|12 August||Woldingham||Booking open|
|26 August||Woldingham||Booking open|
|9 September||Stour Valley Way||Booking opens 23 August|
|23 September||Stour Valley Way||Booking opens 23 August|
Thursday 12 August / Thursday 26 August
11 miles / 18 km
Cumulative ascent 522 metres
Travel goes via Finsbury Park/East Croydon or direct from Charing Cross
Return to North London unlikely before 5-5.30 p.m.
Although only 11 miles in length, this circular walk will be challenging. Not only does it include several steep ascents and descents, but the total ascent of over 500 metres is double that we encountered on the recent Berkhamsted walk.
The route starts at Woldingham Station and heads north before following a bridle path along the edge of Woldingham Golf Club before we head south-east to join the Vanguard Way, en route from East Croydon to the south coast. Our first climb follows, ending at the top of the North Downs at 260 metres above sea level. We don’t stay at this height for long though, as at Flint House we drop steeply down the escarpment to reach the North Downs Way just north of Oxted. We now turn to face west and walk parallel to the M25, before climbing a flight of 109 steps to reach the crest of the Downs again. Our route now continues along the edge of chalk ridge, offering superb views to the south as we head towards Winders Hill (N.B. this section formed part of our NDW4 walk in 2019, albeit completed in the opposite direction). At Winders Hill we leave the NDW, face north and after tackling a short flight of steps embark on a steep climb that includes a flight of 67 steps to emerge at the somewhat scarily named Devil’s Hole.After a gentle walk across country to Tillingsdown Farm (now a housing estate) we turn east to cross a steep sided dry valley, before tackling a very steep descent to Marden Park Farm. From here there is one final loop to negotiate, as we head south and east to Great Church Wood, emerging onto a broad track to return to the station.