Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Surfing the Surrey Hills

We're off to Edinburgh in a few days, so it's been a time for saying our goodbyes. Our friends and our children's friends gathered at the local adventure playground to send us off - it was loud, and lots of fun. Finding such a great community is hard, and leaving it is even harder. Who would've thought raising children in central London could be so joyful and communal?

I also had another quieter goodbye to say. I've got to know the countryside of the south east pretty well and I've grown to love it. There may not be mountains but there are forests and flower-studded downs, old sunken lanes and heaths, salt marshes and reed beds, and always a pub when you need one. Exploring here has saved me from myopic summit-bagging (much as that's still a guilty pleasure) and deepened my appreciation of nature and habitats in all their diversity. I'll be back, that's for sure.

I headed to Victoria in the early blue-sky cool to catch a train into the sticks. Destination was the Surrey Hills, a forested tract of heathland almost touching 1,000 feet in some places, and a walk from Holmwood to Gomshall. It was a flawless day of hot sun (I was glad to be under the forest canopy most of the time) and a soundtrack of bees, birds and the lazy firecracker pops of gorse pods. I'll leave you with the pictures.

Bombus pascuorum in action

Leith Hill Tower

Holmbury Hill


  1. I shall miss your south eastern walks, Stefan.
    Goodluck with your move up north.

    1. I'm going to miss these walks too Alan - now I have to walk up actual hills again! In the rain! :-)