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Archive for September, 2010

…ok, it was actually Thursday. But the valley was nonetheless pleasant. And I couldn’t get the Monkees song out of my head for most of this walk, so I don’t see why you shouldn’t have to suffer it too. A circular walk in the Surrey Downs.

Chipstead Valley & Banstead Woods, Surrey

Wide sweeping valley bottom south of Chipstead

Wide sweeping valley bottom south of Chipstead

This was a walk I undertook one afternoon and early evening after work, having been thwarted in an attempt to walk part of the North Downs Way in Kent by incessant rain the previous weekend. It was a last-minute idea, really just an attempt to burn off some energy and dissipate the frustration of having my previous plans scuppered, so I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular. But I was pleasantly surprised  – some fairly steep climbs rewarded by superb views across the Surrey countryside, and beautiful woodlands and meadows; much of the route falls within Chipstead Downs Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Start/Finish: Chipstead Station TQ276582

Length: 6¼ miles/3 hours

How to get there: Chipstead is on the Tattenham Corner branch, served by Southern from London Bridge and Victoria, the journey taking about an hour. Some trains divide at Purley so make sure you travel in the correct part, or end up in Caterham.

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More from the London Loop, this time following a tributary of the Thames from source to mouth through deceptively rural surroundings to the place of coronation of Saxon Kings

London Loop, Stage 8: Ewell to Kingston-upon-Thames

Following the Hogsmill near Berrylands

Following the Hogsmill near Berrylands

Following hot on the heels of Stages 6 & 7, is Stage 8, completed a few weeks later. Just 3 of us on this walk, many of our usual group having presumably been cured of their OCD (or the opposite in one case, deciding to start the whole thing again next year having a missed a couple of stages. Why, Andy, why?!). This is a greener stage than the previous two, largely following the Hogsmill along its length from Ewell to Kingston, yet still has stretches that involve unavoidable street walking.

Start: Ewell West Station TQ214627

Finish: Kingston Station TQ182695

Length: 7½ miles/3 hours

How to get there: Both stations can be reached quite quickly (30 minutes either way) and frequently from the centre of London by travelling from London Waterloo with Southwest Trains.

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Walk London: Autumn Ambles

Walk London - Autumn AmblesOne of the events featured on the fabulous IanVisits blog (a superb resource for anyone at a loose end in London) is the ‘Autumn Ambles‘ walks programme organised by Walk London. One of three annual walking weekends (together with ‘Winter Wanders’ and ‘Spring into Summer’), this is a cornucopia of free guided walks which truly celebrates the diversity of walking to be found in the Capital.

It may sound glib to say ‘there’s something for everyone!’, but in reality there probably is: the programme features green leafy sections of the Capital Ring and London Loop as well as urban walks through well-known and less familiar central London, including a number of walks less than 5 miles in length.

All the Autumn Ambles walks, held this year on the weekend of September 25th and Sunday 26th September, start at or near to train or tube stations and are free to attend with no booking required.

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