What to See in England
By Gordon Home
Public Domain Books
=How to get there.=–Train from Waterloo. L. and S.W. Railway. =Nearest Station.=–Haslemere. =Distance from London.=–43 miles. =Average Time.=–1-1/2 hours.
1st 2nd 3rd =Fares.=–Single 7s. 2d. 4s. 6d. 3s. 7d. Return 12s. 6d. 8s. 0d. 6s. 8d.
=Accommodation Obtainable.=–"Old Swan Hotel,” “The Hindhead Beacon,” “White Horn Hotel,” Haslemere. “Hindhead Hotel,” “Royal Anchor Hotel,” Liphook, etc.
The Hindhead district, not long ago one of the wildest in the home counties, has of late been much encroached upon by the erection of modern villas and houses. A few years back there was scarcely a vestige of human habitation to be seen from the road skirting the “Devil’s Punchbowl,” or the descent on the other side, but since the time Professor Tyndall built his house there, the aspect of the country has been in places considerably changed.
From Haslemere Station one may take a direct road to the Hindhead summit, but the most interesting route is through Shottermill, about a mile distant (see p. 64). From here an easy walk takes one into the main Portsmouth road close to the Seven Thorns Inn, where there is a long ascent to the summit of Hindhead, with its inn, the Royal Huts Hotel. Close by is the village of Grayshott, now fast growing into a place of considerable residential importance. Following the road Londonwards, one arrives in a few hundred yards at the very highest point of the road over Hindhead, after which it drops gently, skirting the magnificent hollow known as the “Devil’s Punchbowl.” On the left-hand side, in the loneliest part of the road, is the gruesome tombstone which marks the spot where an unknown sailor was murdered and robbed while tramping from Portsmouth to London. This stone and its surroundings, it will be remembered, are mentioned in Nicholas Nickleby, in the account of the walk of Nicholas and Smike from London to Portsmouth. Close by, on the opposite side of the road, there is a rough sandy track–once the old coach road–which leads up to the stone cross on the extreme summit of the Hindhead–900 feet above sea-level–where the murderers of the sailor were executed, and hung in chains. The view from this point, aptly named Gibbet Hill, is quite magnificent for Surrey.
On the northern slope of Blackdown–the high ridge of hills towards the south-east–is Aldworth House, where Tennyson resided in his latter years.
[Illustration: THE PORTSMOUTH ROAD.
Near the highest point, where it crosses Hindhead.]