Silent Pool

24-Jul-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Ss Peter & Paul Church, Albury Park

08-Jul-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Conjoined beech trees on the North Downs Way

23-Nov-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Autumn colours near Silent Pool

23-Nov-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Law Brook

08-Jul-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Reed beds, Law Brook

08-Jul-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Law Brook valley

08-Jul-13 • Sean O'Neill

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Guildford Circular via Albury Park walk

The North Downs ridge, a haunted pool, unusual churches and traces of an industrial era in the Tillingbourne valley


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sat, 07-Jan-17 15

Saturday First Walk - Something a bit different in the Guildford area

SWC walk 185 (variant) - Shalford to Chilworth
Length: 17km/10.6 miles

(or Shalford to Guildford - 21.5km/13.4 miles)

Toughness: 6 out of 10

10.00 (Portsmouth Harbour-bound) train from Waterloo to Guildford, arriving 10.33, changing there for the 10.48 to Shalford, arriving 10.53.

(From Clapham Junction get the 9.52 to Guildford, arriving 10.23)

Buy a day return to Chilworth

For walk directions click here. If you click on the word "Shal" below the map before printing, this eliminates unnecessary directions from the documents.

There are a dizzying array of options for this walk and I am not sure that this particular one has ever been tried. It takes you into the familiar territory of the North Downs east of Guildford, but approaches them from an unfamiliar angle, with various delights along the way including an abandoned church and the mysterious Silent Pool.

Lunch is at the William IV pub in Little London after 8km/5 miles, but if that is full, the cafe and food kiosk (two different places) at Newlands Corner 5.5km/3.3 miles further on are a backstop: both do a good range of hot food.

Towards the end of the walk you have a choice of finishing in Chilworth (the 10.6 mile version) or hammering on to Guildford (13.5 miles).

Trains back from Chilworth are at 15.59, 17.59, 19.59, 21.19 and 22.01, changing at Guildford, which then has fast trains every 15 minutes to London

If you miss the trains in Chilworth, there is also the 32 bus from the stop immediately outside Chilworth station (on the same side of the main road), which goes at 31 past until 18.31. This takes 13 minutes and deposits you in the centre of Guildford, from where it is a five or ten minutes walk to the station (use Google Maps on your smartphone!)

15 mild misty moody and muddy under foot

Vast views of vague, vaporous and veiled vistas ?

Food was a bit if a disappointment for some of us at William IV as they only did sandwiches and baked potatoes though one person spoke highly of them she only ever has sandwiches anyhow so same old same old for her.

A swift refreshment at Newlands corner in the cafe with a note about it’s marvellous views of mist ? one of our crew did ask for a discount due to the lack of views but to no avail

Down from Martha's was hard and there were some complaints from a couple of folks with knackered knees and at least one took some Ibruprofen during the day

Slippery all day all the way really

Arrived at the station with 10 minutes to spare so well timed seeing as the trains are very 2 hours

That’ll do
P.I. L L Poppers
1 went on to Guildford leaving 3 others who were heading to Shalford for the hourly train.
Sat, 08-Oct-16 20

Third Walk - Guildford Circular (via Albury Park)

Length: 24.9 km (15.5 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 486m; Net Walking Time: 6 hours
Toughness: 7/10
[to shorten the walk: start or finish at Shalford or Chilworth, for details see the webpage]
Take the 09.30 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (09.56 Woking), arrives Guildford 10.03.
From Clapham J take either the 09.22 stopping service (arrives Guildford 09.50) or the 09.27 to Woking, changing onto the 09.30 Waterloo departure.
There are four (fast) return trains per hour.
This walk was premiered a few years ago and I remember it as a very good walk through areas not touched by other Guildford walks. But since then “it was significantly changed”, to quote the author. So presumably it’s even better now…?
Here’s the summary to give you an idea of what to expect: “This circular walk explores the area to the south-east of Guildford. The landscape is exceptionally varied, with water meadows, valleys, woods, heathland, parkland and fine views from the contrasting chalk hills of the North Downs and the adjacent Greensand.
The walk leaves Guildford via Shalford Water Meadows alongside the River Wey Navigation, then heads east from Shalford up the valley of the River Tillingbourne. This was once an important industrial area and the route includes a heritage trail through the extensive ruins of the Chilworth Gunpowder Mills, the national importance of which is reflected in its status as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. An attractive stretch along the quiet valley of Law Brook (one of the river's tributaries) and across the small Albury Heath brings you to a lunchtime stop in the hamlet of Little London.
The route now heads north through Albury Park, designed by the English landscape pioneer John Evelyn. In 1819 the estate was acquired by the banker Henry Drummond, who built a new parish church in Albury and closed the old Saxon Church, now isolated in the private parkland but accessible to the public. At the same time he became one of the founder members of a new religious movement and built the neo-gothic Catholic Apostolic Church for it. The route then passes the crystal-clear waters of Silent Pool on its climb up the North Downs, where a stretch along the North Downs Way leads to a mid-afternoon refreshment stop at the Newlands Corner viewpoint.
The final section of the walk includes one more climb to another famous church with a long history, St Martha-on-the-Hill, perched on the side of the Greensand hills. A gradual descent through Chantry Wood leads back to the River Wey and Guildford. An alternative return route to Shalford (see below) takes in another historical site on the Tillingbourne, the 18thC Shalford Mill, now managed by the National Trust (open Wed & Sun, by guided tour only; last tour 4pm); admission (2015) is £2.75.”
Lunch is in Little London at the William IV (11.5 km/7.2 mi, food to 14.00).
For tea, a mid-afternoon break at the Newlands Corner viewpoint (5¼ km after Little London) is possible. At the end of the walk there are many tea places in Guildford, Bill’s and Coffee Culture seem to be the preferred options (see the webpage for details).
For summary, map, height profile, photos, walk directions/options and gpx/kml files click here.
There's nowhere suitable for sandwich eaters to sit in the vicinity of the pub so if bringing your own lunch it's best to stop before or after Little London.
15 met at G'ford station, 1 caught us at lunch, having missed the posted train, 4 started from Chilworth, which makes 20 walkers in mostly dry weather, but with selected showers.
There are a couple of (admitted but unavoidable) dreary stretches in the morning (through Shalford and along the railway line), the rest is just a very good walk, in any weather, I would think: a long stretch through otherwise uncovered by the SWC paths in the Wey Meadows, The Wey River, the Tilling Bourne, many streams and catchwaters, an interesting and well info panelled historic site, some fine views (to and later from the North Downs) and plenty of mixed woods.
Plenty of traffic on the footpaths (incl. several cyclists, undeterred by stiles and kissing gates), but overall some very peaceful scenery.
The William the IV pub had just lost its 'new' chef (and some support staff), so was only serving sandwiches, but they went down well, with everyone sitting outside.
It's such a nice location that even the (non pub) sandwichers waited for the main group before moving on.
Through the beautiful Albury Park and up the North Downs (with a new 'tea stop' discovered just off route: a vineyard offering wine tastings (apparently only measly portions though)).
One of the few showers started just as we arrived at Newland's Corner, so 12 of us waited out the rain in The Squirrel Cafe.
The Chilworth starters then went back down from St. Martha to whence they came and the rest arrived in Guildford in drips and drabs around 5 o'clock.
Off to The Keep pub by the Castle for 7 of us, 4 of which then added The Kings Head to their route.
A very fine walk.
Sun, 15-Nov-15 5

Sunday Walk 2 – the Surrey Hills

Extra Walk 185a – Chilworth Circular via Albury Park
Length: 14¼ km (8.9 miles). Toughness: 5/10

10:00 Guildford train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:09), changing at Guildford (arr 10:40, dep 10:56) and arriving Chilworth at 11:04.

You can also travel to Chilworth via Redhill or Dorking, but the connections are poor and you'd have to hope that the Percy Arms is open for refreshments while you wait 15 minutes for the main group.

Trains back from Chilworth are every two hours in each direction, with the ones you're likely to want being at 16:49 (fast, via Guildford) and 17:05 (slow, via Dorking or Redhill). However, you could also catch a 32 bus from Chilworth station to Guildford at 15:47 and 17:47; it also stops where you cross the A248 about 1 km before the finish.

Apologies for a walk in the same area as last Sunday, yet another blip in the walk posters' co-ordination. At the start you do indeed revisit the old gunpowder mills and the church of St Martha-on-the-Hill, but the rest of the walk covers different territory. The morning continues with a famous viewpoint at Newlands Corner, a haunted pool and a curious old church isolated in private parkland, while the shorter afternoon has heathland and a pretty valley with old watercress beds.

The lunchtime pub is the William IV in Little London, serving local beers and good food; as it's a Sunday and you'll be arriving around the peak time of 1.30pm, call ahead and book a table. At the end of the walk the Percy Arms is right by Chilworth station, but be sure to allow plenty of time to get across the level crossing for the Guildford train as there's no footbridge.

You'll need to print the directions from the Extra Walk 185 page. You can save a few sheets of paper by clicking Option a. T=swc.185.a
5 dry and mild
A sign at St. Martha's on The Hill informed us that visitors (and their dogs) were welcome to join in the service and stay for refreshments afterwards. We pushed on, however, to Newlands Corner where most stopped at Tillings Cafe and one at the kiosk. Then on through the woods look out for the impressive inosculation of trees to Albury Park, where old chestnuts and holm oaks can be found in the woods and the isolated old Saxon Church is well worth a visit. We had a brief drink at the pub in Little London, before heading on to Chilworth.

All in all, a pleasant walk with some lovely views and woodland and some interesting features along the way. Quite a few sandy paths, a couple of slippery chalk bits but generally very little mud.


Sat, 07-Feb-15 14 Guildford to Shalford, via Albury Park
Sat, 07-Feb-15 Guildford to Chilworth, via Albury Park
Sat, 23-Nov-13 30 Chilworth Circular, via Albury Park
Sat, 07-Sep-13 11 Guildford Circular, via Albury Park
Wed, 04-Sep-13 Guildford Circular, via Albury Park