Spiky Sweet Chestnuts in October — Wild food foraging by bike
Includes a very steep uphill segment
You may need to push your bike.
117 yd in total
Mountain Biking Highlight (Segment)
Bike Touring Highlight
Katherine Moore planned a gravel ride.
June 9, 2020
Not to be confused with it’s conker-bearing cousin the horse chestnut, the sweet chestnut tree is the source of a well loved christmas treat. ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’ as the tune goes, comes from this species, thought to be introduced to the UK by the Romans.As a non-native, you won’t find it as widely spread as many other species, and typically more in parklands, cemeteries and some woods. Seek them out from September for their prickly husks, less spiky-looking than the horse chestnut and grouped in small clusters rather than as single nuts. Enjoy them roasted as a snack, or chopped up with brussel sprouts and bacon as a warming winter side dish. This route takes you from the train station in Guildford, easily accessible from London and the greater Surrey area, south over many common areas and woodlands where you’ll find sweet chestnut trees. Some in this region are hundreds of years old and have grown huge! Keep an eye out for these impressive trees as you pass through Chantry Wood, Unstead Wood, past Busbridge Lakes, Hydon Heath, Hambledon Common and the Hartwood plus many more. Enjoy miles of bridleway tracks, plus a few quiet lanes and a very short stretch of main road before following the river out of Guildford.