Statistics: 13.5 miles, ascent 1137′, descent 1281′
The previous evening we had reached our B&B, Highfield House, by walking to the top of the nearby Pewley Hill, leaving the North Downs Way. To return to the NDW the next morning, we walked through Pewley Down.
Leaving Pewley, we had a long, gentle descent to rejoin the North Downs Way.
We were followed by a delightful chorus of birdsongs as we moved along several woodland trails. At the pinnacle of another hill, sat St. Martha’s Hill Church with a commanding view of the area.
The forested trails eventually opened out to far-reaching views from Albury Downs. It is said that the chalk-filled earth of the North Downs
We soon arrived at Newland’s Corner with its visitor center and food kiosk.
A small monument across the car park reflected sentiments of awe inspired by this lovely countryside.
Soon, the path took us back into a wood.
In 1940 the North Downs became a vital area of national defense. As a final “stop line” against an anticipated German invasion into southern England, the Home Guard set up over 100 pillboxes across these hills to prevent German armies advancing to the north from reaching London. Over half of these still remain, reminding the English of those civilians who were willing to stand in the breach for the good of their country.
Several pillboxes were open to the public – with descriptive historical commentary. Visitors were allowed to climb inside – which I could not resist…
The white chalk soil was an indicator that we were on the downs.
Our day’s walk was nearly finished as we spied the village of Dorking in the distance.
A very welcome food truck was along the trail, providing its tea and coffee to hikers, when we arrived at Ranmore.
To reach our night’s lodgings we descended through vineyards to Denbies Guest House and Wine Estate.
The Wine Estate and the food were quite a treat. Unfortunately, the owners were updating their grounds, surrounding the B&B with landscape construction and associated noise. Staying there one night was enough, although future lodgers will enjoy the completed project.