May’s Walk in the sunshine took 13 of us from one of our favourite pubs in a new direction. Rather than exploring south as has often been our navigator David Owen‘s choice in the past from here, we crossed the A25 and made a slow descent past Vale Farm down a sheltered valley towards the North Downs. Taking a turn towards Westcott we soon found ourselves in the vicinity of The Pilgrim’s Way at the base of the Downs.
We followed this historic route through glorious open countryside before turning south towards the woods at Park Farm. From here we found ourselves heading for St John’s church which dates from Saxon times. With views over the North Downs it stands alone on a sloping hilltop well north of the hamlet of Wotton itself. Sadly it was locked as we past so we were unable to investigate this the burial place of generations of Evelyns from nearby Wotton House including the grave of diarist John Evelyn, who died in 1706. We were reliably informed though that Evelyn himself probably planted some of the large trees that we found ringing the leafy churchyard.
The Wotton Hatch though was most certainly open and served us all a memorable post walk lunch. Thanks to David for a great walk and to Peter Wall for his photo memories of it.
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