Walking through The Devil’s Punch Bowl

Local legend has it that a fight between the Devil and Thor made it. My mate thought it was more likely to be a satellite crater. A less interesting explanation is soil erosion.

Either way, The Devil’s Punch Bowl near Thursley in Surrey, is a huge great hole in the ground covered in gorse and fern and lined by trees. You can walk around it or through it.

It sits around halfway through a 10-mile-or-so walk from Milford to Haslemere, which can be found in the first volume of Time Out London book of Country Walks or online here.

The walk takes you through woods, across gorseland, sunken pathways, by a lake and through Thursley for a pint onto Haslemere for more pints and then the 50-minute train ride back into London Waterloo. It doesn’t feel as close to the capital as it is. And there’s the magic of it.

The walk begins at Milford station, just under an hour out of London Waterloo
And it soon takes you past this nice old house
And before long, you’re in among the brown fern and bracken and the silver birch trees
And yellow flowering gorse bushes
And here’s a ditch, god bless the ditch
It’s the first week in April and all the leaves are brown
Lightning strike?
Sand and gorse
A pint, or two, in Thursley
Thor, the man with the hammer
Down the sunken path
Who lives in a house like this?
Yes! Another ditch!
Trippy tree trunk
Surrey, in April. Not Scotland, but Surrey…
Another house with no neighbours
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Walking through The Devil’s Punch Bowl

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