25th to 26th April 2015: Spring Weekend in the Surrey Hills

This overnight trip stayed at Puttenham Eco Camping Barn, an innovative, environmentally friendly, converted 18th century corn barn with well-equipped kitchen, solar-heated showers etc. With such luxury, ‘camping barn’ is really a misnomer, though the lack of heating in the sleeping area makes it perhaps more suitable for a summer or autumn weekend rather than a spring or winter one. The Barn is situated in Puttenham village, opposite the Norman church and not far from the pub, ‘The Good Intent’, where we ate on the Saturday night.

Puttenham Eco Camping Barn

Puttenham Eco Camping Barn

Having walked in along the North Downs Way, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday the three of us (Nicola, Nigel and Don) started to explore the huge area of heath and woodland to the south and west of Puttenham – with glimpses of stately homes like Hampton Park, herds of roe deer and the strange former ‘estate village’ of Peper Harow.

The Camping Barn's kitchen (thanks to Stephen Chapman)

The Camping Barn’s kitchen (thanks to Stephen Chapman)

Further south, beyond the winding river Wey valley, lie the huge national nature reserves of Thursley and Ockley Commons, for which alas we had no time. Work calls! So instead, on the Sunday afternoon we had to make our way back below the North Downs and along the Wey South Path to Guildford for our train.


About Humphrey Southall

Director, Great Britain Historical GIS; Reader in Geography, University of Portsmouth
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