The North Downs Way National Trail offers walkers 153 miles of spectacular scenery, picturesque villages and glorious rolling countryside. But then you would expect nothing less from a route that passes through both the Surrey Hills and Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs). Short sections are open to horseriders and cyclists too.
There is always something new to explore on the North Downs Way. The route benefits from a wealth of wildlife, history, landscapes, attractions, villages and towns all waiting to be discovered.
With excellent public transport links to the trail (it is easily reached by train from London) and a wide choice of accommodation along the route there is plenty of opportunity to explore the North Downs Way whether on a day trip or a walking holiday.
And with a great range of circular walks guides it couldn’t be easier to enjoy a superb day out on the North Downs.
For further details on the North Downs Way National Trail why not visit www.nationaltrail.co.uk/northdowns or if you want to get in touch use the contact form on the website.
The Greensand Way follows the ridge of greensand rock across Surrey and Kent, to the edges of Romney Marsh and almost to the Kent coast. The Way takes its name from the layers of sandstone in each of which is found the green coloured mineral glauconite. The greensand ridge runs broadly parallel to and south of the North Downs ridge.
It traverses the Surrey Hills and Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Excellent views can be obtained of the North Downs and across to the Weald to the South. Although much of the route passes through quiet and almost remote areas, there are links to towns providing opportunities for accommodation and refreshment. Much of the walk is accessible by public transport.
In Surrey the Way passes the Devil’s Punch Bowl and crosses Hascombe Hill and Winterfold Heath then traverses the main Surrey tops of Pitch, Holmbury and Leith Hills, before descending north to Dorking. In Kent it crosses Toys and Ide Hills, descends to Sevenoaks Weald and crosses the Medway Valley to Yalding.
Find out more about the Greensand Way.
Distance: 5 miles
OS map: 186
OS grid reference:TQ021471
Refreshment stops: The Percy Arms in Chilworth offers good food and drink.
- With the Percy Arms behind you go right alongside the A248 for a few yards and pass an infant school. Turn immediately right on a narrow path that runs alongside it. Soon go between fields and cross a footbridge over a leat from the Tillingbourne to meet a T-junction. Turn left here and pass reminders that at one time this peaceful woodland employed around 400 people in the production of gunpowder. Finally this pleasant track ends at a wrought iron gate, once the works entrance. Turn right along the road and cross the Tillingbourne to meet Halfpenny Lane.
- Turn left here on a drive for 5 metres and then bear right on a sign posted steep and rocky footpath. At the end of this path turn left and enter a field by a post box and Public Footpath sign. Press on along the left hand side of this lovely undulating field and when passing old farm buildings in a dip maintain direction ahead along the hedged track. Ignore paths to left and right until Manor Farm is reached where the track ends abruptly.
- Go right over a stile and then follow the hedge on your left to maintain your original direction. Press on ahead along the well-defined path at a second field where soon you will catch a glimpse of Guildford Cathedral across the fields. Finally the path meets a stile, which you should cross to reach a quiet residential road. Turn right here and walk along the road for 12 metres. Then turn right up the track by a Public Footpath sign. Ignore side paths into Chantry Wood and continue until Chantry Cottage is reached on your right.
- Immediately after passing the cottage turn right on the broad track and keep to this as the route skirts dense woodland. At the crest of a fairly long rise you will be treated to a wonderful vista of Pewley Down. The track now goes downhill to meet the entrance to South Warren Farm. Ignore a path into woodland and press on ahead along the track that soon passes between attractive fields. At the far side of these fields we leave the track where it bends sharply left and we continue ahead up a path signposted ‘North Downs Way’. This paths leads through majestic woodland to meet a road.
- Turn left along the road for 10 metres and then turn right by Southernways Cottage onto the North Downs Way again. Keep to this sandy path and follow the NDW signs up hill to finally reach St Martha’s church. Circumnavigate the graveyard rightwards to reach a few welcome seats with distant views making your exertions well worthwhile.
- From these seats and with your back to the church, the route is downhill on a narrow path through the trees. Go straight ahead at path crossroads down a very steep path with some deep gullies caused by many pairs of feet and rainwater. Watch out for exposed tree roots as they conspire to trip you as the path descends to Chilworth Manor below. As the path levels out we meet a T-junction with a field gate ahead of you. Turn left along the narrow path that brings us gradually to the valley floor and maintain direction ahead when a farm track is met. Cross the Tillingbourne and continue ahead to a second bridge. Turn right just before this bridge and pass an information board explaining the gunpowder production process. Pass the ruins of the mill buildings and continue on this path with a mill leat on your left. At a clearing go left and cross the wooden footbridge over the water and retrace your steps back to the Percy Arms and the end of the walk.
Distance: 9 miles (14 kilometres)
OS grid reference:
Refreshment stops: Bel and The Dragon, Frensham Pond Hotel and the Frensham Pond
Visitor Centre snack bar all provide refreshments and have toilet facilities.
- From Visitor Centre turn right with lake on left. Skirt edge of car park and continue on path around lake. At road turn left then left again past frontage of Frensham Pond Hotel and continue along Pond Lane.Turn right along bridleway, ignore first path on left and continue ahead. At fork bear left by waymark post, uphill on narrow sunken track. Join drive and follow to road. Continue ahead along road past Simmondstone Lane. Bear right down bridleway. Pass house on left and continue along track. Cross bridge over stream and continue up path ahead. Join track and follow to road. Turn left down road then right along lane.
- Bear right down bridleway past Barford Mill. At the bend continue ahead along path. At road continue ahead along Whitmore Vale Road. Turn left on footpath uphill opposite ‘Woodland View’. Go through kissing gate then left along path. At fork keep right passing benches on left. Look out for gate about 10m uphill to left before end of open heathland area. Turn left along path to go through kissing gate and proceed along path between fences.
- Cross road and take footpath opposite across golf course. Cross tarmac road at metal way-mark and turn right following footpath down hill across fairway. Continue uphill along footpath and ahead past plantation on right and downhill through kissing gate.
- Turn right along road then after house turn left down Old Barn Lane passing apple orchards on right. At T-junction turn right down road. At road junction turn left.Turn left past Bel and The Dragon.Turn right along path between green wooden fences and continue up hill. At fork (by firebeater stand) bear left and proceed to top of hill. From top of Stoney Jump face Axe Pond, taking stepped path down hill. At cross tracks turn left and continue along track between woodland edge and open common land following short blue bridleway marker posts, then through woodland and eventually past properties to Crosswater Lane. Turn right here and walk along lane. At cross tracks turn right then immediately left on path up hill.
- Pass tumulus on left then turn left taking path downhill towards Great Pond. Cross road with care to bus stop. Bear left then go right between fences. Follow sandy path back to Visitor Centre.
Distance: 10 kilometres (6 miles)
OS map: 133 & 145
OS grid reference:SU845406
Refreshment stops: Refreshments are available at The Holly Bush Pub.
This delightful 10 kilometres (6 miles) route takes you around the village of Frensham, through
heathland and woodland.
- From Visitor Centre turn right with Great Pond on left. Skirt edge of car park and continue on path around Pond. At road turn left and continue alongside Pond for about 100 metres, then cross road to take marked bridleway
- After small pond keep right and follow path alongside river then past Frensham Manor and Mill House. At road, turn left, then left again at T-junction. Turn right along track before cottage. Go over first stile on right, cross field and go over stile to follow woodland path up hill. Turn right at second crossing track. Continue ahead along ridge top path, along field edge and through coppice. Go over
stile on right and then left along field edge. Ignore stile on left and continue ahead to go over stile
into woodland. Go over stile and continue right along field edge. Go over the stile on right then ahead along path and through gate. Continue along path to join track, bear left along track then cross road to take Hammond Wood Road.
- Pass Malt House Cottage on right then turn left to take footpath between hedges. Cross footbridge and at road turn right. Refreshments are available from the Hollybush pub and the village shop.
- Continue along road and cross to main entrance of Hollowdene Recreation Ground. Bear left then turn right past group of trees, keeping cricket pitch on right.
- Go over stile then bear right down hill and across field. Go over bridge in field corner and continue along path. When path becomes a track continue straight on through small gate then continue ahead along path between fences. Go through small gate and at path junction turn left.
- Cross river bridge and follow path passing alongside St Marys churchyard. At road turn left then go right along Lovers Lane. Cross road and continue ahead along path. At road turn left, then go right and continue ahead along uphill footpath. At wide mown track turn right then follow purple arrows to Visitors Centre.
Distance: 2 miles
OS map: 145
OS grid reference:SU998494
Refreshment stops: Angel Hotel, White House Pub, Guildford.
This walk shows how easily the hustle and bustle of the town centre can be left behind. A few minutes walking are all that is required to reach the beautiful and tranquil riverside environment of the River Wey Valley. Allow 30 mins to an hour depending on walking speed. Parts of the route, especially the towpath, may be uneven in places and muddy in winter.
- The Cornmarket – Start the walk in the Cornmarket Portico. With the Cornmarket behind you turn left and walk downhill towards the bottom of the High Street passing the Guildhall and Angel Hotel on your right.
- The Guildhall – This is where the Mayor and Corporation of Guildford used to meet to run the towns affairs. The hall inside is Elizabethan, however, the distinctive frontage was added in 1683.
- Angel Hotel – The Angel Hotel is the last survivor of Guildford’s coaching Inns that catered for travellers between London and the South Coast. The frontage dates from 1820, but the actual building is Tudor.
- Town Bridge – Cross over the main road (Millbrook) at the bottom of the High Street onto the Town Bridge. The Town Bridge is built on the site of the Golden Ford which gave the town its name.
- Town Wharf – On your right before you cross the river is the Town Wharf. When the Wey navigation opened in 1653 barges were able to come upstream from the Thames beyond Weybridge for the first time. The treadwheel crane was used to load and unload barges.
- White House Pub – Cross over the river and turn immediately left before the White House pub to reach the towpath, turn right and head upstream. Until the late 18th century the site of the pub was an island in the river and Saint Nicholas’ Church was on the riverbank.
- Millmead Lock – Follow the river until you reach a pedestrian footbridge on your left at the end of the
car park. Cross over onto Millmead Island. Turn right at the lock and follow the towpath. The lock was constructed in 1762 when the navigation was extended to Godalming. It was refurbished in 2000. The National Trust maintains the Wey Navigation.
- Guildford Boathouse – The Boathouse was one of several established in Guildford during the late Victorian craze for river boating. It used to be called Leroy’s Boathouse.
- Sluice Gate – Take the fork in the towpath. This will lead to the sluice gate. Leaving the town behind you continue along the towpath until you reach the bottom of Ferry Lane.
- Ferry Lane – Named after the ferry that used to shuttle pilgrims across the river. There is a memorial poem on a plaque at the bottom of the lane. Either: take a detour up the hill to visit the chapel Or: cross over the river to continue the walk.
- St Catherine’s Chapel – The Chapel dates from the early 14th century and an annual fair was held on the hill until the First World War. The Chapel has been a ruin since the end of the Middle ages.
- Shalford Meadows – After crossing over the river you have a choice: Either: Go through the kissing gate directly in front of you and follow the path through the trees and on alongside the river as it skirts the fields of Shalford Meadows to the Rowing Club. Grazing cattle can often be seen here. Or :Follow the North Downs Way Signs that lead away from the river as far as the Shalford Road (A281).Turn left and follow the footpath that runs parallel with the road as far as the Rowing Club. Continue past the rowing club and take the first road on your right, Quarry Street.
- Rack’s Close – After about 100 metres you have a choice: Either: Continue along Quarry Street and turn right under the castle arch just before the Museum. Castlecliffe Gardens are on your right. Or:Turn right into Rack’s Court and go through the gates in front of you into Rack’s Close. This area used to be a chalk quarry where hard chalk for clunch was extracted for building stones. The name Rack’s Close refers to drying racks on which cloth was stretched after it had been dyed. Wool and cloth production was a major industry in Guildford in late Medieval and Tudor times. Climb the stairs to your left and follow the path through to Castlecliffe Gardens.
- Castlecliffe Gardens – Remnants of the castle walls are still visible in Castlecliffe Gardens. Archaeological digs in the 1990s uncovered foundations of the 13th Century Palace about which more can be found in the permanent exhibition in Guildford Museum.
- The Chestnuts – From the Gardens you can see the Chestnuts, acquired by Rev C.L.Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) in 1868 as a home for his sisters. Although he lived in Oxford he was a frequent visitor and died here in 1898. He is buried in the mount cemetery. The house is privately owned, please respect the owners’ privacy.
- Castle Grounds – To continue the walk, leave the gardens behind you and cross the road diagonally towards a gate that leads you into the castle grounds. Bear right through the Castle Grounds following the path uphill keeping the castle on your left, The Castle was built soon after the Norman
Conquest and is now dominated by the 12th Century Keep on its motte or mound. The castle flourished in the 13th century but was then largely abandoned and fell into ruins.
- Tunsgate – Leaving the castle behind, turn right up Castle Street. The first turning on your left is Tunsgate and there is a clear market of the cornmarket Portico at the bottom of the road. The Tourist information Centre is towards the bottom of the road on your right. Tunsgate was once the yard of the Tuns Inn. The word Gate meaning ally or passage, although common in the north of England, it is very rare in the South.
Distance: 14.5 kilometres (9 miles)
OS map: 145
OS grid reference
Refreshment stops: The Barley Mow Public House and Squires Garden Centre are both good options for refreshment.
The Horsley Jubilee Trail is a circular walk using mainly public footpaths and bridleways.
The total distance of the trail is approximately 14.5km (9 miles) and it rises to over 175m (570ft) at its highest point along the broad ridge of the North Downs. The walk takes you through open country, woods and farmland with the minimum of road walking. Proceeding at a comfortable pace, allow 4 to 5 hours. There are several road crossings that require care, and these are listed in the route description.
The Horsley Jubilee Trail was named because it was not until the year of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee that the complete trail became possible due to the acquisition of The Forest, and the designation of a new right of way, which provided the final link in the circuit.
- From Station, turn right, then right again down steps to reach road. Cross with care to opposite pavement, by railway bridge. Turn right, continue to, but not over, the junction with East Lane passing several interesting Lovelace buildings on opposite side of road. Re-cross Ockham Road North to footpath directly opposite. Follow path along right verge of The Drift. Shortly leave verge adjacent to road bridge and go right, crossing small footbridge. Path goes through woodland edge of The
Forest, to join a crossing track and waymark. Turn right, following gently rising path to junction and waymark. Turn left, and at junction continue ahead, then bearing right around gardens of houses in The Highlands, then bear left to follow a clear wide track. Nearing the railway, the path veers a few degrees left becoming narrower, and parallels the railway until it rejoins the verge of The Drift. Turn right to reach Forest Road.
- Turn right and cross railway bridge to end of pavement. Cross to opposite pavement by corner of Orchard Close, and continue along Forest Road to next left turn. Opposite is Forest Farm an interesting Lovelace building. Turn left down Heath Way which turns right at edge of common, and turn left into woodland at bridleway sign, immediately turning right along the edge of Effingham Common. Continue along bridleway to far top right corner of Common by Heath View. Look back for excellent views that extend to the Chilterns.
- Cross road diagonally left, following bridleway, Old London Lane, into woods. Go past a footpath going right over a footbridge in about 165m, by which a return to East Horsley and the Station may be made. In another 135m Great Ridings Wood Woodland Trust display board is reached on left.
- Turn left by display board and go through horse barrier. In 50m, fork right at waymark and follow footpath through wood. After crossing a bridge, continue up the slope turning left at waymark. Take clear track ahead for 200m, turning right downhill along a surfaced track. Leaving the Orestan Lane entrance of Great Ridings Wood, cross lane diagonally left to join footpath through Parrott’s Copse.Follow waymarks to rejoin Old London Lane. Turn left continuing to Dirtham Lane, and the A246.
- Turn right along pavement to get clear view in both directions, cross road with caution to bridleway opposite. Keep diagonally left ahead at bridleway fork, and after 1km, at a waymark, turn right on bridleway passing under Stony Dene Bridge. Turn left on bridleway at end of bridge embankment.If desired, in 10m, follow short marked path to right for 50m to get a good view of Horsley Towers to the north, then return to trail. Continue to wide forestry track, turn left, then shortly right, on yew lined track. Follow this ancient hollow way uphill to turn right on a wide track. Pass Forestry Commission sign and continue ahead to Crocknorth Farm.
- At a junction of bridleways, turn right along driveway to reach Crocknorth Road. For best view of Crocknorth Farm, go a few paces left along bridleway, then resume route. At road, note the blind bend to the left, cross carefully to bridleway opposite, which soon goes downhill passing under three
Lovelace bridges to reach Green Dene.
- Cross road diagonally right, take bridleway uphill into the Sheepleas. After 500m at top of hill, take left track at three-way fork. At next junction with a crossing bridleway, bear left then turn right at waymark, with fields to left. Ignore joining tracks until next crossing with a bridleway, and turn right.
Shere Road car park is to the left. Passing Angel Clump, the Millennium Viewpoint is to the right with excellent views. From viewpoint continue down grassy slope to a shallow valley then bear left and up another slope. Go through a horse barrier, then bear left past St Mary’s car park signpost. Pass through another horse barrier and cross two flower meadows to reach A246 at St Mary’s Church, founded 1030.
- Church House, an ancient building just past the church is worth seeing, before crossing the A246 to pavement opposite. Squire’s Garden Centre with a restaurant and coffee shop is a short diversion to the left along pavement. Go through gate bear left, then immediately right along field edge path with views of West Horsley Place. Continue past two fields to meet crossing hedge. Turn left in front of hedge, and continue through woodland edge, alongside a field, to a junction of paths. Turn right, cross stile to reach road by village green, with its massive oak tree. Cross road with care. The 16th Century Barley Mow Pub is a few paces to the left.
- Turn right along pavement, soon passing interesting medieval houses on left, to junction with Long Reach. Cross traffic islands to get good view both ways, cross road to go along Lollesworth Lane. Note Lollesworth Farm, of great historical interest, on right. At far side of railway bridge, turn left alongside railway, soon passing Village Hall to reach shopping parade. Turn left on pavement, then cross road to steps opposite to the Station.
Distance: 10 kilometres (6 miles)
OS map: 146
Start of walk:grid ref 163 569
End of walk:grid ref 171 504
Refreshment stops: The Stepping Stones Public House and Denbies Wine Estate are both good
options for refreshment.
Step off the train at Leatherhead station and you will soon see the silver arrows which will guide you along this delightful 10 kilometre (6 mile) walk to Dorking. Walking time is approximately 3 hours but do allow much longer to appreciate all there is to see, and to stop for refreshment along the route.
- Leave Leatherhead Station via platform 2 exit, turn right and follow footway to main road. Cross road at pelican crossing, and enter park opposite. After a few steps, bear left and take diagonal path through centre of park. At next path junction keep ahead into corner of park to road. Cross road using
pelican crossing. Turn left and walk uphill towards town centre. Bear right towards town centre passing War Memorial on left. Continue round to right and down towards river, passing The Running Horse on right.
- Cross road on far side of mini-roundabout just before Town Bridge, and walk over bridge. Turn left immediately and follow path alongside River Mole. Keep straight ahead on public footpath, past football ground and leisure centre, then skirting grounds of Thorncroft Manor.At end of footpath turn right onto tarmac drive. Continue along drive passing entrance to Thorncroft Manor. Before reaching Thorncroft Vineyard turn left off drive onto path and through metal kissing gate. Follow path through field to kissing gate. Keep ahead and follow path along riverside, passing through underpass.
- Keep ahead, and through kissing gate into Norbury Park. Walk across field, then bear right uphill to join track. Keep ahead on track through kissing gate. At cottage turn right through kissing gate, up hill, and under railway bridge.Turn left soon after bridge and up steep path. At tarmac drive turn left downhill to wooden bench on right. Just past bench bear right uphill on grassy path to surfaced track. Cross over and go ahead downhill into woods. Take second footpath on left, down through kissing gate into picnic site. Leave picnic site through kissing gate on far side and keep ahead on track with fields on each side. At Lodge Farm, follow track left then right then ahead over bridge over River Mole. Continue along track to farm buildings then turn right along track and past cottage. Continue ahead along path and through three kissing gates to footbridge over River Mole. Cross river and follow path ahead to kissing gate and to Westhumble.
- Cross over Chapel Lane and turn right along footway. Continue along footway where it separates from road, passing Pilgrims Way. Continue ahead with care along Chapel Lane for 25 metres then turn left down narrow path between fences and hedges. Continue ahead crossing over road to kissing
gate into field. Continue ahead across field and through kissing gate to stone track. Continue ahead through gate into vineyard. Keep ahead on wide track through vines and crossing over drive. Keep ahead uphill. Where main track turns right keep ahead on grassy track. Go through metal kissing gate and ahead uphill with trees on right.
- At path junction turn left and follow track towards road. Just before road turn left along narrow path and through kissing gate to road. Cross road and keep ahead on footway then turn right along Chichester Road. At end of road follow the pavement to turn right beside dual carriageway. Keep straight on, crossing over three side roads to subway. Go through subway and up ramp exit. Keep ahead to Dorking Station.
Distance: 4.5 miles
OS map: 146
OS grid reference:TQ167518
Refreshment stops: Stepping Stones pub, Westhumble St, Westhumble.
Allow about 2 hours for this undulating and at times hilly walk. The walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private land, please respect people’s privacy.
- Leave station car park by steps then turn left up road. Cross road at railway bridge and take footpath on right alongside the railway. Go through gate to enter the Norbury Park Estate and continue ahead with fence on right to reach footbridge across the River Mole.The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company opened the Dorking to Leatherhead line in 1867 and Boxhill and Westhumble Station has been popular with walkers throughout the years.Notice the corkscrew brickwork that was used to build the arches of the railway bridge to the right of the footbridge.
- Cross the footbridge, go along path and through kissing gate into field. Continue ahead for 50 m then bear left across field toward kissing gate in front of cottage. Go through gate and bear right to follow track to junction near a farmyard. Turn left and follow surfaced track to bridge over the River Mole.The River Mole flows north-westwards through Surrey to join the River Thames opposite Hampton Court Palace in London. There is a wide range of wildlife along this stretch of the Mole and you may catch a glimpse of a heron of kingfisher.
- Continue along track towards Lodge Farm. Before the farm buildings turn left then right to follow track between fences, keeping buildings on right, to reach gate at picnic site. Pass through gate and continue ahead, crossing gate to reach track. Bear right and follow track to reach T-Junction.The area in front of you is a long-established arboretum, which contains some majestic Cedar of Lebanon.
- Turn left and, ignoring track on right, take steep track up hill with trees on left. Proceed to top of slope to reach fence on left. For an excellent view of Box Hill, the North Downs and the Mole Gap, take track on left to the viewpoint, then return.
- Continue ahead with fence on left, past gates to reach surfaced drive. Turn left along track to pass Norbury Park House on left. Norbury Park is situated on the north side of Mickleham and it is believed to have existed since before the Domesday survey. William Lock bought Norbury in 1774 and had the mansion built in the crest of the hill commanding beautiful scenery. The mansion was added to in 1820. Norbury Park estate was the first open space to be purchased by Surrey County Council, in 1930. It is managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust Countryside Services Ltd and has an area designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Particular features of the estate are the very old yew trees.Continue ahead along drive to junction. Bear left, still with fence on left passing Norbury Park Sawmill on your right and follow surfaced drive for 1km to junction with track at bend. Bear right along track to reach road at parking area. (For a shorter walk turn left down Crabtree Lane to return to Box Hill and Westhumble Station) Turn right along road for 200 m to stile on left. Cross stile and bear left across field, crossing stile into wood. Follow path to cattle barrier. Cross barrier and continue ahead down field edge, with fence on left, through gateway to road. Turn left and walk along verge to reach track on right. Cross road and follow track with ruined building on left. The ruins are the Wets wall and gable and part of the east wall of Westhumble Chapel. The small, rectangular chapel was built of flint in the late 12th or 13th century for the use of the villagers of West Humble, but was desecrated some 3 centuries later. The remains were handed over to the care of the National Trust in 1937 and the chapel is now a scheduled Ancient monument.
- After 120m go through small gate on left and follow path between fences through gate to road. Turn right and follow road to junction, then bear right along Adlers Lane. Go straight ahead at crossroads, then after 80m turn left along narrow path with house called Milton on right and continue ahead to reach road. Turn right and follow the path parallel to road. When the path rejoins the road there is an archway to the left.The archway was built in 1923 over Camilla Drive and has a plaque on it commemorating the novelist Fanny Burney. She was a family friend of the Locks and spent many days at their home, Norbury Park House, drinking in “the contentment which Norbury Park seems to have gathered from all corners of the world”. In 1793 Fanny married General Alexandre d’Arblay at nearby Mickleham church. He was one of a group of French monarchists who were living in Mickleham having fled from the French
Revolution. Later the Locks leased them a small plot of land on the Norbury Park estate and the couple decided to build a permanent house. Fanny’s third novel, ‘Camilla’ brought in enough money to pay for the building which was called ‘Camilla Cottage’. Next to the archway is Westhumble’s present
chapel, dedicated to St Michael. Walk courtesy of Surrey County Council.
Distance: 4.5 miles
OS map: 186
OS grid reference:SU933478
Refreshment stops: The Good Intent Public House in Puttenham is conveniently located at the
beginning of the route. The Cyder House in Shackleford is a slight detour from the route but offers good food.
- With your back to the pub go right along the village street where you pass a good variety of houses. At a road junction with a row of white cottages go ahead along Lascombe Lane signposted ‘North Downs Way’. At a fork keep to the right and press on up a rise to reach a couple of houses. Ignore the footpath on your left and keep ahead on the narrow downhill path where soon you will be amongst the bracken and birch of Puttenham Common.
- At a well defined fork in the path bear left and leave the North Downs Way. In 100yds at a crossing track you should turn left and maintain direction along this path and press on ahead as it changes into a cart track. No further instruction is needed until you reach a road. If you take the path to the right there is a picnic area, car park and view point with panoramic views over the countryside. (This is an alternative start point for the walk just off Suffield Lane, Middle car park.)
- Cross the road and pass by the front of Rodsall Cottage. Turn left on the narrow path at the side of the garden. At the foot of a quite steep slope with 2 steps a wonderful almost subterranean path is met. Go right here to pass Rose Cottage and meet the outbuildings of Rodsall Manor. Press on ahead and pass the beautifully mellow sandstone galleted frontage of the manor house and turn left on a stony path immediately at the end of the garden. Soon the route enters majestic woodland and climbs a slope to meet a T junction by a post.
- At this T junction turn left and continue up the slope. Just before the summit is reached the path joins a farm track. Turn left along the track as it now follows the edge of fields and later narrows. Fine views across the valley will be seen from parts of this path. Finally after going downhill and joining a farm track we pass the exceptional farmhouse of Lydling Farm and its perfectly restored barn, now finding new use as offices. (If you wish to make a detour here and turn right down the road the village of Shackleford has a pub the Cyder House which serves food 12 to 2.15 and 6.30pm to 9.30pm)
- Keep ahead to reach a lane beside a lily covered pond. Turn left along the lane and ignore a footpath with stile and gate to your left on a bend. Just before a second bend in the road bear left over a stile beside a field gate and press on ahead through a field. Keep to the left side of this field to reach a stile in the left corner at the top of a steep rise ahead of you. Cross the stile and now look towards a line of oak trees on top of the next ridge. Aim for the tree on the left end of the line and cross the stile beneath it. Maintain direction ahead along the left hand edge of the field. Cross 2 further stiles in quick succession and continue along a fenced path. Cross a further stile and keep ahead, now with the wonderful 1760s Palladian frontage of the privately owned Puttenham Priory in view. Finally cross a stile and ahead along the lane for a few yards to return to the Good Intent.
The Puttenham Walk produced with kind permission of Countryside Books from Pub Walks in the Surrey Hills by David Weller 2002.
Distance: 12 kilometres (8 miles)
OS map: 186
OS grid reference:SU933478
Refreshment stops: The Barley Mow Public House, Tilford Village Shop and Frensham Ponds Visitor
Centre are all good options for refreshment.
This walk takes in Frensham Great and Little Ponds, and the River Wey. Discover the medieval bridges at Tilford and an abundance of local wildlife. This 8 mile, 4 hour walk beginning and ending at Frensham Great Pond visitor centre.
- This walk can begin from either the Frensham Ponds Visitor Centre or The Rural Life Centre. From the Visitor Centre follow the boardwalk from the rear of the Visitor Centre. Turn left then right onto a wide sandy track.After 35m as track bears right, go ahead uphill and later go left to join a wide mown track. Bear right and continue until the mown track ends. Go left and follow bridleway, at fork bear right and follow bridleway to A287. Cross road with care, taking the path almost directly opposite. Turn left at T junction. At cross tracks turn right along path with fences on left to car park. Bear left, between the fence and the car park to road. Cross road and continue along bridleway and at T junction turn left. Pass Keepers Cottage, cross river bridge and follow bridleway through Pierrepont Home Farm. Cross farmyard and go right passing metal gate. (If starting from the Rural Life Centre, from entrance turn left, continue for 100m. Take bridleway on left, turning immediately right, continuing parallel to road for 500m. Turn left onto second bridleway to join the main route.)
- Keep ahead and follow bridleway between fence and partly cleared conifer plantations. Bear right by house fence and proceed to The Reeds Road. Cross road, and take path opposite for 20m to waymark post. Continue ahead on bridleway through woodlands. When fence on left bears left continue ahead down to road. Cross Tilford Road and proceed along Sheephatch Lane opposite. Cross road bridge then in 30m turn right uphill along path. Continue ahead as path veers right and left.
- Continue ahead to join tarmac track, passing Tilhill House then in 100m (opposite Wey Cottage) bear right, ignore stile on left , and continue on down hill to Tilford Street (The village shop is 30 metres to the left). Turn right, go over road bridge and past the Barley Mow Pub.
- Continue to the end of green, crossing roads to take footpath by The Malt House. Follow path through former plant nursery and proceed into woodlands. Continue on path, which at times runs beside river, to pass through gate and join track.
- Turn right and continue to Meadow End Farm. Go through gate, then take footpath ahead between fences. At kissing gate turn right along track. At road, near Frensham Little Pond car park, turn left along Priory Lane for 100m, then right through gap in railings just beside unmade road. Continue ahead to the right of small car park and bear right through woods to follow orange waymark arrows across the Common, over A287 and back to the Visitor Centre.