Downs Link : Guildford to Shoreham by Sea

2 disused railway lines and 2 riverside paths - level - and almost entirely traffic free

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Length 40 miles
Toughness 6 / 10 - easy and flat except for rough trackbed near Bramber
Off Road 95% off road. Riverside tow path at the start, then a former trackbed with a good surface. Some small stetches of road where the line has been built over, and a longer one in the middle near Christ's Hospital. Near the end the trackbed is very stoney - mountain bike recommended. Then riverside path.

The Downs Link starts just south of Guildford (train station), and heads south via Christs Hospital (train station) to the sea at Shoreham-by-Sea (train station) along 2 disused railways lines and a riverside cycle path.

The route is almost entirely off-road along good hard surface tracks, although there are a couple of short road sections where the former route has been built over. Towards the end, there is a short section where the surface is stoney. Follow the route on a map before you start, and note the short off-road sections

It is possible to start closer to London, by following the Thames Path to Weybridge (train station) then the Wey Navigation (a canal towpath) to Guildford - the start of the Downs Link.

Brief Directions:

From Guildford Station, follow the Wey south for 2 mikes. About 1/2 a mile past a railway bridge, cross a road bridge to follow the east bank of the canal. Continue, then south at the next road bridge, crossing over the Wey river to the start of the disused railway line.

Follow it - there is a short diversion at Cranleigh (houses on the line) and a slightly longer one at Rudgwick (bypassing a tunnel)

At Christs Hospital (train station) there is a longer diversion where the 2 closed lines are split by a still used line. Either follow the road diversion (about 1 mile along narrow lanes with occasional fast cars - not really good for children), or continue into Christs Hospital village, and follow the pavement south to rejoin the route

The next short diversion is at Partridge Green (more houses on the line), and again at Henfield (ditto).

The railway line fades away just short of Bramber, but there is a waymarked route via fields then quiet residential streets (safe for children) to rejoin it south of the town for a final short stretch before it disappears for good. Here a handy cycle path along the River Adur starts, and takes you all the way to Shoreham

A road bike is OK but a moutain bike is better for the short stoney strech of path near the end.

You'll need a map for several short diversions aroud bits of built-on trackbed


Trains to Guildford go from Waterloo every 15 mins and take 30 mins. Trains from London Victoria to Shoreham-by-Sea are every 30 mins, and take just over an hour. From London, buy a ticket to Chichester which covers both out and back journeys.

By car, park a few miles south of Guildford. Trains back to Guildford via Gatwick Airport - about 90 mins

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Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: GU1 4UT Directions then return to your car by train:

Finish: BN43 5WX Directions then travel to the start by train:


Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



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