Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Frensham & Spreakley

We were here in the spring for a walk. Paths then were muddy. Today they were bone dry.

Twelve turned up for the morning’s 4½ mile walk which started from Frensham Great Pond car park. Families had already arrived to spend a day on the sand by the pond. By 12.30, when we returned to the car park, it was full.

Map: OS X 145


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Stonor & Turville

The combination of a short walk in the morning followed by a visit to a stately home and garden in the afternoon with time for a cream tea (or two) was so popular last year that the organisers felt motivated enough to organise another such outing this year.

There were 51 on the trip. Five left the coach at Henley to spend the morning there; the rest continued to Stonor for the start of the two walks. Both were 4.5 miles long. The route of one was less hilly and was for slower paced walkers.

We set off after coffee at Stonor and headed on the Chiltern Way to the village of Turville where we stopped for lunch before making our way back to Stonor.

Notable features on the walk were the dry and dusty paths, the good views, the frequent sightings of red kites circling overhead and the continuation of the hot and sunny weather.

The only horsefly of note was spotted in the coach as we departed for home. Someone hastily borrowed a newspaper to squash the creature against a window. This left a large smear on the glass and a large blob of blood on the paper.

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Lower Puttenham & Crooksbury Commons

There was sun and sand and seventeen on this morning’s five mile walk.

We met at the car park by The Tarn near Lower Puttenham Common. Our leader took us on a circular walk through Britty Wood, over Seale Road, through Crooksbury Common, past Three Barrows Place and Fulbrook Farm, across Broomfields and Lombard Street at Gatwick, on to Rhodsall Manor, past Cuttmill Pond and back to the car park.

Bracken by the sides of some paths had grown so tall that it came over our heads. There were no mishaps on the walk and no horseflies.

Map: OS X 145

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Blackheath & Shere

It was less hot today—26°C instead of 28°C. There were clouds in the morning and even a few spots of rain. Paths were so dusty that legs and socks had turned grey by lunchtime.

Fifteen arrived for the 9½ mile walk which started from the car park in Blackheath.

Map: OS X 145

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Compton & the River Wey Navigation

Sixteen arrived for this morning’s six mile walk which started near Watts Gallery.

The leader, in her introduction before we set off, mentioned the N word. This worried those wearing shorts. (Nettles.) Fortunately, most of the nettles had been cleared from the edges of paths. Horseflies by the lake in Loseley Park where we stopped briefly for a drink were more of a problem (for one person; most in the group seemed unconcerned).

From the start we headed east past Coneycroft Farm, Polsted Manor, Loseley Park and Mount Browne, crossed the A3100 and stopped by the lock on the River Wey Navigation for coffee. Mercifully there were no horseflies here. We continued north along the towing path to the North Downs Way, turned west and followed this back to Watts Gallery where five went inside the tearoom for refreshment. It was cooler inside than out.

Map: OS X 145

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Compton & Sunnydown

Paths on this morning’s five mile walk were muddy earlier in the year. Today they were dusty. Two paths had become so overgrown that we had to hack our way through. When we emerged at the end of one which was alongside a hedge we discovered a well-worn path on the other side of the hedge. Others, it seemed, had given up on the footpath and created their own alternative. We needn’t have struggled.

Sixteen arrived for the walk. We set off from opposite The Withies Inn in Compton and headed north on Polsted Lane to Sunnydown and Sunnydown Plantation. Here we turned east and walked along the ridge towards Guildford on a footpath in a field to the north side of the bridleway. We crossed the bridleway and returned along the edge of a field on the south side of the bridleway to a footpath that went south to the North Downs Way. Here we turned east and followed the NDW to Stakescorner Road. We turned south, walked on the road to a footpath, turned west and headed back to Polsted Road and our starting point.

It was another hot sunny day. There were good views from both sides of Sunnydown.

Map: OS X 145

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Hascombe Hill

It was another hot sunny day. Twenty turned up for the morning five mile walk which started by the White Horse in Hascombe. Our leader said that it was one of her favourite routes. She took us up and round Hascombe Hill through woodland and open areas on a variety of footpaths, tracks and bridleways. We encountered plenty of nettles but no horseflies.

We stopped for coffee at the view point on the southern side. The jumbo jet on Dunsfold aerodrome and the South Downs were clearly visible. We sat on the large log and admired the view.

(There was a plane crash at Dunsfold aerodrome in 1975.)

Map: OS X 134