Tuesday 2 March

Oooooh the excitement, a train ride! I was at Coulsdon South at 9.30 and at first I was the only passenger. By the time the train arrived, there were 7 of us. This is on the first train after cheap fares kick in, and in normal times the platform would be heaving. I got on a 12 carriage train, and I think there was one other person in my entire carriage. At East Croydon, this was the scene:

Normally one of the busiest stations in London. Amusingly all the trains were running on time. Presumably because there is no scrimmage of passengers.

I cannot see how this is sustainable. There are more staff than passengers. Today we started our walk in East Grinstead. The Worth Way runs from there to Three Bridges along a railway track closed in 1967 and opened as a walking and cycling path in 1979.

On the left of the sign you can see Crawley Down which is about half way along. The track goes through an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB), quite wooded in parts, and with many birds twittering merrily at the moment. We saw snowdrops and catkins and even some wild daffodils, which are smaller and daintier than the cultivated variety.

About 4 miles along the track you come to the village of Crawley Down, and we had been alerted to the fact that there was a cafe selling take away lunches, so we decided to treat ourselves instead of the usual picnic. I ordered a breakfast baguette, and I think it would have fed a family of four. It was about a foot long, and contained bacon, sausage, egg and avocado. Utterly delicious, so I did my patriotic duty and ate the lot. Resisting an overwhelming desire to lie down in the sun for a nap, we walked on via Rowfant where the original station still stands. It was built on the edge of the Rowfant estate in 1855.

As the Worth Way is a shared use track, we had cyclists and a few horse riders too, but it was not a problem, at least on a weekday. It is fairly wide and flat, and much less muddy than our recent walks have been, which was a pleasant change.

St Nicholas church at Worth is very pretty but of course closed. Masses of snowdrops in the churchyard, so lovely. It is apparently over 1000 years old and has a very unusual apse. It seems to have been built in a forest and was perhaps associated with a hunting lodge. It is still in use as a parish church. We could not go in, this is an internet picture.

The last part of the walk is through the suburbs of Crawley to Three Bridges station: 8.2 miles, we were very pleased with our day.

And finally……..this was forwarded to me today, another Flashmob and so hilarious!

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