3/12 – NDW Guildford to Box Hill

Yet an another COVID restricted outing but one which took in a beautiful stretch of the North Downs Way (NDW) on a sunny March Saturday morning – what more could you ask?

We set off from home around 6am in two cars leaving one at the finish in the Box Hill car park. It was about 20 minutes to the start, another car park, just outside Guildford and straddling the NDW. The route took us eastwards into the clear morning sunrise with the path reasonably firm underfoot after on-and-off rain showers in the preceding week.

The first couple of miles took us up hill to St Marthas Church positioned atop a hill with panoramic views to the South over the downs. After a dip and another rise the trail settled into a comfortably level path which followed the ridge line all the way to Ranmore common above Dorking.

Cally has been nursing both a twinging knee and a nasty blister which has not had time to fully heal between the monthly outings. On this occasion both seemed to be a bit more manageable and we settled into a comfortable pace and were able to enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Our original idea had been to finish at the coffee van on Ranmore common but after discovering it was closed on Saturday we extended the finish to Box Hill.

The Box Hill finish, while satisfying our requirement for a coffee at the finish, also meant a savage climb up the notorious steps. We were lucky to connect with Mark, Georgina and their boys out for a family ride – it almost felt like a bit of normality, great to see them again!

This one has felt a bit nondescript, sandwiched as it has been by an intense period at work. I hope the coming months will be a bit more adventurous.