Latest walk reports Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th May 2021

Haslemere Hills, Saturday 8th May

9 Walkers, 20.6 miles - leader Gavin Fuller

Nine of us gathered at a decidedly damp Haslemere for a tour around the hilly country to the south of the town. Fortunately the morning rain, aside from a downpour around 11, soon subsided and the forecast high winds fortunately didn’t have much of an impact either aside from making the first break on Woolbeding Common chillier than you might have hoped for in May.

The leader has done this walk the previous summer and put it on at this time of year as he was curious to see what it looked like in bluebell season, and fans of the flower weren’t to be disappointed as there were plenty on show across a good proportion of the walk, including white and violet variants at times. With a vineyard, a variety of sculptures and some interesting old buildings to offset the less alluring charms of the likes of a sizeable electricity substation en route there was plenty to see in amongst the 2,010 feet of ascent the party had to experience.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller and Bola Baruwa; more by Bola on the group Facebook site

Young at Heart in a Two Dons Spring, Sunday 9th May

11 Walkers, 20.75 miles - leader Gavin Fuller

The second day of the leader’s walking weekend saw considerably better weather than the first, although the group was surprised given a dry forecast to be inconveniently rained upon just as the lunch venue was reached; fortunately it soon passed over and didn’t cause too much inconvenience. Most of the rest of the day was generally cloaked in sunshine and good visibility, enabling the group to see the route at something like its spring best. It was designed as a bluebell walk (hence the possibly cryptic title – anybody remember the 80s band The Bluebells and their hit “Young at Heart”?) and there were plenty on show starting in the first green space of Park Hill and finishing near the end in Happy Valley.

Aside from multiple woods and their blue carpets the route was a bit like the Ark in its attractions – 2 walled gardens, 2 private roads, 2 coal tax posts and 2 downs; additional experiences were a full traverse of the Addington Hills and even the sight of a glider being launched at Kenley Airfield. Having recced the route the previous month the leader was a tad surprised to discover his GPX trackers gave a distance a full mile and a quarter further than the previous occasion, but excepting the one who left at the official break point at Kenley 13.5 miles in all survived the route and its 1,218ft of ascent.

Photographs by Gavin Fuller