A fast-paced yomp to Chartwell and back
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Join me for a very fast-paced day walk through the woods and steep hills of the Surrey and Kent borders to see the home of Winston Churchill at Chartwell. This walk will be taking place on the 16th February, so it'll be a good chance to burn off some calories now that we're in the swing of our new health regimes in 2019.
Many will know I'm considered to be one of the fastest walkers in the ODL South-East, and I was thinking why not do an intensive walk to clear the mind and body to one of my favourite places in the region, near the Weald - a landscape that I have fallen in love with since joining ODL. So this walk is less about distance at only 20 km (12.4 miles), and more about intensity of speed through the woods and undulating hills. I did the walk recently and managed just over 4mph. However, the due to the landscape there are some steep hills across the Greensand Ridge which provides some challenges to legs and thighs especially when keeping up a hearty pace.
We'll want to start at 10.00am, and with a highspeed walking pace yomp through the streets of Oxted and Limpsfield towards the woods of Limpsfield Common, and Crockhamhill Common to Mariners Hill, as it perches over Chartwell with an amazing view of the Weald - a view that Churchill himself loved!
After a stop in the National Trust tea room, or if you wish, you can view Churchill's family home and garden itself, we'll leave an hour later, depending on time and yomp back at a fast pace, via the village of Westerham to the High Chart Wood and on to Oxted, via Limpsfield.
NB - this is a very fast-paced walk up hills and through woodlands with some root hazards. It is not a walk for the fainthearted, as it will be at a fast pace. Please bring a torch as we may be returning through the dusk and darkness to get back for to Oxted station and the return train home.
There is a 09:21 train from London Victoria arriving at Oxted at 10:01am and we'll start after that, so if attendees are coming via other means, can they please arrive promptly?
What to bring
Water: bring at least two litres. It is early February, but we will be losing a lot of fluid with the exercise.
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-25 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking, trainers are OK if the ground is dry and there’s little chance of rain
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a microfleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: ideally no jeans as they become heavy and cold if it rains, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy summer days
Snacks: bring biscuits, energy bars, gels, bananas, chocolate or dried fruit for example and put them somewhere easy to get hold of
Lunch: bring a packed lunch
Torch: we may be returning late into the darkness of the surrey hills.
Food & drink
Bring a packed lunch and water. Also a torch in case we return in the dusk and darkness.