No.39: Reigate

This was a close one – I nearly failed to do a trip this week after I set out to go to a small town called Gomshall in Surrey.

A quick glimpse at the route made me think that this would be simple enough, but I was wrong…

I left London with a three train itinerary, changed trains twice and missed the third – and most crucial – train, ending up stranded in Redchurch where I was told by a friendly railway worker that the next train to Gomshall wouldn’t arrive for 2 hours.

And now a picture of a gate…

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A moment later a return train to East Croydon pulled in so I stepped onto it and sat down, annoyed and ready to go back to London.

One quick self-administered-motivational-talk later, I jumped off again… Because failure wasn’t an option.

Looking around, I spotted a sign saying ‘visit Reigate Hill’ and with no reasonable argument as to why I shouldn’t, I jumped the train to Reigate.

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Heading out of Reigate station and turning right, I made my way to what I correctly assumed was Reigate Hill and ended out in some very quiet and beautiful woodland – with no directions and no inclination to look any up – I just let myself amble around, which was lovely.

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Pretty soon, the woodland spat me out onto a popular path, which led to Reigate Fort – part of the defences for London built by the government in 1898 under threat of invasion from France and decommissioned in 1906 because France didn’t get around to it.

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The views from the fort are pretty far-reaching and spectacular (for the south!).

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I carried on until I reached a folly that I saw in the original advertisement in Redchurch station and stopped to appreciate the view over Surrey (and nibble at some cookies I picked up en route)

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From here I continued down the hill on a chalky path, confident that I was in no need of directions… I was right!!

To top things off, on the way back down,  I spotted a sign that rubbed my ego up the right way…

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45 minutes later, I was back in London feeling triumphant and wondering how I was ever going to make this trip sound interesting… And here we are…

 

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