A Midsummer’s Day in the Surrey Hills.

Posted on 07/07/2019 By

Midsummer’s Day in the Surrey Hills.

A view across the Surrey Hills on a Midsummer's Day.

The Surrey Hills.

It’s Midsummer’s Day in the Surrey Hills. Not that Bobby would know. Listening to Robert Elms on Radio London, we will be lucky to see him vertical by lunchtime.

Bobby: “I ‘erd that. That’s it. Bleeding cheek. The sun is out and we are heading for the hills to write a story about Midsummer’s Day in Paradise”

And so we did. Parking at Denbies Hillside National Trust (NT) car park and noting that many locals insist on calling it “Ranmore Common”… (Bobby does, too!).

In his NT volunteer mode, it is officially Denbies Hillside and nothing to do with the vineyard.

Sunshine following lots of rain is a wonderful combination. The countryside bursts into lush vegetation. The greenest green you can ever imagine. The wild grasses waft in the breeze and its close to heaven up here looking down on the Weald. Across to Leith Hill and the South Downs beyond.

Looking south across the Weald. Small gap, two thirds to the right, is Leith Hill. You can see the Tower. The hill heading down to the middle of the picture is Redlands. At the foot lies South Holmwood and Laurel Cottage. Far beyond is the South Downs, towards Chanctonbury Ring.

Looking south across the Weald. Small gap, two thirds to the right, is Leith Hill. You can see the Tower. The hill heading down to the middle of the picture is Redlands. At the foot lies South Holmwood and Laurel Cottage. Far beyond is the South Downs, towards Chanctonbury Ring.

Closer than you think to heaven, for here is a bench Bobby has never noticed before. Dedicated to John and Diana Hargreaves, who once lived next to us in Dorking. He the retired Canon of Sevenoaks. Living next to the Ball family. It inevitably became “Canon and Ball”. It’s many years since they passed and we were pleased to see them remembered in such a beautiful place, together with the inscription from Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. Sung here by Maddy Prior. (Diddley loved her).

 

Bertie sitting on a bench look south west over the Surrey Hills. The bench in inscribed "Pilgrims come wind come weather".

Looking south west.

Close up of the inscription on the bench "Pilgrims come wind come weather".

The Pilgrim’s Progress.

The other side of the bench showing the inscription: "In loving celebration of John and Diana Hargreaves".

Old friends… John and Diana.

Close up of Bertie sitting on the bench.

Heading west.

Bertie on a gate overlooking the Denbies hillside.

The classic view of Denbies Hillside. Below is Landbarn Farm, the local HQ of the NT. You can just see the road leading to it. Right through the middle runs the railway line to Guildford. Once described by Michael Portillo as one of the most beautiful lines in Britain.

Bertie on a bench looking at the view south west towards Hindhead and Blackdown.

Heavenly view south west towards Hindhead and Blackdown.

Bertie sat on a bench looking south towards Leith Hill and the Greensand

Looking south towards Leith Hill and the Greensand

Wild Rose.

Wild Rose.

Wild Rose

Sometimes hidden from me
in daily custom and in trust,
so that I live by you unaware
as by the beating of my heart,
Suddenly you flare in my sight,
a wild rose looming at the edge
of thicket, grace and light
where yesterday was only shade,
and once again I am blessed, choosing
again what I chose before.

Wendell Berry

Pyramidal Orchid.

Pyramidal Orchid.

The wild grasses and the North Downs Railway Line. The Flying Scotsman roared through here in June.

The wild grasses and the North Downs Railway Line. The Flying Scotsman roared through here in June.

Hillside track running between green trees and bushes.

The Butterfly Downs.

Marbled White Butterfly. Brown wings spread open, with white spots marbling them.

A Marbled White.

Thyme. Delicate purple flowers on a green bush.

Thyme.

A White, Wild Rose, in amongst the grass.

Wild Rose.

Bertie sat on top of a partially open gate. He is looking down the hill, we are facing him looking up the hill.

Heading north, back to the car park.

Abinger Roughs.

On the way back, we stopped at our other favourite place and view. “Diddleys View” at Abinger Roughs. Where we sat down to write this little story.

Abinger Roughs. Diddley's View. Bertie is sat on the Diddley's Bench enjoying the view.

Diddley’s View, Abinger Roughs.

Close up of Bertie on Diddley's Bench. In front of him is a thermal water bottle, to his side an open book, face down, entitled "Don't need the Sunshine" by John Osborne.

Simple pleasures. A book to read. The Ladies’ World Cup later. Bangers and Mash in between. Posh sausages, Paul Rankin, from Waitrose. No work. No hoovering. No cares for a while. Just a little serenity at Diddley’s View on Midsummer’s Day.

Shot looking over Bobby's shoulder showing mainly his hat and his glasses as he enjoys the view over Abinger Roughs.

Finding serenity at Diddley’s View on Midsummer’s Day.

Lighting a Candle for Diddley.

Bertie sat with a candle lit for Diddley in front of him, enjoying the scent of some colourful Sweet Peas in a vase.

The first Sweet Peas were always given to Diddley. The first ones have stronger, longer stems and seem to have more intense perfume… or is it just the joy of one of nature’s most gloriously
floriferous perfumes back for a few weeks.
– – – – –

Countryside    


  1. Avatar David Birdsall says:

    It was so lovely to stop and share a few words with you on Sat 29th as you and bertie took shelter from the midday sun. He truly is a very kind bear….

  2. Avatar Phil Barnett says:

    There is so much beauty in the countryside around Dorking that one can never tire of the stunning views all year round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: