I do like Dorking, and there appeared to be a freshness to the place following recent rain. Since I was last here a few months ago, the high street appears to have a few more empty shops, but it’s still a very pleasant, small town. Today’s visit by train was to donate around ten books to the Oxfam Bookshop (and to pick up another three!). Probably over three-quarters of the books I read end up here. I only keep those I flag as highly recommended, the rest are donated to Oxfam Books. A coffee and date-slice in the Two Many Cooks coffee shop rounded off a nice morning.
Dorking to Brockham and back
Dorking to Betchworth
On a glorious day I improvised a new walk, starting from Dorking station and heading through the villages of Pixham, Betchworth and Brockham.
Unusually for me I had a mega-sized pub lunch, at the Red Lion in Betchworth. What with a pint as well, I was feeling distinctly heavy for the last 5 miles. The steak & ale pie meal was very good and the pub is recommended.
In the pictures below, note the very odd scarecrow guarding the fishing lake!
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.
A stroll around Dorking
A stroll around Dorking brought us across this unlikely town scene. I don’t think the sheep are permanent residents though I have seen them there on previous visits.
At the Oxfam Bookshop I was refused entry as I would have exceeded the ‘maximum of 2 customers’ restriction. They are also only accepting donations on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I have more than 30 books waiting to be donated which have accumulated over the lock-down.
A successful restocking of pre-loved books from the Dorking Oxfam bookshop, though I suspect that one of the books (The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes) was one I had previously donated – I have certainly read it!
A first visit to the Cake Rider Cafe was interesting and certainly deserves another visit. The owner was delightful as was the presentation of the drip coffee.
Do I know you? & The man with a tail
On the train to Dorking I really got into James Rhodes’ Fire On All Sides – this is going to be a great read. I took a dozen books to the Oxfam bookshop and bought three (A Gate at the Stairs – Lorrie Moore, The King is Dead – Jim Lewis, and the non-fiction The Death of Expertise – Tom Nichols). I deserved the coffee and pain au chocolat at the very pleasant Dorking Deli. Incidentally there’s an amazing bike shop just a couple of doors down.
Westhumble 6 mile walk
It’s a while since I had a decent length walk and so the return of the sun was an incentive to take one on.
Westhumble to Dorking is familiar to me, though today there was an unplanned, muddy detour towards the end. I’ve mapped the walk using Mapmywalk.com. I had a phase of mapping all my walks but somehow I lost the enthusiasm, but now I’m returning to the site to resume mapping.
A lake and two walls
Dorking – a short stroll
On setting out, there was the following piece of wisdom at my local train station. Curiously (or not), my previous post which was posted just an hour earlier, referenced the spelling of the past tense of focus (focussed or focused), though the stationmaster didn’t have to consider this when writing her message.