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Archive for November, 2010

A spectacular display of autumnal fireworks in the Surrey Hills

Holmwood to Gomshall, Surrey

Autumn colour in the Surrey Hills

Autumn colour in the Surrey Hills

I should have planned this walk more carefully due to the frequency (or lack of it) of the railway service at start and finish; originally due to start at Gomshall I realised that this would involve a 90 minute wait for a train (and a later start, with a possible consequence of finishing in the dark given that the clocks had just gone back). But not to worry: I hurriedly changed my plans and began at my supposed destination. And it was worth the effort, as the path took in all the delights of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: some of the finest woodland in the south east as well as great views over the Weald and North Downs. A breezy, sometimes overcast day, the chance to lose oneself amongst the trees, and the summit of the highest point in south-east England gave this walk something of a wild feel at times, although in places the route meets popular honeypot sites that can be very busy with other walkers. But the highlight was the autumn foliage: a myriad of different shades and tints of fiery colour; coppers and bronzes, oranges and ochres, rusts and russets, ambers, golds, butter-yellows, vermilions, saffrons……..an endless variety, as many as the leaves that drift earthwards on the breeze.

Start: Holmwood Station TQ174437

Finish: Gomshall Station TQ089478

Length: 10½ miles/5 hours

How to get there: This is the slightly tricky part – choose your day wisely and plan the journey carefully to avoid a long wait for connecting trains. Holmwood has no service on Sundays, and trains are hourly at other times. Direct Southern services run from London Victoria; alternatively, go from London Waterloo with Southwest Trains and change at Dorking. Gomshall, on the Great Western network, effectively has a two-hourly service, supplemented at peak hours Monday to Friday.

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