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Pub disaster averted

JANUARY 24 2017: Eleven walkers started out from the Ramblers Rest in Chipstead Valley yesterday, having discovered to their dismay that the pub was closed due to a burst pipe in the kitchen. So would it be open in time for dinner on our return?

Walkers cross Kingswood Golf Club

Undeterred, the group headed over Chipstead Downs, through the Harholt Plantation and into Banstead Woods. Our trusty navigator Dave, normally so reliable, faltered in the restricted visibility of the ancient wood, but recovered to lead the group back on to the path past Perrotts Farm. 

Walkers enjoy the January sun

The group was on ground familiar from an earlier walk, some remembering the gate which  Bob Mackay had vaulted, losing his glasses as he did so. They cut across playing fields adjacent to the sinister Legal and General building then descended to and crossed the Tattenham Corner railway.  The path took them between the enormous houses and gardens of the Kingswood Estate before traversing the open fairways of Kingswood Gold Club. By now the earlier mist had given way to gentle sunshine.

Stunning January landscape - venue for sheepdog trials

After welcome refreshment in the cosy Well House Inn in Mugswell, the walkers followed a short stretch of road then headed back over rolling downland and through the edge of the Long Planation. After crossing a wide open valley, regularly used for sheepdog trials, the group called at the The Old School House, home of choir top tenor Ernest Williams. He greeted us warmly and explained his house was a Dame School in the 19th century.

The Ramblers Rest eleven, plus Suki

The final stretch was back over the railway line and across Chipstead downs until, joy of joys, the group found the Ramblers Rest had reopened in time for dinner.




 
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