Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Shamley Green circular

This morning’s 5½ mile walk was memorable for the high turnout (30), the warm, almost hot, sunny weather and the disappearance of the leader ¾ of the way round the route.

We set off from Shamley Green, headed east, passed Sandhurst Copse and Mayor House Farm, turned south to join the Greensand Way in Winterfold Heath and followed this west back to the start.

Near Willinghurst Farm we left the GSW temporarily for two footpaths and a bridleway in the open. The second footpath led around the edge of a plantation of young conifers before bearing right into woodland. The turn right is easy to miss and today was more so because a large area of bracken near it, recently flattened (it wasn’t like that when we were on the footpath two weeks ago), covered and concealed the path.

The leader and her long line of ramblers marched past it. Fortunately, she soon realised that she’d missed the turn and asked the group to wait while she retraced her steps to look for it. Two, to be helpful, spread out over the bracken to search as well. They quickly found the path and summoned the rest. We resumed the march.

Unfortunately, no one had noticed that the leader had gone back further along the way we’d come. All presumed that she was back in the lead.

A few minutes later, at a junction, those at the front turned to ask the leader for directions. Messages went up and down the line. Where was the leader? One person went back to look for her while another phoned her mobile. She appeared a few minutes later looking somewhat hotter than she did when we last saw her.

Map: OS X 145


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St Martha’s & Shalford

Horseflies have gone and mud has returned. The latter, however, is preferable to the former.

It was a damp day. Drizzle started shortly before the beginning of the walk and continued until the end. The leaders followed the ten mile route, in reverse, described on the Fancy Free Walks website.

There were 12 in the group. We stopped at the Parrot Inn in Shalford for lunch and the opportunity to dry out slightly.

Map: OS X 145

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Hydon Heath & Hascombe

A small army of ramblers arrived for today’s nine mile walk. The leader and backmarker kept the group in order so all the thirty stayed together.

The day started warm; by noon it was unseasonably hot.

We met in Hydons Heath car park, headed NE to Winkworth Arboretum, turned north to Thorncombe Street and then east to join the Greensand Way and followed this to Hascombe where we stopped for lunch.

After lunch we continued on the GSW towards Hambledon, branched off it at the end of Vann Lane and headed north to Hydon’s Ball and the car park.

Map: OS X 145

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Cranleigh circular

The leader of today’s 9½ mile walk wore gaiters—an ominous sign. However, in spite of yesterday’s heavy rain, paths on the route were only damp; none were muddy. By the time we encountered long grass, it had dried in the sunshine.

Twenty arrived for the start in the large car park in Cranleigh (free on Sundays). We headed west on a footpath that took us to Alford Road where we joined the Wey South Path, walked past the site of West Cranleigh Nurseries and then headed north over the B2130 and past Rye Farm.

At Rowly Farm we left the WSP, headed NE through Rowly, crossed the B2128, walked over Smithwood Common, headed north on a footpath past fishing lakes, turned east on a bridleway and joined the Greensand Way. Here we turned east and followed the GSW to a bridleway that took us south down Jelleys Hollow.

We passed Wyphurst Home Farm and St Joseph’s School, reached Amlets Lane and continued south on a footpath that took us back to Cranleigh.

Near the end of the walk a fallen tree hindered our progress. It lay across the narrow footpath and forced us to get down on hands and knees to squeeze underneath it.

Maps: OS X 134, 145

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Blackheath & Albury

The leaders of today’s eight mile walk treated us to tea and homemade cakes at the end. We sat in sunshine in their garden and quickly replaced the calories we’d used.

The weather turned out better than we expected. By mid morning the sun came out and the temperature rose. Soon we were in shirtsleeves. Paths remained dry as the area is sandy. The only nuisance underfoot was acorns and beech nuts. We had to be careful; treading on them was like treading on marbles.

Nineteen arrived for the walk. The leaders took us from Blackheath car park to Farley Green, Brook, Albury Heath and Albury where we stopped for lunch. After this we headed south on Blackheath Lane to Postford Farm Cottages, Lockner Lodge, Lockner Holt and then across the heath past the war memorial back to the car park.

The leaders stopped briefly at one point in the morning to tell us a story about the Blackheath lions.

We had a good day.

Map: OS X 145

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Blackheath & Shalford

The two co-leaders followed the route in reverse of a ten mile walk from the Fancy Free website—Chantries, Shalford, Blackheath. Twenty arrived for the walk.

it was a clear sunny day. The temperature was low at the start of the walk. Most wore jackets and one wore gloves; two hardy people wore shorts. By mid morning the temperature had risen enough for jackets and gloves to come off and trousers to be shortened. By early afternoon all were in shirtsleeves. One person wished she’d worn sandals and another wished she’d not worn thick socks.

Map: OS X 145

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Blackheath & Shere

Seventeen, undaunted by the weather forecast, turned up for the ten mile walk. Scattered showers were likely until late morning. They continued until early afternoon—the dark clouds then gave way to sunshine.

We set off from Blackheath car park, headed north past the war memorial, joined the Downs Link, crossed the A248, turned west past Chilworth Manor, continued north on a footpath by Halfpenny Lane, turned east on the North Downs Way and followed this to St Martha’s Chapel where we stopped for coffee. Another group had beaten us to the south-facing seats so we sat on the north-facing ones.

After coffee we continued east on the NDW and then the Pilgrims Way, passed Water Lane Cottages, crossed the A248, joined the Fox Way and stayed on this to Shere where we stopped for lunch.

We returned to Blackheath via the FW, Albury Heath, Brook, Broomfields and Blackheath Forest.

Map: OS X 145