There was plenty of mud on today’s walk but it was frozen solid. There was ice on the canal, a sign of the low temperature and low flow. Hoar frost on trees slowly melted in the morning. By the afternoon there was black ice on thawing puddles. Fortunately, water-logged fields had yet to thaw so we crunched over the stiff grass.
There were thirty on the morning walk (4½ miles). We met at the car park by the scout hut in Shalford. The route took us to Shalford Water Meadows, along by the river northwards, then over the A281, past Shalford Mill, along a footpath by East Shalford Lane then uphill to Chantries where we paused for people to catch up. The leader told us that this was our last hill of the year.
We continued to the viewpoint where we stopped for coffee. Refreshed but slightly cooler we set off again eastwards for Halfpenny Lane. Turning right we continued on minor roads and footpaths to pass Chilworth Manor and a field full of alpacas. Reaching the River Tilling Bourne we crossed over it then headed west along a footpath that took us to Chilworth, across a playing field and Shalford Common, and back to the car park. Half went home, the rest stayed for lunch and four more arrived for the afternoon walk.
Map: OS X 145