Day 5 on the Pilgrims Way

Blatchford Down
My day began in Abinger Hammer, where I climbed towards Blatchford Down. The path wound through hollows and under yew trees. I used my walking pole and a wooden stick for support.

At the top, I rested on two benches and enjoyed a wide view of the valley. I had crossed a railway line earlier and could see tiny trains below. The view was mostly trees, bushes, fields, and distant hills. A group of about twenty walkers approached, so I moved on. One of them said, ‘You could have charged rent for those seats.’

Most of the day was spent walking along the ridge. The path was often through trees. I noticed mainly beech and yew. Sometimes there was a view, and in places, I could see chalk tracks. I passed about eight brick-faced WWII pillboxes with concrete interiors.

I met a few walkers, and everyone was friendly. I was limping slightly with my two sticks, and one couple said I was doing well. I rested my hurt knee at regular places..

It rained a little on and off. I lost my banana and orange but ate a brownie given to me by my host the previous night. It was very welcome.

The rain got steadier as I descended towards Dorking. The guidebook directed me off the North Downs Way, so I had to study the directions carefully on the descent.

Off the ridge, I found Ranmore Church, a lovely building with a spire and walls decorated with sea pebbles. It was closed, so I couldn’t get a stamp. I’m walking about six miles a day, not the ten or eleven I expected.

The rain got heavier as I descended near a large vineyard. I ended the day near Box Hill. I’ll start there again tomorrow but expect more rain. The jacket is fantastic but my waterproof trousers are not that waterproof.

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