The route was taken from the Group’s publication Another 25 Favourite Walks (Muriel’s Walk). The leaders distinguished themselves by negotiating deals with the two pubs on the route. We (25) started from the car park of the Winterton Arms in Chiddingfold (with the permission of the landlord) and returned there for tea and cake at the end of the walk. Our lunch stop was at the White Horse in Hascombe. Not only did the pub provide good food but the the landlord allowed those with a picnic to eat in the garden at the back if they bought a drink.
As we walked through the Hurtwood before lunch, one person recounted how she’d led a walk through there the day after the great storm of 1987. The scene was one of devastation. Matchsticks was the word that came to her mind. Conifers had been snapped in half and other trees had been blown over. By the time they reached the other end they were worn out; they’d had to climb over, under and through so many fallen trees that blocked the path.
Some of the footpaths on the route can be muddy but, in spite of almost two inches of rain in the previous 48 hours, mud today was not a problem. Rain held off until the last 20 minutes of the walk.