Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers


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Godalming & Winkworth Arboretum

Twenty-two turned up for fresh air and today’s eight mile walk which started by the River Wey Navigation near the Farncombe boat house.

We set off along the towing path of the RWN past the Lammas Lands, crossed the canal to Tannachie, headed south on a bridleway to Barrett’s Rough, crossed Munstead Heath Road, continued south to the back entrance to Winkworth Arboretum and stopped at the NT café for lunch.

Our return was via Busbridge Woods, Clock Barn Lane, Clock Barn Farm, Busbridge Lakes and Holloway Hill.

The drizzle in the morning turned to light rain in the afternoon. Few paths were muddy. There was a short slippery section down the side of a field after Alldens Hill. It took our minds off the goings on in government.

Map: OS X 145

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Frensham & Brook

There were two walks this morning—one from Frensham Pond Hotel (the venue for our New Year lunch after the walk) and the other from Brook for those not booked for the lunch. Thirty arrived for the first walk; nineteen for the second.

The group setting off from Frensham were surprised to see a white stork sitting in a tree by the hotel. It must have escaped from somewhere.


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Gomshall circular

It was such a cold day that no stops were needed on our 6½ mile morning walk for people to shed jackets. We stayed wrapped up.

Thirty-three turned up at the start in Gomshall. Before we set off the leader took orders for lunch (16) in the Gomshall Mill at the end of the walk and handed them in as we passed the pub. She’d planned the walk carefully and had even asked the landlord of the The Volunteer pub in Holmbury St Mary for permission for us to sit on the benches outside for our coffee stop. Consequently we sat in comfort.

The pace on the walk was brisker than usual. No one dawdled; it was too cold for that. We completed the walk in good time and within ten minutes of our arrival in the pub at the end we were served lunch.

The route from Gomshall was north on Beggars Lane, east through Piney Copse and over Broomy Downs, south over the A25, past Paddington Farm to Raikes Lane, along Sutton Lane to a footpath that took us to the B2126 and the lane that led to the youth hostel. From here we headed west past Hurtwood Chase and then turned NE to return to the start via Hoe Farm and Woolman Way.

Map: OS X 145, 146


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Petworth Park

There was a good turnout for this morning’s six mile walk (29), the first Sunday walk of the new year.

We met in the NT car park in Petworth Park which was almost empty when we arrived. By the time we returned at the end of the walk (12.15) it was almost full.

Map: OS OL 33, X 133 (the previous edition)


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Shalford & Pewley Down

Our stop for coffee on this morning’s 5½ mile walk was on the top of Pewley Down in sunshine. It felt warm.

There were 27 on the walk. We met in Chinthurst Hill car Park and headed north via the SE side of Chantries to Pewley Down. Our return was south via Shalford Mill, Shalford and the Downs Link. Few paths were muddy.

Map: OS X 145


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Busbridge & Winkworth Arboretum

This was the seventh of our Festival of Winter Walks and the last one of the year.

Twenty-two turned up at the start by Busbridge church. We gathered outside the porch. Shortly before we set off someone arrived to open the church. He let us troop in to look at the stained glass windows.

From the church we crossed Brighton Road to walk along Heath Lane. One in the group drew our attention to a small tower next to a tall wall. He told us that it was Gertrude Jekyll’s Thunder Tower, built for her by Edward Lutyens so she could watch thunderstorms.

We continued SE to Winkworth Arboretum and stopped there for coffee. Daffodils had started to flower by the wide track on the approach to the NT café from the Fiona Adam steps.

From WA we continued NW to Juniper Valley, Clock Barn Lane and the bridleway between Busbridge Lakes. Paths on the 5.6 mile route were remarkably dry.

The route is described in the magazine Life in Godalming, November/December 2018 issue, p22/23.

Map: OS X 145


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Godalming & Catteshall

A small army of ramblers arrived for this morning’s five mile walk. They set off from Crown Court car park and headed uphill to Holloway Hill recreation ground where another two joined them. This brought the total to 35 or it might have been 34. Ramblers can be difficult to count. Corralling them through a small gap can help but sometimes a few spot another gap and head for that (as happened today).

From the recreation ground we continued to Busbridge church, walked along Heath Lane, crossed Munstead Heath Road near the water tower, joined a bridleway and followed that to Barret’s Rough and Catteshall. We returned to the car park along the towing path of the River Wey Navigation.

Map: OS X 145