (for Woolhampton). Depart from London Paddington 09:57 (arrive Reading 10.31). Depart Reading 10.43 and arrive at Midgham 11.00.

After walk refreshments will be at the Rowbarge Inn.

The return trains are not that frequent on Sundays. Midgham 15:57, arrive Paddington 17:06 (change Reading arr.16:16, dep. 16:26), Midgham 17:57, arrive Paddington 19:05 (change Reading arr.18:16, dep. 18:26). (Allow at least 10 minutes on leaving the Rowbarge pub (Woolhampton) as the swing bridge over the canal is often moved to let barges through. Additionally there is no footbridge across the railway at Midgham station, the level crossing barrier coming down at least 2 minutes before train arrival.)

More info and directions here.

Sunday 11th December - Extra Walk # 74d Christchurch (via Stour Valley Way) to Barton on Sea.

Approx 8 miles Toughness 2 out of 10

This coastal walk takes in the Nature Reserve at Hengistbuy Head (also the site for some of the most expensive beach huts in the country!) for a view of Christchurch Harbour and the surrounding coastline. It passes Highcliffe "castle" on top of the cliff and then follows some beach walking (tide permitting) along some secluded stretches of sand to tea at Barton on Sea.

Trains

Buy a 'super off-peak day return" to Christchurch. The cost with a Network rail card is around £27 from Waterloo. If you don't have a rail card, organise a Groupsave (i.e. 4 people travel together from the same station. Days Out Guide.)

8.54 London Waterloo (9.03 Clapham Junction), arriving Christchurch 11.15. Return trains from New Milton are hourly direct e.g. 17.01 journey time 1 hr 48 mins. There is a 10 minute bus journey from Barton to New Milton station on the X12 which runs hourly. Download instructions: Christchurch to Hengistbury Head (via Stour Valley Way) section. Hengistbury Head to Barton On Sea section.

Walk report


Walk Reports

Sunday 9 January, Book 2 Walk 12a Farnham Circular

Seven people. Nice sunny day, brisk pleasant walk with picnic in sunny glade in conifers. Most agreed walk has rather a lot of roads. Generous tea at end at expensive Bush Hotel added up to only £18.95 for four people, though some of the cakes were a bit stale.

Sunday 6 February, Book 2 Walk 12a Guildford Circular.

Nine on this lovely walk through a dry and sandy part of Surrey. Snowdrops and crocuses seem later this year but are starting to emerge in the sheltered gardens that back on to the Wey, south of Guildford. The Watts cafe provided well presented and wholesome food. It seems to have held on to its customers even though the Gallery has been closed for a year or so and does not open for a few months. The Withies Inn was reported to be very busy, so no recession in this part of Surrey.

Sunday 6 March, Book 1 Walk 27 Milford to Haslemere

10 walkers.

Sunday 3 April, Book 1 Walk 15 Leigh to Tunbridge Wells

6 walkers.

Sunday 1 May, Book 2 Walk 13 Guildford to Gomshall.

10 walkers enjoyed perfect sunny weather and a spectacular array of wild flowers including pink campion and white stitchwort (?). Sadly, the bluebells were a little jaded, having wilted in the heat and weren't at their vibrant best. Great lunch in the cafe in Shere, the name of which I forget, in the sunny garden with ultra friendly service.

Sunday 29th May - Extra Walk # 74d Christchurch (via Stour Valley Way) to Barton on Sea.

Just 2 walkers showed up for this walk. The low turn out might have been to indifferent weather, but you never really know.. no matter a good day.

Sunday 26th June - Book 1 Walk 19 Hever to Leigh

4 walkers including two newcomers.

Sunday 24th July - Extra Walk 62 Lymington to Barton-on-Sea

6 of us on this walk.

Sunday 21st August - Book 2 Walk 5 Tring circular

A nice day, lovely weather. 4 people.

Sunday 16th October - Extra Walk New Forest Circular

9 of us enjoyed the New Forest in the autumnal sunshine, stopping for a very efficient (unbooked) lunch at the Oak Inn at Bank and finished up at the most delightful outdoor tea garden at the Thatched Cottage Brockenhurst.

Sunday 11th December - Extra Walk # 74d Christchurch (via Stour Valley Way) to Barton on Sea.

Just 2 of us ventured out in stormy conditions.