Sunday, 20 November 2016

Box Hill Hike

There is an eight mile circular hike that starts and finishes at the Box Hill cafe and shop. Back in the summer we walked this trail, which boasts more than a few steep ascents and descents. An additional mile was added on, as we parked at Headley Heath and walked in to join the well-marked route. This morning, with Katrina, Rebecca and Jessica all willing and able, we tackled it once more. The weather was cold, sunny and calm. Ideal walking conditions...

Headley Heath - a high plateau of gorse and heather with plenty of light woodland
Autumn colours to the fore
Once off of the high ground a series of wooded valleys lead to the eastern slopes of Box Hill
As you head west along the slopes of Box Hill, you come across deep drove-ways, in places flanked by Juniper bushes
Looking back west
You are never far from a beech tree, these youthful examples rubbing shoulders with those much older
We made steady time to Box Hill itself, and after a fortifying flapjack then made our way to Mickleham, where lunch was taken in the King William IV pub. We stayed here a little too long, as we still had to climb back up to Mickleham Downs, walk its length and then descend a steep and slippery track to Headley Road. By the time we got there the light was fading fast. The final push up and down the Headley Heath valleys was done in darkness.

It was quiet birdwise, but we did see 2 Common Buzzards, a Peregrine, 30+ Fieldfare and 2 Ravens.

The female section of 'Team Gale'

6 comments:

  1. What a terrific area to walk round and a lovely family photo. I bet there's a lot less leaves on the trees there today.

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    1. Thank you Derek. Apart from fewer leaves those chalky slopes will be far more slippery today.

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  2. Steve, that is some fabulous countryside to be able to walk around. The views must be awesome in all directions?
    The autumn colours of our deciduous woodlands always remind me of Ashridge Forest and growing up in Hemel Hempstead. The flatlands of East Kent are a dark and brooding place, today, following the visit of Storm Angus. As Derek points out, not too many leaves left now, following the ferocious winds overnight. Cracking portrait of your good lady and daughters - hoping all is well? Dyl

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    1. Dyl, all well thank you and I hope that you and yours are too. There is more than a touch of similarities between the chalk woodlands of Surrey and Herts. Here in Surrey we got off quite lightly with the storm - those drains must be uninviting today!

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  3. As with above comments. A beautiful setting, and a lovely family photo, Mr Gale!

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    1. Thanks Neil. We are blessed with fantastic countryside on our doorstep.

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