Haslemere and Black Down
Members of the Longer Walks Group walk took its latest walk out of Haslemere and south through land owned by the National Trust. After crossing Marley Common, we briefly joined the Sussex Border Path and climbed steadily through heath and woodlands to reach Marley Heights. Continuing south we were rewarded with our first magnificent view over the Weald to the South Downs at High Marley. The price we then paid for the view was a very steep path down into Kingsley Copse before we reached the town of Fernhurst and a deserved lunch break on the village green. From here at a height of about 80 metres, our route tooks towards the southern tip of the area known as Black Down, which at 280 metres above sea level is the highest hill in Sussex. And so it was a steep climb that took us to the viewpoint known as ‘Temple of the Winds’, a spot with magnificent panoramic views towards the South Downs and with strong associations with the poet Tennyson. Our climbing now more or less over, we turned north to walk at across heathland, before reaching a minor road called Tennyson’s Lane where we started to descend. By now we were on the return leg to Haslemere, continuing through farmland and woodland, to enter the town via Well Lane, a major source of the settlements drinking water in bygone times. From here, we reached Haslemere High Street and a short walk to the station and trains back to London.