Tuesday, 2 June 2020

2020 - COVID and some circular walks...

2020 was a little different... During the Covid-19 Lockdown, and particularly later on as it eased I tried some circular walks from Woking. Walking to Old Woking, I went down the River Wey (from the New Inn pub) until just after Trigg's Lock, then shortly after taking the next right over the sturdy concrete bridge. Passing the farm and then bearing right, take a left down Foxes Path. This will take you through Sutton Place until you get to the Church of St.Edward the Confessor. Pass the Church (it will be on your right) down a path to meet Blanchards Hill and turn left. The road will take you to Jacob's Well, with a slight left-right 'dog's leg' onto Jacob's Well Rd. On meeting Woking Rd (A320) turn right and then left at the roundabout onto Salt Box Rd and carry on under the rail bridge (caution required). Make your way back to Woking via Whitmoor Common, the Jolly Farmer pub, Burdenshott Rd and finally Mile Path which intersects Woking Golf Club, as described on previous walks on this Blog.

Another was a walk along the Basingstoke Canal (Aldershot direction), then turning right to cross Sheets Heath, then on to Knaphill via Stafford Lake (a road!), then St.John's and back down the Canal.

After restrictions were lifted further I tried the following walk:-

Newlands Corner - Shere - Albury Heath - Blackheath Common - Chilworth - St. Martha's Church - and back to Newland's Corner.

Newlands Corner start - down to Shere (as described in previous walks!), but rather than bearing left at the end of Chantry Lane bear right after the square seat (with a roof, see picture later on) and pass between mature trees in a south-westerly direction, then make your way to the Albury Heath Cricket ground (where a small monument can be found to commemorate Field-Marshall Montgomery's address to Canadian troops in May 1944, just prior to D-Day). From there pass down Sandy Lane and go on to Blackheath Common (pass the WW1 War memorial there) and head down to Chilworth, past the stables, then Chilworth Gunpowder Mills (on your left), on to Chilworth Manor and then up to St.Martha's Church and back to Newland's Corner via the North Down's Way - as described in previous Blog posts! Essentially this was just linking two previously described walks together to make a 'new' walk, with a little new ground in between. Pictures to follow.

At the end of Chantry Lane.

Over the small bridge next to the Ford.

Looking back at the Ford before passing through the gate shown above.

Two pictures of this dead tree, but loved both pictures!


Approaching Albury Heath Cricket ground.

No more Canadian troops, but a new Cricket Pavilion being built.

The end of Sandy Lane.

Blackheath Common War Memorial.

St. Martha's on the Hill in the distance.

Climbing up from Chilworth Manor.

Fairly steep.
A bench with a view.

Sgt Jakins was killed in an air crash (not combat related) in 1941. He lies next to his brother killed a few years earlier, before WW2. Sad times.

Bernard Freyberg's grave. A Victoria Cross medal winner.

Back via the North Down's Way. Well signposted.

Nearby a Pill Box from the 1940 GHQ Line defences. Luckily never needed.

Back to Newland's Corner, just beyond the woods.

Sunday, 23 June 2019

North Downs Way Midsummer 2019 - Part 1

Tried this one around Midsummer 2019 for maximum daylight. It's 153 miles long so a bit tricky for a one day walk as I normally prefer.... I'll tackle this one in stages over the next few years. Managed to do the first 34 miles in a day, from Farnham to Merstham. It is a very pleasant walk with some fabulous scenery to enjoy, but I think a level of fitness is required (I wouldn't recommend it for someone starting a walking hobby) as after 23 miles you have to climb Box Hill, and that's not the end of it!

One benefit is that this walk is very well served by public transport. If you've had enough it's easy to shorten as it passes various train stations as you go along. Also, unlike the Wey South Path or Downs Link walks I've done previously, there are refreshment stops on the way. The Newlands Corner Cafe is an excellent place to stop with beautiful views as you gorge on high calorie food with a clear conscience as you know you'll be burning it off over the next several hours!

This is a useful website:- 


I must admit I didn't bother with a map as there is plenty of signage, however I did make good use of the National Trail guide book (2016 seems the latest edition) available here:-


and written by Colin Saunders. There were times when the book was essential as although it's well signed there are sections where the trail is ambiguous and signs are clearly missing. Interestingly the trail is narrow and overgrown at times. I was surprised as this is a well used route!

Despite the weather in June 2019 being very wet I was lucky that the day I had set aside was quite literally perfect, mid 20's temperature with a gentle breeze.

I wore Salomon Mudstone boots again and with about 3 sock changes zero blisters once again. The old methods....

Leaving Woking early (by train) I was walking from Farnham by 0630am and was in Merstham by 8.45pm with a break at Newlands Corner and about 3 x 10 minute 'sock stops'.

My packing list:-

Berghaus Arrow 30 (30 litre) backpack with a small satchel for easier access to water, camera etc


3.5 litres of water.
Banana, oat Flapjacks, chocolate biscuits (ate lunch at Newlands Corner)

4 x spare pairs socks

North Downs Way National Trail book - essential!

Hiking stick - v.useful for tired legs!!!

Warm wool hat/ lightweight gilet (though did not use), lightweight poncho. Light coloured cotton trousers - easier to spot Ticks on...

Sunglasses, (***Put Sunscreen on face & back of neck)

Pedometer, Tick remover !!!

Emergency blanket, Compass, Whistle, Spare laces, string etc - why not.

Cards/ Cash  - cash in case it goes pear-shaped - (Taxi/ Hotel !!!)

Torch (& 2 x spare batts), plastic bags (put things in if it rains)

Camera. (Reading - for the way back)

Pen, paper

1st Aid kit, Medicines - (Plasters, Ibuprofen)

The book! Small, compact and very useful.

Farnham, off we go!

Some big open vistas on this walk. Food for the Soul.

This would keep children happy!

Now that's signage!

Nice quiet day, only saw 2 other walkers that were obviously doing the NDW (one had 'the book' clutched like me!)

Passed some very nice abodes!

Coming up to Watt's Gallery.

Did something crash?

Guildford, lovely house!

St. Martha's and it's wonderful views.

Passing the start of the Downs Link just below St. Martha's.

Approaching Newland's Corner.

Part of the 1940 GHQ line with surviving Pill boxes.

Some are in remarkably good condition.

They're everywhere, have never seen so many in one place.

Coming into Denbies Wine estate near Box Hill.

Box Hill in the distance.

The stepping stones before climbing up.

A grave for a horse?

The sound of the breeze blowing across the Wheat, not captured in a picture!

A US bomber crashed here in 1945. Sadly none survived...

Reigate Fort.

Merstham. My 2020 start point!

2020 - COVID and some circular walks...

2020 was a little different... During the Covid-19 Lockdown, and particularly later on as it eased I tried some circular walks from Woking. ...