Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Cranleigh circular

Ramblers can be unobservant. There was a good example on this morning’s six mile walk. We passed near Cranleigh School and walked along a drive, marked as a public footpath, which led to the school’s equestrian centre and playing fields. The leader turned right through a small gap in a hedge to continue on the footpath by the side of the playing fields. Yours truly (eleventh out of nineteen) stopped to look behind to check that those following could see the route she took. Visibility was good, the drive was straight, the others were less than 80 yards away. She went through the gap and stopped again after about ten yards to wait for the rearguard to emerge through the hedge. They did not; they walked straight past in full view of her, turned a corner to an empty playing field and then noticed that they could see none of the others.

‘Oh, where are they?’ I heard one of them say. ‘Over here, the other side of the hedge,’ I called. ‘You missed the turn.’ They retraced their steps, found the gap and continued on the correct route.

Maps: OS X 134, 145


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Albury circular

Heavy rain was forecast for this morning. However, if any fell in the area it missed us.

Sixteen arrived for the five mile walk which started from Albury Heath sports ground. Some wore gaiters but there was no mud and no water to contend with.

We headed west on a bridleway across Albury Warren, turned south on a footpath next to Blackheath Lane, branched left just before Postford Farm Cottages and continued through Blackheath Forest to the war memorial where we stopped for coffee. After this we headed north to Lockner Lodge, turned east and passed Postford Cottages and Ford Farm, turned south to Broomfields, then east to Brook, turned north on Brook Hill and continued back to the sports ground.

Map: OS X 145

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Blackdown & The Temple of the Winds

It was an unseasonably warm day. No one wore shorts on our 5½ mile walk this morning but near the end of of it several were in shirtsleeves. Some expected mud and wore gaiters but there was none.

There were 17 on the walk which started from Haslemere recreation ground. Apart from us the place was deserted. As we waited to set off a man arrived carrying several poles. He assembled a fishing line and then practised casting.

We headed south on a footpath and byway, passed Stedlands Farm and Valewood Farm House, joined the Sussex Border Path and the Serpent Trail and arrived at the TotFW where we stopped for coffee. Our peace was soon distributed by a large party of little children (with parents) who arrived for a Pudsey party (drinks, cup cakes, biscuits, and small bags of presents wrapped in Pudsey cellophane paper).

Our return route was via the Serpent Trail, Tennyson’s Lane and Scotland Lane.

Map: OS X 133

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Hascombe & Chiddingfold

There were 22 on today’s ten mile walk from Hascombe. Everyone managed to squeeze their cars into the meeting place—the small car park on the left by the B2130 about 300 metres south of The White Horse. The leader set off and took us on a tricky route which involved scrambling alongside a fence past nettles to reach the road. We crossed the road to a footpath and continued on this to walk round The Raswell to Markwick Lane.

In the woodland by The Raswell the back quarter became separated from those in front and carried straight on at a junction instead of turning left. Fortunately, the leaders of the rearguard soon spotted their mistake and hastily retraced their steps. The group was reunited and everyone paid more attention after that. The backmarker, enlisted at the start of the walk, was unable to help apart from blowing her whistle (on several occasions) because she didn’t know the route so had to rely on those in front.

We crossed Markwick Lane, continued on footpaths to Pear Tree Green and arrived at Dunsfold church where we stopped for coffee. After this we headed west to Chiddingfold, our stop for lunch, via White Beech Farm and Ryestreet Common. We returned to Hascombe via Hambledon and Vann.

Map: OS X 133

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Ludshott Common & Grayshott

There was a surprising sight as we gathered for the start of today’s 9½ mile walk—the leader of the other walk which was due to start from Haslemere recreation ground. Oh, he said when someone drew his attention to this as he was about to put on his boots. He added a four letter word, hurriedly got back in his car and drove off. 

The 19 remaining set off fifteen minutes later across Ludshott Common. We headed south and walked past North Lodge and Ludshott Manor. We stopped for coffee in Bramshott at the church. The churchyard contains Commonwealth War graves. We continued along Rectory Lane, walked past Bramshott Common and Waggoner Wells and arrived in Grayshott, our stop for lunch.

After lunch we returned to Waggoner Wells on different paths from the morning and then headed north across Ludshott Common back to the car park. 

It was a mild day and most paths were dry.

Map: OS X 133

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Haslemere & Hindhead

Today’s ten mile walk started from Haslemere (Chestnut Avenue Car park, free on Sundays). Six people turned up for it which was more than the leader expected given the weather—damp and grey with rain likely. However, apart from slight drizzle at the start there was no more rain until we arrived back in the car park at the end of the walk.

The route went along the Greensand Way to the Royal School, into NT land, along a byway towards Gibbet Hill, along the GSW round the east side of the Punchbowl, into the Punchbowl, past the old youth hostel, up to the other side and along the ridge of Highcombe Copse to the NT café where we stopped for lunch. It was warm enough for us to sit outside.

After lunch the return route (four miles) was via Gibbet Hill, the Temple of the Four Winds, Hurthill Copse, Keffolds Farm, Weydown Common and the GSW.

Map: OS X 133

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We swapped the mud and peace of the countryside today for the dust and noise of the capital. Our day started with a visit to Tower Bridge Exhibition and then a walk through the City of London.

Fifteen turned up for the start at London Bridge railway station. Six waited by one exit (the designated meeting place) and the rest waited by another. Fortunately, the leaders managed to round everyone up. They herded us off to Tower Bridge for our visit to the exhibition (group booking so tickets £6.00 each). This was more interesting than some of us expected. Early clouds had cleared so there were great views from the top over the Thames. The Tower of London looked minute compared with the surrounding buildings. One person remarked that it looked like a toy. We spent at least an hour in the exhibition and eventually all of us emerged from the shop at the bottom on the south side.

Our next stop was for lunch. We walked over Tower Bridge and ate in sunshine by St Katharine’s Docks.

The leaders, having checked that all were present, then took us on a tour through the City of London. We managed to stay together, no mean feat given the traffic and the crowds, as we walked westwards towards Bank, Aldersgate, Smithfield Market, St Paul’s Cathedral, Blackfriars Bridge, the Southbank and Waterloo station.

On the walk our leaders pointed out places of interest. There were plenty. Custom House, The Monument, the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange, Mansion House, statue of Captain John Smith near the church of St Mary le Bow, the remains of the Roman wall at Noble Street, Postman’s Park, Smithfield Market (closed), the entrance to St Bartholomew’s Hospital with the only outside statue of Henry VIII in London, the Old Bailey, Paternoster Square and Temple Bar. By now we were in need of another stop so we all descended into the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral to the café for refreshment and use of loos.

It was a good day and made an interesting change from our usual outings.