Lord Tennyson’s Temple of the Winds and Black Down

Sat 03 Jan 2020

We are off to Black Down the highest hill in the historic county of Sussex. The 280m high Down is located in the Western Weald on the borders of Hampshire and West Sussex. We will follow in the steps of the Victorian Poet Laureate Lord Alfred Tennyson. Our journey begins in Haslemere.


  • Black Down 260m
  • Temple of the Winds
  • Wooded Landsapes
  • Ancient Drove Roads
  • Western Weald
  • Fernhurst Village Green
  • Rare Buzzards
  • Wildlife species

One of the most wooded landscapes in Britain, home to rare wildlife species. Buzzards have been breeding in the area for a number of years, but red kites have not yet colonised the area. An historic living landscape dating back to medieval times, an island of tranquillity in south-east England. Very few folk live here and the absence of main roads contribute to low noise levels in the area. Perfect for mindfulness and relaxation.

En route to the Black Down we will wander through rural commons, lanes and fields stopping for a picnic lunch in idyllic Fernhurst village green outside the Red Lion Public House. We will walk the ancient drove roads through the pine woods on top of the Down and we will find the ‘Temple of the Winds’ a striking stone seat with a stunning viewpoint with epic views south.

Other literary connections to the area are Sir Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, who lived in Haslemere. Novelist George Eliot had a cottage, Brookbank, on what was Shottermill Common, where she wrote most of Middlemarch.

Hiking information

Distance: 17 km (just over 10 miles) approx.
Elevation Gain: 469 metres
Estimated Duration* (approx): 5 hours for walking
Difficulty: Moderate (See link for AAA Hike Grading)

Travel logistics

Meetup Point: London Waterloo Station
09:00 Meetup Time
09:20 Depart Meetup Point for the train

00:25 Train Departs from Waterloo
10:06 Train Arrives at Haslemere
10:10 Walk Departs
18:15 Return Train Departs Haslemere*
19:57 Return Train Arrives London Waterloo*

* Return train times are subject to the duration of the hike

Once the hike has finished we aim to have at least 30-50 min free to enjoy a drink before the group’s departure for London. We are travelling on group rail tickets, but we can also organise a later departure if there are sufficient people interested.

Travel to the Meetup point

Please allow ample time to complete your journey and arrive on time when joining group hike. We publish the transport departure time and specifically the departure time from the Meetup Point. If you are running late please contact the event host to let them know.

If you don’t already use Citymapper you might find this a useful app to plan the best route and give you the best indication when to leave to ensure you don’t miss the group’s departure.

£28 per person

Price includes

  • Guided Hike by a trained Mountain Leader with Wilderness First Aid Training
  • Return rail fare to and from the stated destination (subject to the ticket purchased)
  • Event planning and administration
  • PayPal fee

Price does not include

  • Lunch
  • Souvenirs
  • Entrance fees to any attractions you wish to visit
  • Good jokes

*Attendees not requiring a return rail ticket from London or who are meeting us at the Hike Start point the price is only £10 pp

To book your place

To book and confirm your place on all Day Events please do so via our Meetup site. Simply click on the event link below. If you don’t already have a Meetup Profile, don’t worry they are quick and easy to create and open up a world of events for you to join. Then simply RSVP and you will appear on the guestlist. You’ll be able to communicate directly with the event host and other participants as well. Payment is via PayPal which accepts credit and debit cards as well. If you are bringing and paying for a second person please add the number of guests accordingly.

AAA Outdoor & Hiking – Adventure Travel

London, GB
25,747 Hiking Enthusiasts

AAA – Action Adventure ActivityOne of London’s most established and active international hiking groups.Our aim is simple:To get outdoors and visit new places, enjoy the be…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Useful information

If you have any questions relating to what to bring or wear then please check out our General Information pages, specifically our kit list page. Many of the other frequently asked questions and answers can be found under our FAQ section.

  • How do I book my place?
  • What should I wear?
  • How fit do I need to be?
  • Can I bring my dog?
  • Are children allowed?
  • What happens if I need to cancel and can I get a refund?
  • What if the weather isn’t very nice?
  • How do I find the group leader and meeting place?
  • Who buys the rail ticket?
Jez Malins
Event Host, Hike Leader & First Aider
Event Details
× How can we help you? Available from 09:00 to 18:00