Winter walks - escape to the country with Surrey Ramblers
PUBLISHED: 16:34 17 December 2013 | UPDATED: 16:37 17 December 2013
Explore the Surrey countryside led by trusty guides from your local Ramblers association this Christmas and New Year. With walks from Richmond to Grayshott, they’ve got most areas covered
Avoid the Shop and Bake Panic...
Saturday December 21, 10.15am
The low-down: Start the festive season with a five-mile walk around our county town of Guildford with the Guildford Ramblers, starting from the red pillar box at the top of Warren Road in the town.
Pub: For post walk refreshment, why not try The Albany on Sydenham Road. They do great food but also have sofas and high-top tables to relax with a glass of wine or pint of real ale.
Burgh Heath to Kingswood
Christmas Eve, 10.30am
The low-down: Join the Epsom & Ewell Ramblers for a six-mile Christmas Eve walk from Burgh Heath and on to Kingswood and beyond. Meet in Wood Lane just off the southbound carriageway of the A217. Dogs are permitted on this walk.
Pub: Try the Kingswood Arms on Waterhouse Lane, which has been privately owned by Linda and Barry Slayford since 1985.
Tilford to Frensham Little Pond
Christmas Day, 10.30am
The low-down: The Farnham & District Ramblers lead a four-mile Christmas Day circular walk to Frensham Little Pond, starting from the village green car park in Tilford. Dogs are permitted on this walk.
Pub: Visit the Barley Mow on Tilford village green, which is open on Christmas Day – with the exception of 3pm to 7pm. Well, we all need a break sometimes!
Boxing Day Ramble
Boxing Day, 10am
The low-down: Stretch your legs after the overindulgence of Christmas Day with the Farnham & District Ramblers and walk eight miles through the gently rolling countryside around Barford, Wishanger and Headley Down. The walk starts from Ludshott Common car park near Grayshott Hall. Take your own lunch, unless you want to visit a pub later. Dogs are permitted on this walk.
Pub: One of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s haunts, The Fox and Pelican is located on Headley Road in Grayshott. A Fuller’s pub these days, they have plenty of real ales. Open from 12noon to 5pm on Boxing Day.
Boxing Day Figure of Eight
Boxing Day, 10.30am
The low-down: Join this four-mile figure of eight walk led by the Sutton & Wandle Valley Ramblers, with a short stop in the middle. The walk passes through Happy Valley and Chaldon in the morning then Kenley Common and Aerodrome in the afternoon, starting at The Fox on Coulsdon Common.
Pub: Although most accounts of the pub’s history come from the Victorian era, the Fox alehouse has been recorded at the same site on Coulsdon Common from 1720.
The After Xmas Mystery Ramble
Sunday December 29, 10am
The low-down: The Surrey Heath Ramblers lead a generally easy five-mile walk – depending on the route taken, there may be one short, steep climb. The walk starts from the Coronation Gardens car park in Ash.
Pub: Found nearby, just down the road in Tongham, The White Hart offers five ales during the week and eight at the weekends. Open 12noon to 10.30pm on Sundays.
From Rykas Café via the Stepping Stones
New Year’s Eve, 10.30am
The low-down: A five-mile New Year’s Eve walk from Rykas Café with the Epsom & Ewell Ramblers via Crabtree Lane – a long ascent through Dorking Wood at the rear of Denbies and back via the Stepping Stones. Dogs are permitted on this walk.
Pub: Try The Stepping Stones near the famous natural attraction of the same name in Westhumble Street near Box Hill.
Epsom Downs and Headley
New Year’s Day, 10.15am
The low-down: The annual New Year’s Day walk with the Epsom & Ewell Ramblers, this is a 10-mile joint walk with the Croydon Ramblers group starting from Old London Road, Tattenham Corner tea hut car park and going via Mere Pond and Headley. Take a packed lunch, or there is also the chance of a pub visit. Dogs are permitted on this walk.
Pub: The Derby Arms is found opposite the world famous Epsom Downs racecourse. Open from 12noon to 6pm on New Year’s Day for dining – bar until close.
Little London to Shere
Thursday January 2, 10am
The low-down: Start the New Year with the Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers and a six-mile walk through Little London, Blackheath and Brook, beginning in the picturesque village of Shere at the recreation ground car park.
Pub: Head to The William Bray for a delicious meal and a spot of Shere Drop or one of their fine wines and Champagnes.
Round Walk in Richmond Park
Saturday January 4, 11am
The low-down: Put those New Year’s resolutions into action with a five-mile walk with the Kingston Ramblers through Richmond Park, including a café lunch at Roehampton Gate. Meet at the Robin Hood Roundabout.
Pub: Enjoy a cosy afternoon at The Plough in Christ Church Road, East Sheen.
Need to know
The Ramblers’ Festival of Winter Walks runs annually over the Christmas and New Year period. This year, it takes place from Saturday December 21 to Sunday January 5. For more information, visit ramblers.org.uk/winterwalks