Portraits of Surrey Towns and Villages: Pirbright

With a short description and ten photos I hope to provide an portrait of the towns and villages of Surrey. This work will keep me busy for a long time, which is the purpose. Needing to visit places and take some reasonable photos means that it will be an occasional series.

First in the series of portraits is Pirbright. With two village greens, either side of the A324 that divides the village, a large wildlife pond with a variety of ducks, and an old established cricket ground makes Pirbright a place for visitors to enjoy. Two village pubs, the White Hart and The Cricketers on the Green can supply sustenance.

Pirbright is a parish in Guildford District. It has just under 4,000 inhabitants. Near the village is an animal diseases research establisment – Pirbright Institute, and an Army Training Centre – ATC Pirbright.

The well-tended green is part of Pirbright Common. In 1953 the Parish Council made an island in the pond, planted the willow and introduced the ducks. Baron Henry de Worms lived at Henley Park nearby and was created Lord Pirbright by Queen Victoria. He and his wife presented the hall and recreation ground to the village to commemorate the accession of King Edward VII in 1901.

Pirbright is a great place for walks. The Parish Council has seven walks, from 2, 3, 4, to 5 miles, and Explore Surrey has a map and information in a 4 mile walk Pirbright Circular walk.

The photos that follow aim to give a visual portrait of Pirbright. Begining the tour with a view of the village green and village sign.

Walking over the green to the village pond, there are benches to sit and watch the island home to ducks, geese, moorhens, many of which enjoy wandering over the green.

Turn left to walk to the cricket green where, at weekends, Pirbright Cricket Club play.

To your left is Lord Pirbright’s Hall, built to commemorate the accession of King Edward VII in 1901. Click on the images to expand to read the inscription over the door, and on the drinking fountain statue, presented to the village by Lord Pirbright in 1897 in celebration of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee.

Cross over the road into The Green, surrounded by historic houses.

A short walk beyond into Church Lane will bring you to a churchyard with a large Dartmoor granite memorial to Henry Morton Stanley, of ‘Dr Livingstone, I presume’ fame with.

The memorial is in the churchyard of St Michael and All Angels Church. This ends my brief portrait of Pirbright.

Following new rules for my daily walk

The rules for the coronavirus containment say I can now drive to a place where I can take excercise.

My exercise routine is generally to take a walk in the countryside, where I can enjoy nature and so on. That countryside excercise has mostly been walks over our local heathland. Now that I can go further afield, I drove to Chobham to walk in its 58 acres of Water Meadows SANG. I parked in the car park – two hours free.

Don’t laugh, I know going to Chobham from Lightwater isn’t what you might call a long way away. It did mean, though, that I walked in the Water Meadows for the first time. Surprising you might think, never having been to the Water Meadows before. I do have the Brentmoor Heath, Folly Bog and Hangmoor Hill on my doorstep.

Anyway, let’s get to my Water Meadows experience. It’s far more extensive than I’d imagined. The sign says the meadows are 23.5 hectacres – can’t say that conjures up a size in my mind, but 58 acres, now you’re talking.. Good flat walking, the Mill Bourne stream with a number of bridges to enjoy, nice wide open meadows. All round a pleasant place to excercise. Here are a few photos,

The pleasures on my latest short walk

The government recommends I should take daily short walk for fitness. I know I should. Can’t say that I do. Am currently cleaning our conservatory gutters, and generally titivating it, inside and out – which involves lots of stopping for cups of tea.

I did take a short walk a day or two ago, and was delighted to see lots of rhododendrons and azaleas in full bloom. I’m sure you’ll have worked out that I’m mildly addicted to them. The purple one is in our garden, therefore, I know it’s name – Purple Passion.

Good news, wild orchids are showing themselves alongside the heathland track on Hangmoor Hill. Some of the London skyscrapers can now be seen fro Hangmoor Hill through the improvement in air quality.

That’s enough for now. A few of my cacti have come into flower, meaning lots my titivating to do. [click on images to expand]

Something new, walking on the Malvern Hills

On the weekend just past we climbed the Malvern Hills, We didn’t quite reaching British Camp, the wind was too strong and jolly cold.

I’m amazed to say that this was the first time we’d climbed the Malvern Hills. We’ve visited the area reasonably often in the past, including attending the Malvers Show a year or so ago.

We hadn’t realised what splendid views were to be had from the hills, nor had we imagined how popular they were with visitors of all ages, many in full adventure walking garb.

Definitely a place to visit again, next time on a less windy day. Here are a couple of photos from the less windy side of the hills.

A Foosh is limiting my blogging

What is a Foosh? It’s the medical shorthand for a Fall on an Outstreched Hand. In my case the fall resulted in broken bones in my wrist.

Most reactions are, firstly sympathy, and then silly boy. I know you’ll be curious as to how it happened. This where the silly boy becomes true. Standing of on the lower step of a badly positioned step ladder, and reaching for Christmas decorations on the top shelf in our garage the ladder went one way and me the other. Result broken bones in my wrist.

One finger typing is annoying, so have been enjoying walks in and around home. Here’s a group of images from my walks.

Re the detention pond. I met a local parish councillor on one walk, and she told me that the inlet and outlet of the detention pond are blockage free, it’s just that the ground is saturated meaning the water takes time to drain away.

Feast and famine on my heathland walk

Yesterday I walked from Lightwater to the Royal Logistic Corps Museum in Deepcut on the heathland track alongside the Bisley and Pirbright ranges. A very pleasant walk it was too, just a lovely temperature for walking.

On this walk, which I do frequently, I rarely meet a soul. Yesterday I encountered eleven people, it’s the most I’ve encountered for ages. Therefore feast.

I met all the Belted Galloway cattle relaxing at the top of Hangmoor Hill. Feast again,as I normally only see a couple of them grazing in the undergrowth.

Now for the famine, and here I’m not sure of my ground. I was expecting to see fungi, but saw none. I wonder, is that because it’s too early for them? I’d have thought the recent damper weather would’ve encouraged their sprouting.

Was thinking of going out, changed my mind

Yesterday I wrapped up warm to walk down to Lightwater, for my appointment with the excellent dental hygienist at Orchard Cottage Dental.

I feel sure the exercise did me good, though the memory of the penetrating cold wind has stuck with me. So. I’m not going out today.

I did take some photos, which I thought you might like to see. [Click on image to expand]

Burn off Christmas calories with a Winter Walk in Lightwater Country Park

Surrey Heath Borough Council announce that,

The Surrey Heath Walking for Health Scheme is delighted to announce that it has been chosen as one of five locations in the UK to be a host of the Ramblers’ annual Festival of Winter Walks.

The cold crisp days of winter are a magical time to go walking, with transformed scenery and spectacular early sunsets – it’s a great way to escape the demands of the festive season for a few hours too.

Surrey Heath Borough Council (SHBC) is pleased to invite people to join them for a short seasonal stroll in beautiful Lightwater Country Park during the Festival of Winter Walks, which runs from 23 December to 7 January.

The Festival of Winter Walks, supported this year by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, is now in its 30th year – so the Ramblers know a thing or two about the joys of getting out and about in the colder weather.  The details of the Festival walk in Surrey Heath are:

Lightwater Country Park New Year’s Resolution Walk

  • Date: 1 January 2018
  • Start time: 10 am
  • Starting Point: Lightwater Country Park Cafe
  • Distance: 2km
  • Difficulty: Moderate

Description: The walk will follow the 2km Heathland trail which takes in ponds, heathland and woodland as well as the beautiful Curley Hill which boasts views of Ascot Racecourse, Wembley Stadium and the Crystal Palace transmitter! Why not bring your family and friends along for a sociable and rewarding morning out in the park?

Everyone that takes part in the walk will be given a pedometer to record their number of steps, as well as a family friendly quiz to complete, a walk brochure and stocking full of duck feed for the ponds.

On returning to the cafe, every walker will automatically be entered into a prize draw. Prizes include a £50 Amazon voucher and family swim at the Arena Leisure Centre. Walkers can then share stories and wind down with a free jacket potato with filling in the Lightwater Country Park cafe.

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