This Saturday I spent most of the day walking again, but this time there were no genealogical connections. Also for a change it was Surrey not Sussex where I was walking, it wasn’t a route of my choice and I wasn’t on my own.
My good friend Chris had picked the route and was my walking partner for the day. The weather was perhaps a little too warm, although there was some cloud, but it stayed dry, which it has been more or less for several weeks.
The walk began at Dorking railway station, we followed the A24 north for short while before heading east out onto the hills. Before climbing Box Hill we had to cross the river, there is a footbridge but I never miss the opportunity to cross the river by the stepping stones. It occurred to me that these were the only stepping stones in Sussex or Surrey that I was aware of, but I am sure there must be other examples.
The climb up Box Hill is quite a challenge, it is not as high as Wolstonbury Hill which I climbed nearly two weeks ago, but the ascent is a lot steeper. Most of the path up the hill consists of steps, otherwise it would seem almost impossible to reach the top.
The views from the top of Box Hill are quite spectacular, and well worth the effort. Unfortunately there was still some mist in the distance, but closer to the hill places like Dorking were clearly visible.
From Box Hill the walk continued eastwards and eventually southwards down off the North Downs, towards the village of Brockham. From here we walked east again, to Betchworth (where we stopped at the pub from a drink and a bite to eat).
I was quite impressed by the church at Betchworth, such a beautiful building, I hope I can find an excuse to come back and spend some more time here.
From Betchworth we continued east again, across the tip of Reigate Heath and the golf course (past the windmill) and onto a seemingly tiny place called Skimmington (with a busy pub).
From here we continued, yes you guessed it, eastwards again. Up onto Reigate Park and then down through the streets (of Reigate I guess) towards Earlswood railway station, where we spent a rather dull hour waiting, having just missed the train. To keep myself amused I ending up taking photos of the clouds overhead.
All in all it was a very satisfying walk. From Dorking to Earlswood was about 11½ miles, the majority of which was flat after coming down off the hills. Perhaps the best part for me however was the fact that it was all pretty much new territory to me (after coming down of the hills) so I actually had to use my map reading skills on occasion!