Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Rodborough, Thursley, Ockley & Bagmoor Commons

The terrain on the commons is sandy so the paths on this morning’s five mile walk were dry and dusty. Even in winter few are muddy.

Twenty-five turned up for the walk in Rodborough Common car park. Parking there is no longer free. All who’d driven there managed to master the ticket machine.

There was an interesting announcement at the start. One in the group told us that she had developed Lyme disease from a tick bite. She had no symptoms but had the diagnostic bull’s eye rash (erythema migrans) on the back of her left wrist where the tick had bitten. When she noticed the rash she went to her GP and was now on a three week course of antibiotics.

It was a warmer day than we expected. Jackets worn at the start were soon unnecessary.

Map: OS X 145


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Haslemere & Fernhurst

Gone were the hot tarmac-melting temperatures of summer. Today it was cool. One person on the 9½ mile walk said she thought about bringing gloves. All but three of the fifteen on the walk wore long trousers. The hardy three wore ¾ length ones.

Gone too were dry dusty paths. After rain last night most paths were damp, some were muddy and one was more of a stream than a footpath.

We took the Sussex Border Path and the Serpent Trail to the Temple of the Winds and stopped there for coffee. We then headed west to Fernhurst for lunch before returning to the car park via Marley Heights and Marley Common.

Map: OS OL 33 (X 133)

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River Wey Navigation

The third of our new short (4½ mile) walks on Wednesdays was as popular as the previous two. Twenty-three turned up for the start by the Manor Inn on the A3100. The leader told us briefly about the route and said we’d arrive back about 12.30. We finished at 12.28.

We walked along the towing path, crossed the canal, continued on a bridleway to Tannachie, turned left on another bridleway, walked past the sewage works, crossed Gosden Common and the A281 and then stopped for refreshment by the cricket pitch. From here we joined the Wey South Path, headed north, crossed the A281 again, continued to Shalford, crossed Broadford Bridge and returned to the Manor Inn on the towing path.

Map: OS X 145

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Tilford & Hankley Commons

There were eleven on the four mile walk yesterday evening. We set off from the car park just south of Tilford and headed east on the Greensand Way. At Stockbridge Pond we spotted a solitary two-legged fisher—a heron. It flew off as we passed.

We crossed Hankley Common on the GSW, stopped at Lion’s Mouth to look at the remains of the Atlantic Wall, turned west on a bridleway, crossed Tilford Road, continued west on Grange Road, turned right on a bridleway, joined a byway, turned east and headed back to the car park. By now little daylight remained.

Map: OS X 145

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North Downs Way

There were 29 on this morning’s five mile walk—another good turnout for the leader who had 36 on her last walk. There was a good turnout too for a cycle group. A long line of more than 20 passed us on one section of the NDW. The local postman driving a PO van must have wondered what was going on. First he had the cyclists to contend with and then he had us bringing up the rear.

We set off north along the towing path of the River Wey Navigation at St Catherine’s Lock, joined the NDW, headed west to East Warren and then turned north on a footpath that took us uphill to Sunnydown Plantation. A few weeks ago, when we’d used this path on another walk, it was so overgrown that we’d struggled to get along it. Since then the borders have been cut back. Today we walked uphill on it faster than we did downhill.

After our stop for refreshment on Sunnydown (by the bridleway facing north towards London) we headed west to the A31 and then turned south on a bridleway that crossed the NDW and continued to Polsted Manor. Here we turned east on a footpath, walked past Loseley Park, reached the A3100 and the end of our walk.

Eight of us then went to Natter Café in Farncombe for lunch and a natter.

Map: OS X 145

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The River Wey Navigation

Twenty-two turned up for this morning’s five mile walk—a surprising number given the weather forecast. Rain was likely to arrive about the time we were due to set off and to continue for the rest of the day. Just as the leader gathered everyone together the first few drops of rain fell. Several people hastily put on waterproof trousers so the leader, who was already dressed for a deluge, paused for them to finish their struggle. Getting into waterproof trousers when fully clothed and wearing boots is not an easy task.

We headed from Meadrow car park for the River Wey Navigation by the Farncombe Boat House, turned north, joined the Fox Way, continued on this towards Bramley, turned north on a footpath across Bramley golf course, crossed the A281 and stopped at the cricket pavilion for coffee. This provided shelter from the rain.

From the playing field we reached the Wey South Path, turned NW, crossed the A281 again, left the WSP, joined the River Wey Navigation, turned south and headed back to the Lammas Lands and the car park.

As we walked on the towing path we disturbed a heron on the opposite bank. It stood motionless but flew off as we approached. Further along we came across a family of swans—four large cygnets and two adults. The adults pecked at weed by the path. Both hissed at us as we walked past.

Map: OS X 145