A late decision to join this walk was rewarded with a delightful Spring afternoon in the lush green-belt area of Horsley and nearby Effingham. Horsley is an easy train ride from Waterloo or Clapham Junction yet is as different from its city neighbour as Winter from Spring with its quiet countryside and distinctive flint and stone (some say eccentric) architecture designed by landowner Lord Lovelace in the 1800s.Susan J. led the group today and our walk followed the Jubilee trail under canopies of beech, oak, pine and hawthorn. Bluebells, cowslip, buttercup and cow-parsley brushed our feet as we ambled through The Forest, Effingham Common, Great Ridings Wood, Oldhams Wood, Effingham Forest and the Sheapleas. The trail takes its name from the Queen’s Golden Jubilee year when The Forest was given right-of-way status so completing the circular walk. The trail criss-crosses the Lovelace Bridges Trail revealing more of Lovelace’s work – elaborate stone bridges built to transport his timber wagons.
A quiet country pub – The Barley Mow – served refreshing beers and ales to toast another top day in the countryside – and under a blue, sunny sky too!
Barley Mow image by Peter Trimmings