Buttercup meadow, Tandridge

Buttercup meadow, Tandridge

Earlswood to Otford walk

27-May-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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View from just before Bletchingley

View from just before Bletchingley

Earlswood to Otford walk

03-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

walkicon swcwalks swcwalk148

Buttercup meadow, Tandridge

Buttercup meadow, Tandridge

Earlswood to Otford walk

27-May-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk148

Earlswood start

Earlswood start

Earlswood to Otford walk

03-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk148

Earlswood start

Earlswood start

Earlswood to Otford walk

03-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk148

Earlswood start

Earlswood start

Earlswood to Otford walk

03-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk148

Earlswood start

Earlswood start

Earlswood to Otford walk

03-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk148

Greensand Way 5 : Earlswood to Oxted walk

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

Group Walk Posts

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.

Like our walks, these posts are copyrighted. You may re-use them for non-commercial events only.

Date # Post
Sat, 04-Jun-16 27

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.


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?

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.
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
...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
Shortcut still blocked 03 June 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 20

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.
http://news.southeasternrailway.co.uk/H/2/v10000014f6452b981864ddb163e0d98c7/Html
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Are the photos on this walk's web page right, they say Earsfield to Otford?
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

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.
Pins in last comment = pubs