Saturday, 24 December 2011

A walk around The Devils Punchbowl

Carol really is spoiling me rotten here, my trousers are getting tighter by the minute, and I need to go on a diet when I get back. It's a lovely morning so we went for a walk. The Devils Punchbowl is a large natural amphitheatre and beauty spot near Hindhead. The deep depression is believed to be the result of erosion caused by water beneath the sandstone causing it to collapse. First of all I wanted to get a photo of a place I spotted on the map, called Land of Nod. We went down a track but couldn't find it, then when I had given up looking I saw this sign. Carol screeched to a halt as I jumped out to photograph this sign.

Next we parked at the National Trust car park next to the cafe at Hindhead. We were lucky that the ticket machine was out of order so we didn't have to pay for parking. Carol had a map of the area which gave all the footpaths, so you can make a long walk, or just a short stroll. We went down towards the bottom of the Punch Bowl. Ahead of us we could see what looked like an artificial bank. An elderly couple were walking close by so I asked them what it was in the distance. The man said it is the old A3 trunk road, which they have now dug up and covered over to restore it to it's natural state. I decided to climb up for a closer look.

Carol waits for me.

This used to be the main A3 trunk road between London and Portsmouth, now it is no longer required because they have built a new twin tunnel directly underneath here. They have laid a membrane over the ground and will scatter tons of seeds over it so the natural plants will grow over and cover it up.

We walked down into the bottom of the Punchbowl where we had to negotiate some quite boggy ground to cross the stream. With all the rain we had yesterday it was very muddy. Unfortunately Carol lost her footing and just managed to stop herself from falling on her face in it, oooops, shouldn't laugh.

A bit further on we crossed the stream by this little wooden bridge.

And look what we found, Hindhead Youth Hostel. No one at home today. Vehicle access is by a rough track, 4 x 4's will cope better with it.

Trumpet shaped mushrooms.

There are no proper roads here, just tracks, this is Highcombe Farm.

Next door is Gnome Cottage.

A few ponies are wandering about, keeping the grass tidy.

Back over the stream a bit further on and we get to Keepers Cottage

A memorial stone.

We sat on a bench here and had our packed lunch. Over there in the distance you can see the covered over A3 where we were earlier. It's amazing to think we are sitting on the top of the longest road tunnel in the UK, at 1.25 miles long. It cost 371 million pounds to build the four mile bypass including the tunnel, and was opened in July this year.

Carol does a lovely salad box, yum. Cheese, lettuce, coleslaw, potato salad, tomato, grapes, cucumber and quich.

There was an hour to kill before we went home so we paid a visit to a big garden centre to have a nosey round. I headed for the farm shop to see if they were reducing anything, a habit I can't get out of ha ha, no too early. Then we meandered around a bit more, Carol said she was going to sit in the car, so I took another look in the farm shop. I timed it right, I got a tub of cream for 25p, naughty I know, and also a brocolli in cheese sauce meal, reduced from £2.00 to 50p, I can eat that at Oxford.
Tonight's meal was my favourite, loads of vegetables. Now watching tele. Toodle pip.


  1. Happy Happy Christmas Ilona Looks great where you are. I'm pretty sure the farm is the old home of Monica Edwards they childrens story writer,mostly pony stories. Beautiful part of the world. Enjoy your stay,relax,eat well ,have a fabulous time with your friend. God Bless.

  2. Sounds lovely, I love the names - land of nod and gnome cottage!

    I read about the new tunnels and the A3 a couple of months ago in the news and it sounded like a great plan!

    Hope you've had a great weekend :)

  3. Merry Xmas Ilona,thank you for showing those lovely photo's,and i just want to say i have really enjoyed reading your Blog,you are a wonderful Lady!a very Happy New Year from Carol in a very Hot Adelaide,Australia,xx

  4. It looks like lovely countryside. How far is it from where you live?


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