2012

27th December - Winter Windsor Wander

We assembled in the chilly light drizzle and were soon in Windsor Great Park enjoying the fresh air and mud.  Soon after the start we turned a corner to find a magnificent stag looking straight at us and then a couple more after the next bend.  We enjoyed the short route taking us past Savill Gardens and the Duke of Cumberland's obelisk.  Some of our guests left us due to the inclement weather, but most of us enjoyed the leisurely walk round the park and continued on to lunch at the Sun and thence back to the start.  This was a pleasant stroll to get us out after Christmas and back to walking.

9th December - Xmas Walk & Dinner - Tony Cartwright & Janet Chapman

An assorted group, clad in a strange collection of hats, gathered in the car park, just outside Dorking, for this year's Surrey Christmas walk.  After a brief time of silence to remember Mervyn, whom we had sadly lost the previous week, we set off into the woods.  Up hill and down dale and through beech woods we strode until after the longest climb we gladly espied Pat and Molly equipped with coffee and biscuits to keep us going.  After this we continued on in the sunshine, thankful that the mud of the last few weeks had largely dispersed.  At Abinger Hatch we paused in the churchyard and had an interesting historical discussion ranging from prehistoric barrows up to memories of  twentieth century challenge walks.  Less than two hours later, in spite of rumours that we were bound for Puttenham, we came to the door of the Volunteer, wherein awaited a welcome buffet lunch.  The afternoon continued with warm sunshine and superb views of the North Downs including the sight of a steam train chugging along the valley. 
Having safely negotiated the level crossing we met up with Tony who reappeared beside his car, which was replete with mulled wine and edible goodies.  In spite of this we managed to wend our way over Westcott Meadows and back to the start.  In traditional fashion we reconvened at Peaslake for hot showers and dinner with a log fire and much conversation and laughter.

18th November - Lets Walk with Glenys Again - Glenys Kirkpatrick

15th November - Four Commons Walk - John Stovell

27th October - Around Ashtead - Dave & Pat Challenger

22nd September - Dorking's Southern Face - Jerome Ripp

 
With many of the Surrey group occupied elsewhere on the White Cliffs Challenge, a (very) small group of walkers gathered at the Blackbrook Road car park intent on exploring "Dorking's Southern Face". There were actually four of us, including the leader and a visitor from Wessex who preferred a dry walk on Saturday to a potentially wet one with his own group on Sunday.
 
The autumnal crispness of the morning was slowly being dispersed by the sun rising into a clear blue sky as we set out on an interesting meander through the quiet hinterland that lies south of the A25 between Reigate and Dorking. We followed a variety of paths, tracks and roads through woodland and fields, passing ancient farmhouses and modern stables; the highlights of the morning being a field where hundreds of crane flies rose from the dew-sodden grass, disturbed by our walking past, and a couple of paddocks where the expected grazing horses had been replaced by a number of decommissioned military aircraft.
 
Lunch at the Six Bells in Newdigate was good value for money, based on our limited sample of three meals, and the return trip in the afternoon was most notable for its multiple crossing of the busy A24 and the occasional navigation difficulty, as fields look somewhat different in September than they did in a wet January when the route was originally walked out. 
 
It was a pity that so many people missed out on this interesting walk through a little-explored part of the county due to its unfortunate scheduling, so it may be worthwhile to include this - or something similar - in the programme at some future date.
 

15th September - Richards Retirement Romp - Richard Ireson

Richard Ireson led a walk to mark the end of 42 years as a ‘wainslave’.  12 walkers set off from his house in Crowthorne to go through the pine forests, skirting, Wokingham.  A mid-morning break was taken at the café at the Aborfield Farm Shop.  There we met an enthusiastic farmer who gave an impromptu lecture on his family’s involvement in the development of agriculture since the First World War and the way in which political and social developments had impacted on them.  He was also keen to show off his old tractors and lorries! (see pictures).  In sunny weather we then went across the fields to the George and Dragon on the outskirts of Swallowfield.  Refreshed we followed the upper part of the Blackwater Valley Way back towards Crowthorne including passing through the grounds of Wellington College (which was a Victorian tribute to the great General/Duke).  Richard’s route was an enthusiastic 19.9 miles (with 9.5 after lunch)!  A celebratory tea followed.

6-9th September - Isle of Wight Weekend - Richard Ireson

23rd August - The East Surreys Meet - John Stovell

Nineteen of us gathered for this popular midweek walk - it was nice to see Peter and Betty out and about, and Chris and Val both lean and fit.  We set off in the sunshine on an undulating route on both familiar and new paths, with some excellent views from the North Downs.  We walked over hill and vale to lunch outdoors at the Harrow.  The group, adventurous to the end, chose a slightly longer route home.  John organised a great route and excellent weather - well done.

29th July - Alice Meets the Devil - Tony Cartwright

 

15th July - Lingfield Out & Back - Jackie Barker & Ted Swift

23rd June - The Denver Doddle - Janet Chapman

5th June - Midsummer Walk - Tony Cartwright & Mary

21st April - Bluebell Walk - Chris Hayward

11th April - East of Eden - Olive & Roy Barnsley, John Westcott

25th February - Compasses Walkabout