Length: 24.9 km (15.5 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 486m; Net Walking Time: 6 hours
[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
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 18th
C Shalford Mill
, now managed by the National Trust (open Wed & Sun, by guided tour only; last tour 4pm); admission (2015) is £2.75.”
is in Little London
at the William IV
(11.5 km/7.2 mi, food to 14.00).
, 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
and Coffee Culture
seem to be the preferred options (see the webpage for details).
, height profile
, photos, walk directions/options
and gpx/kml files