Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

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Chiddingfold westwards

Rain was forecast for early this morning, and heavy rain at that. However, not a drop fell in the area. This was fortunate for the eighteen on the six mile walk because the neck-high bracken that lined one footpath would, if wet, have soaked everyone. The long grass in a field near Prestwick that the leader struggled through on her recce last week had, to her delight, been cut and collected into bales. The only hazard she spotted on the walk were two sluggish horse-flies which showed interest in the legs of someone else.

We met by the village green in Chiddingfold, as did a group from the National Trust, and headed west past the church, across The Downs, past Langhurst Manor Farm, Prestwick and Little Prestwick Farm and reached the outskirts of Grayswood. Here we turned south on a bridleway by the sewage works. This took us to a footpath near Imbhams Farm where we turned east and headed back to Chiddingfold via Frillinghurst Farm, Furzefield and a footpath that passed Langhurst Manor. We continued uphill across a field and rejoined the footpath we’d taken earlier. From here we retraced our steps to Chiddingfold.

It was a hot day. By the end of the walk several were wilting.

Map:OS X 133

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Peaslake, Holmbury St Mary & Holmbury Hill

A surprise on this morning’s 6½ mile walk (billed as 5½ miles) was for us to find the large car park where we met in Peaslake (Hurtwood car park 2) almost full. The area is popular with cyclists who, it seems, get up much earlier than walkers.

We set off west through a gate up the narrow footpath by the pub (which made for easy counting the number in the group, 23) and then turned NE on another footpath to pass Hazel Hall and join a lane. Here we turned left, continued east on the lane, reached a wider road, crossed this and took a footpath that reached a narrow lane, turned left and then took a footpath on the right that went along the NE side of Tenningshook Wood. We passed the car park near the youth hostel and reached Holmbury St Mary where we stopped for refreshment by the village hall.

The leaders then took us east up a steep slope. We walked past the edge of the cricket pitch, joined the Greensand Way and followed this to the top of Holmbury Hill. It was such a clear day that we could see The Shard and other tall buildings in London. We then went on rather a zig-zag route through the Hurt Wood to pass a reservoir, cross Radnor Road, go down a steep slope, pass Gasson Farm, climb up another steep slope before descending gently on a bridleway into the car park on the outskirts of Peaslake.

Maps:OS X 145, 146

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Hascombe circular

Talk was of ticks on this morning’s 5½ mile walk. The leader was concerned enough to wear gaiters; she said she was a tick magnet. There was no long grass on the route so, with luck, no one went home with any ticks. The only obvious hazard was the neck-high nettles that lined one path.

Nineteen met for the start opposite the White Horse in Hascombe. We headed east and walked on paths round Hascombe Hill.

Footnote: One person discovered a tick on his right shin later in the day. He noticed a sudden itch and, on inspection, spotted the creature well-embedded in his skin. He immediately prised it out with his bare hands.

Maps: OS X 134, 145

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Witley circular

Today saw a change in the weather. It was less hot and less sunny and there were distant rumbles of thunder during our 6½ mile walk this morning. Fortunately, there was no rain.

Thirteen arrived for the walk. We met at the NT car park on Webb Lane in Witley, headed SW across Witley Common, crossed a lane to a bridleway, passed Lake Cottages, joined French Lane, followed this south to the Greensand Way, continued east on the GSW to Brook, crossed the A286, branched left off the GSW to Banacle Common and Parsonage Farm. Here we took a footpath north to Mare Hill, crossed the common to the A286, crossed the road to Witley Common, passed the site of the old visitor centre and arrived back at the car park.

Maps: OS X 145, 133