Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Witley circular

Strong winds in the night and early morning left fallen trees on roads and railways. Fortunately, the only problems we encountered on our five mile walk were large puddles on some bridleways. We splashed through some and skirted round others. The weather was good; it was cold and sunny.

Twenty-three turned up for the start in the small car park on Lea Coach Road. Two people became car park attendants and directed later arrivals into positions which allowed more cars to squeeze in.

The leader took us east through Witley Common, across the A286, over Mare Hill, south to Parsonage Farm, west on the Greensand Way, north along French Lane, west on a bridleway past The Shrubbery and on to Lea Coach Road and the car park.

Map: OS X 133


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Compton circular

Thirty-three arrived for today’s 7½ mile walk. We met by The Withies Inn in Compton. As we stood ready to set off a red kite circled overhead just above the trees.

We headed north, crossed Bunmoor Copse, passed Coneycroft Farm, joined the North Downs Way and continued west on that to Puttenham. There were large puddles and muddy sections on the NDW but we easily avoided them. No one slipped. We reached Puttenham and stopped for coffee in the churchyard as the clock struck eleven. Perfect timing.

From Puttenham we headed south on the Fox Way. At Lydling Farm we took a detour to avoid the road and walked on a footpath across a field before rejoining the FW in Shackleford where we stopped for lunch.

After lunch we continued south on the FW to Eashing, turned north on a bridleway to Hurtmore and made our way back to Compton.

Map: OS X 145

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Moor Park & Crooksbury Hill

This morning’s walk was shorter than usual, four miles, so we could finish in time to change our clothes and chat briefly before our New Year lunch. It was a cold day but dry and frost-free.

Twenty-nine arrived for the start in the car park of Waverley Abbey House, our venue for the lunch. Another 48 arrived later to join us for the meal.

Map: OS X 145

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Hascombe circular

There were 24 on this morning’s five mile walk. Some paths were muddy but the mud was not as deep as that on recent walks.

We set off from Hascombe by the White Horse, headed east on a bridleway to Nore Hanger, turned back to the pub on a footpath, stopped by the village pond for coffee, crossed the B2130, took the Greensand Way briefly, branched right on a bridleway to Hoe Farm, continued on a footpath through Foxbury Copse, walked through The Hurtwood and then returned to the pub via the GSW.

Maps: OS X 134, 133

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Shalford, the River Wey & mud

It was a cold day, one made colder by a chilling wind. We expected sunshine on our morning’s 5½ mile walk. There was none, just the occasional glimpse of blue sky.

The group excelled itself at the start of the walk. There were two busy main roads to cross. Not only did many (of the 35 on the walk) ignore one pedestrian crossing, they ignored two.

The leader took us along the back streets and alleyways of Shalford. Here we did little better. Many walked in the middle of roads instead of on pavements. Would they chide their grandchildren for such behaviour?

Map: OS X 145

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Godalming & the River Wey

Today’s walk was billed as 9½ miles. It turned out to be 11½. There were some weary folk at the end. A strong wind blew all morning but there was no rain and by the afternoon there was sunshine.

The leader based the route on walk 3 in the G&H book Twenty-Five Favourite Walks in West Surrey and Sussex. Thirty-seven arrived for the start in Busbridge. We set off north in a long line towards the High Street and the River Wey where we joined the route described in the book.

Many footpaths were muddy after recent heavy rain but none had mud that came near the tops of our boots. By the time we stopped for coffee, half an hour later than usual, some had begun to wonder if the leader had forgotten this vital part of the walk.

Shortly after we set off again we heard a loud cracking noise from behind us as we walked across a field. We looked round and saw, to our amazement, a huge branch of a tree split from the trunk and crash to the ground. It was an impressive sight. We were glad we weren’t underneath it.

Map: OS X 145

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Thursley Common

Rain started an hour before the beginning of this morning’s five mile walk and continued, as forecast, long after the end of the walk. In spite of this, eight people turned up to join the leader for a soaking.

We met at Elstead Moat car park. Fortunately, most of this was still above water. By the time we left to drive home, shortly after noon, big puddles had formed by the sides of the adjacent road and looked likely to meet in the middle before long.

The route was on water-logged bridleways around the edges of five commons—Thursley, Ockley, Royal, Guinea and Elstead.

Map: OS X 145