Louise and I joined the first leg of the WI Walks Summer Walking Challenge – the first section of the North Downs Way. The walk was from Farnham to Guilford, and, as this National group were crossing Tilly Widgets territory (they had to pick up a rail replacement service bus at Farnborough Main), it seemed an ideal opportunity to join them. WI Walks was founded by Anna Kidd and Louise from N1W1 last year when they walked the Thames Path in eight days for the WI Centenary. but it’s open to all members up and down the country.
This year they’re walking the North Downs way from Surrey to Kent in separate stages on weekends throughout the summer. You can catch up with their itinerary here on Facebook at The WI Walks https://www.facebook.com/thewomensinstitutewalks/or on Twitter at @WIWalks https://twitter.com/TheWIWalks or their website https://thewiwalks.wordpress.com.
The route is ten miles long and starts from the new North Downs Way sign just outside Farnham station. It was fairly easy to follow and passed through some lovely countryside, including the Hogs Back, from which on a fine day has views across to London (which this wasn’t by the time we got there), past Watts Gallery and into Guildford on River Wey. We stopped to eat with our packed lunch with a drink in a lovely little pub called The Good Intent in Puttenham, then again for coffee in Guildford, but only after we’d visited the Lululemon shop next door! The day passed quickly with lots of chat and new friendships were made. If you’re able to pick up of the legs, its a great way to meet other WI members.