Trip to Surrey Hills, April 2017
In April 2017 twenty-seven members of Southwell Ramblers gathered at the Burford Bridge Hotel near Dorking in Surrey for three days of walking. The event was organised by Mark and Alma Sutherland, who were members of the Southwell Ramblers group before their move to Surrey.
On the first afternoon, to shake off the stiffness of a long drive to the Surry Hills, Mark and Alma led a short walk to the summit of Box Hill, now a popular cycling challenge, with its fine views of the surrounding countryside. Mark was able to provide us with a brief introduction to the history of Box Hill and point out the significant sights as well as put into perspective the following days’ walks.
On the second day two walks were available. A shorter circular walk, through the grounds of Polesden Lacy to Ranmore on the North Downs Way, had the added of attraction of a guided tour of the House, now owned by the National Trust. The longer walk followed an undulating route from the hotel, over the River Mole, using stepping stones, along the North Downs Way to Ranmore, and the Polesden Lacy Estate, returning via the Old Dorking Coach Road, Denbies Vineyard and Westhumble, before finally returning to our hotel.
On the following day two walks were again on offer. Both started and finished at the Abinger Roughs NT Car Park. The shorter walk passed through the Wotton Estate then Friday Street and returned via Greensand Way and The Wotton Hatch. The longer walk left the other group at Friday Street and ascended to the top of Leith Hill with its magnificent views stretching to the English Channel to the south and London to the north. It was possible to make out some of the distinctive sights of central London such as the Wembley Arch and the Shard. The return was via Greensand Way to Abinger Roughs. Both parties had well-earned tea and cake in a pleasant tea shop in the picturesque village of Shere.
All of the party had a magnificent time admiring the natural beauty of the area as well as the predominance of the bluebells resplendent in the sunshine. Our thanks go to Mark and Alma for organising and leading this fabulous walking trip in a beautiful part of the English countryside so close to London. Our attention is now drawn to our next trip in the Autumn to Hadrian’s Wall.