My Favourite Places: Walking to Horsley
I can’t believe it was back in June that I started the My Favourite Places series with a post about Kilmardinny Loch! As I visited my Nanny at the start of August to celebrate her 70th birthday (check out the cake I made here), I thought I’d write about one of my favourite walks near where she lives.
My Nanny has lived in her current house for all of my life and every time that I can remember visiting, we’ve walked from her house into the village of East Horsley. It’s not far (just a couple of kilometres total), but I have many many fond childhood memories of wandering through the little lanes in all different seasons.
As I only walk the route a couple of times a year, it means I can really appreciate the changes in the path over time. It’s definitely my favourite around about this time of year (August - October) as it’s still relatively warm and free of rain - perfect for taking lots of photos!
At this time of year, the paths are lined with bushes full of juicy blackberries. It’s always been a tradition to stain our hands by picking as many berries as possible, and then have my Nanny’s signature apple and blackberry crumble for dessert (it’s absolutely delicious and tastes so much better with freshly handpicked blackberries!). Apples also grow on the trees in the area and there are loads of little acorns on oaks too!
There are a couple of old farmhouses that look onto the first part of the route. Surrounding them are fields full of sheep and horses, and not far beyond is the train line which leads to the town of Guilford (another place I often visit when I’m staying with Nanny). It was always fun to race to be on the bridge above the line as the trains came whizzing by!
The path then narrows and follows the train line to Horsley station. At one point it branches off deeper into the countryside, where I once went on a fun midnight geocaching trail with my cousins (it was pitch black and kind of spooky, but so much fun!). We had one tiny torch to illuminate the reflective strips which guided us through an otherwise unmarked path through the forest - it was a relief that the torch battery didn’t die!
In case you didn’t know, geocaching is a big treasure hunt sort of thing which is popular around the world. It’s really simple and definitely worth a try if you’ve never done it before (especially the night caches, although I’d probably suggest having more than just one torch with you!).
Anyway, if you stick with the main path which follows the train line, it eventually takes you to the village of East Horsley. There are a variety of shops and cafes (and a playground too!) - Quaich in particular is brilliant. They have loads of cakes, awesome milkshakes and multiple different vegan milks for coffees etc. There’s also a simple Budgens store where we often go to pick up ingredients we forgot from the supermarket. Oh, and there’s a Chinese takeaway too (their food is delicious!)!
The way back to Nanny’s house is just the same route backwards (and it’s just as lovely both ways!). I love the beautiful variety of plants and wildlife (everything is so green) and I’d definitely recommend visiting the area if you ever have the chance! I’m looking forward to continuing to walk this route for years to come and I wonder how it will change in the future…
What are your favourite places to walk?