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Walk reports 2014 : October - November

Reports on SWC walks from October to November

62 comments:

JohnL said...

Saturday 04 Oct 14 SWC Walk 226 - Brockenhurst to Lymington Six walkers and possibly four more on an earlier train (mentioned in the pub but not seen by us.) We hoped the band of rain would have cleared Brockenhurst by the time we arrived but it was heavy as we got off the train. Fortunately eased off as we discussed the option of having a swift half before we set off. St Nicolas seemed to be decked out for a wedding but a polite woman came out to explain it was just for a music video. The first part of this new walk is through an attractive part of the New Forest on a broad path which soon leads to the Hobbler Pub. The Hobbler serves a decent pint of Ringwood Ale and an excellent chicken ham and Leek pie. It’s a dinning pub but was happy to take individual orders at the bar and served us efficiently and in some style. The next section of this walk is quite long but the sun came out and the skies cleared. It takes you over a mix of heath and horse fields to the lively and popular Chequers which provided tea and deserts. Finally on to Lymington on the coast with its former sea salt workings, yachts, and views across to the IOW. We stopped at the Ship Inn by the harbour for a beer, two stayed on for another round and the excellent Lymington fish and chips. The six of us enjoyed the day and everyone was complimentary about this new addition to the SWC walks.

Walker said...

Saturday 3 October: Ashurst to Hever: I feared the poor weather forecast would put walkers off after such a long run of good weather, but bless us we are a hardy lot, and 26 turned out for this walk, including one late starter.

For a time it also looked as if the weather might hold off, as we started in bright conditions. Then suddenly at 11.45 it started to rain quite enthusiastically. It then rained on and off for about four and a half hours, but it was not so very bad really. The pitter patter on the foliage was quite pleasant at times.

Still, unfamiliar sensations that one had forgotten over summer. Having to take off muddy boots before entering the pub. That cosy feeling of eating inside rather than rushing out to the garden. Something I left out in the walk post is that the only negative comment about the Fountain pub in Cowden on TripAdvisor described the landlady in a bad mood "because a party of walkers insisted on paying separately". But today no such grumpiness was in evidence. The service was efficient and polite, the food was delicious and the portions were enormous. We were their only lunch customers, which may have improved our welcome.

As usual some headed off after lunch earlier than others, so roughly half the group were finishing tea at Perryhills Orchard when we backmarkers arrived. But then other speedy types turned up who had, it turned out, inadvertently done the longer option of the walk (or some version of it). So while the front half left at 3.40pm to catch the 4.55pm train there were still ten of us leaving at 4.20pm to catch the 5.55pm.

By this time the skies had miraculously cleared, and we enjoyed blue skies and golden sunshine for the last 4km of the walk, which perhaps for this reason seemed particularly scenic.

We later discovered that someone in the advance party had slipped on some steps and dislocated his shoulder - luckily by a road where he was easily accessible to the ambulance crew. After having the shoulder pulled back into joint at Tunbridge Wells Hospital he reported himself as relatively little damaged, however, apart from some soreness, which we hope continues to be the case.

MG said...

Sunday 5 October, Bures to Sunbury: Surprisingly on a wonderfully sunny day just 2 turned up for this excellent walk. Both of us being independent-minded, we only walked part of the way together and used different routes to avoid the Bulmer Tye pub diversion but we did meet up again to catch the 4.42 train back.

Ian T said...

Sun 5 Oct Stonegate Circular
Maybe someone else should write this. I forgot to count the group and the others soon shot off and left me. I only saw one of them again. (A straggler who’d spent an hour on the platform after just missing the previous train.)
I can tell you, though, that there were at least 12 for this walk- maybe a few more. A brilliantly sunny day.
Pleasant countryside. Directions a little tricky in places. The fish on a bicycle seems to have gone from the arty garden but there are other wacky installations nearby, like a disembodied door and a miniature village. Mysteriously, in Burwash, there were none of the group in the Rose and Crown and I drank my Old Ale alone. The straggler told me later that they had met with a diffident response from the bar staff and, after a while, they decamped to the Bear where the welcome was warmer. Said to recommend the Bear. The only excuse for a tea stop, the Wheel Inn, is closed for refurbishment. A rather hopeful “business for sale” sign hangs outside. There’s a treacherous “left turn” in the book directions at this point. The left turn is from the far side of road (ie a right turn). Didn’t check the compass, did I? I thought I knew this walk well but it must be the other versions.

David Colver said...

Sun 5 Oct Stonegate Circular

I'm the platform straggler. Actually, I was in the lead, then took a wrong turning and never saw the others again.

As IanT says, the Rose and Crown was unwelcoming: not just us, but others behind who had made reservations were left standing around ignored for many minutes. When eventually received, a five minute conference was needed with the kitchen to determine whether there was any capability to serve us. Irritated at the lack of enthusiasm for our business, we moved on to the Bear Inn and Burwash Motel.

There the greeting was immediate and warm, and there was a carvery which produced large portions of good roasts for about £10.50. Items ordered off menu took a moment to arrive but were generously proportioned. It was warm enough to sit in the garden, which has good views over rolling hills. (The Rose and Crown's outside is smaller and has no views.)

Given the contrast between these two, I can't see why one would prefer the Rose and Crown to the Bear and recommend the Bear is adopted as the default lunch stop.

BrightSpark said...

Sat 4th Oct - Yalding to Borough Green. Eight on this walk although only 6 did the whole walk. Enjoyable walk even in the rain. Lunch and refreshments were had at the Beeches Country pub. Sadly it seems a medieval brass was stolen from St. Michael's Church (the church without a congregation). I say this because there was a shape on the church's floor which looked like a 'brass' had been there. What a shame if my suspicions are correct.

PeteG said...

Wed 8th Oct Bentley to Farnham. Just 2 of us on this lovely walk - weather pretty good given the forcast. We stopped for a drink (20-30 mins) to check out the Blue Bell, which was a mistake in terms of timing. JfK decided to go to the Best Western for lunch and I pressed on for the Barley Mow. The NT cafe at Frensham Little Pond was closed (open Thur to Sun only). Arrived BM at 2.45, but food service stops at 2.30pm (could be a weekday thing?). So worth posting the walk again, but it's a bit tight for a pub lunch at the BM.

Walker said...

Saturday 11 October: Book 1, walk 24 Cookham to Maidenhead. 7 on this walk, on a gentle day of sunshine and cloud, with only a few dribs and drabs of rain, plus one big shower in the afternoon. This is the first time I have done this walk in its new figure of nine form and I thought it made a pleasant outing in increasingly interesting scenery - the second half along the river making a fine climax.

We might have eaten at the riverside Bounty Inn in Bourne End had it not been for rock music blaring out from their speakers. Instead we ate at the Crown on the edge of Cookham Moor which served interesting food, well presented. It was then all too short a walk along the river to Maidenhead: by 3.30pm we were at Boulters Lock, where the upmarket place overlooking the river was about to close for a function. Instead we explored tranquil Ray Mill Island behind it and had a pleasant sunny tea at the kiosk there. The view from the top end of the island of the Thames raging over the weir is also worth the detour.

Five took the direct route to the station from here. Two of us did the longer version and made a detour to stand under Brunel's famous railway bridge over the Thames and try out the very impressive echo.

Thomas G said...

Saturday 11 Oct: WSC 140 Wendover Circular.
11 walkers plus a 12th for the first hour (a Wendover based friend of a walker). All chatty folk, so that time flew past.
We had barely entered the first wood, when the SWC-mushroom expert observed "the earth is too dry for mushrooms, we will not see any all day, and it's not going to rain either".
And so it came to be. No rain, but plenty of beautiful cloudscapes. Muddy but not too muddy forest paths, and a diverse walk to boot.
4 walkers had brought sandwiches and walked on after eating, as the 7 others still waited to order their food at The Old Swan, never mind getting it served and eaten. That wait lasted an unfeasible time, but we were at least rewarded with great meals at bargain prices.

Anyway, splendid views in the afternoon from the wooded ridges towards Wendover and Aylesbury Vale and an enormous number of people active at the Go Ape-site in Wendover Woods.
As Rumsey's was full, coffee and cake were had at the neighbouring Whitewaters Deli Cafe(equally good in my opinion).
17.40 train for the Cafe contingent.

PeteB said...

Sunday 12 October. Free walk 18 Petersfield to Rowlands Castle. Like all walk posters I do a quick check of the comments section before posting a walk and I noted the points made about the mud on the Hangars Way early on but hey after a good summer, the driest September in living memory and despite some rain over the past few days I thought this should not be a problem. How wrong I was......
Eleven of us on this walk (one set out on the early 9am train cleverly anticipating the early onset of the rain in the afternoon) and when we reached the path! around Hoadlands Crundle the cattle churned mud on the steep stepped slope was very difficult to negotiate - unless you had sticks which 2 members of our party did. After this tiring start the rest of the walk was a dream especially the afternoon section with its glorious downland views - the Red Lion pub was excellent by the way.
in the afternoon the rain started earlier than I had expected so I made a determined effort to catch the 16.15 train, but missed it by about 20 feet..... Still I had excellent tea and cake at the cafe by the railway bridge (closes at 16.30 on Sunday) and then met my fellow walkers for a drink in the nearby pub ( Rowlands Castle is an excellent end to a walk) before we all caught the 17.15 with the rain now pouring down. An excellent vSWC adventure on a lovely walk which is best appreciated in high summer after a long dry spell. (more info in the comments section)

JohnE said...

Sunday 12 October. Book 2 Walk 3 - Saunderton via West Wycombe circular. 9 on this pleasant and fairly easy walk. 6 arrived by the scheduled train, 1 by an earlier train and 2 by car. After a bit of puzzling about the correct route in Naphill Wood, we arrived at Hughenden Manor, where 2 picnickers took their lunch, the others going on to Le De Spencer Arms, where all seemed happy with the food, drink and service. After lunch, we crossed the valley to pass West Wycombe Caves (no-one stopped) and visit the amazing Dashwood Mausoleum and St Lawrence Church. There were good numbers of Red Kites in evidence throughout the day and, after lunch, numerous noisy Pheasants. We had good walking weather throughout, enabling all to enjoy a varied landscape of woods and open hills - the rain started as we sat on the 17:16 train home.

JohnL said...

Saturday 11 Oct 14 Otford to Eynsford about 25 walkers. The Darent valley was looking stunning as we started. Our timing was good as the only rain of the day was during lunch at the Kings Arms. The sun came out again in the afternoon but sadly the tea room was closed for a private function. Fortunately the Malt Shovel did us proud with real pots of tea and excellent puddings.

Anonymous said...

Sat 11 Oct 14. Otford to Eynsford. 3 had tea at the Lullingstone Visitors Centre which, for future reference, now serves a good selection of rather nice cakes.

Paul Johnson said...

Walk 51 - Pangbourne to Henley.

I've just published a free offline map for the walk from Pangbourne to Henley. It's for the free mobile phone App - PDF Maps from Avenza.
I found it useful for the walk and it uses open source data so I've made it freely available.
I hope others find it useful.

I'm happy to produce similar maps for any of the TOCW walks so let me know via twitter (@MapsOffline) or OfflineMaps.co.uk and I'll add them to the Avenza store.

Paul

Paul Johnson said...

Pangbourne to Henley Map.

I failed to say how to get the map....

Download the free App "PDFMaps".
Add a map from the Avenza store and search for "Pangbourne" - believe it or not there is only 1 result. Click the "Free" button and you've got it.

Fi said...

4 on the Amberley Circular Saturday 18th October. weather lovely just a couple of very short light showers, mainly dry and sunny. 3 picnic 1 pub. At the Crown. Muddy underfoot before lunch but better after. A bit slippy on the chalk on way off downs but no problems. Tea at Bridge Inn with good cake!

Walk only spoiled by cancellation of 4.27 back due to staff sickness. Only announced at 4.20!

Walker said...

Saturday 18 October: SWC walk 219 Hildenborough to Hadlow or Tonbridge: An astonishing 39 on this walk (36 at start, three late starters) on a weirdly warm cloudy day. More than half descended on the Kentish Rifleman pub for lunch, which establishment apparently coped calmly and efficiently. The staff at the Chaser, by contrast, tied themselves in ludicrous knots taking orders. However after that food came efficiently. Though it looked empty on arrival, the pub was in fact almost entirely booked, which attests to the quality of its food.

Nearing Hadlow we all got a bit confused by the choice between two routes, but notwithstanding most still found their way to Broadview Gardens, where I think several toured the grounds. I headed straight for the very nice tea room, sitting outside in a pretty garden area, something we will not be doing much more of for a few months, I guess.

Some speedy walkers had already zipped off to do the five mile extension to Tonbridge. The rest headed for the bus stop, spurred on by a light drizzle. Five of us went to take a closer look at the Hadlow Tower, intending to take the bus, but then were surprised by the sun coming out and the skies clearing. So we too set off for Tonbridge and had a pleasant sunny walk of it, ending with a traditional Tonbridge Saturday night out of a pint and a curry.

Poppy said...

Sun 19th October - Buxted circular: About 13. We felt agonising hours of hunger stretching ahead when the pub manager (Crow and Gate) said it were too busy to accommodate any walkers and could not serve us outside. Two phone calls would not dissuade him. I was deeply disappointed, as their sherry trifle had been the main lure attracting me out on an early Sunday morning. At 1pm, already feeilng a little light-headed, I shared the only food I had on me, a crunchy peanut butter sandwich, trying to savour as much enjoyment and anticipation as I could from a soon-to-be-purchased bag of crisps. On arrival, we were overjoyed to see walkers at the tables outside.The pub manager had relented - turns out a waiter had slipped on the grass once so we fetched the food from indoors. Moral - 1. do carry some spare food on you at all times. 2. Do book ahead for pubs on Sundays just in case, no matter how flexible they appear. 3.Do practise the art of persuasion as people sometimes change their mind. All credit to the Crow and Gate for listening. The walk itself was very pleasant (easpecially after lunch) though some of the directions were difficult to follow. And in the end the waitress told me the trifle had more cream than sherry-soaked sponge so I chose a very good plum,berry and something crumble.

BrightSpark said...

Peterfield to Liss - Saturday 18th October. Twelve people on this walk. Atmospheric woods (with what looked like badger sets), a very steep hill (good for the heart) and a fantastic view of the South Downs made this walk an enjoyable day out.

MG said...

Ingatestone to Wickford, Sunday 19 October: 5 set out on this walk, somewhat wet underfoot because of the recent rain but a fine day with much sunshine. Deciding to go the long way round a ploughed field, I lost the other 4 ahead and didn't see them again all day. However, had an enjoyable lunch at The Hoop (Bakers' Arms being too full to get near the bar) and continued to Wickford. Whether the others did likewise or went to Battlesbridge I don't know.

Ian T said...

Sat 25 Oct Cowden to Hever. About 30 set off from Cowden. Other walkers appeared during the day from different directions. It was a fine and occasionally sunny day. No rain but one or two muddy patches. A few autumn tints but nothing spectacular. We met an alpaca and a little grunty pig. Speaking of which, most of our lot had lunch in the Leicester Arms which seemed fine. Later, tea was consumed in the Henry VIII. Most caught the 17:05 back.

Walker said...

Saturday 25 October: Book 1, walk 42 Holmwood to Gomshall: 29 on this old favourite - 6 on an earlier train, 22 on the specified train and 1 late starter. All, I think, did the alternative start along a bridleway to the north of the station suggested in a comment by yours truly and some suggested it be made the standard start for this walk (see Feedback for this walk for a brief outline of the route).

The weather was pleasant, with some sun. The ground was surprisingly dry and the trees surprisingly bare or tinted - maybe due to the elevation, or the sandy soil, or recent winds. But ash trees all seemed to be denuded, beeches and oaks quite turned, something I have not seen anywhere else yet. As has been the rule so far this autumn, however, colours were very muted - more shrivelling than tinting.

The six early walkers all lunched at the Stephen Langton in Friday Street. Those of us in the main group booked a table for 13, knowing this pub is often popular. But in the event the pub was only half full when we arrived at 1.45pm and embarrassingly only three of the main group had a pub lunch. Many of the rest seem to have had sandwiches on Leith Hill, though I suppose some might have gone to the Plough in Coldharbour.

In the afternoon I know many were aiming for the excellent Tillings Tea Rooms in Gomshall, which nirvana they presumably achieved. Others went to the Compasses for more alcoholic fare. Myself and friend just scraped into the Abinger Hammer tea room, where we found three other walkers. Generally, I think, people got the 5.53 train via Guildford, though a few of us got the (delayed) 18.04 and changed at Dorking.

As the train pulled out the sun set on the last day of British Summer Time, and the Great Darkness began….

Anonymous said...

Oct 25, Cowden to Hever. Just to add to Ian T's comment, in the afternoon, the group split into 3-4. Some did the extension 12 miles, The rest did the 10 miles, 8 took the Chiddingstone detour and had tea and cake at the tearoom in Chiddingstone - an attractive alternative to the pub in Hever. Interestingly, all groups (except 2-3 very fast walkers), regardless distance walked, all caught 5:05pm train including those who did 12 miles (they caught the same train at 5:01pm at Cowden).

Ian T said...

Sun 26 Oct Riddlesdown to Coulsden South
7 on this walk. A dry day, starting overcast, turning sunny. Walk fine, autumn not here yet. The Fox seemed busier than expected. Pre-visit call definitely recommended for future Sundays. However those that wanted were seated and served. In the afternoon, 4 opted for the shorter walk and 3 for the longer. The shorties got back in time to visit the Poppy Café in the Memorial Garden. (Arrived 3:30, closes 4) However, none were sufficiently enticed to sample their wares.

PeteG said...

Sun 26 Oct Great Missenden to Amersham
6 on the walk. The Squirrel was fully booked inside, but it was just about OK to eat outside - a veranda with a wood stove. The early start got us back to Amersham in good time to look around (3 ) or catch an early train home (3).

Garrie said...

Sun 26 Oct Riddlesdown to Coulsden South

I was one of the four who had lunch in The Fox. They were very busy when we arrived. Two of the three staff we had to deal with were not welcoming or helpful. Our eventual waitress was pleasant and helpful. The food was good, interesting (savoury Eccles Cake!) and reasonably priced.

I was also one of the three who took the longer option. This was very enjoyable, with some mud but nothing that was not easily negotiated.
We arrived at the church in Chaldon at 3pm and were pleasantly surprised to find that they had just started serving tea. We enjoyed chatting to the ladies serving, having tea and sampling the Rocky Road and Victoria Sponge - all excellent.

Thomas G said...

Sat 25 Oct New Walk: Hitchin Circular Walk-Check
10 walkers. Lunch at the Live and Let Live in Pegsdon. Tea at Oughtonhead Farm Garden Gate Tea Room. Both well received, as was the walk. 17.30 train.

Chris L said...

Wed 15 Oct, Extra Walk 168, Broxbourne Circular. A belated report, since I just noticed that neither of the last two Wednesday walks have had numbers reported. Five on this walk, including one late starter who rapidly caught up with the rest and did the full morning route, while the others headed straight for the nearby pub at 12:45, cutting out a 3-mile loop. Rather surly bar staff and very slow meal service in the almost empty Woodman & Olive did not impress, but the food, when it arrived, was good and in generous portions.

A lot of beautiful woodland on this walk, though some would have preferred a few more stretches of open country. Three used a broad straight forest track to shorten and simplify the afternoon route and were back in Broxbourne by mid-sfternoon.

Chris L said...

Wed 22 Oct, Extra Walk 111 Caterham to Knockholt. Four set out on this straightforward walk which mainly follows a section of the North Downs Way affording ample opportunities to savour the sight and sound of the gorgeous M25 which parallels the route for most of the morning. Plenty of fine views and splendid woodland help to compensate, however.

Two stopped for lunch at Botley Hill Farmhouse, while the other two, with packed lunches, continued and later took one of the several options for shortening the walk by catching a bus near Westerham. The walk directions are quite basic, but adequate for following the well-waymarked NDW.

tartanrug said...

Seven walkers. Some rain in the morning. Only six walkers by the time we got to the Padwell Arms (slow and average, the pub not the walkers) after which the group split with three going to tea at IM, to rendevous with a further SWC walker who drove down from London. The three for tea finished in the dark with only one making it on to the 6.14 train.

tartanrug said...

Walk report below is for the Sevenoaks circular on Wednesday 29 October

Walker said...

Saturday 1 November: Book 2, walk 20B - Robertsbridge to Battle. 16 on this walk, on a lovely sunny autumn day (once early cloud had cleared) that made this walk look particularly beautiful. Autumn colours were not bad, though an alarming number of trees are already bare. I saw three red admiral butterflies.

Early in the walk the rear of the party got detained by a pheasant shoot. It seems we had turned up at just the wrong moment, as the beaters were driving the birds out of cover. The hunt organiser was very courteous and we had a pleasant chat as dead birds were rather disconcertingly brought to our feet by one of the gun dogs.

At Staplecross a few of us took the alternative route around the field with the awkward horse, but most of the group simply walked through it and reported the animals no more than a bit curious. Also curious was the approach to ordering at the Queen's Head where the management first insisted that we queue for (very slow) drinks service at the bar, then made us sit at table to give our food order. But both the food and atmosphere is now better in this place than I remember from past visits.

We got to Battle just as darkness was gathering, and discovered that one benefit of the evening Bonfire festivities was that the tea rooms all stayed open late. Most of the group then departed for the 18.07 train, but six of us endured two hours plus standing up in a pub (all the tables and chairs having been removed to cope with the crowds) while we waited for the torchlight procession to start at 7.45pm. This was candidly a bit flaccid compared to the Lewes version, but there was a cheerful and friendly atmosphere to the event, and the crowds were not horrific. We decided not to wait for the fireworks, however, and caught the 9.07pm train home.

Anonymous said...

Saturday 02.11.14 SWC 3 -38 Whytleafe to Hayes
32 or so walkers – a nice easy walk with only a couple of small steep bits to get the heart exercised but one walker did complain that it should be a 6 out of 10 (she has bad knees so is somewhat biased)
There are a lot of woods and shade on this walk so it is ideal for hot summer days and as there are frequent valley views with sunshine in them it was also good for those snapping away.
Lunch in the White Bear was generally considered to be good and reasonable with excellent service HOWEVER the cauliflower and cheese soup was somewhat unexciting / bland / boring / thin and watery / a massive disappointment that even milquetoast may turn their nose up at.
8 or so finished at the newly opened The Tearoom which is just beyond the station on the other side – a great tea room of the old style with good cake to make up for the soup at lunch (see above) – lets hope that it stays open.

Johnny Hastings said...

Great walk from Hassocks to Lewes mainly on well drained chalkland but a little muddy by the river near Lewes. Lunch at Half Moon in Plumpton. Hearty sandwiches and big chips. Some stayed for afternoon tea at the historic White Hart in Lewes. 18 walkers. Good company.

Anonymous said...

Sunday 2nd Nov Effingham to Westhumble. There was a heavy shower as we travelled down on the train but thankfully it had passed by the time these 5 walkers set off from Effingham. There was a bit of drizzle for a while but otherwise a dry walk and the sun showed it's face in the afternoon. After lunch at Polesden Lacey, we opted to reverse the morning section of the Westhumble Circular with 2 doing a further stretch after that around Denbies/Boxhill.

JohnE said...

Sun 02 Nov. Bk1 Walk 52 - Princes Risborough to Wendover. 3 on this Chilterns walk with fine views and varied woodland. Light rain at the start of the walk but thereafter dry. Lunch at the Plough, Lower Cadsden, which was very full inside - just as well there were only 3 of us. Service was however good and fast and the food was highly rated by the SWC team. After lunch we enjoyed excellent views across Aylesbury Vale after going somewhat astray in the, by then, rather gloomy woods. As everywhere was covered in fallen leaves, the paths were a little difficult to identify in places. Arriving in Wendover at about 4, we restored ourselves in the excellent Rumsey's Chocolaterie then caught the 16.40 train back.

tartanrug said...

Wednesday Lewes circular
13 walkers. Like herding cats today, they came at odd times but met together very briefly at the Abergavenny Arms for lunch. Sadly, the Abergavenny Arms was not serving lunch today but the Barman, in the role of hero, heated up some soup for us in his flat above the pub. Two went to Southease and climbed up onto the downs and the SDW dropping down to West Firle and dinner at the Ram Inn before walking on to Glynde by moonlight, and on by train to Lewes and the fireworks and torchlight procession. 11 others took the posted route to Lewes for an earlier entry into the festivities.

Marion said...

Wednesday 5 November
Finished the walk in Lewes at 3.30pm and having only had soup for lunch 4 of us dashed to the Needlemakers Craft centre just in time to have fab cheese scones cake and tea. All shops and tea venues close at 4pm and board up their windows! Re-enactors and musicians were changing into their costumes for the procession which started earlier than scheduled at around 5.30pm so not long to wait amongst the huge crowds around the War memorial. After the second procession two of us then blagged our way into the White hart Hotel for a Carvery meal with Nut Roast £10. Plenty of tables for residents and guests. Ask could have given us a table but not til 8.30pm. Glad to catch the 8.40pm fast train home but no chance to see fireworks as displays don't start tip 10pm and can run tip 11.00pm. after all 7 processions have paraded. One stayed for the Cliffe display and as he lived in Brighton would have been able to benefit from the 10 extra trains to get home after the last London trains had gone at 10.40pm.

Anonymous said...

Saturday 08 Nov Walk 3-81: Chorleywood to Chesham
3 got off of the train and the weather was grey but mild so off we set.
Lunch for 2 of us in the Red Lion was excellent and as it looked like rain we went back to Chorleywood after lunch thus cutting our time in the storm by about an hour.
We got drenched but we also got some watercress from an honesty stall and had some fine views over the valley and saw red kites a buzzard and jay.

Anonymous said...

Saturday 8 Nov walk 1-20 Milford to Godalming. 16 on this walk. Dry for most of the day but the rain caught us in the afternoon. The morning section is mainly through bridleways and paths and they were muddy after the recent heavy rain. A local who we met on the way said sections of the paths turn to ooz around October so this walk is best done in dryer times.

DGA said...

Sat 8 Nov Wadhurst Circular via Bewl Water 10 miles. I counted 17 including a late arrival at the very welcoming and efficient Old Vine, Cousley Wood. Autumnal leaves of green and brown and chestnut shells everywhere made the wood sections of this walk especially a delight as did views of Bewl Water. Hard to avoid the mud of course but I didn't think it was THAT bad!
2 opted for the extra 2 miles PM. 5 had tea in the delightful Cottage Tea Room; not how many went to the equally good Wealden Wholefoods Cafe but most of us re-convened in the Greyhound pub where the vino soon flowed.... not surprised only four of us made the fab bonfire and fireworks display complete with Guy Fawkes torching The Houses of Parliament (honestly!) Where did he go? Probably to get a burger! (Private joke) See footage on flickr in due course.
Immensely enjoyable day despite rain in the evening at Wadhurst.

Walker said...

Sunday 9 November: Book 2 Walk 7 Henley via Hambleden: 10 on this walk which made a delightfully outing in the sunshine. The ground was not too muddy and the lunch pub was not too full. Autumn colours were muted with many trees bare and the rest stubbornly green, including the beechwoods just before Hambleden which most avoided by taking the short cut. Surely the cold nights this week must produce better tints by next week?

I dawdled in the afternoon to enjoy the sun (Hambleden Weir looked delightful in the low golden light). Did the others get the 3.07 train? I got to the Chocolate Cafe (it has dropped the inane "Theatre" from its name) all too early at 3.30pm and found it very busy. Squeezed in and had my choccy cake, however, and by 4pm the cafe was much emptier. Moral: don't rush the walk and you can have your tea in peace.

PeteB said...

Sunday 9 November Free walk 135 variation- Hurst Green to Lingfield, 12 on this walk with one other sadly having to drop out as her small poodle was struggling in the conditions. Perfect sunny weather from 11 am and the walk author's prediction that we may need a canoe for some stretches thankfully proved unfounded - one or two stretches of this walk are actually below sea level. Conditions were wet underfoot but not too muddy as the route took us across many grassy fields with no clear path - helpful in fact in cleaning your boots!

Excellent food at the Royal Oak which as we arrived there at 12.15pm meant we were served efficiently before the families started rolling up at 1pm.

Some lovely views in the afternoon and the unbroken sunlight bathed the trees in a beautiful autumn glow. Not much leaf colour though. Many encounters with horses, donkeys and a small herd of English longhorn cattle who look fearsome with their horns but are in fact very calm and good natured.

The lure of the 16.19 train meant we did not linger in Lingfield. A fine walk with a nice mix of woodland and open fields and worth doing at any time of the year although sustained winter rains would make some sections difficult. An excellent day out in fine company.

PS 22 on the two Sunday walks which shows if the weather forecast is good and better than Saturday's you will get the numbers if you choose a "North" and a "South" walk

Anonymous said...

Sunday 9 November, Free Walk 21 Sevenoaks Circular: I've been doing this walk with 2 freinds of mine and wrote about it in my blog: http://hikingmadness.wordpress.com/2014/11/09/sevenoaks-circular-knole-park-between-awesomeness-and-narrowmindedness/
We had a not so pleasant stay at the Padwell Arms, one of the main lunch stops. But otherwise a great day in a lovely area.

JohnE said...

Wed 12 Nov - Free walk 36 - Amersham Circular via Chalfont St Giles. 5 on this walk. Very pleasant walk with a mix of woodland and open views of the Chilterns at their autumn best, particularly in the mid-afternoon sun. Lunch at Merlin's Cave, Chalfont St Giles was satisfactory. (The Crown is closed). Tea at Seasons in Amersham brought an enjoyable day to a close.

tartanrug said...

Saturday Sunningdale to Windsor book 1 walk 18 only four of us on this walk. A lovely outing with some great colours and a range of weather from fog to sunshine but fairly dry underfoot. Unfortunately coincided with the rugby at Twickenham.

Anonymous said...

Saturday, Witley to Haslemere, Walk 44: After last week's lunch desaster but nice walk in Kent area, we went for a recommended autumn walk in Surrey today: http://hikingmadness.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/witley-to-haslemere-autumn-fog-and-colours/ Amazing weather, sunny and foggy.

Walker said...

Saturday 15 November: SWC Walk 179 Loughton to Epping: 22 on this walk including late starters. Fabulous autumn colours in the forest, the beeches a riot of gold and yellow. Weather dry with a hint of sun, and though muddy at times often firm underfoot on gravelly tracks.

In point 8 there was a difference of opinion which way to go, but both groups got a bit lost. GPS got us back on track, however and the rest of the route was no problem. The Good Intent coped calmly with us all turning up to lunch (almost their only customers) and the food was tasty with good portions.

After lunch there was some more interesting scenery, though less stunning than the morning. The M25 noise was muted, perhaps due to the lack of wind. Only three of us diverted to see Copped Hall, a ruined mansion now being restored. Maybe a dozen of us had a nice tea in the Verde Cafe and then the strange experience of getting on a train at a rural station for a tube ride home.


Anonymous said...

Sun Nov 16, Manningtree Circular, 9 walkers despite the forecast. We had a clear and dry morning and got to Dedham Sun Inn just in time before the crowd came in. Food was excellent and perhaps not as expensive as perceived. While we were in the pub, light rain started. After lunch, we visited Dedham church which houses one of the only three religious paintings done by Constable. We took a short cut and got to Flatford Mill just after 2pm. After identifying where Constable painted Will Lott's Cottage and The Hay Wain, with the aid of paintings on the tablet, the group relaxed in the NT tea room while watching a downpour outside. After the tea and a short visit to the Mill Museum (free), another painting 'Flatford Mill (the scene on a Navigable River) was spotted across the bridge. Despite the last leg of walk was muddy and in the rain, we were all delighted and inspired by the double bill experience.

PeteB said...

Sunday 16 November Extra walk 4 Merstham to Tattenham Corner. 12 on this walk which offered some superb panoramic views in the morning. Walking conditions were good underfoot as the chalky soil drains well and the mud through woodland sections was mainly leaf mulch.
The Sportsman pub was stupendously busy mainly because of a Hungarian dog owners convention! Nevertheless the pub was efficient and the food pretty good. The walk is not so interesting after lunch and the group fragmented, taking different routes over Banstead Heath before the final scenic stretch over Epsom Downs where a small group of us met up to have a cup of tea and for me an excellent slice of carrot cake at the kiosk near the race course. We all met up to catch the 16.15 train as the heavens opened. an excellent day out and a fine walk for any time of the year. (I must do this walk during Derby week to see the massive crowds and enjoy the atmosphere.)

BrightSpark said...

Wendover Circular - Saturday 15 November. Twelve on this walk. Misty to start but cleared up later. With the Coombe Hill ending this walk must be a contender for an eight out ten! Can highly recommend the walk for anyone who wants to get some air/oxygen deep into their lungs. Highlight was dusk at Coombe Hill which was terrifically beautiful.

Walker said...

Saturday 22 November: SWC walk 132 Horsted Keynes Circular: 14 on this walk despite an unpromising weather forecast. In fact it did not rain and the mist gave a cosy feel to the walk on a day that was wierdly mild for late November. The woods were still a riot of gold and yellow ((beech, field maple and hazel mainly).

The lunch pub was nearly empty and did good filling food. We did not leave there till 3pm but still managed to finish the walk by the shorter route just before dark fell. At least two elected to do the full main walk afternoon in order to finish in the darkness.

All in all a beautiful companionable day. The only regret was that we had to extricate ourselves from the very cosy Crown in Horsted Keynes after just one hour to catch tithe last bus at 5.45pm.

DAC said...

Saturday 22 Nov SWC walk 17 - Goring Circular. Just 2 of us on an overcast day with occasinal slight drizzle. The Bell Inn did not disappoint. Undulating terrain. We both agreed that the walk warranted its 4/10 toughness rating.

Anonymous said...

Saturday 22 November Boxhill - Leatherhead about 20 or so. A mild day and the morning drizzle soon dried up. Lunch at the Running Horses was very good after which we all opted to do the circular walk back to Boxhill, some taking the high route, others the valley route. The cafe on Boxhill Station worked well for tea time. A good day out.

Anonymous said...

Wednesday 26th November – Alton circular short version

Eight walkers. Very waterlogged ground underfoot.

Ian T said...

Sat 29 Nov. 14 Wakes Colne to Bures
6 on the Walk. A mild sunny day. Nice colour on some of the trees, those that weren’t already skeletal. Some boggy stretches. Five Bells fine for lunch. Friendly and meals well-received. Beer good. All went well apart for one coffee which didn’t arrive on time and fell foul of the rigid table-booking system.
In the afternoon, walkers were deployed in waves of two. The first wave made it to Bures in time for the 15:33. The others came together again for the 16:33.

Walker said...

Saturday 29 November: Second walk: SWC walk 120 Eridge Circular: 32 on this walk including two who joined us at lunch. A lovely day out in glorious sunshine, so warm that one could sit outside the Crown Inn to have lunch. This pub was also busy with a group of NE London Ramblers doing the same walk, but it coped with ease. Five of us tried the alternative Junction Inn: no sun there and no other customers but excellent and hearty food, also speedily served. (Let's have lunch on Groombridge every week..)

In the afternoon we again got entangled with the other walking group and I envisaged a long queue to get into the Huntsman pub for tea. But everyone instead rushed to get the train, leaving only about eight of us.

Five of us then did a lovely hour or so's walk in the half moonlight up lanes and tracks. Dinner at the Huntsman would have been a nice way to round off the day, but apparently you now have to put your name down at birth to get a table here on a Saturday night.

Chris L said...

Sunday 30 Nov, Extra Walk 61, Reading to Henley. Five walkers sauntered along this lovely stretch of the Thames Path in fine weather, stopping at The Bull in Sonning for lunch - quite expensive but good food. Three continued into Henley to catch the 16:07 train back (no time for tea) while two called it a day at Shiplake to join the same train.

DGA said...

Sat 29th Nov Walk 45 (of 'Book 3'/Extra Walks) West Byfleet to Hampton. Some 9 or 10 miles.
8 walkers, a mix of regulars, irregulars and a welcome newcomer, enjoyed un-seasonal good weather, (cue poetic rambling about gorgeous autumnal hues of golden leaves, etc).
Pluses included seeing anglers, locks & weirs, canal boats, canoeists, rowers, ducks & swans and what appeared to be a sumptuous lunch enjoyed by four at 'The Swan', Walton (on Thames, obviously).
Minuses included said swans grabbing half my sandwich from my hand, bellowing rowing coaches on bikes bullying us from Thames paths for MILES (!) and slightly meagre walking instructions in strategic places.
Six enjoyed a lengthy tea al-fresco at one of Hampton's several cafes (my choccy slice was delivered on a piece of Welsh slate) before going our separate ways.
I think 8 was a good turnout on the same day an Eridge walk was posted.

PeteB said...

Sunday 30 November Book 1 Walk 21 Leigh to Sevenoaks. 15 on this Kent outing in perfect late autumn weather. Sadly one of our number became unwell during the walk and had to take a taxi to Sevenoaks from the lunch-time pub. We wish her well.

Lovely fields and oasthouses in the morning and after lunch at the White Rock in its outside pavilion which is more suitable for walkers than the pub itself we tackled the long climb towards Knole Park where a small group of us had refreshments in a cafe Nero. (There are extensive renovations going on at Knole House and their excellent tea shop looks like being closed for quite a time although there is a small temporary kiosk)
An excellent day out with many SWC regulars. (Nature watch - saw a nuthatch in the churchyard by the pub.)

Anonymous said...

Wednesday extra walk 32 Holmwood to Reigate.
Eight walkers descended the train after delays on the journey. Nice weather in the morning if a bit bracing. several had a pub lunch which was good food & service. Then four made a sharpish exit citing places to go people to see. Four remaining then completed the route which was not well marked in places weather deteriorated but did not detract from walking pleasure.

Flat walk except for couple of steep climbs. Nice day out in pleasant company !

JohnE said...

Sun 7 Dec - SWC walk 56 Maidenhead to Marlow. 4 walkers - 3 on the scheduled train and one on a different train. Lunch in Cookham, 2 at the Kings Arms, of which the reports were satisfactory, and 2 ate sandwiches supplemented by fare from the Cookham Christmas Fair, which was in full spate in the High Street. A pleasant walk in weather rather duller than forecast.