Today started off a little overcast, but Carol Kirkwood promised that it would brighten up quickly and the sun would shine. There aren’t many weather forecasters that I trust, but Carol is “Queen of the weather. The kids and I had planned to go for a little stroll up a gentle hill today. So off we set and when we arrived at our destination sure enough the clouds had gone and the sun was out. I bet you’re wondering where we went, well I’ll tell you. Box Hill and Leith Hill. Just little, small hills? We parked the car in the Stepping Stones car park at the bottom, because it had been a while since we parked there. Last time we were there it was New Years Day and there was a Fun Run going on. In my opinion those are 2 words that should NEVER go together “Fun” and “Run”. But today there were no runners, and just some walkers out for a bit of exercise.
As the water was low in the river, we were able to walk across the stepping stones to the other side. If the river is too high then the stepping stones are covered and you have to use the bridge to the left. I am pleased to report than no one fell in. A miracle really, especially for George. He is drawn to water and always ends up soaking. But today he stayed dry. Maybe he’s growing up?
The walk up was very hard. George seemed to find it fairly easy and walked way ahead, but stopped to let Emily and I catch up. I’m used to walking, and have walked up Box Hill via the bridal path before, and that is steep, but that goes straight up and is roughly the same gradient all the way up. I found this route today challenging. Emily on the other hand really struggled. She’s not the sporty type and apart from walking a couple of miles to school, and then back again she doesn’t really do any other exercise. She’s skinny, but not very fit. Poor little love. The path up was very twisty turny, like a twisty turny thing. And because of all the vegetation was very difficult to figure out how far up you were. Some places had steps, which were all of different heights and other places were just a slope to climb. I stayed with Emily to give her encouragement. She was very glad when we finally reached the top. I thought for a minute that she was going to burst into tears because it was really hard work. When we got to the top, we found the View Point and all sat and then laid down on the grass. Our wellies came off and we aired our feet.
The views up the top were amazing, and it was well worth the walk up. Although next time I don’t think Emily will be so keen. Once we had all rested, we put our wellies back on and went to use the facilities before heading back down the same route. Going down was much easier, and no one had to stop for a rest.
We then got back in the car and headed off to Leith Hill. It’s not far from Box Hill, and in fact you can actually see it from the View point, that is it you have some really good binoculars. We arrived just in time to have our picnic lunch, in the grounds below Leith Tower. It was still very sunny and there was a very welcome breeze blowing because you are so high up. Once we’d eaten our lunch we went exploring. First of all we went up the tower.
There are just over 70 steps up to the top. I started to count them, but got distracted and then lost count. On the top of the tower they have 2 telescopes, so you can see so much further. Emily and I were watching the aeroplanes at Gatwick Airport taxing, taking off and landing. “Oh there’s a British Airways plane”, “I can see and Easyjet one”, we even spotted a plane that we call a Rudolf aeroplane because it’s got a red nose. It’s actually Norwegian Airlines. When you’re at the top of the tower you are higher than if you stood on top of the Shard. We then walked back down the steps of the tower, bought some biscuits from the shop and then went on another little walk. We followed the “Green Arrows”, which is a lovely medium length walk. Nothing too difficult, a few ups and downs, but nothing like we climbed during the morning. Most of it was under tree cover which was good to find some shade.
We worked our way back to the car park and made our way back home. We were all exhausted but had loads of fun. That’s another couple of National Trust places I can tick off in the book that we’ve visited this year. We all slept very well.