Foggy, sunny, glorious Box Hill

There was thick fog when we arrived at the bottom of Box Hill but this quickly cleared as we ascended. A third of the way up we came across a group of A-Level students from Birmingham who were incredibly friendly and chatty. A case of friendly northerners – but does Birmingham count as ‘in the north’?

Dorking-Brockham-North Holmwood

What an absolutely lovely day for a hike along Surrey footpaths. This was a new area for me and unusually I had set off with a route marked in the Ordnance Survey app. A wonderful café in the beautiful village of Brockham served me with a hot ham & cheese croissant and a taste-destroying, over-milked tea. A walk through a field of cows was not too concerning though the mud and dung in a couple of fields made for unpleasant walking. A great walk of nearly 9 miles on a fabulously, sunny day.

The Box Hill kite curse

What a great walk up Box Hill with the family and the kites, followed by a splendid lunch at the Grumpy Mole in Brockham.

Sadly the curse of Box Hill and kites has repeated, and following on from the lost kite on our last visit, this time I managed to lose one of the kite struts on our way back to the car. Yet another kite bites the dust.

River Wey Navigation (14 miles!)

What a day! A rush to get the first train followed by getting on the wrong second train and having to catch a third train back two stations and finally having to wait for a fourth train to the starting point of my river walk at New Haw. As usual I was pretty unprepared for a long walk, with just a banana and a crunch bar to last what turned out to be a nearly 5 hour, 14 mile walk along the River Wey Navigation to Guildford. It was so hot when there wasn’t shelter from the mid-day sun. Exhausted after walking non-stop for 5 hours (I rarely stop for rests, particularly when I don’t have food), I arrived at Guildford station to find there’s a signal failure on my line to home, so I improvised a return route via Woking and Clapham Junction. What a day!

Dapdune Wharf

A train to Guildford and a 15 minute walk took me to Dapdune Wharf, a modest National Trust site on the River Wey. My purpose was to investigate the second-hand bookshop, which I can now recommend and which proved successful. I went inside the large barge wearing one of the hard-hats provided – absolutely essential for all six-footers! There’s also a very decent cafe. It was a lovely few hours spent in the bookshop, pottering around and having a cafe sandwich lunch. https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/river-wey-and-godalming-navigations-and-dapdune-wharf

The first two images were taken on the walk from the station to the Wharf and show the River Wey as it passes through the centre of Guildford.

The day we lost the kite on its maiden flight!

It was all going so well, the little ones taking turns flying the new kite – their first kite! Little Iris started running, encouraging the kite to fly higher, but then she stumbled, letting go of the kite spool, and we all watched as the kite flew up and up and into the trees. Our attempts to encourage it to untangle from the branches and to be blown out of the trees were in vain. Finally, we severed the cord hoping that the wind might be strong enough to blow the kite free, but it wasn’t to be.

We continued to the top of Boxhill to enjoy the rest of the day, hoping for a miracle and that we would find the kite waiting for us on our descent, but sadly no. Ordering a replacement kite will be the first thing to do on arriving home.

A walk from Westhumble

On a lovely day for walking, 8 miles from Westhumble up to the North Downs and down to Polesden Lacey for a sandwich lunch before the return train journey. The second-hand bookshop at Polesden was thankfully open on this visit and came up with 3 books.