Sunday, 31 July 2011
Walk 12: Farnham Circular
Date: Sunday 31st July 2011
Route: Farnham to Charleshill and back
Distance: 10.1 miles
Given the beautiful but intense sunshine today, we wanted to do a predominantly shady walk and this hybrid woodland walk from the two volumes of Time Out Country Walks certainly fit the bill. It is one of the variants of the Guildford to Farnham walk from Volume 2, but the whole first section comes from the Farnham to Godalming walk from Volume 1, so effectively you will need both books.
The walk starts off near the busy A31 near Farnham Station, the start point of the North Downs Way, which goes all the way to Dover via Canterbury - and presumably gets a bit hillier at some point. Pretty much the whole first hour of the walk is on flat ground and even when there are climbs or descents in the rest of the walk these are pretty minimal, certainly not a patch on the Dales that we were walking in last week. The whole walk is very easy to do.
The traffic noise soon dies away as the path follows the River Wey and enters woodlands. The next stretch is on the Moor Park Heritage Trail, which contains frequent information about the Moor Park estate and its role in World War II, a woman who lived in a cave on the estate etc. Further on, the path reaches a bridge over the Wey and local shops at Tilford, then makes its way to the Donkey pub at Charleshill (complete with donkeys in the back garden!). After lunch, it's more woodland - this time through the Forestry Commission's Crooksbury Wood then finally back to Farnham via the North Downs Way.
A key theme of the walk seemed to be fruit and nuts - at various points along the way we encountered bramble bushes, pine cones, hazelnuts and beech nuts strewn over the path, and finally a row of trees laden with fruit that looked like tiny red, yellow and black plums (we were too chicken and suspicious to taste them, in case they turned out to be poisonous - if anyone can identify them from the photo above, all ideas gratefully received!). We also saw a young stag on the path at one point.
This is a very non-taxing walk on good, sandy paths through different types of woodland, with plenty of shade and a good pub lunch. Pleasant and easy rather than wildly exciting.