Three riders met at Cheam Station at 09.00hrs: Bill Martin, Mick Curtis and myself leading the ride.
The weather was mild although overcast most of the morning, with winds from the west. We did, however, see some sunshine on our return journey, which was a bonus.
The first part of the ride took us out the usual way through the back of Ewell along the Hogsmill River and out to Chessington South via Horton Park and Castle Hill.
The route after crossing the Leatherhead Road then changed to a bridleway going under the A3 and coming out at the north east border of Claygate. After dropping south west across Claygate Common we headed over the railway and onto Arbrook Common, still in a southwesterly direction towards Esher Common, crossing the A244 just north of the A3 Oxshott roundabout. I then followed a route first mapped out by Mick O’Brian in the early 1990’s across Esher Common up and over the A3 and coming out on Sandy Lane on the outskirts of Cobham.
After passing through a few public rights of way paths we found ourselves entering Cobham from a lane just to the south side of the local Waitrose. From there it was a quick turn into Bridge Street then across the River Mole into Downside and to The Medicine Garden, just up on the right beyond The Plough Inn.
At The Medicine Garden we met with Barry Gregory for tea and what seemed to me to be a local ‘Crufts’ meeting judging by the amount of dogs and owners in the ‘eating establishment!’
Our return journey was via Cobham Park Road, using the bridleway alongside the Beaumont Plantation and back over the River Mole to Stoke D’Abernon. After crossing Blundel Lane which runs between Stoke D’Abernon and the Oxshott Road, we headed right onto the mild climb of Bridle Lane and then into Prince’s Coverts land for a little splashing around in the mud by way of a short cut to get us back to Telegraph Hill/Leatherhead Road. We crossed the road and followed the usual route through Ashtead Common, Horton Park, the Hogsmill and back through Nonsuch Park to Cheam.
Time 3:00 hours