A beautiful sunny day and the siren call of a relaxing walk in Surrey beckons.
More known for its towns it is in actual fact an area of stunning natural beauty and is dotted with quaint olde world villages never without with the atmospheric warm glowing lights of old style inns from times past beckoning you in to sample an ale or two ,a welcome break after walking the network of national trust walking routes that meander through the area.
Deep in the heart of Battle of Britain country it is steeped in history and it is easy while walking here to imagine the war time sky battles that took place over here not so long ago.
I took a stroll in a small part of the area and found it a charming and rewarding place to spend a day.
I took a nikon D200 and a 17-35mm f2.8 lens, my usual for such wanderings,fast and very sharp..!
The walk started at the Outwood Mill ,Englands oldest working mill,built in 1665 it was the perfect place to climb and view the great fire of London that happened in the same year.
The oldest mill in England built 1665 in Outwood Surrey.
A great place to view The great fire of London from.
The mill is over 40 ft high and weighs 25 tons but is so well designed that one man can operate it via a single wheel “tailpole” mechanism.
The walk took us off to the left of the mill heading across national trust pathways for a distance of about 7 miles.
Heading away from Outwood.
We took a heading through a small woodland and past Outwood church before turning right onto the National Trust path well signposted as usual.
Heading along the NT path we came across a delightful grove with a pond.
delightful Village pond.
A place to relax.
Heading north out of the woods and having crossed several stiles we were walking through open country with the sun burning down behind us,time for some sun lotion methinks…!
We headed past several farms with cattle and on through more ploughed fields with a small path clearly trailing into the distance.
A typical British scene,timeless!!
Following the Path.
A clear trail.
Eventually after about 3 miles we came to a farm area which the trail took us through, past donkeys goats and other farm animals and old style barns.
Blackberries on the trail.
Old Macdonalds Farm!!! A menagerie of different livestock.
Old style Barns.
Past the farms we cleared a railway line and headed north into an area of rolling fields with sheep and cottages dotted here and there.
Gradually the area became steeper as we approached a nearby village .
Heading up hill.
Clambering up hill after a long steady walk we reached the top of a narrow lane passing an olde world cottage and fell upon the quaint village of Bletchingley.
Displayed on a newspaper board outside the local shop was a Mirror Battle of Britain Special.It seemed almost as if we had been transported back in time for a moment.
Bletchingley Time Warp!!! Battle of Britain Special on Display.
Parched and thirsty from the walk and seduced by the signs offering cream teas we set down in a wonderful tea room called Lamingtons right in the center of the village.
Lamingtons Tea room.
The Perfect Place for a break.
Refueled and refreshed but dreaming of more scones and cream we head away from the tea rooms and wander through the sunkissed village past the Prince Albert pub and rejoin our route heading south back towards Outwood but following a parallel route avoiding the roads.
The Prince Albert Pub.
With the sun getting lower the landscape developed a warmer glow and the route took us through corn fields and woodlands as we descended back down the hill towards our stating point about 3.5 miles away.
Soon the area is aglow by sunlight as we cross the final stage heading back to our start point the windmill.Turning a corner we stumble across a field of glowing Sunflowers.
We pass through more yellow glowing fields before finally picking up the path heading back through nearby woods and a few more stiles marked with NT markers
Dusk lit fields.
Breaking through the woodland shade we the find ourselves opposite the mill as the sun catches it just right.
We arrive back as the windmill is bathed in light and head off to the Bell Inn nearby with its 300 year old ships bell for a well earned pint of cider.
I really can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny sunday afternoon than a good walk in an area such as this.
Pictures copyright: Kerry Davies