30 March 2019
Four weeks ago I did a day walk on the Greensands Way, a trail that in its 108 mile entirety, runs from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent. It was more an excuse to try out wild camping again rather than with any expectations of great hiking – but all three day walks I’ve now done on it, each around 20 miles in length, have been wonderful. Far better walking, in fact, than a number of the National Trails in the south of England.
(I alway get over excited when a footpath takes you straight through a field rather than around it!)
It’s also been a brilliant way to see the season change. Although 2 March this year was actually pretty mild, with an oddly warm night for camping, it was very much a winter landscape that my friend and I walked and camped in. We had a pub lunch to warm us up and walked in quite a few layers. By last Sunday, 24 March, when a different friend and I went out walking (no camping that time, or today!) the daffodils were out in force. Today’s solo walk though, in a sunny 17c, was the very essence of spring. Bluebells were in abundance in the woodlands, many of the trees were in bud, and the very fat sheep I passed suggested that the lambs will be with us very soon indeed.
(Pic: This windmill is on a golf course near Reigate – cool golf club!)
I was up and out so early with today’s walk that I’d covered 20 miles by 3pm. In fact, I could have walked on the final three miles to finish the Surrey bit of the walk, but as I surveyed the public transport opportunities I realised that Oxted was the sensible place to bow out for the day. I’m left with three more 20 mile or so walks until the trail’s Kentish end, and I am really looking forward to them.
(Pic: I forgot to get a photo of the tent but you can see the patch where we wild camped on 2 March!)