Saturday First Walk Book 1 44 Witley to Haslemere
14.2km (8.8 miles)
2 out of 10
Explorer 133 or Landranger 186
Take the 10.15am from London Waterloo ( Clapham Junction 10.22 ) to Witley arriving 11.09 .
There are four trains an hour back from Haslemere.
Journey time 50-60 minutes. Buy a day return to Haslemere.
This is an easy but interesting walk from Witley (where walking sticks used to be made - hence the local copses of ash and sweet chestnut), passing Lockwood Donkey Sanctuary, unlikley to be open, and Combe Court manor house and its fifteenth century farmhouse, through the churchyard of St Mary's Church to the medieval village of Chiddingfold, with the Crown Inn as the suggested lunch stop. After lunch the walk is through Frillinghurst Wood and various National Trust estates, coming out into Haslemere High Street near tearooms.
Chiddingfold's main splendour is the suggested lunchtime stop the twelfth century Crown Inn (tel 01428 682 255) some 6km into the walk. Serving lunch midday to 2.30pm. In the late fourteenth century, the publican was convicted of selling ale 'contrary to the assize' (courts tested ale by pouring some on to a wooden bench, then sitting on it - if it had a sticky quality, it was pronounced good). In 1552, Edward VI stayed at this inn, while his 4,000-strong retinue camped on the green.
The Swan pub and the Old Bakery also both serve food at lunchtime.
The suggested tea place is Darnleys tearoom (tel 01428 643 048) on Haslemere High Street, which closes at 5.00 pm. Opposite is Hemingway's which has had good reports from walkers.
Alternatives are the Swan Hotel (a Wetherspoons) or the White Horse Hotel (food: midday-3.00pm and 6.00pm-9.30pm Monday to Friday; midday-9.30pm Saturday; midday-9.00 pm Sunday), both in the High Street. The station is a ten minute walk from the town centre.
There is a bar at the Inn on the Hill opposite the station (though it can be walker unfriendly) and Metro Café (tel 01428 651 535) is just before the station open till 5.00pm Saturdays