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London Countryway 04 May 2011

We managed to find a date to suit, clear of the Royal Wedding (although its presence was felt throughout the weekend, thanks to Kay!) and set off to meet at Horsley Station. After ‘car shuffling’ we arrived at the car park at the foot of Box Hill. Barbara chatted up the cyclists, who were out even earlier than us, and we found posh wedding cars being polished up, ready for later ( no, not that one, though one of the Rolls used to belong to the Queen Mother)

To my great delight, we crossed the River Mole by stepping stone, before proceeding to the vineyards of the Denbies Estate  and along up to Ranmore Church, an impressive Victorian structure, where, yes, wedding preparations were in full swing! Lots of beautiful flowers including a ball hanging from the lych gate!

We proceeded along Hackhurst Downs, through the beech trees of Sheepleas and under the bridges crossing the track where timber used to be carted across. On to the delightfully-named Honeysuckle Bottom, before we returned to the station car park, ready for the (circuitous!) journey to the Woking Premier Inn.

Day 2 saw us processing in a northerly direction through Ockham Common, across less wild country into more heathland and with no steep hills. We used the foot bridge over the A3 and then skirted round the Royal Horticultural Gardens at Wisley. We drooled over the lovely apartments and houses around Ockham Mill and passed through Ripley and on for several miles walking along the River Wey Navigations. We observed numerous barges, moored by the canal, and one setting out from its station (?) to cruise along. We later saw it from a bridge and gave a (Royal) wave.

We were blessed with fine weather, it only raining overnight (poor Duke of Edinburgh Scheme walkers had had a soaking under canvas) and brilliant logistical planning and execution from our leader Chris!

Looking forward to heading towards Windsor next time...oh no!  More Royalty!