Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Godalming circular

Twenty-four turned up for this morning’s 6½ mile walk. Conditions were different from yesterday. The sky was cloudless and there was a hint of warmth in the sunshine.

The route was from Meadrow car park to Catteshall, Thorncombe Street, Upper Bonhurst, Eastwater House, Unstead Park and back along the towing path.

Map: OS X 145


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London linear

Storm Deirdre brought cold and wet conditions for our walk in London today. Twenty of us met outside Camden Town underground station. We set off to CT market in search of coffee and somewhere warm to drink it.

At noon we reassembled and headed west along Regent’s Canal to Regent’s Park and continued SE to end at Waterloo station. On the route we stopped at a café by the BBC for more refreshments and a chance to warm up and dry out.

As we walked along Regent Street we encountered a long line of Santas, this time on bicycles. They passed us several times so must have followed a route similar to ours.

(What is the collective noun for Santas? A sleigh, or slay, similar to a murder of crows? A plague might be more appropriate given that they hindered drivers and pedestrians.)

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Hankley Common & Elstead

Eighteen arrived in the car park on Hankley Common for the start of today’s 8½ mile walk. Two people made the mistake of following their satnav. They were taken to Woolfords Lane which is marked on the OS map as a bridleway. Beyond the last house off it, it is not suitable for cars. After the entrance to a farm there is a notice drawing attention to this. As the width of the lanes narrows, the number of leaves on it increases as does the depth of potholes.

The two missed the notice and carried on. One was advised to reverse and turn round in the last driveway; the other in a 4X4, encouraged by a cyclist who considered that her vehicle would be able to manage the conditions, continued and reached the correct lane to the car park.

Map: OS X 145

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Cranleigh circular

We were held up on our 5½ mile walk this morning, not by a fallen tree, or rickety stile, or flooded path, or cows in a field, but by a long line of Santas and loads of elves. It was the Cranleigh Christmas fun run.

There were 24 on the walk. We set off from the car park by the leisure centre, joined the Downs Link, headed north, turned south on Alford Road, joined the Wey South Path and followed this to Lion’s Lane. Here we turned east, reached Knowle Lane, turned south, branched off the road on a footpath that took us to the Downs Link again, turned north on this and continued back to the car park.

A cold wind blew much of the time but there was no rain. We finished in sunshine. A few paths were muddy and some fields were waterlogged.

Map: OS X 134

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Shackleford figure of 8

Rain was forecast for all day. Fortunately, none fell on our walk. Sixteen arrived for the start in Shackleford. One person, taking no chances, turned up in waterproof trousers; they turned out to be unnecessary.

The unexpected incident of the day was provided by one in the group when we stopped to allow those at the back to catch up. He leaned backwards against a closed five-bar metal gate. Unbeknownst to him the gate was held in place, not by hinges and a latch, but by two chains, each halfway up each side, attached to posts. As he leaned on the gate, it pivoted on the chains and came to rest, horizontal, about two feet off the ground with him on top on his back with his legs in the air. The event was like something from a slapstick movie though we were too polite to laugh. Restoring him to vertical was not easy. Righting the gate was another problem.

Map: OS X 145

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Guildford & Bramley

There was a cold and wet start to the day. Fortunately, by the time the walk (nine miles) was due to begin, rain had stopped. One of the (12) walkers was bold enough to remove her waterproof trousers. Shortly after that the clouds started to clear and we walked in sunshine much of the time. A few paths were muddy but none were awkwardly slippery.

We stopped in Bramley for lunch and then walked back to Guildford. Two weeks ago, when the leader had led the same walk on a day of heavy rain, the four participants returned to Guildford by bus.

Map: OS X 145

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Abinger Roughs, Hammer & Sutton

We had a great walk (nine miles). The weather was good, the paths were dry and the views were superb.

Nineteen arrived for the start in Abinger Roughs car park. It was cold; we were glad to set off. Our leader took us east past Deerleap Wood then north at Park Farm to the North Downs Way. By now we’d warmed up enough to shed a layer of clothing. We turned west on the NDW and followed this, passing several pillboxes, to Blatchford Down where we stopped for mince pies and cake left over from yesterday evening’s AGM. On this part of the route we passed signs for Walk the Chalk, Dorking to Gomshall.

We left the NDW here and headed south down a byway, Beggars Lane, to the A25. Having crossed the main road we continued south on a bridleway, Rad Lane, to join a minor road that led to Hoe and Peaslake. We turned left (east) on a footpath that passed near Hoe Farm and took us to Sutton Abinger where we crossed Horsham Road, joined Raikes Lane, turned left on a bridleway and headed north to Paddington Farm and the A25. We crossed the main road again, continued north to Broomy Downs, turned east and returned to the car park.

Our stop for lunch was just off Rad Lane where a large fallen tree provided seats for us all. We sat in sunshine in comfort.

Maps: OS X 146, 145