I had been on the point of cancelling this walk as, on the day, South Western Railway were offering a much reduced service on account of a dispute with their drivers. I decided to chance it and was pleased I did as the journey down and back for our group of 8 was barely affected. From Guildford we took a bus to Chilworth and then headed east through pleasant though generally dry, farmland. Turning north and east, we reached Shere, a pretty village on the river Tilling with two pubs, a cafe, an ice cream parlour, a couple of shops and some public toilets. Some of us went to the pub but as a responsible leader, I contented myself with an ice cream and watched the ducks . Heading west we admired wonderful allotments , and picnicked in view of Albury Estate and it’s fine church. We passed a field of huge turnip type plants which we deemed to be sugar beet. Another hour took us to St Martha’s Church on the pilgrims way, with it’s views to the south. We noted a gravestone to Baron Bernard Freyberg who seems to have been a larger than life character. Born in England, his family emigrated to New Zealand when he young. Nicknamed Tiny, he was a champion swimmer, prizefighter, served in both wars, gaining the VC, was Governor General of New Zealand and then a Liberal MP in the UK. From here we continued to Pewsey Down with its extensive views and then down into Guildford itself. We were pleased to see that despite the squeeze on public spending, Guildford still manages to maintain the attractive gardens round the castle. Time for a leisurely drink to mark my birthday and a then a not too crowded train back to London. To show how dry it’s been, I’ve included a photo taken in June along with one taken on Saturday of the same scene. Thanks to those who came along.
photos by Gillian and myself