Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers


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Isle of Wight outing

This was the last of our three one-day coach trips for this year. There were 55 on the outing. We travelled to Lymington Pier by coach and took the 10.00hr ferry to Yarmouth; the coach stayed on the mainland. Traffic was light on our journey to LP so we arrived with an hour to spare. This was fortunate because everyone had time to use the facilities (restaurant and rest room) before boarding the ferry. By now rain and mist had cleared and clouds were less dark. In Yarmouth there was a faint hint of blue sky and in Freshwater Bay where we stopped for lunch there was sunshine.

Map: OS OL 29


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Bramley, Godalming circular

There were eleven on today’s 9½ mile walk. We met in Bramley in the small car park by the old railway station next to the site of the disused railway line (now the Wey South Path and the Downs Link). It was a cool, cloudy morning but by the time we reached the top of the first hill we’d warmed up and had to shed jackets.

Our leader took us south through Bramley to a bridleway that joined the Greensand Way. Here we turned west on a footpath that took us over a hill to Thorncombe Street where we turned left on a lane and then right on another, Alldens Hill. We walked uphill on the lane, branched right on a bridleway and continued on this all the way to Catteshall and the River Wey. From here we followed the towing path to Godalming, our stop for lunch.

Map: OS X 145


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New Forest

This was the second of our three coach trips. The weather was much better than on last week’s trip. Rain today was slight. All started off in waterproof jackets and trousers but as the day progressed and no heavy rain fell some felt optimistic enough to remove them before the end of the walk.

Fifty-five travelled on the coach to Burley in the New Forest. Thirty-one chose the ten mile walk, 23 chose the six mile walk and the other person organised her own day. The coach stopped first in Burley to drop off the long walkers and non walker and then continued to Burley Street to drop off the rest.

The leaders did well to navigate their way round the routes. At one point on the long walk some failed to notice those ahead turn left in a patch of gorse. They carried straight ahead, those behind dutifully followed, and all came to a dead end—a wall of gorse. They hastily retraced their steps and looked for another route. The left turn was soon spotted and they caught up with the others who’d stopped to wait for them.

On our coach walks each person writes their name on one of three sheets on the outward journey to indicate their choice of long, short or non walk. The leaders of the walks take their lists and do a head count before they set off. Today one person signed the wrong list—the long instead of the short walk. This went unnoticed at the start of the long walk. During lunch the leader realised they were one short. Was the missing person on the other walk or had she been left behind in the lavatory at the start?

Owing to a lack of a mobile phone signal she had to wait until the groups had returned to Burley to find out.

Map: OS OL 22


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Godalming & Thorncombe Street

There was sunshine and no rain on this morning’s 6½ mile walk. Twenty-four arrived for the start in Meadrow car park (still free on Sundays).

We crossed the A3100, took the road to Catteshall, crossed the canal, walked along the bridleway past Catteshall Manor, crossed Munstead Heath Road, continued ahead to a lane, turned left and took a footpath on the right that led us to Thorncombe Street. Here we continued east on a footpath that had been rerouted to run alongside the left-hand side of a hedge (apparently its original position). The new route had been cleared between brambles and nettles. Without frequent use and maintenance it will soon become overgrown. We used to stop at the top of the hill for refreshment and admire the view. That, unfortunately, is no longer possible. The rerouted section is between SU002422 and SU004423. Our coffee stop today was further along the footpath after the second stile where there is an open view.

There used to be a stile at the top of the hill on the western side (installed in memory of one of the G&H Rs). That has been removed as it is redundant. Livestock (horses) are now enclosed by a fence.

We continued east down the hill, turned left at the bottom on a bridleway to Eastwater House, turned left on the lane, turned right on a bridleway just before Nurscombe Farm, turned left on Munstead Heath Road and turned right on another bridleway. This led to the canal and the A3100 which we followed back to the car park.

Map: OS X 145


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Eastbourne coach trip

This was the first of our annual three one-day coach trips. The organisation was excellent and we had a good time in spite of the weather. Rain, forecast from mid morning, duly arrived on time and stayed for the rest of the day.

There were 27 on the eight mile walk which started from Exceat. All came prepared with waterproof clothing. One person brought a plastic poncho which looked like a huge bag from Sainsbury’s and was about as much use. There was a mild breeze in the valley but once we reached the cliff top on the South Downs Way the wind was so strong that at times we had difficulty keeping upright. The wearer of the poncho had to wrestle with her garment to keep it in place. A piece of string tied round her waist to anchor the poncho in position would have been useful.

We stopped for lunch in East Dean and dried out briefly in the pub. The rain, fortunately, had eased slightly by the time we emerged so for the remaining three miles we could see more of the landscape. Our walk finished at The Kiosk, a small café at the south-western end of Eastbourne. No sooner were we under cover than the heavens opened and the rain drummed loudly on the roof.

The café coped admirably with our large group (27 plus the 22 on the six mile walk who’d arrived there earlier). We tucked in to tea and cakes and waited for the coach, carrying the six who’d gone to visit Herstmonceux Castle, to arrive to drive us home. On the return journey the windows of the coach steamed up and pools of water formed on the floor.

Map: OS X 123


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Rodborough figure of 8

There were 22 on the morning four mile walk. Some, put off by dark clouds, left at lunch time but the afternoon stayed dry. There was little to show for the heavy overnight rain apart from small puddles on a few paths. Those who wore gaiters were unnecessarily pessimistic.

The morning circuit took us from Rodborough Common car park, through Milford Common, Cramhurst and Mousehill Down.

Map: OS X 145