Tuesday, July 1

North Downs Way; Farnham to Dorking

I never thought I would be the sort of person who would do long-distance trails, but I suspect I might start getting into this type of walking.

Nearly two years ago I signed up for a Meet-up group called 'Joined up hiking' which is dedicated to doing long-distance trails a bit at a time. Although they don't really do the well-known routes such as the North Downs Way, the leader does seem to enjoy seeking out the little-known paths (whoever heard of the Three Castles Path, for example?!) and the idea of walking the full length of a trail can be quite addictive.

In early May, Jon and I set out for two days on the first section of the North Downs Way - yes it was ages ago but I've only just got round to writing about it!

We were blessed with good weather along the way and since we did the first day on a Friday, it was relatively quiet.

We came across this interesting road bridge which looked like it had been widened in a rather strange way, with increasingly-wide brick arches built out from the smaller arch in the middle.

The river path into Guildford, our overnight stop, was delightful - quiet and calm, with clouds reflected on the still water.

There were plenty of glorious woodland paths like this one, and we seemed to be constantly surrounded by birds chirruping and flitting around, wonderful May flowers, and the scents of spring.

Ah, a stunning tree. I do like to photograph trees!

On the second day from Guildford to Dorking we seemed to be stalked by rain, but most of the time it hung over the adjacent ridge and the clouds skittered along a few miles away. There were a couple of times when we pulled on our jackets expectantly but the deluge never materialised till we were back in London that evening.

By now I bet the route is lined with teeny wild strawberries - lovely to snack on but you'd rarely have the patience to pick a bowlful!


Anonymous said...

Sounds a lovely walk and I love long- distance trails. Do you use a baggage transfer company? Or carry your overnight stuff on your back?

DDKK said...

On this trip it was only two days and we were staying at B&B so not too much to carry. When I did five days on the SW Coast path we used a baggage transfer company which worked very well - even just carrying your waterproofs and water bottles for the day was heavy enough, so the baggage transfer was a lifesaver.

Two years ago I did a two-day trip on the Jurassic Coast as part of a new long-distance walk related to the Olympics http://theknitnursechronicles.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/weymouth-to-corfe-castle-walk-2012.html We camped overnight and carried our bags, that was a tough walk! Not only are the paths incredibly steep in a number of places, but it was hot. By the end of the first day my feet were very painful just from carrying the extra weight. I will think twice about combining walking with camping next time, if there's no option to transfer the bags!

DDKK said...

Incidentally we are planning to walk the next two-day section next week!