Rain, cold and grey skies for weeks before; rain, cold and grey skies predicted for weeks after but, on the day of the walk, the weather was wonderful. Warm – for November- with a few feathery clouds in an otherwise perfectly blue sky.
We were lucky enough to have attracted two potential new members who met us at Haslemere station. The walk goes straight up onto a lovely path and then into the woods so there was no trudging through outskirts before the real walk begins. A lot of the day was in woodland but light enough that the sun shone through and lit up the crimson and gold of the fallen leaves and it wasn’t as muddy as had been predicted so it was really the most perfect autumn walk.
We stopped for lunch at Fernhurst where, apart from the pub, there is a tennis club with a small cafe attached and enough benches for us all to sit in the sun and observe local life. A couple with a very nice large dog appeared and we discovered that they had found it on the road and were trying to find out who its owners were. No vets were open on Saturdays to read its microchip, assuming it had one, and they needed to get home to their own dog so one of our new members swung into action. She had worked for the RSPCA and made phone calls but, unfortunately, they weren’t able to help and we needed to got. As we left, a man was seen, waving his hands and looking apologetic. There was a happy reunion.
The next part of the walk was going up a steep sunken lane which was tough going but nothing like as muddy and tricky as it has been in the past so no scrambling up the bank was needed. Eventually we emerged onto Marley Down with beautiful views over the hills, then back into the woods and on to Haslemere where we rewarded ourselves with tea at one of the very nice cafes.
Photos by Ida