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







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








Timber stack

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







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.



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



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.





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





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.



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.


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



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



Blue ice
Sunlight on trees


I just liked this one.




And this one too.




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.




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




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






Total distance: 16074 m
Total climbing: 453 m
Total descent: -451 m
Total time: 05:59:14

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