A 5 mile circular stroll with the little ones as well as our Berlin son began just outside Reigate, (near a couple of fine pubs) and took us through woods into the centre of the town. A fine walk on a dull day. On another day we’ll do it again but make use of one of the pubs.
Back home for a late lunch followed by a long session playing Monopoly Deal, a great card game for young and old. Congratulations to 8-year-old Chloe on her wins!
I’ve recently become a cribbage fan and I’ve got Chloe playing the 5-card version, whilst for us grown-ups the 6-card version is a better challenge. I’m doing pretty good playing random Internet opponents.
What with the pre-dinner pints with my son at one of our local pubs, it’s been a lovely few days with the family.
With the Solent Way out of the way it’s time to prepare another challenge. As with previous long walks I will do them in stages, using public transport wherever possible to get to/from the starting/end points. I try to keep stages to be between 8 and 12 miles.
The first walk will be from Salisbury to Winchester using the Clarendon Way (26 miles) followed by Winchester to Farnham using the St Swithun’s Way (34 miles).
I found the guides, below, to help me on my way:
The Clarendon Way
The Clarendon Way – 26 miles (Salisbury to Winchester)
A 24 mile walk joining the two Wessex cities of Salisbury and Winchester. The Clarendon Way crosses the Test Valley between Kings Somborne and Houghton. It starts near the Avon at Salisbury Cathedral and ends beside the waters of the Itchen in the heart of Winchester.
Possible timings (3 stages)
Stage 1 (7 miles) Leave home (9:20) then 9:42 from station to CJ (10:07), then 10:27 to Salisbury (11:43) leaving 4 hours to do the walk and possibly visit the pub
Walk Salisbury to Middle Winterslow (7 mile mark). The Lord Nelson Arms looks worth a visit though the timing might not be right. Closed Monday/Tuesday, food from 12pm to 1:30 (closes 2pm)
St Swithun’s Way – 34 miles (Winchester to Farnham)
St Swithun’s Way runs between Winchester and Farnham. Unable to follow the original route, as much of this is now the A31, St Swithun’s Way follows some of the county’s best countryside paths. Starting at Winchester Cathedral, the route passes through the Itchen Valley. It then continues northeast passing the towns of Alresford and Alton, as well as Chawton, the home of Jane Austen. Following the path of the River Wey, the route reaches Farnham in Surrey and continues to Canterbury.
A warm, sunny day made for a gruelling 15.4 mile hike along the North Downs Way, from Westhumble (near Dorking) to Guildford. I was expecting it to be about 12 miles and I intended it to be a bit of a training session in preparation for a 16 mile walk along part of the long-distance, Solent Way. Not only did I underestimate the length but I also improvised an extra bit at the end in order to pick up the River Wey, just to the south of Guildford. But I now know 16 miles is within my capabilities. Not only that, I’m expecting the Solent Way to be fairly flat, whereas today’s walk was up and down and totalled over 2,000 feet elevation – (walking up Snowden is just over 3,000 feet elevation!)
Yesterday was a wonderfully sunny and warm March day (shirtsleeves weather!). I struggled to complete the almost 12 miles along the River Wey-Navigation from Guildford to West Byfleet. I’d done this walk before, but this time it was harder on my feet. It didn’t help that I was standing for almost 5 hours – I rarely stop to rest. A highlight of the walk might have been to capture an image of a heron as it flew to and from its nest, not far from where I was standing. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough with my camera, and waiting a few minutes for the heron to return proved fruitless.
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!
On an 8-mile walk from Box Hill along the North Downs to Gomshall, there was plenty of evidence of the damage caused by the recent series of storms, and several times I had to negotiate obstacles on the blocked track.
World War 2 pillboxes litter sections of the North Downs Way.
Harvesting of trees in the woods.
In the distance……
And at the end of the walk, at Gomshall, a delightful farm setting.
Whilst waiting for a bus there was just time for a brief visit to the pub
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’?
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.