A select few gathered at Victoria station on Saturday 27th September to set off to Dorking for the final ORRA walk of the year along part of the Mole Valley and the Greensand way at the foot of Box Hill. The going was pretty level at the start and although cloudy, it was a warm and dry day. There were signs of autumn in the form of chestnuts, pumpkins, and berries galore.
Moles came in many forms: rivers, hills and grumpy ones.
Various re-orientating stops allowed for the harvesting of blackberries to the satisfaction of the ardent gatherers amongst us.
River Mole – with fishermen, Hill Mole – which we didn’t attempt and Ardent gatherers
The Surrey countryside proffered idyllic village greens, filmic churches, and a top class pub for lunch. The Waggle Dance pint failed to inspire its drinker to perform but the puddings were devoured with the usual alacrity and accompaniments of heart curdling clotted cream, custard and ice cream.
The sun emerged after the lunch stop at Betchworth and the going got harder and at times steeper as if to reprimand us for having indulged so. A spot of bother with horses and later one that had cross-dressed as a zebra, the terrain sported a handsome selection of four legged friends.
Reigate was the final destination where the Priory, handed to the Howard family at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Tudor times, is now a school and a museum, surrounded by impressive municipal gardens and sports grounds.
A cross dresser, a spot of bother, and where Margot Fonteyn lived.
A bit of train hopping split the group temporarily on the way home although we all ended up on the same train to Victoria it emerged.
En route to Reigate Station
Want to relive past walks? Find them in the Archive