Greensand Way Stage 1 : Gibbet Hill, Devil's Punch Bowl and Hindhead Common
|Length||10.8 miles/17.3 km|
|Toughness||5 out of 10 (362m of ascent, mainly 1 prolonged climb after lunch)|
This is the start of the Greensand Way (GW), but for logistical reasons, it's recommended you do it in reverse, as Haslemere is a better place to finish, having pubs, tea rooms, and more regular trains.
The walks starts gently over open agricultural land and through woods, and crosses the A3 (safely) to Thursley.
Thursley's St Michael and All Angels church is worth a visit. There are some benches with a lovely view in the churchyard (a good picnic spot). A nearby grave has a poignant 'husband died 1917 wife died 1980' epitaph. Lunch is in The Three Horseshoes, a gastro-pub with a nice beer garden, 500m off the route, north of the church.
After lunch there's a direct route to Gibbet Hill (272 metres / 892 ft) which climbs a now peaceful spur of the hill, with dramatic views into Devil's Punch Bowl. The area was once notorious for highwaymen. In 1786, a sailor (buried in Thursley's church, and commemorated by the Sailor's Stone) was robbed and murdered after drinking at a pub in Thursley. The 3 murderers were caught and hung here. This area is now peacful as the A3 was diverted in a tunnel under the hill in 2011 (so older OS maps will be out of date here). The former road is now grassed over.
After the summit, the walk follows the rim to Hindhead (NT visitor centre and cafe, pub).
Finally, its down a rim on the south side of the hill into Haslemere. The centre has some nice old buildings, tea rooms, and a Wetherspoons. The station is about 10 mins walk away, where you'll find a good pub opposite.
Suggested Train : Nearest to 10.00am
The Three Horseshoes pub in Thursley (01252 703268) has an informal eating area and restaurant inside the pub plus extensive seating outdoors in the attractive beer garden. Just off the route in Thursley.
For a picnic, try Thursley's churchyard, or the summit of Gibbet Hill.
For a tea break, or late lunch, in Hindhead, are the Devil’s Punchbowl Hotel & Restaurant (tel. 01428 606565) and the The National Trust’s Devil’s Punch Bowl Café (tel. 01428 606565)
In Haslemere, about 10 mins walk from the station are a good Wetherspoons, and 2 tea rooms - Darnleys tearoom (tel.01428 643048) on the High Street, which closes at 5pm (but sometimes at 4pm on Sundays) and Hemingways café, tearoom and gift shop (tel. 01428 648716), open until 5-30pm weekdays and until 4pm on Sundays.
By the station itself is The Station House pub.
This walk is one of 11 stages of the Greensand Way - a regional long distance path in the Southeast of England
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
|Map Walk||This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.|
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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