Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Blackdown & The Temple of the Winds

It was an unseasonably warm day. No one wore shorts on our 5½ mile walk this morning but near the end of of it several were in shirtsleeves. Some expected mud and wore gaiters but there was none.

There were 17 on the walk which started from Haslemere recreation ground. Apart from us the place was deserted. As we waited to set off a man arrived carrying several poles. He assembled a fishing line and then practised casting.

We headed south on a footpath and byway, passed Stedlands Farm and Valewood Farm House, joined the Sussex Border Path and the Serpent Trail and arrived at the TotFW where we stopped for coffee. Our peace was soon distributed by a large party of little children (with parents) who arrived for a Pudsey party (drinks, cup cakes, biscuits, and small bags of presents wrapped in Pudsey cellophane paper).

Our return route was via the Serpent Trail, Tennyson’s Lane and Scotland Lane.

Map: OS X 133


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Hascombe & Chiddingfold

There were 22 on today’s ten mile walk from Hascombe. Everyone managed to squeeze their cars into the meeting place—the small car park on the left by the B2130 about 300 metres south of The White Horse. The leader set off and took us on a tricky route which involved scrambling alongside a fence past nettles to reach the road. We crossed the road to a footpath and continued on this to walk round The Raswell to Markwick Lane.

In the woodland by The Raswell the back quarter became separated from those in front and carried straight on at a junction instead of turning left. Fortunately, the leaders of the rearguard soon spotted their mistake and hastily retraced their steps. The group was reunited and everyone paid more attention after that. The backmarker, enlisted at the start of the walk, was unable to help apart from blowing her whistle (on several occasions) because she didn’t know the route so had to rely on those in front.

We crossed Markwick Lane, continued on footpaths to Pear Tree Green and arrived at Dunsfold church where we stopped for coffee. After this we headed west to Chiddingfold, our stop for lunch, via White Beech Farm and Ryestreet Common. We returned to Hascombe via Hambledon and Vann.

Map: OS X 133

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Ludshott Common & Grayshott

There was a surprising sight as we gathered for the start of today’s 9½ mile walk—the leader of the other walk which was due to start from Haslemere recreation ground. Oh, he said when someone drew his attention to this as he was about to put on his boots. He added a four letter word, hurriedly got back in his car and drove off. 

The 19 remaining set off fifteen minutes later across Ludshott Common. We headed south and walked past North Lodge and Ludshott Manor. We stopped for coffee in Bramshott at the church. The churchyard contains Commonwealth War graves. We continued along Rectory Lane, walked past Bramshott Common and Waggoner Wells and arrived in Grayshott, our stop for lunch.

After lunch we returned to Waggoner Wells on different paths from the morning and then headed north across Ludshott Common back to the car park. 

It was a mild day and most paths were dry.

Map: OS X 133

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Haslemere & Hindhead

Today’s ten mile walk started from Haslemere (Chestnut Avenue Car park, free on Sundays). Six people turned up for it which was more than the leader expected given the weather—damp and grey with rain likely. However, apart from slight drizzle at the start there was no more rain until we arrived back in the car park at the end of the walk.

The route went along the Greensand Way to the Royal School, into NT land, along a byway towards Gibbet Hill, along the GSW round the east side of the Punchbowl, into the Punchbowl, past the old youth hostel, up to the other side and along the ridge of Highcombe Copse to the NT café where we stopped for lunch. It was warm enough for us to sit outside.

After lunch the return route (four miles) was via Gibbet Hill, the Temple of the Four Winds, Hurthill Copse, Keffolds Farm, Weydown Common and the GSW.

Map: OS X 133

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We swapped the mud and peace of the countryside today for the dust and noise of the capital. Our day started with a visit to Tower Bridge Exhibition and then a walk through the City of London.

Fifteen turned up for the start at London Bridge railway station. Six waited by one exit (the designated meeting place) and the rest waited by another. Fortunately, the leaders managed to round everyone up. They herded us off to Tower Bridge for our visit to the exhibition (group booking so tickets £6.00 each). This was more interesting than some of us expected. Early clouds had cleared so there were great views from the top over the Thames. The Tower of London looked minute compared with the surrounding buildings. One person remarked that it looked like a toy. We spent at least an hour in the exhibition and eventually all of us emerged from the shop at the bottom on the south side.

Our next stop was for lunch. We walked over Tower Bridge and ate in sunshine by St Katharine’s Docks.

The leaders, having checked that all were present, then took us on a tour through the City of London. We managed to stay together, no mean feat given the traffic and the crowds, as we walked westwards towards Bank, Aldersgate, Smithfield Market, St Paul’s Cathedral, Blackfriars Bridge, the Southbank and Waterloo station.

On the walk our leaders pointed out places of interest. There were plenty. Custom House, The Monument, the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange, Mansion House, statue of Captain John Smith near the church of St Mary le Bow, the remains of the Roman wall at Noble Street, Postman’s Park, Smithfield Market (closed), the entrance to St Bartholomew’s Hospital with the only outside statue of Henry VIII in London, the Old Bailey, Paternoster Square and Temple Bar. By now we were in need of another stop so we all descended into the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral to the café for refreshment and use of loos.

It was a good day and made an interesting change from our usual outings.

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Frensham circular

Walking is good for you.

A substitute leader was needed for this morning’s five mile walk because the scheduled one fell and broke her arm while checking the route. Today there were no mishaps and all fourteen on the walk reached the end unscathed. The route was similar to that on Sunday morning though more muddy. The stop for coffee was at the usual time of 11 o’clock.

Map: OS X 145

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Frensham figure of 8

It was a warm sunny day. Some on the walks wished they’d worn shorts. Both walks were five miles. Eighteen arrived for the morning walk; eleven stayed for the afternoon one.

We met in the car park by Frensham Great Pond. In the morning we headed west and went past Frensham Manor and Hallsgrove Copse, through Spreakley, over the south branch of the River Wey, past Frensham church and back into Frensham Common. Our stop for coffee was later than usual, not because the leaders forgot about it, but because they found an ideal spot for us to sit—the recreation ground at Shortfield Common. We sat in comfort in sunshine on benches facing the cricket pitch. The late stop was forgiven.

After lunch we headed east and walked round Frensham Little Pond. On arriving back at the visitor centre some stopped for tea, cake and ice creams.

Map: OS X 145