The Vanguard Way
Our six days of hiking on the Vanguard Way divide up roughly as follows:
- 1 - The North Downs
- 2 & 3 - The Low Weald (Northern part)
- 4 – The High Weald
- 5 – The Low Weald (Southern part)
- 6 – The South Downs and Coast
For section 2 we start on the Southern flank of the North Downs, crossing over the Greensand Ridge into the Weald and hugging the Eastern edge of Surrey as we continue our 85 mile trek towards the coast, 66 of them on the Vanguard Way itself.
Section 2 – 15.4 miles
Today’s hike comes in at just over 15 miles including a slight detour to a pub and back for lunch. Only those who want to have a meal in the pub (or hang around while everyone else does) should come on this walk. You must also be prepared for a reasonably fast pace during the first three hours' walk up until lunch.
The first half-hour is on the pavement and road to get back onto the Vanguard Way where we left it last time out. Crossing back over the M25, we climb gradually through a mixture of wooded and open land to the top of the Greensand Ridge, with the fields of the Low Weald spread out below. We descend into the tranquil greenery and have a late lunch just over the border in Kent.
Afterwards we get back to the path and make our way down Dwelly Lane, following Mill Stream into the Eden Valley and past some minor historic buildings before turning West for the link into Lingfield.
There is a £1 charge payable to the organizer on the day.
Full Itinerary with Estimated Timings
Meet Up: Arrive between 9.00 and 9.25 a.m. at Victoria Station, by the ticket office. I will be wearing the floppy hat and moustache for recognition. Ideally get into groups of 4 for buying tickets.
Buy Ticket: Day Return to Lingfield. From £13.00 for 1 adult down to £6.50 each in a group of 4.
Outward Travel: 9.40 a.m. train from Victoria platform 17 to Oxted platform 2. Arrive at 10.18.
Meet for Start of Hike: From 10.20 to 10.30 a.m. outside the East entrance to Oxted Station. This is the Platform 2 side - Station Road East.
Part 1: 7.75 miles. 3 hours in total at a medium fast pace, taking into account the ups and downs and the occasional short stop to regroup and look around.
You can choose either a Sunday Roast in the carvery for £6.49, or a range of hot and cold food in the bar area for similar prices. Or if the weather is predicted to be fine we will be accommodated in the garden. There is nowhere around here to eat your own lunch.
We’ll leave by 3 pm or earlier depending on speed of service etc.
7.4 miles. 3 hours in total at a moderate pace, allowing for more stops or a longer stop in a pleasant spot if the weather is fine.
End of Hike: Arrive at Lingfield Station by 18.05.
Post-Hike Refreshment: For those who wish, the nearest pub is a few hundred yards further on and seems to tick all the boxes.
Return Travel: 18:19 train to London Victoria or hourly thereafter. 50 minutes journey time.