Gently up Leith Hill

Out again today with G&H Ramblers. Glorious,cold day from Westcott up onto Leith Hill then down to Coldharbour and the Plough for lunch. After lunch a gentle ramble back to Westcott with a short climb at the end. Good job it was freezing; if not it would have been a mud bath in places.

Cottage below the mill ponds at Westcott
Picture perfect

Parked by Westcott church. Plenty of room despite our misgivings. After a bit of a wait for latecomers we set off and soon passed this cottage which looked impossibly pretty, sprinkled with frost and in the cold early sunlight.

 

Lovely sunlit walk
Lovely sunlit walk

Up along the track from the Rookery towards Broadmoor. Condition were still cold, fortunately

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hard frost underfoot keeping the mud at bay.
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Testing the ice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Timber stack

On up the track with plenty of indications of logging. Looked like excellent timber too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fallen tree obscures the waterfall

The last time we came this way the waterfall which is one of the sources of the Tilling Bourne was clearly visible.  A tree has fallen and now hides it effectively. Hope it is cleared soon.

 

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Spray from the waterfall had landed on the grass and branches at its foot, turning into icicles.

 

 

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View at the coffee stop

 

Passing through Broadmoor, the usual coffee stop, we made our way a few hundred meters further along the track to where some fallen trees provided convenient, if icy, seating.

 

 

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Then on up what must be the gentlest track up Leith Hill.

 

 

 

 

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Looking towards Gatwick

As ever, when the weather is clear, the view from the top of Leith Hill is spectacular.  You can often see the planes landing and taking off from Gatwick. Not today though.

 

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Down the Eastern flank of the Hill to Coldharbour where we had pre-booked lunch at the  Plough Inn at Coldharbour.  Pre-booking lunch can be hit or miss. This pub got it absolutely on target and the food was delivered shortly after we sat down. Very good it was too and the local ale was tasty. The pub is due to be refurbished in the next few weeks. Hopefully the new tenants’ plans will succeed. Looking forward to going back to see.

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Walking back towards Westcott the track became more rutted and water-logged. Despite the ice it became more and more difficult to find a dry path

 

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Soon there was a mass break away with Ramblers scrambling up onto a drier, parallel track.

 

 

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Blue ice
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Sunlight on trees

 

I just liked this one.

 

 

 

And this one too.

 

 

 

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Fording the mud

 

We came on a very muddy gate which called for balancing skills to get through without getting very wet feet. Some broke away and jumped a small rivulet. Some kept on and crossed this bridge.

 

 

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On the final leg back into Westcott this great building appeared in front. Not sure what it is.

 

 

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Back at Westcott church. Still cold enough for the snow men.

 

 

 

 

 

Total distance: 16074 m
Total climbing: 451 m
Total descent: -448 m
Total time: 05:59:14

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

Out on Puttenham, Common today with G&H Ramblers.  Bright early on but clouding over a bit later.  Pub stop at the Squirrel, Hurtmore – not bad considering that there were 20 ++ of us descending on them at once

The Tarn. Very quiet.

Started off at the Tarn car park on Puttenham Common.  Lovely morning.  Reflections on the still water.

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Pausing for breath

 

 

Off round the edges of the pond then up a steepish climb to wait at the top for everyone to catch up.

 

 

I'll take the high road
I’ll take the high road

 

After  a few more ups and downs we were on the Common near the Iron Age Hillbury fort.  Off into the sun with Jane leading the way to the top car park for a coffee break.  Then it was over the road and East down a pleasant valley.  When we got to the Puttenham-Shackleford road we walked along it to keep off a low lying, muddy track.

 

 

Ramblers enter Shackleford
Ramblers enter Shackleford

From Shackleford we walked towards the A3 past a farm where there has been development, visible from the main road, going on for some time now.  Still not sure just what it is but clearly someone is putting money into the place.  The footpath does cross the A3 but, given the number and ages of the group, the leader sensibly chose a detour via the bridge under the A3 near the Squirrel. The walk back avoided a muddy trek to Eashing and back over the A3 bridge.  We returned via Norney and rejoined the original track near Peper Harrow where Jane’s great grandmother lived as a child.

Rodsall Manor in afternoon light
Rodsall Manor in afternoon light

On Shackleford Heath we went up a muddy permissive path on the way to Rodsall Manor which looked as attractive as ever.

 

 

Some mud you just can't avoid
Some mud you just can’t avoid

 

Unfortunately the path from Rodsall back to Cutt Mill House, running beside a stream, was waterlogged and very muddy right across the track.  But it didn’t detract from an excellent walk.

 

 

 

Total distance: 14137 m
Total climbing: 351 m
Total descent: -356 m
Total time: 05:33:50