Viewing galleries from March, 2019
The last time we did this walk it rained all day. This time Jeff had organized some ideal weather, a few occasional clouds to keep away some of the sun and just the right temperature for walking. We parked in Webb Road in Witley Common and found ourselves crossing under the busy A3 to get to Rodborough Common. One surprising find on an old tree trunk was the shell of a Swan Mussel (or even a Duck Mussel). This large freshwater Mussel is not uncommon but is rarely seen as it spends its life in the mud in the bottom of ponds. The birch and heather changed to pine trees as we reached Thursley Common and then more gorse as we neared Thursley village and our lunch in the Three Horeshoes. An excellent lunch before finding a bridge to take us back over the A3 and on towards Witley Common. We glimpsed a roof in Witley Park, home to an extraordinary submerged ballroom/billiard room built by a fraudster in the late 1800s. The mansion he also built had gone by the 1950's, but the ballroom remains. Lastly we reached Witley Common, once a wartime training camp for 20,000 recruits, but now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) managed by The National Trust. The walk had been just over 7.1/2 miles.
Miguel and Celia took us on a stroll over the commons around Stedham and then returned via the River Rother path back to Stedham. Weather was fine and almost too warm for some. We had another guest walker this week, Mike from Midhurst. Spring started officially on this day and whilst bluebells were extremely scarce, many other plants and flowers were showing significant signs of life. We eventually returned to The Hamilton Arms and enjoyed some delicious Thai food. The walk was a little under 5 miles.
With a gale forecast we opted for the relative safety of Weavers Down. We collected guest walker Stella in the car park before setting off towards Chapel and Wheatsheaf Common. As we skirted the golf course we kept a wary eye out for stray balls, luckily the only one we saw close up was hidden in the leaves near our chosen coffee stop. The statue of Lord Strathnairn was as impressive as always, at the entrance to the Foley Manor Estate. It was in storage for 33 years after being found to be in the way of a new subway for Knightsbridge underground station. Eventually Westminster Council gave it/sold it to Foley Manor on condition it would be accessible to the public. Lord Strathnairn died aged 84 in Paris, was buried in Christchurch, Hants and never married. A heroic leader and strategist, he walked from Mount Lebanon to Beirut so that some of the elderly American missionaries he had rescued could be carried on his horse. When in command of the Central Indian Forces of 1,540 men, he routed 20,00 men of Tatya Tope's army. Guns captured by him during this period were later to be used on his statue. We eventually found our way to The Deers Hut in Griggs Green where the service and food were excellent. Refreshed, we returned by skirting Weavers Down and by passing through Langley. The weather had been very kind with only a smattering of rain and the trees saved us from much of the wind. The walk was about 6.1/2 miles. Thanks to Jane, Stella and of course Marian for the excellent photos.