Saturday Walkers Club www.walkingclub.org.uk
Jill.....

Jill.....

...or is it Jack? (One of a pair), Clayton, Sussex

28-Aug-06 • moontiger on Flickr

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The climb up

The climb up

Hassocks to Lewes

12-Apr-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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The South Downs near Plumpton

The South Downs near Plumpton

30-Jun-12 • JonCombe on Flickr

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Tree in a gap

Tree in a gap

Hassocks to Lewes

29-Mar-13 • moontiger on Flickr

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A South Downs ridge walk ... maximum view for minimum effort, with historic Lewes to finish.

East Sussex TOCW Book 1, Walk 29 • Toughness: 4/10 • Length: 11 miles (18 km)

This is an exhilarating walk along the South Downs Way, a ridge of South Downs chalk grassland with panoramic views inland and out to the sea by Brighton.

On the way up to the ridge, the route passes Butcher's Wood and visits a church in Clayton and a still-working Clayton Windmill. The friends of Jack and Jill windmill sometimes serve tea on weekends.

On the South Downs Way you pass medieval dew ponds and an Iron Age fort at Ditchling Beacon. After lunch, down below in Plumpton, you climb back up onto the downs, before a final walk into Lewes along the River Ouse, then up to the Norman castle and through its gateway into the ancient High Street.

This is an easier walk, with far fewer ups and downs, than Walk 25 from Winchelsea to Hastings.

Its a great picnic walk, as the pub is at the bottom of the ridge, and it would save you descending from the ridge to the pub, then climbing back up again afterwards

Full Details

First view of Canterbury Cathedral

First view of Canterbury Cathedral

Chilham to Canterbury walk

01-May-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Old tree

Old tree

14-Nov-04 • Catherine Ames

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Gate to Canterbury Cathedral

Gate to Canterbury Cathedral

20-Dec-04 • Peter Conway

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Canterbury Cathedral Gate

Canterbury Cathedral Gate

20-Dec-04 • Peter Conway

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Canterbury Cathedral

Canterbury Cathedral

20-Dec-04 • Peter Conway

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Chilham 'PILGRIMAGE' to Canterbury

Chilham 'PILGRIMAGE' to Canterbury

Chilham Mill (dig that overhang!) along the Stour Valley. D.Allen using a 5mp Vivitar 5199

01-Apr-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Chilham to Canterbury

Chilham to Canterbury

View of Canterbury and its cathedral from near the university campus to the north west. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

01-Apr-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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A pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral via the Great Stour River, hop fields and orchards

Kent TOCW Book 1, Walk 28 • Toughness: 4/10 • Length: 12 miles (20 km)

This particular pilgrimage to Canterbury starts beside the Great Stour River and its attendant lakes, visits the church and green at Chartham and passes through hop fields and apple orchards to the suggested lunch pub in Chartham Hatch.

In the afternoon the way is through Church Wood and Blean Woods Nature Reserve to the parklands of the University of Kent, with fine views down over Canterbury Cathedral. The entrance to the city is along the River Stour, through the Norman Westgate and down the medieval high street and alleys, entering the cathedral precincts through its ornate Christ Church Gate.

Leave early to give yourself time for site seeing at the end. Also, there's not much shade on this walk on a hot day

Full Details

North Downs Way near Cuxton 1

North Downs Way near Cuxton 1

28-Apr-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Fungus

Fungus

Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

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Fungus

Fungus

Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

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fungus

fungus

Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

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Puffballs

Puffballs

Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

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Tall fun guy

Tall fun guy

Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

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Clover

Clover

Cuxton to Sole Street

02-Nov-07 • moontiger on Flickr

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Open views and a wooded ridge before lunch. A short afternoon passes a large organic farm (wildflowers) and the Leather Bottle pub (of Charles Dickens' Pickwick Papers) in Cobham

Kent SWC Walk 35 • Toughness: 5/10 • Length: 10 miles (17 km)

This is an exploration of the very pretty and little known area of the North Downs just to the east of the Medway Towns. The morning is nicely contrasted, with a mix of open views and woodland, then a longer wooded ridge which has extensive bluebell woods in late April or early May. You then cross open fields and downs to the village of Luddesdown, which is surrounded by an organic farm, which is rich in wild flowers in spring and summer - particularly poppies in early June. Afterwards there is one more lovely ridge crossing to bring you to lunch in Henley Street. In the afternoon, a loop of the walk takes you up to the pretty village of Cobham, where you can stop at The Leather Bottle, a pub that features (briefly) in Charles Dicken's Pickwick Papers.

Full Details

Book 2, Walk 30, Dover to Deal

Book 2, Walk 30, Dover to Deal

Deal, Kent on a Saturday afternoon

11-Mar-06 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Walmer Beach

Walmer Beach

02-Jun-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Looking back to St Margarets

Looking back to St Margarets

02-Jun-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Near Dover

Near Dover

02-Jun-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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DTD 119

DTD 119

02-Feb-14 • newnumenor on Flickr

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Bench on clifftop

Bench on clifftop

St Margaret's Bay, Dover to Deal walk

13-May-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Port of Dover

Port of Dover

Dover to Deal walk

13-May-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Easy cliff walk following the Saxon Shore Way along the 'White Cliffs of Dover' to historic Deal

Kent TOCW Book 2, Walk 30 • Toughness: 3/10 • Length: 10 miles (17 km)

This simple walk (it should be impossible to get lost if you keep the sea on your right hand side) is nevertheless one of the finest coastal walks in England, taking you right along the top of the famous White Cliffs of Dover. On a clear day, you get stunning views of the English Channel, and the ferries buzzing in and out of Dover Harbour, and the French coast from Boulogne to Dunkerque. On hazier days, the dramatic (though dangerously crumbling) cliffs afford exciting views of the inaccessible beaches below.

Surprisingly for a walk that seems to spend much of its time on the airy heights, not much exertion is involved. There are only two significant climbs, one out of Dover and the other out of St Margaret's Bay. Otherwise the terrain is level or gently undulating. The last quarter of the walk, indeed, is totally flat, along a tranquil coastpath behind the pebble beach of Deal. Though less dramatic than the White Cliffs this section of the walk is full of historical and natural interest, passing Walmer and Deal castle, and – in late May and June – a stunning display of coastal flora on Deal’s shingle beach.

When using mobile phones on this walk, check they haven’t switched to a French network, as happens routinely at St Margaret’s Bay, for example

Full Details

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DSCF0562

Bald Eagle greeting visitors to Eagle Heights

28-Mar-09 • Sean O'Neill

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Bald Eagle at Eagle Heights

28-Mar-09 • Sean O'Neill

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Past a lone tree

Past a lone tree

Eynsford to Shoreham

13-Dec-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Sun through tree

Sun through tree

Eynsford to Shoreham

13-Dec-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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View

View

Eynsford to Shoreham

13-Dec-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Big fungus

Big fungus

Eynsford to Shoreham

13-Dec-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Magpie Bottom

Magpie Bottom

Eynsford to Shoreham

13-Dec-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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A contrast between hidden valleys in the North Downs and the Darent Valley Path through three interesting villages.

Kent SWC Walk 59 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 13 miles (22 km)

Some of this walk will be familiar from the two Book 1 walks which start in Otford, but most of it covers new ground. It starts along a country lane through the secluded Austin Lodge valley, climbing to the isolated settlement of Romney Street. It continues on an undulating section to a ridge with fine views of the Darent valley, from where you descend into Otford, passing its scale model of the Solar System. The village has many interesting old buildings and the full route takes you past the ruins of Otford Palace, a rival to Hampton Court in Tudor times.

There are two possible routes back to Eynsford. The longer takes a similarly undulating route along the western side of the Darent valley, weaving in and out of Book 1 Walk 23 (Otford to Eynsford) on its way to Lullingstone Park, an attractive landscape of chalk grassland and ancient woodland with an internationally important collection of veteran trees. The route into Eynsford goes past Eagle Heights, one of the UK's largest Bird of Prey centres which is open daily to 5pm from March to October, 4pm on winter weekends. Admission (2016) is £9 but you might be able to see something of the afternoon flying displays from the public footpath.

The shorter return route mostly follows the Darent Valley Path, with some stretches alongside the river itself. The route goes through the attractive Kent village of Shoreham where The Mount Vineyard is sometimes open for tastings, and later passes extensive lavender fields at Castle Farm.

There are several interesting buildings in the valley near the end of the walk:

  • Lullingstone Castle (01322-862114) is a historic manor house with limited opening hours, but its grounds contain an unusual parish church (open to the public at all times) and a World Garden with plants from around the globe which is open Fri–Sun afternoons between Easter Saturday and end-October (Sun only in October); admission (2016) is £8.
  • Lullingstone Roman Villa (0322-863467) has two well-preserved mosaic floors...

Full Details

Book 3, Walk 13, Folkestone Round

Book 3, Walk 13, Folkestone Round

Mark R, 8 October '06

08-Oct-06 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Cliff Top Cafe

Cliff Top Cafe

Folkestone Circular walk

30-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Warren beach (Folkestone) at low tide

Warren beach (Folkestone) at low tide

Folkestone Circular walk: Mind the underwater rocks if you go for a swim!

30-Jun-15 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Looking back to the Warren

Looking back to the Warren

Folkestone to Dover walk

03-Dec-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Gate on cliffs

Gate on cliffs

Folkestone to Dover walk

03-Dec-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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On Shakespeare Cliff

On Shakespeare Cliff

Folkestone to Dover walk

03-Dec-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Book 3, Walk 13, Folkestone Round

Book 3, Walk 13, Folkestone Round

Folkestone Round Walk, 8 October '06

08-Oct-06 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Coastal Walk along the cliffs to Dover, with options also taking in The Warren.

Kent SWC Walk 13 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 9 miles (15 km)

This is a highly scenic coastal walk with fine sea views throughout. It introduces you to some of the quainter sides of Folkestone, a town which like many south coast seaside towns is undergoing something of a renaissance. You then climb up past two Martello Towers (Napoleonic-era fortifications) onto a high clifftop, following the North Downs Way. This path is easy to follow, has fine Channel views, and passes the Battle of Britain Memorial and then a fascinating series of World War II installations, including a rare sound mirror (an early form of aircraft detection that was superseded by radar), and some large gun emplacements.

The only downside on this latter section of the route is noise from the A20 dual carriageway just inland, though this is muted when the wind is blowing from the sea (ie, from the south or south west). In compensation there is a dramatic approach to Dover – a narrow (but not difficult) ridge between an inland valley and the sea. The walk finishes by crossing the town’s Western Heights, passing deserted 19th century forts and with wonderful views of the town and port.

Full Details

View back on the morning climb

View back on the morning climb

Knockholt to Otford walk

27-Dec-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Magpie Bottom

Magpie Bottom

Knockholt to Otford walk

27-Dec-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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extra New walk - Knockholt to Otford

extra New walk - Knockholt to Otford

Long rest on Eastdown looking back towards Magpie Bottom. D.Allen. Vivitar 5199mp

16-Feb-08 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Under the motorway

Under the motorway

Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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Down a lane

Down a lane

Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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View

View

Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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Down to Shoreham

Down to Shoreham

Knockholt to Otford

08-Jan-11 • moontiger on Flickr

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A moderately strenuous stroll in the North Downs, taking in the pretty village of Shoreham

Kent SWC Walk 37 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 3 miles (6 km)

This walk approaches the familiar walking territory around Shoreham and Otford in Kent from an unfamiliar angle, passing at first over wooded hills, then climbing up and over a steep ridge to get down to Shoreham. In the first 3km/2 miles of the walk there is some traffic noise from the M25, but how much depends on the way the winds are blowing and other atmospheric factors. As you approach Shoreham this fades.

In the afternoon the route largely reverses the morning of the Otford Circular walk (Book 1, walk 43 on this website), though with one twist that introduces the lovely hidden valley of Magpie Bottom, now a nature reserve, with fine downland flowers and butterflies in the summer.

The walk also has several nice bluebell woods, particularly (but not exclusively) in the latter part of the walk, and in autumn there are lots of beech and sweet chestnut woods to provide colour. In winter the walk is not over-afflicted with mud, but the descents into Shoreham and Otford can be a bit slippery.

Full Details

Big barn, Lenham

Big barn, Lenham

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Under Lenham Cross

Under Lenham Cross

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Under Lenham Cross

Under Lenham Cross

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Wheat

Wheat

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Through a wood

Through a wood

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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up a field edge

up a field edge

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Knapweed

Knapweed

Lenham to Charing

09-Aug-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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A tranquil walk along the North Downs

Kent SWC Walk 1 • Toughness: 3/10 • Length: 8 miles (13 km)

A large section of the walk is to the north side of the North Downs Way and passes along some little used footpaths, making for a tranquil walk. Its attractions include the pretty hamlet of Stalisfield Green for lunch and the historic village of Charing for tea. Some of the stiles along the route are poorly maintained and consequently this walk is not suitable for the less able walker. In summer the footpath across a couple of the rape seed fields can become very overgrown.

Full Details

4 Late morning

4 Late morning

24-May-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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1 Mid morning

1 Mid morning

24-May-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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3 Buttercups

3 Buttercups

24-May-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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5 Descending to Stowting

5 Descending to Stowting

24-May-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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7 Just after lunch

7 Just after lunch

24-May-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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8 Mid afternoon

8 Mid afternoon

24-May-12 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Book 3, Walk 24, Sandling to Wye

Book 3, Walk 24, Sandling to Wye

The mysterious redhead strode the Downs... 1 Sept '07

01-Sep-07 • mew2005b on Flickr

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Pretty Ridge Walk along the North Downs Way with lovely views. Nice pubs for lunch and tea

Kent SWC Walk 24 • Toughness: 6/10 • Length: 12 miles (21 km)

This lovely walk follows one of the finest sections of the North Downs Way (NDW) along the edge of the North Downs escarpement – in many ways it feels more like the South Downs - with fine views for nearly the whole walk. There is just one 3km (1.8 mile) section mid afternoon when you are away from the escarpment edge.

While the North Downs Way is waymarked, it is not always comprehensively so, and in places the waymarks are confusing or missing. The path is not always as obvious as one might expect from such a major long distance footpath. Hence the directions in the pdf version of this walk - see the DOWNLOAD WALK button above. While they for the most part follow the North Downs Way once it has climbed from Sandling up onto the ridge, the creation of access land has also opened up some escarpment sections that were formerly off limits to walkers, and where these improve the walk they have been included in the walk directions.

There is also a map-only version of the directions (see bottom of this page) for those that prefer this.

While downland can be relatively dry in winter, this walk does have several sections on shady tracks that look potentially very muddy between November and March. In late spring there can be intense displays of buttercups on this walk.

Full Details

View from hill above Otford

View from hill above Otford

14-Nov-04 • Catherine Ames

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Tree Lined Path

Tree Lined Path

14-Nov-04 • Catherine Ames

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Book 1 Walk 43 Otford (round walk)

Book 1 Walk 43 Otford (round walk)

On the North Downs Way looking Southwards. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Pond life, Otford

Pond life, Otford

I'll have to get a plumber in again! D.Allen ViviCam 5199 5mp

21-Mar-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Autumn tinges

Autumn tinges

Otford Round Walk

24-Oct-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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Misty gate

Misty gate

Otford Round Walk

24-Oct-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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In the woods

In the woods

Otford Round Walk

24-Oct-09 • moontiger on Flickr

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A short walk packed with variety and fine views, bluebell woods in season, a pretty village and a short train journey

Kent TOCW Book 1, Walk 43 • Toughness: 5/10 • Length: 7 miles (12 km)

Being short in length, this walk makes a good, brisk, autumn or winter walk, although the walk is also delightful in bluebell season as the route passes through lots of bluebell woods during the morning. The route at the outset is steeply uphill, for a time following the North Downs Way, with views back over Otford and the valley, then going through Greenhill Wood, with a glimpse of Oak Hall, before heading north to Romney Street.

In the afternoon, Shoreham village is worth visiting, with its four pubs - for your late lunch option - and twelfth-century church.

The route onwards is the Darent Valley Path into Otford, which offers a tearoom, a palace (in ruins), a church and many ancient buildings. It also contains the Otford Solar System, which claims to be the only scale model of its kind in the world; it shows the relative position of the sun and planets at the start of the new millennium.

Full Details

Oxe eye daisies in late May

Oxe eye daisies in late May

28-May-05 • Peter Conway

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View during morning

View during morning

28-May-05 • Peter Conway

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View during Morning 2

View during Morning 2

28-May-05 • Peter Conway

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Pushing up the daisies in Luddesdown churchyard

Pushing up the daisies in Luddesdown churchyard

28-May-05 • Peter Conway

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View near Luddesdown

View near Luddesdown

28-May-05 • Peter Conway

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Snow on the Wealdway

Snow on the Wealdway

Somewhere between Snodland and Sole Street D.Allen VIVITAR 5199mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Book 2, Walk 17, Sole Street Circular 1

Book 2, Walk 17, Sole Street Circular 1

Leaving Harvel, 20 Jan '07

20-Jan-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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The North Downs, hilly with views after lunch, and tranquil Luddesdown for tea.

Kent TOCW Book 2, Walk 17 • Toughness: 5/10 • Length: 8 miles (13 km)

Don't be put off by the rather industrial nature of the train ride to the start of this walk. As soon as you leave Snodland it becomes rural and peaceful with good views and a surprisingly away-from-it-all feel. The majority of the walk is over the North Downs, mostly through wooded areas and across open fields and is hilly at times. Some paths may be overgrown with nettles in summer, so shorts aren't recommended.

Soon after lunch at Harvel, the views open out before you descend into tranquil Luddesdown, with its historic church and what may be the oldest continually inhabited house in the country.

In summer, you're likely to encounter Kent's favourite sport - cricket - both on the green behind the lunchtime pub stop - which comes half-way round the walk - and in Luddesdown behind the Victorian school.

Real-ale lovers will enjoy the tea stop - the Cock Inn at Luddesdown.

Full Details

Hawthorn

Hawthorn

Wye Circular

09-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Stitchwort

Stitchwort

Wye Circular

09-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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View over Wye

View over Wye

Wye Circular

09-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Spring flowers

Spring flowers

Wild Garlic and ..not sure about the blue one... most likely Ground Ivy . Wye Circular

09-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Tree and Wild Garlic

Tree and Wild Garlic

Wye Circular

09-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

Wye Circular

09-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic

Wye Circular

09-May-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Out over the North Downs with breathtaking views to lunch in Sole Street. Back up over the Downs, then returning along the Great Stour river. Muddy in winter.

Kent TOCW Book 1, Walk 53 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 11 miles (18 km)

This walk goes high up on the Crundale Downs (“crun” in Old English meant chalk, and ‘dala’ meant dell or valley), with breathtaking views. The walk comes to an isolated Norman church at Crundale, then on to a fifteenth century inn for lunch (though sadly this pub now insists on advance booking: if you are not eating at the pub you can save 2km off the route by a shortcut). The walk then passes Crundale House and the manor of Olantigh, crosses the River Great Stour and returns to Wye through its churchyard, for tea at a teashop at the bottom of Church Street or at a pub next to the railway station.

Beware that parts of the route can be very muddy in wet weather, so be prepared.

Full Details

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Belted Galloway on Headley Heath

13-Oct-09 • Sean O'Neill

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Broadwood's Folly, Box Hill Country Park

30-Mar-09 • Sean O'Neill

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View from White Hill

13-Oct-09 • Sean O'Neill

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Norbury Park

18-Nov-12 • Sean O'Neill

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Starting off

Starting off

Box Hill Circular

31-Oct-15 • moontiger on Flickr

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Autumn in the Woods 1

Autumn in the Woods 1

Box Hill Circular

31-Oct-15 • moontiger on Flickr

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Autumn Colour

Autumn Colour

Box Hill Circular

31-Oct-15 • moontiger on Flickr

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A fairly strenuous walk in a beautiful part of the North Downs

Surrey SWC Walk 64 • Toughness: 8/10 • Length: 9 miles (15 km)

Although they share the same station, this short but strenuous walk takes in a different area from Book 2 Walk 14b (Westhumble Circular). It climbs up a series of hills in a clockwise loop north and east of Box Hill & Westhumble station: Norbury Park, Mickleham Downs, Headley Heath (on the Main Walk) and finally Box Hill itself.

There are many fine viewpoints on this circular walk and in several places you can see your earlier route from a new perspective. This part of the North Downs is deservedly popular and the famous sites are likely to be busy on fine weekends, but there are some quieter places in between.

Norbury Park Nature Reserve is described by Surrey Wildlife Trust as a ‘working landscape’ which includes a sawmill and three farms. The prominent house at its centre (in private ownership) was built in 1774 and has had several famous owners and tenants, including Leopold Salomons, who donated Box Hill to the National Trust in 1914, and Dr Marie Stopes, the family planning pioneer.

Box Hill and Headley Heath are both owned by the National Trust, which has introduced special breeds of sheep and cattle to restore more of the downland to its original ‘unimproved’ condition; unfertilized land is richer in wild flowers. This diversity also supports many butterflies: 40 of the 58 British species have been found on Box Hill.

Full Details

William IV

William IV

Steep climb to lunch-time pub at Mickelham Surrey. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

26-Jul-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Book 1 Walk 49 Boxhill to Leatherhead

Book 1 Walk 49 Boxhill to Leatherhead

The William 1V Mickleham. (Alternative lunch stop but you have some steep steps to climb!). David A. Vivitar 5199 mp

23-Aug-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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Short, 2 steep climbs and the view from Box Hill in the morning, and a gentle river valley after lunch

Surrey TOCW Book 1, Walk 49 • Toughness: 7/10 • Length: 7 miles (12 km)

This is a short but hilly walk that's close to London. A strenuous morning with Box Hill (views!) and White Hill before lunch in a pretty hamlet. After lunch, gentle fields, or a rural or hilly options.

The route starts by crossing the River Mole on stepping stones (or detouring if these are under water), before going steeply up steps on the North Downs Way to the top of Box Hill (NT, Visitor Centre, and lots of Box trees!), to enjoy views out over the valley. The route then follows Box and Yew woods before you drop down Juniper Top, which also enjoys fine views.

There is then a second very steep climb up White Hill onto Mickleham Downs and down to lunch in the pretty village of Mickleham at one of its two pubs. The 2 steep climbs can be slippery at times.

After lunch, the route has a very different character. It is flat, along the River Mole valley, through Norbury Park, into the centre of Leatherhead.

For a more rural feel, there are 2 highly recommended options below.

Full Details

Denbies Wine Estate

Denbies Wine Estate

Effingham to Westhumble walk

14-Mar-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Polesden Lacey estate

Polesden Lacey estate

13-Nov-04 • Peter Conway

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Ranmore Common

Ranmore Common

13-Nov-04 • Peter Conway

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Approaching Boxhill

Approaching Boxhill

13-Nov-04 • Peter Conway

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Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey in the distance. Effingham to Westhumble TO walk.

01-Apr-06 • msganching on Flickr

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Poppies

Poppies

Effingham Junction to Westhumble

01-Aug-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Willing model 2

Willing model 2

After posing for us, this goat ambled over to say hello. Effingham Junction to Westhumble

01-Aug-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Polesden Lacy (dramatic NT country house) for lunch, steep woods opening out onto the North Downs Ridge, and an English vineyard for tea

Surrey TOCW Book 2, Walk 14 • Toughness: 5/10 • Length: 8 miles (14 km)

The idyllic estate of Polesden Lacey, a fine country house nestling just behind the North Downs escarpment, is the highlight of this walk - a landscape of hidden valleys, pretty woodland, and gentle pasture that seems lost in a golden yesterday. The walk has something to offer at almost any time of the year. In spring, it passes through a number of fine bluebell woods, in autumn there is plenty of fine golden colour in the woodlands, while in winter the bare branches open up new views and vistas. In summer, the walk offers several fine spots for a picnic, and despite being relatively close to London, a deep rural tranquility. The long evenings also make this the best time to come if you want to also make a detailed visit in the afternoon to the house and grounds at Polesden Lacey.

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Farnham to Godalming

Farnham to Godalming

Pooh Corner. Follow the 3 pigs to find The Donkey!? D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

02-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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'Pooh Corner' on the Farnham to Godalming walk

'Pooh Corner' on the Farnham to Godalming walk

Conundrum: Follow the 3 pigs to find The Donkey!? D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

02-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 1

Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 1

Keeping people out - in an attractive kind of way, 24 March '07.

24-Mar-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 2

Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 2

Close to Tilford, 24 March '07.

24-Mar-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 3

Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 3

Boots at The Donkey, 24 March '07.

24-Mar-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 4

Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 4

A view from Peper Harow, 24 March '07.

24-Mar-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 5

Book 1, Walk 12, Farnham to Godalming 5

Peper Harow, 24 March '07.

24-Mar-07 • MEW2005 on Flickr

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A long but pretty walk with gentle hills via a nice mixture of river valley, forest tracks, and many beautiful country houses.

Surrey TOCW Book 1, Walk 12 • Toughness: 6/10 • Length: 12 miles (21 km)

This is a lovely walk, one of my favourites. The North Downs Way, the Greensand Way, a secluded forested valley, (ruined) Waverley Abbey, remote woods, and historic Godalming which has nice pubs.

This walk starts and ends along the River Wey. It follows the start of the North Downs Way through a narrow forested valley. It passes close to the ruins of Waverley Abbey (English Heritage), and goes through woods to The Donkey, the suggested walker friendly lunchtime pub in Charleshill (booking advised).

After lunch, there are further sandy bridleways through woods before entering the open parklands of the Peper Harrow estate which has its own church and cricket pitch.

Then along a narrow wooded valley beside the River Wey to tea in Godalming's ancient centre.

Full Details

bridge over river way

bridge over river way

30-Mar-08 • Bela Struzkova

book1, swcwalks, walk14

field

field

30-Mar-08 • Bela Struzkova

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flower

flower

30-Mar-08 • Bela Struzkova

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mushrooms

mushrooms

30-Mar-08 • Bela Struzkova

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old house

old house

30-Mar-08 • Bela Struzkova

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pond

pond

30-Mar-08 • Bela Struzkova

book1, swcwalks, walk14

railway bridge

railway bridge

30-Mar-08 • Bela Struzkova

book1, swcwalks, walk14

Historic Shere, then a walk through a broad wooded valley, then along a canal to historic Guildford

Surrey TOCW Book 1, Walk 14 • Toughness: 3/10 • Length: 9 miles (16 km)

There is much that is ancient, beautiful and surprising to be enjoyed on this walk.

It starts in Gomshall, passing some of the pleasant buildings on its outskirts, before crossing fields to the interesting church and village of Shere on the Tilling Bourne stream, a place packed full of fifteenth and sixteenth-century timber-framed buildings. Then the walk continues past massive gnarled trees in Albury Park and through the pine woods of Blackheath Common.

From there, the route follows the Downs Link path. There's an optional detour to visit Chinthurst Hill Tower, a folly with a view.

The final stretch is along the River Wey into Guildford for tea at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Short stretches of the Downs Link can be muddy.

The lunch pub on this walk has closed. The 'Various Options' page (link above) has 2 suggestions for a longer morning route, to have lunch at the remaining pub earlier in the walk.

Full Details

Farm near Guildford

Farm near Guildford

30-Oct-04 • Peter Conway

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North Downs Way near Watts Gallery

North Downs Way near Watts Gallery

30-Oct-04 • Peter Conway

swcwalks book2 walk12

Near Loseley House 2

Near Loseley House 2

30-Oct-04 • Peter Conway

swcwalks book2 walk12

Near Loseley House

Near Loseley House

30-Oct-04 • Peter Conway

swcwalks book2 walk12

Tree

Tree

30-Oct-04 • Peter Conway

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Lake near Loseley House

Lake near Loseley House

30-Oct-04 • Peter Conway

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Watts Chapel

Watts Chapel

14-Feb-06 • unknown

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A river valley, gentle pastures, Watts Gallery, woods, remote heathlands and heather covered moors.

Surrey TOCW Book 2, Walk 12 • Toughness: 4/10 • Length: 13 miles (22 km)

Think Surrey, and you probably think of pretty villages, gentle green pastures, and the country houses of retired stockbrokers. The first part of this walk conforms to that image, but the second, after lunch, takes you into the suprisingly wild and uninhabited Surrey Heathlands - a vast area of woods, sandy grassland and heather-covered moors which at times feels more like southern Spain or Portugal than England.

The lack of habitation in this area means that it was either taken over by the army for exercises or bypassed by the railways, and so to visit it requires a long walk: the afternoon of this walk is 13.9 km (8.7) miles, or four hours thirty minutes walking time, as long in itself as some of the walks in this book: this is thus a walk for a long spring or summer day. The good news, however, is that there is no rush to get to tea: the excellent Bush Hotel in Farnham serves cream teas in a lounge crammed with comfortable sofas well into the evening.

Full Details

Old Simm's Copse, near Gomshall, Surrey

Old Simm's Copse, near Gomshall, Surrey

18-Apr-17 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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View from up top

View from up top

Guildford Circular via Chantries Hill

15-Nov-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Autumn trees

Autumn trees

Guildford Circular via Chantries Hill

15-Nov-08 • moontiger on Flickr

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Pewley Down

Pewley Down

Guildford to Gomshall and Guildford to Horsley walks

18-Feb-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Pewley Down

Pewley Down

Guildford to Gomshall and Guildford to Horsley walks

18-Feb-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Gravestones

Gravestones

St-Martha-on-the-Hill D.Allen Vivitar 5mp

01-Apr-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Flowerpot Men

Flowerpot Men

Shere residents Bill & Ben. D.Allen vivitar 5mp

01-Apr-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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Historic Guildford, The North Downs Way and St Martha-on-the-Hill Church, picturesque Shere. Option to continue along the NDW to Dorking

Surrey TOCW Book 2, Walk 13 • Toughness: 5/10 • Length: 10 miles (17 km)

This walk explores the lovely ridges and valleys leading eastwards from Guildford - the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It starts with a short steep climb out of Guildford which leads straight to the dramatic viewpoint of Pewley Down. Then it joins the North Downs Way to climb to the hilltop church of St Martha-on-the-Hill. From there the route passes through follows the Pilgrims Way along the foot of the Downs to lunch in the pretty village of Shere. Climbing up onto the downland again and following first a wooded section and then a more open one, it finally descends to the valley again where you have a choice of two village tea rooms and a riverside pub to refresh you at the end of your walk.

This is a good walk at any time of year, with the sandy soils around St Martha's Hill providing a relief from mud in winter, and some fine bluebell woods in early spring. In summer the mixture of open country and woodland provides relief from the heat and the walk is also a good one for autumn colours.

Full Details

Sunlight on Coulsdon Common

Sunlight on Coulsdon Common

11-Dec-04 • Peter Conway

swcwalks book2 walk15

Book 2, Walk 15b, Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South

Book 2, Walk 15b, Riddlesdown to Coulsdon South

The Route. Opposite where the recently demolished Rose & Crown stood. D.Allen Vivitar 5199mp

01-Jan-06 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

south coulsdon book2 walk15 riddlesdown swcwalks walk15b

S4301726

S4301726

14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy

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S4301727

14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy

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S4301728

14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy

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S4301729

14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy

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S4301730

14-Apr-07 • Andrew Murphy

Happy Valley and Farthing Down, close to London (Zone 6)

Surrey TOCW Book 2, Walk 15 • Toughness: 4/10 • Length: 10 miles (17 km)

Considering that it starts in the suburbs of London (and within the boundaries of London Transport Travelcard zone six), this walk passes through some remarkably unspoilt countryside. Farthing Down, Kenley Common, Riddlesdown and Cousldon Commons are all ancient grazing lands, lovingly preserved as part of the London Greenbelt, and offering a delightful series of woods and open spaces. In spring the area is famous for wild flowers, including several bluebell woods, while in autumn it is a riot of golden colour. This is also a fine walk for a brisk winter's day, and in summer offers numerous idyllic spots for a picnic.

Full Details

Wanborough church

Wanborough church

This pretty church was built in the 1200s.

07-Sep-09 • JonCombe on Flickr

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Doorway faces

Doorway faces

Wanborough to Godalming Watts Chapel

21-Jan-12 • moontiger on Flickr

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River Wey

River Wey

Wanborough to Godalming

13-Mar-16 • Cymbidium Clarisse on Flickr

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1 wanborough field

1 wanborough field

17-Jun-06 • Bela Struzkova

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2 corn field

2 corn field

17-Jun-06 • Bela Struzkova

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3 signs

3 signs

17-Jun-06 • Bela Struzkova

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4 wanborough church

4 wanborough church

17-Jun-06 • Bela Struzkova

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Over the North Downs ridge to Watts Gallery, then a ramble to historic Godalming

Surrey TOCW Book 1, Walk 2 • Toughness: 3/10 • Length: 8 miles (13 km)

This short but lovely walk crosses open fields, passing Wanborough Manor and its tiny church. It soon goes over the Hoggs Back (the North Downs ridge) to descend into remote woodland, passing Watts Gallery, tea room, and Chapel. The Chapel (free) is worth the slight detour. A little further is The Withies Inn, an excellent country pub. Later, after more woodland, the walk is along the River Wey, followed by tea, or a pint in the ancient town of Godalming.

The original walk author was enchanted by this walk, above all, by Watts Gallery and Chapel, the monuments left by Mary Fraser-Tytler to honour her husband George Frederick Watts, a Victorian painter and sculptor, 'England's Michelangelo' ('though that's a bit rich,' a visitor was overheard to comment). Since then, the Gallery had a Lottery makeover, and is no longer free. Its enchanting tea room has also changed hands.

The paths shortly after the start of the walk, and along the River Wey at the end, are often waterlogged in winter, so don appropriate footwear.

On top of the Hoggs Back, you have to cross the A31 dual carriageway, but there is a safe place to wait in the middle.

Full Details

1010300024

1010300024

Autumn on the North Downs Way

30-Oct-10 • Sean O'Neill

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1010300048

Ancient yew in Tandridge churchyard

30-Oct-10 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG0315

St Mary's chapel, Church Town

16-Nov-11 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG4238

Memorial to "Walker Miles", St Nicholas' churchyard

16-Aug-14 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG8028

CIMG8028

Bridleway to South Hawke

07-May-15 • Sean O'Neill

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Knoll

Knoll

Woldingham to Oxted (short)

31-Dec-07 • moontiger on Flickr

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Copse

Copse

Woldingham to Oxted (short)

31-Dec-07 • moontiger on Flickr

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Close to London, this walk combines stretches of both The North Downs Way, and the Greensand Way.

Surrey SWC Walk 2 • Toughness: 5/10 • Length: 10 miles (17 km)

This walk is only just outside the London boundary and yet the first part through the open valleys and woodland of Marden Park feels completely rural. There are several places on the North Downs Way between Oxted Downs and Gravelly Hill which would make good picnic spots; the fine views just about compensate for the incessant grumbling from the M25 below.

The section along the Greensand Way from Godstone to Oxted is quite different, with attractive villages and greens. The landscape here is dotted with ponds, interesting churches and plenty of pubs.

There is a long but gradual ascent at the start, followed by several up and down stretches along the ridge of the North Downs before the descent into Godstone. The early sections along the ridge can be muddy, but you can avoid much of this by taking the morning short cut. The afternoon section along the Greensand Way only has a few gentle inclines.

The start of the Main Walk was changed in 2015 to take advantage of a new permissive path between the two parts of Marden Park Woods, reducing the stretch along the North Downs Way which overlooks the M25. However, the original directions have been retained as an alternative route.

Full Details