Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Hindhead, Grayswood

There was an unusual obstruction across one of the footpaths on today’s 8½ mile walk—a large bull. He was in a field surrounded by cows and calves. The walk leader spotted him straight away as she climbed the stile into the field. His size, apart from anything else, revealed his gender. She stopped to wait for the rest of the group (13 total) to climb over the stile. By now the adults—cattle and humans—eyed each other. The former, unlike most of the latter, looked unconcerned. The bull appeared docile but, not wishing to put his temperament to the test, and as the animals were close to the stile on the other side of the field, we crossed it well away from them and climbed over a fence to reach the road on the other side.

Near a junction of footpaths after lunch the leader stopped to wait for the back three to catch up. When she turned round to lead the way again she discovered that most of the others had already set off—along the wrong path. The back three were now promoted to the front.

Map: OS X 133


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Winkworth circular

Conditions were good for today’s ten mile walk. It was sunny but less hot; paths were dry.

Twenty gathered for the start in the car park of Winkworth Arboretum. We walked through the on the public footpath to the lane, branched left on the recently restored permissive path that runs parallel to the lane, rejoined the lane, continued north on the footpath to Thorncombe Street, turned east on another footpath, reached the Greensand Way and followed this to Shamley Green where we stopped for lunch.

We returned to the arboretum car park via Birtley House, the GSW and Winkworth Farm.

Map: OS X 145

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Peaslake circular

It was another hot sunny day. For once walking in the shade was a relief.

There were 20 on this morning’s five mile walk. We met in the car park at Peaslake, walked to the pub and took the footpath to the west of it. At the top of the hill we turned NE, passed Hazel Hall, turned left on a lane, continued north on a footpath to Jesses Lane, turned right on the lane and then turned left on a bridleway that crossed Lawbrook Lane and reached Hound House Road near Cotterells Farm. We turned left on the road, turned right on a footpath, joined a byway (Ponds Lane), turned left and then turned left on a footpath that passed Dilton Farm. Continuing on the footpath we passed Knowle Farm and reached Hound House Road again. Here we turned right and then took a footpath on the left. We followed this passing Kiln Platt Cottage and Bentley Copse and reached a bridleway where we turned left, passed Peaslake House, crossed the lane and took a path to the car park.

The walk was memorable for the heat and the views.

Map: OS X 145

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Rudgwick circular

There was long grass on today’s 9½ mile walk but, fortunately, none that we walked through was wet. One narrow footpath went through a field of oats where the plants were waist-high. Luckily for us these were dry or we’d have been soaked.

Twenty-eight met by The Kings Head in Rudgwick for the start of the walk. We headed east on the Sussex Border Path, passed Honeywood House, turned left on Honeywood Lane, took a footpath on the right that joined a road by Rose Hill Farm, turned right on the road and then turned left on a footpath that led to Okewood church. Here we stopped briefly to look inside the church (pleasantly cool).

From the church we headed west on a footpath to Walliswood, our stop for lunch. Some ate in the pub; some ate by the village hall.

After lunch we walked south on the road to a footpath on the right. This took us to Horsham Road where we turned left, walked past the brickworks, turned right on a footpath and continued on it past Pollingford Copse and Pollingford Manor to the B2128. We turned left and then right on a footpath that passed Tillhouse Farm and Ruet and reached Great Cox Road. Here we turned right and then turned left on a footpath that took us to Rudgwick. By now the stiles seemed more of a challenge to climb over.

It was a hot sunny day, probably the hottest so far this year.

Map: OS X 134

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Isle of Wight

We had a good day on the Isle of Wight. There was more cloud than the weather forecast predicted, some of it ominously dark, but though there was rain in the area none fell on us.

Twenty-nine travelled by train and ferry to the start at Sandown railway station. The train journey from Ryde Pier Head to Sandown was so bumpy that it was a wonder that the train stayed on the rails.

A new feature some of us spotted on the ferry ride was a group of six posts in the sea near Spitbank Fort. These are navigation lights for aircraft carriers.

Map: OS OL29

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Chinthurst & Chantries

There were no dry and dusty paths on this morning’s five mile walk. One inch of rain in the previous 36 hours stopped that. We encountered mud for the first time in weeks. None of it was deep but it was slippery so we went cautiously particularly down slopes. A few slipped but no one fell over.

Twenty-nine arrived for the start of the walk in Chinthurst Hill car park off the B2128. We crossed the road, joined the Downs Link, turned left by Great Tangley Manor Farm (the site of much renovation), reached and crossed the A248 and the railway line, turned left on a minor road, continued ahead on a footpath at a right-hand bend to Halfpenny Lane and headed uphill on a footpath parallel to the road to the North Downs Way. From here we turned SW on a footpath that took us to the viewpoint on Chantries where we stopped for coffee.

We set off again and retraced our steps to continue SW on the footpath to East Shalford, turned left on East Shalford Lane, crossed the railway line, walked across the sports ground, reached the A248 by Bradstone Brook, turned left then crossed the road to a footpath that led to the Downs Link which we followed back to the car park.

The weather was good; it was warm with sunny periods. Rain returned two hours after the end of the walk.

Map: OS X 145

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Compton, Binscombe, Loseley Park

Overnight rain made little difference to paths on this morning’s 5½ mile walk. They were still dry and dusty.

Twenty-three arrived at the start in Compton near Watts Gallery. We headed south across Eastbury Park to Binscombe, passed the site of the Quaker burial ground and took a footpath to the playing field by New Pond Road (B3000). Here the Farncombe Youth Football Club had several matches in progress. As our footpath went across one of the pitches we were unable to use it so our leader had to find another route. She spoke to one of the organisers of the tournament and we were escorted round the perimeter of the ground past cheering spectators to the stile by the road.

We crossed the road, walked through Loseley Park past Grove Cottage to Stakescorner Road, turned left, walked along the road to  Littleton, turned left on a footpath across Loseley Park and continued west back to Watts Gallery.

Map: OS X 145