Tuesday, 27 January 2009

north downs way - box hill to reigate

With a two car shuffle between the end point and the start out of the way we grabbed a coffee, and headed off down the A road towards the NDW where it crosses the River Mole. With previous days weather Burford Meadow was under water, and the stepping stones, the fun way of crossing the river, were hidden under the brown swirling murk of the Mole.

The stepping stones are here...

Crossing the bridge was not much easier with run off from the meadow forming mini lakes that required deft footing to avoid an early soaking.

From the meadow the path climbs steeply up to Box Hill with views across to the vineyard behind us opening up as we climbed.

It soon became clear that unlike the earlier sections of the Way the route doesn't stick to the ridge but continually drops and climbs, circumnavigating settlements, lime works and quarries. All this ascent and descent was good training for the TGO challenge.

More ascent

Past Juniper Hill the path switches back for a sharp pull back up to ridge from where we enjoyed expansive views to Leith Hill, the South Downs and the High Weald in the late afternoon sun. We had a brief stop at the Inglis Folly and another at Reigate Fort for a few snaps, and before long we had arrived at the car park and the end of our walk. The tea hut was raided for a welcome brew before the return to Box Hill to collect the other car.

What folly?

Completion of this leg meant that the the four of us; Darren, Penny, and I, with Harry the dog have now reached the half point of the NDW. With Darren off to Co Durham at the end of February we aren't going to finish what we've started but we do have plans to one more bit.

I've enjoyed our day trips out and I'm hoping that we'll be able to get some weekend backpacking trips in together over the coming months.

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