On one of the best days of this strange year, 12 of us set out from Box Hill & Westhumble station into the gorgeous early autumn. Geoffrey & his 5 walkers took a slightly more leisurely approach & Harriet’s group went off first & bit more swiftly so as to keep an appropriate distance. It was a beautiful morning with a slightly autumnal smell in the air but still hot enough to feel that the world wasn’t yet closing down for winter. We were seduced by a refreshment van at Ranmore Common, the feeling being that we should enjoy all the delights on offer, & whilst queueing, saw Geoffery’s group approaching. They must have had stronger wills than us because they didn’t fall for the lure of coffee/ice cream/cakes etc, & kept on, vanishing into the woods. The path went past Tanner’s Hatch Youth Hostel which, although closed, did look tempting & some of us pondered the possibility of organising a weekend where we could stay there. Impossible at present of course but maybe in the Covid-free future.
The walk was a lovely combination of light woodland & open space &, after hauling ourselves up & down various hills, we had lunch on 2 benches in a part of the woods where there’d been some clearing so the sun shone directly on them. More woodland & then the delightful descent to Mickleham & The Running Horses pub. I hadn’t thought of booking for drinks & there were no tables for 6 but one of us, good at maths & clever, secured 2 tables for 3 side by side so we refreshed ourselves there. Geoffrey’s group weren’t so fortunate but they went off to Ryka’s for tea which, if you don’t know it, is a great place & on a Sunday, FULL of bikers. The walk from Mickleham to the station was through gentle meadows in the warm afternoon sun & quite lovely. There were no problems with trains so we had a very pleasing day.
Photos by Geoffrey, Stuart and Gillian