Extra Walk 160 – Farnham to Blackwater
Length: 21 km (13 miles), with shorter options. Toughness: 5/10 10:07
Alton & Basingstoke train from Waterloo
(Clapham Jct 10:15, Wimbledon 10:22, etc), arriving Farnham
. The train divides at Woking and you need to be in the portion for Alton
. Buy a day return to Farnham
As none of the possible end stations are on the Farnham line you'll need to buy an extra ticket on the way back. If you complete the full walk to Blackwater
and return via Guildford, buy a single to Ash (a Farnham ticket is valid via Ash & Guildford). If you return from Farnborough or Fleet, buy a single to Brookwood.
Trains go from Blackwater at 36 (or 39) minutes past the hour to Guildford, where you change for a fast service to Waterloo.
This longish walk has mostly been posted in a shorter version finishing at Fleet, but this is a good time of year to try the full walk to Blackwater. After an easy start across Farnham Park you have to cope with a more challenging section across “remote MOD land [with] careful navigation needed”. Just over halfway through the full walk, the recommended lunch pub is the Foresters
at Church Crookham; you won't arrive much before 2pm but it's possible to detour to another pub in Ewshot if you want to stop earlier.
After lunch you go through woodland to Fleet Pond, followed by another section across MOD land and past Hawley Lake. The area around Blackwater station isn't blessed with any appealing tea places so you've got a good excuse for a mid-afternoon break at the Crown and Cushion
. From this pub you've got just over an hour to go so time your departure carefully for the hourly trains.
You'll need to print the walk directions from the Extra Walk 160
page. There are various options if you want to shorten the walk and/or finish at an alternative station.
NB. As far as I can see the GPS directions on the site only take you as far as Fleet, so I'm sure the webmaster would appreciate it if someone submitted a track for the final sections. T=swc.160