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The Basingstoke Canal and the City of the Dead - 8.5 miles

  • Oct 26, 2013 · 11:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Two attractions for the price of one!
We start and end the walk on one of the most beautiful waterways in Britain, especially nice in Autumn as it is lined with fine woodlands.
Then we visit the London Necropolis - the Brookwood Cemetery. 

In the 19th century, London was growing at a huge rate - the population doubled from 1M to 2.3M in the first 50 years of the century - and London's cemeteries were bursting at the seams - literally - bodies were half buried and... well I won't go into details but you get the idea.
The Victorians decided to do something about it, and one result was a group of new London cemeteries, the 'Magnificent Seven', some of which are now very famous, such as Highgate Cemetey and Brompton Cemetery. However this did not fully solve the shortage of graves, and a more radical idea was put forward: to build a cemetery so huge it could service the metropolis for generations to come.
So the London Necropolis Company purchased 2000 acres of land near Woking and turned them into the World's largest cemetery - it is not anymore, but it is still the largest in Britain.
The cemetery had its own railway and London terminus at Waterloo Station, but ultimately it was not very successful, as it was just too far from London. Some land was then sold off, but today it still covers 500 acres of landscaped woodland.

People buried there include the artist John Singer Sargeant and the novelist Rebecca West. It contains sections allocated to different nationalities and religions, and a moving war cemetery, the largest in the UK.

Admission to Brookwood cemetery is free, except for guided groups, who are supposed to pay a fee, so we might have to enter in small groups. In fact you will be able to visit the cemetery at your own pace and we can all meet up again after about 30 mins.

We start the walk from the Bridge Barn pub near the centre of Woking and will walk along the canal to Brookwood; for lunch we can stop at the Hunters Lodge pub (Fullers London Pride, Sharps Doom Bar), a large pub who have an extensive menu apparently.

By car: parking is free at weekends in the Woking streets near the Bridge Barn, and there is a small car park in front of the pub - access it by driving past the hotel. Alternatively you can park in the streets in Horsell on the North bank of the canal, where there are also no weekend restrictions. Horsell is only a 5 minute walk from the start point.
By train: Woking train station is about a mile from the start point, and walking from the station to Bridge Barn Lane should be straightforward, as this involves only 2 main streets.

Usual £2 cost; dogs are not permitted in the cemetery but would be welcome on the canal walk. 

This will be the last long walk of the year from me, as the clocks change the next day - it should take about 4-5 hours, depending on how long we spend at the pub lunch and Brookwood, so we should be back in Woking by about 16:00. 

Contact number on the day is[masked]

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  • Jaana

    Thanks everyone thoroughly enjoyed my first ever ramble!

    October 27, 2013

  • Joanne

    Lovely walk, thanks Tom. Really nice along the canal, interesting cemetary, fab group and possibly a haunted pub to boot!

    October 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Haunted?? Did I miss something at lunchtime??

      October 27, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Or is it just because free meals kept appearing by magic?

      1 · October 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed what I did, sorry I missed Brookwood Cemetery. Thanks Tom for arranging.

    October 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hi Tom, he seems fine now but he was very odd in the pub. Very tense. He is normally very relaxed. I know this sounds strange but I did wonder if the pub we had lunch at had something paranormal about it???

      October 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Joanne also says the pub is spooky? What did I miss?

      October 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, I can go with my car, leaving from Croydon/Purley/Wallington if anyone wants to join me and help share cost. Just be warned I'll have the dogs in the car.

    October 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Tom,

      October 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      thank you for a fabulous day.

      October 26, 2013

  • Sue A

    Thanks Tom . Had a great time even though weather not the best but still great fun and a great bunch to share it with .

    October 26, 2013

  • James R.

    Good walk and really nice to meet meet everyone

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you all for coming on this somewhat damp day - but I think we were fairly lucky with the weather.
    For further information:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brookwood_Cemetery

    October 26, 2013

  • Niki K.

    Hi!
    Tom, sorry I missed you, got to the A3 with only the post code for directions when I noticed my Sat Nav had stopped working

    October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Jane tells me there is work on the train line, so there may be delays getting to Woking by train.
    Also, can anyone give her a lift from Twickenham or thereabouts?

    October 25, 2013

    • Jane

      Sorry, Tom. Won't be with y'all today as don't feel very well. See you next time- Jane

      October 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi all,
    for what it's worth, the weather forecast for tomorrow if for some light rain in the afternoon, but by and large a dry day.

    If you can't make the walk on the day, please update your RSVP to No, as this helps me manage the event.

    Contact number on the day is[masked]

    October 25, 2013

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