Greensand Way 5 : Earlswood to Oxted walk

Greensand Way Stage 5 : A gentle ridge walk through a quiet part of Surrey. Regularly spaced pubs.

History

This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date Post # Weather
Sat, 04-Jan-20 Saturday walk - Earlswood to Oxted - a gentle section of the Greensand Way 17 overcast turning to clear
Wed, 16-Oct-19 Wednesday Walk - Earlswood to Oxted 3 grey cloud with a bit of rain
Sat, 24-Mar-18 Earlswood to Oxted 20
Sat, 04-Jun-16 Saturday Second Walk - The Greensand Ridge just south of London 27 warm but cloudy with some sun in the afternoon
Sat, 29-Aug-15 A new walk on the Greensand Way 20 sunny in the morning but light rain after lunch
Sat, 04-Jan-20
Saturday walk - Earlswood to Oxted - a gentle section of the Greensand Way
Length: 16.9km (10.5 miles) T=3.148
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.51 Thameslink train from London Bridge (9.35 St Pancras Thameslink, 10.07 East Croydon) to Earlswood, arriving 10.27

Buy a day return to 'Edenbridge stations' (even though you are not going to Edenbridge!!), choosing "via East Croydon only" if offered that option.

Please note that the late start option at Nutfield is not, at time of writing, possible due to a landslip on the Redhill-Tonbridge line: but this does not affect the main walk

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, for a map of the route click here.

This walk had a midweek outing back in October but has not been exhibited on a Saturday since March 2018. It follows an easy section of the Greensand Way, which starts some way south of the ridge on flat fields, before climbing up into hillier territory, with some fine escarpment views, after the village of South Nutfield. Mud is inevitable on any January walk, but this is the GreenSAND ridge, so might be a bit drier underfoot than other territory.

Lunch is at a very pleasant pub in Bletchingley after just 3.8 miles, though stride-out types might make it to Barley Mow in Tandridge, 8.1 miles into the walk, which serves food till 3pm. Oxted has plenty of tea opportunities.

Trains back from Oxted are at 20 past the hour to London Bridge (33 minutes) and 23 and 53 past to Victoria (29 minutes), with all trains going through East Croydon


  • 05-Jan-20

    Bill S, Sun 05 Jan 20, 12:43

    Mud, mud, glorious mud! A few slippery, squelchy stretches at first leading inexorably soon afterwards to a length of fenced in path that would have made a grown hippo weep with joy. Boot topping liquid mud that would have kept a beauty parlour in face masks for weeks. Although there was plenty more to come, none of it came close to the quality of that early encounter. However conditions underfoot were such that it prompted one regular to talk shamefully of taking a bus after lunch. But most, I think stayed the course.

    Thirteen of us gathered together on the platform at Earlswood station. Another walker, initially thought to be our walk poster, was spotted shuffling paper further down the platform. But he departed before us, and although our paths crossed a few times, and he seemed to be walking the same route as us he kept himself to himself and by doing so ruled himself out of the count. Later on we were joined by a dog with far too much energy which raced from end to end of our, by then, strung out group in a vain attempt to herd us together: poor thing would have had more success trying to herd cats. After 10 or 15 minutes we managed to collar it and, fearing that it might be lost (its tag showing that it hailed from Chiswick), tried to contact the owner by phone, to no avail. But moments later he appeared and, as he was following our directions and stayed with us for the rest of the walk, he qualified for the count. So 14 - of whom two were first timers - and one dog.

    When we reach Bletchingley just after 12.00, five or six decided to head for the Red Lion, the recommended lunchtime pub, and were never seen again. Five of us, however, decided it was too early to stop and continued on to the Barley Mow at Tandridge where the service was prompt and the food fine. (Special mention must go the bowl of chips served to one of our number which was probably the largest in SWC history. So many were there that the recipient generously declared them a shared resource, and very fine they were to). There was a note in the bar to say that the current tenants (owners?) were leaving soon, but there was no indication that the pub was closing.

    The three of us (and dog, who must have ran the walk twice over) who were out front after lunch headed straight for the station when we reached Oxted and caught the 15.53. Others were debating about stopping for tea and cake, but I don’t know whether they did so in the end.

    The weather was overcast turning to clear skies-and-sunshine-in-the-afternoon. All in all a fine days walking in good company, even allowing for the mud.

  • 05-Jan-20

    14 , overcast turning to clear skies-and-sunshine-in-the-afternoon

  • Anonymous
    05-Jan-20

    3 caught the later train and caught up with the main group at lunchtime.

  • Anonymous
    05-Jan-20

    17 including the 3 on the later train and caught up at the first lunch pub.

  • David Colver
    05-Jan-20

    The largest of raspberries to Cafe Papillon, conveniently close to Oxted station, but inconveniently locking at 1545 the doors that clearly declare a 1700 closing time, no matter that there were half a dozen would be customers standing in front of them. Why enter the tea shop business if you are unwilling to be open at tea time?

Wed, 16-Oct-19
Wednesday Walk - Earlswood to Oxted
Earlswood to Oxted
t=SWC.148
Length: 17km (10m)
Toughness: 4 / 10
This is a pleasant section of the Greensand Way, passing through gentle Surrey countryside, with a mix of pasture, arable fields and woodland, and some fine escarpment views typical of the Greensand Way.

Waymarking on the route is often fairly poor, hence these directions. While the route largely follows the Greensand Way, in a couple of places alternatives are suggested to avoid walking on busy roads.

Trains: Get the Thameslink 0950 Gatwick train from London Bridge (St Pancras 0935, Blackfriars 0943, East Croydon 1006 etc) arriving 1027. Buy an Edenbridge return (the fare is under £13).
Return from Oxted are xx23 xx53 to Victoria, xx20 to London Bridge plus some slower Thameslink trains

Lunch: The Red Lion in Bletchingley after 3.8 miles gives an early lunch.

Tea: Oxted has various options.

  • Anonymous
    15-Oct-19

    Hi. In the walk report, please mention if this is an apple-rich walk. Thank you.

  • Anonymous
    15-Oct-19

    I wrote it. It isn’t.

    The walk author

  • 15-Oct-19

    If you are looking for a walk with apple orchards on, see this page:

    https://nature-and-weather.walkingclub.org.uk/p/where-to.html

    and scroll down to “Apple blossom”

  • 16-Oct-19

    So where woz the rest of you? Just 3 on this walk. Was it the slightly early train? The weather forecast? The walk? Or could you not tear yourself away from the news coverage of the Brexit negotiations?

    You were possibly right about the weather. The Lying BBC Weather Forecast promised rain soon clearing to sun. Instead there was grey cloud with a bit of rain . The rain was a tiny bit at the start of the walk and a big dollop at the end. In between there was a tussle between grey skies to the south and somewhat brighter skies to the north. The south won.

    We got to the lunch pub in Bletchingley at midday (ie, a later train would not have been a bad idea). It turned out I was the only potential pub luncher, but I guilt-tripped another into joining me. The pub menu, to its credit, included a full vegan menu with three starters and three mains: I had the not unrespectable veg curry. My companion, for the sake of balance, had a sausage baguette.

    In the afternoon there were little bits of leaf colour, though the most autumnal sight was the large variety of leaves on the ground. There were also oodles and oodles of fallen sweet chestnuts - one could have filled a bucket. Less cheerfully, MUD is back - big, gloopy, sticky, slithery, sloppy, trouser-spattering mud. (Heigh-ho: only five months to spring....)

    We got to Oxted at 3.30, in time for tea at the ridiculously early-closing Robertsons, where we had Darjeeling, Assam and an Americano respectively. Then to the 16.20/23 train, with sunshine on the way back into London.

  • Anonymous
    17-Oct-19

    One other did the walk on Tuesday in hopes of better weather and was rewarded with brilliant sunshine in the morning though grey later on.

    I did the purists version of the Greensand Way (12 miles versus 10 for the SWC ) and was rewarded with some splendid views though the text is right to complain of an excess of road walking, which is strange for an official long distance path. Some of these roads were rather busy and without pavements or grass on either side.

    Tuesday was Steak day at the Oxted Wetherspoons. I hope that my teeth will eventually recover!.

Sat, 24-Mar-18
Earlswood to Oxted
t=SWC.148

Length: 17km (10m)
Toughness: 4 / 10
Transport: Take the 9:57 from London Bridge arriving in Earlswood at 10:38. Return trains from Oxted to London Victoria at xx:24 and xx:54, to London Bridge at xx:19. A day return to Edenbridge should cover both journeys.

From the description:

This is a pleasant section of the Greensand Way, passing through gentle Surrey countryside, with a mix of pasture, arable fields and woodland, and some fine escarpment views typical of the Greensand Way

  • 25-Mar-18

    20 on this walk. Not as much mud as you might imagine which was a pleasant surprise. The weather was a bit heavy feeling with one or two complaining about it being a bit humid. The people who ate lunch said it was good, the rest of us had sandwiches in the church grounds. Some of us went and had a look in the church afterwards and I think I may have, in hindsight, wrongly suggested that the church had an anchorite. There was definitely a brass plaque honouring a hermit next to a part of the church wall which was in the correct position for a bricked up cell but whether it was the window overlooking the alter or not I'm not 100% sure. Will check it out in a bit more detail next time. Tea and cakes were enjoyed in Oxted by all except me because the tearoom didn't have a vegan cake option. The tea was all right though.

  • David Colver
    25-Mar-18

    It's worth recording that Robertsons, the most obvious tea stop in Oxted's high street, and very conveniently near to the station

    - had run out of Earl Grey tea

    - had run out of all but one kind of cake

    - announced with no subtlety at all that it would be closing shortly.

    It perplexes me why the UK can be a world leader in various high tech disciplines but finds it so challenging to run a tea shop.

  • 25-Mar-18

    I share your perplexity, David. Perhaps the answer is that if you ARE the kind of person who is a world leader in a hi-tech discipline, you don’t run a tea shop. Possibly in other countries with more enthusiastic restaurant staff there are fewer hi-tech opportunities....

  • 25-Mar-18

    What high tech disciplines is the UK a world leader in, again?

Sat, 04-Jun-16
Saturday Second Walk - The Greensand Ridge just south of London
SWC Walk 148 - Earlswood to Oxted
Length: 16.8km (10.4 miles) or 14km (8.7 miles)
Toughness: 4 out 10: gently undulating

9.57 train from London Bridge (10.16 East Croydon) to Earlswood, arriving 10.38

** For later start see SHORTER WALK below

Buy a day return to "Edenbridge Stations". Technically this does not cover one stop between Redhill and Earlswood, but it would be a picky ticket inspector that objected, as Edenbridge is further away from London than Earlswood. You can also use Oyster or contactless payment to travel to Earlswood now (even though it is outside zone 6), but I don't see how this helps, as you then have to buy a return ticket from Oxted anyway, and of course you DON'T get the Network Card discount).

There is some ongoing industrial action on Southern services involving staff reporting sick in protest against plans for more driverless services (see comment). This has led to train cancellations, but as far as I can see these are centred on Gatwick and Brighton services. In the event that the above train is cancelled, meet outside Caffe Nero on the London Bridge concourse. Options include taking the 10.27, if that runs, possibly doing the shorter start: see below. Hopefully this won't be an issue at all, however.

For walk directions click here.

This walk has only had one outing so far with the SWC and that was on August bank holiday weekend last year when many of you might have been away. I actually researched it at exactly this time last year, however, and then there was a immense field of buttercups mid-afternoon (after the Barley Mow pub) as well as good displays just after the start at Earlswood.

Otherwise this is a pleasant and varied walk along a very gentle section of the Greensand Way. There is some woodland, some fields, a few hills but nothing too taxing, and lots and lots of views. At one point you pass under the M23 and this creates noise either before or after the crossing, depending on wind direction, but only for a short period.

There are lots of pubs. The wonderful Red Lion in Bletchingley is the recommended lunch choice and accommodated us without complaint last time, but if it is full, the Whyte Hart is just a short way down the road. Alternatively the Barley Mow mid afternoon serves food all afternoon. The Haycutter near the end (not tried) has a large garden for near-the-end-of-walk-drinks if the weather is fine. If all these have not distracted and delayed you, there is the usual panoply of tea options in Oxted - see the walk document.

Trains back from Oxted are at 19 past to London Bridge (taking 35 minutes) and 24 and 54 past to Victoria (taking 40 minutes)

** SHORTER WALK

There is a very nice alternative start to this walk from Nutfield station. To do this take the 10.39 train from Victoria to Nutfield, arriving 11.14. Or take the 10.27 from London Bridge to East Croydon, arriving 10.45 to pick up the same train at 10.56.

Again the ticket is a day return to Edenbridge Stations. It is just 3.4km (2.1 miles) to Bletchingley by this route and you will probably get to the pub pretty much at the same time as the main walk group.


  • 31-May-16

    The dispute on Southern services centres on Southern's desire to change the role of guards on some services. At present, guards close the doors, though drivers open them. Southern's position is that on some services - eg the Gatwick Express, which does not have intermediate stops and where there are always platform staff dispatching trains - the guard is not needed. On some other trains, Southern plans to reduce guards to "On Board Supervisors" - ie not operating the doors, but checking tickets, issuing tickets, dealing with queries and disabled passengers. However, they say there will be no compulsory redundancies, just that future staff will be hired to the new roles.

    The RMT unions see this as threatening jobs and safety. In particular they point to incidents on driver only operated trains where passengers were trapped in the doors and the driver drove off. They also (probably correctly) see this as a backdoor to having more driver only operations. Once a guard is no longer essential for the operation of the train, then it will be easier to remove them from services at short notice. (It also means that a guard being unavailable will not necessarily cause the service to be cancelled, as is the case at present). It is worth noting that driver-only operation does already take place on some very busy routes, such as some Thameslink services, as well as on the Underground, of course. (On Underground trains, however, the doors are very sensitive to obstruction, so the train cannot move with a bag stuck in the door, let alone a body part. This is NOT true of mainline trains with automatic doors.)

    A back story here is that the Southern-Thameslink-Gatwick Express-Great Northern mega franchise, currently held by Govia (who also have the Southeastern franchise, incidentally) is something of a special case. Because of disruption to Thameslink services due to the London Bridge upgrades, it is not a proper franchise at all, but a kind of management contract, where Southern run the trains for the government for a fixed fee, and the government get the profits or otherwise from revenue fluctuations. Why this matters is that previously rail operators have been afraid of having long confrontations with unions for fear of losing profits. In this case Govia lose no profit. The suspicion is that they have been privately egged on by the government to take on the RMT over working practices. Or perhaps this is just a conspiracy theory?

  • 31-May-16

    Is the Haycutter open?

    I passed there on a recce for Hampstead Ramblers a few weeks ago and it was closed awaiting building work after changing hands. I had lunch in Old Oxted instead.

  • 31-May-16

    Sounds like the Haycutter is not open, then.

    For the info of other walkers, this is no biggie. It was just a possible pub stop 1 mile before the end of the walk. Other options in Oxted, or, for afternoon drinks, earlier at the Barley Mow. I have checked the websites of all the three other pubs and they all seem to be in normal operation

  • 01-Jun-16

    ...on the 'taking a sickie'-issue at Southern Trains...

    I chatted to a guard on the Uckfield line today, and he said "it's only the guys from Barnham, Brighton and Eastbourne depots doing this, there's no issues with us from the Selhurst depot" (and all others, presumably...).

    fwiw

  • Anonymous
    03-Jun-16

    Shortcut still blocked 03 June 16

  • 04-Jun-16

    27 on this walk, 23 on the specified train, 3 on the short start and 1 late starter who caught us mid afternoon. The weather was warm but cloudy with some sun in the afternoon . A pleasant walk, some nice views, good buttercups. Surprise was expressed at there being such nice countryside so close to London. We survived the dark tunnel under the M23 and found the lunch pub in Bletchingley not too busy and very speedy at producing meals. Most had a mid afternoon drink stop In the Barley Mow and the pub by Oxted station was a popular place to finish up (it even did cream teas).

Sat, 29-Aug-15
A new walk on the Greensand Way
SWC walk 148 - Earlswood or Nutfield to Oxted
Length: 16.8km (10.4 miles) from Earlswood, 14km (8.7 miles) from Nutfield
Toughness: 4 out of 10: gentle gradients

9.33 train from London Bridge to Redhill, changing there (arrive 10.08, depart 10.13) for a short hop to Earlswood, arriving 10.16: this connecting train starts at East Croydon at 9.54 (Trains are normally direct, so the need for change is obviously due to engineering works, but the extra change does not affect journey times materially)

Later start option - 10.45 train from London Bridge (11.00 East Croydon) to Nutfield, arriving 11.22

Buy a day return to Edenbridge Stations. This covers you for Redhill, Nutfield and Oxted. Earlswood is one stop off this route, but it would be a stony-hearted ticket inspector who makes a fuss about this, since Edenbridge is further from London by rail than Earlswood.

For walk directions click here

This entirely new walk has been waiting for an outing since it was researched in June (see photos for how it looks then). It covers a pleasant section of the Greensand Way, sticking almost entirely to that route, but with one or two improvements. Being a long distance path there is waymarking but often not when you want it, so the directions have been created to guide you.

There are two possible starting stations. The immediate vicinity of Earlswood station is a bit grotty, but things soon improve. Nutfield is prettier and allows for a later start. The two routes come together before lunch in Bletchingley, where the Red Lion looks like a very nice pub, though the Whyte Hart down the road is an acceptable alternative. Neither have yet been tried by the SWC, so be nice to them.

Note that during the morning you cross (in tunnels) under the M23. If the wind is westerly there is noise for a mile or two afterwards (an otherwise very beautiful section of the walk). Presumably if the wind is easterly the noise is before the motorway. (I have never had to deal with northerly winds…) Otherwise this is a gentle, pleasant walks - woods and fields and some fine views.

There are two rural pubs before the end of the walk, if you fancy sitting with a summer afternoon drink or if you want to put off entering the rather suburban environs of Oxted. The latter does have some tearooms if you can get to them in time.

Trains back are at 20 past to London Bridge and 24 and 52 past to Victoria, the former taking 33 minutes, the later 40 minutes.
  • Anonymous
    25-Aug-15

    http://news.southeasternrailway.co.uk/H/2/v10000014f6452b981864ddb163e0d98c7/Html

  • 25-Aug-15

    To reply to the last comment: nevertheless both of the stated outbound trains are running, according to both the National Rail and Southeastern websites. I think you will find that they are trains en route to Hastings and Tonbridge which are being diverted via Redhill due to the engineering work.

    It is always nice to have alert walkers checking the details but be assured I don't post any walk without first checking the trains I propose are actually running.

  • Anonymous
    28-Aug-15

    With the lunch spot being 3.8 miles into the walk, the early start will get you to the pub at 12pm at latest. Looks like the later start is more sensible and probably get you to the pub around 1pm.

  • 28-Aug-15

    The lunch pub is only 2 miles from Nutfield (the later start). There's some climbing in each case but I'd expect both groups to arrive between 12 & 12:15 at a moderate pace.

  • 28-Aug-15

    I have never tried this pub at a weekend and have no idea how busy or otherwise it is. It is a big place but there is no harm getting there early to have more chance of getting a nice table. There is an alternative down the road.

    And yes, I estimate the main and late starters should arrive at the pub roughly together, so they can then mix and match in the afternoon.

  • Anonymous
    28-Aug-15

    Sean, If we take the later train, still do 3.9 miles in the morning (ie no short cut), can we get to the pub by 1pm ish?

  • Anonymous
    28-Aug-15

    Are the photos on this walk's web page right, they say Earsfield to Otford?

  • Ian T
    30-Aug-15

    About 20 on this walk, 6 of whom opted for the later start at Nutfield.

    Not too bad underfoot, considering the recent rain. The walk goes through some nice woodland and takes in some nice views.

    Not far from Nutfield, the Nutfield 6 got slightly confused. That’ll teach them to follow Mr Tiger. (Although whether Mr Tiger or the directions were at fault, nobody knows. Nobody was paying attention). Luckily, Mr GPS-Owner soon had everybody back on course.

    Lunch was at the Red Lion which seemed OK. The 6 did indeed meet up with the others and even co-mingled to some extent. Later some stopped off at the Barley Mow and at least one at the Haycutters. In Oxted, some got to Robertsons, some went on to Caffe Nero, being just too late for Café Papillon. Mr Tiger went to the Wetherspoons.

    mostly cloudy humid light rain for some of the time

  • 30-Aug-15

    Am I allowed to enter a minority report for the weather? sunny in the morning but light rain after lunch . Seven or eight of us had tea in the coffee shop of the Everyman Cinema who were very friendly and served super cookies. Praise also to the lunch pub, the Red Lion, which ticked all the boxes for me - friendly, efficient, quality food served rapidly from a varied menu, nice decor, lots of tables, pleasant outside terrace: all walk pins should be like this.

    Most seemed also to like this new walk.

  • 30-Aug-15

    Pins in last comment = pubs