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Walk report 2024 March 18

Narrow escape at Harrow

A hard-core six walkers set out from the Harrow in Farleigh at 2.30pm on March 18.  Although our halftime destination, the White Bear at Fickleshole, lay to the east, our route took us first north and then west. 

Five of Harrow six at half-time stop (guess name of pub)

Navigator Dave had calculated that this detour was necessary if we were to cover the six miles that are now statutory for our outings.  We mostly followed good paths, muddy in places but nothing to compare with the quagmires we encountered three weeks before.  We passed Kingswood Lodge and followed the London Loop to Elm Farm, where we crossed Farleigh Road, heading north and finally east at last, along our second major footpath, the Vanguard Way.

Harrow group negotiate fallen tree

We skirted Farleigh Court Golf Club and after a southward stretch struck out due east once more towards Fickleshole. Just as we felt our halftime goal was within reach, we had to drop down into a valley and climb steeply on the far side.  The White Bear was even more welcome as a result.  Pete Gillman wondered why he had been so out of breath compared with our previous walk – and concluded that this was because he was now 82.

Half-time refreshment at White Bear

The White Bear has been lavishly refurbished and looked to have an excellent new menu.  Alas, we had to leave and head back to the Harrow.   The return was admirably direct and took less than an hour.  At the Harrow we encountered part-time walker Ralph Osborne and his daughter Ruth, visiting from Sweden.   

The hungry walkers had a narrow escape as the kitchen was on the point of closing for the evening.  We rushed our orders through and had an enjoyable meal nonetheless, bringing another satisfying walking trip to a relaxing end.  The distance walked, according to Dick Jones' App (see below), was a respectable 9.69 kms, or 6.02 miles in old money.

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