Monday, 7 November 2011
Given how late I was finishing work on Saturday, the fact that my two connecting hourly SWT trains would miss each other by two minutes on my way home, and it was down to a replacement bus service on the Piccadilly line, I decided that this walk was going to be a non-starter. Yet human nature being what it is, come Sunday morning I decided I was raring to go anyway, and did. The other thing pushing me on (as mentioned last week), was the fact that this could be one of my last opportunities to go walking with IVC. So whilst contemplating all this at Clapham Junction for the train to Oxted, I treated myself at Costa’s to a cream topped hot chocolate in an impressively tall glass (I thought primo meant small).
The majority of this walk involved following the Greensand Way (which has featured on other IVC walks before, including one I led) heading East towards Crockham Hill, whilst returning back to Oxted via a different route. Like last week, I was doing so much chinwagging for the first half at least, that I wasn’t paying too much attention to where we were going. That said when I did look up, one noticed that at lot of the first half was actually going through villages, as much as open country.
A relatively early lunch stop found us at the only pub in Limpsfield Chart which is called The Carpenters Arms. They seemed both walker and dog friendly (not ours), and didn’t seem too phased by our numbers. I had a pint of cider as well as ham, eggs, and chips. This was all very acceptable except the amount of chips was a little on the low side.
The second half of the walk was a lot less village and a lot more country (good), and eventually found us crossing into Kent. There we passed Churchill’s house Chartwell. Well I say passed, in fact two of us with cameras made a small detour so we could get a picture of it. Further along we also passed a large number of Canadian Geese having a meeting in the middle of a field.
It was certainly not what you would call a bright winter’s day. Thus given the fact that the clocks have gone back, and this group seems to have an average pace (given all the stops and catching up) of two miles an hour, things were getting seriously gloomy near the end of this walk (Considerably so whenever we crossing through a wooded area). Thus by the time we made it back into Oxted, the street lighting was something of a relief. As we had three quarters of an hour to kill before the 1728 back to Victoria, we all piled into the next door (to the station) Wetherspoon’s for coffee and biscuits.