Guildford to Farnham walk

A river valley, gentle pastures, Watts Gallery, woods, remote heathlands and heather covered moors.


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 Option Post # Weather
Sat, 06-Jan-24 Guildford circular combination walk 24 a bit of sun
Wed, 29-Nov-23 a Wednesday walk - Guildford circular via Watts Gallery 16 cold clear sunny windless
Wed, 18-Jan-23 c North Downs Way and Surrey heath - Farnham circular or Farnham-Godalming 22 sunny
Wed, 21-Dec-22 Wednesday Walk NOTE CHANGE Guildford to Godalming - The River Wey then North Downs Way to Watts Gallery and Compton, then on to Godalming via the River Wey 9 cloud and sun
Wed, 19-Oct-22 Wednesday Walk Guildford Circular with Hog's Back start - Compton, Watts Gallery, Watts Chapel, Losely Park, then along the River Wey back to Guildford 20 overcast at first then warm and sunny
Sat, 12-Feb-22 Saturday Walk Guildford Circular with Hog's Back start - above Guildford, down to Watts Gallery and Watts Chapel, Loseley Park, then the River Wey into Guildford 22 mild with hazy sunshine turning to lovely sunshine after lunch
Sun, 04-Jul-21 c Sunday Walk - Farnham Circular 7 warm mainly dry day with a couple of heavy showers
Wed, 21-Apr-21 Wednesday Walk Guildford Circular with Hog's Back start - Watts Chapel, Losely Park and the River Wey (note change in outward train time) 9 sunny cloudy and sometimes windy
Sat, 19-Dec-20 Saturday Walk Guildford Circular with Hog's Back start - CANCELLED due to restrictions on travel following London's (new) Tier 3 Covid status
Wed, 26-Feb-20 Wednesday walk Guildford Circular, with Hog's Back start - Watts Gallery, Watts Chapel, Losely Park and River Wey 11 cold and breezy but bright day with sunny periods
Sun, 03-Mar-19 a Sunday Walk: Guildford Circular via Compton 2 constant alternating drizzle and light rain
Sat, 09-Feb-19 Saturday Walk: Guildford to Farnham 13 sunny then grey
Wed, 23-Jan-19 Wednesday Walk Guildford Circular, with Hog's Back start - Watts Gallery, Watts Chapel, Loseley Park and the River Wey 16 sunny and bright all day
Sat, 30-Dec-17 Saturday walk - Guildford to Godalming (or Guildford Circular) 19 very mild but overcast
Wed, 01-Mar-17 Wednesday Walk - Guildford to Farnham (or Guildford Circular) with Hog's Back start 14 cloudy with the odd spot of rain from time to time
Sun, 11-Dec-16 a Sunday Walk 1 – Watts-'is-name Gallery & Chapel 15 fine sunny and clear
Sat, 27-Aug-16 Saturday Walk 1 - Guildford to Farnham (Book 2 Walk 12) 12 dry and shady in the woods
Sun, 10-Jan-16 a Sunday Walk 1 – The Hog's Back and Loseley Park 11 fairly sunny in the morning
Sat, 09-Jan-16 c Saturday First Walk - Surrey heathlands 11 dry with a short shower in the morning
Sat, 12-Sep-15 Saturday Second Walk - Heather-clad heaths 24 sunshine and cloud
Sat, 02-May-15 ? Guildford to Farnham, with alternative start 10
Sun, 29-Mar-15 c Farnham Circular 0
Sat, 03-Jan-15 a Guildford Circular 1
Wed, 02-Jul-14 Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 22-Feb-14 ? Guildford to Farnham, with alternative start 20
Sat, 07-Dec-13 b Guildford to Godalming, with alternative start 18
Wed, 04-Sep-13 Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 23-Jun-13 a Guildford Circular 9
Sat, 23-Mar-13 c Farnham Circular 9
Sun, 06-Jan-13 b Guildford to Godalming 8
Sat, 08-Dec-12 a Guildford Circular
Sat, 08-Sep-12 Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 30-Jun-12 Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 27-May-12 c Farnham Circular
Sat, 10-Dec-11 a Guildford Circular
Wed, 20-Jul-11 Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 06-Feb-11 a Guildford Circular
Sun, 09-Jan-11 d Farnham Circular (shorter version)
Sun, 12-Dec-10 a Guildford Circular
Sat, 18-Sep-10 Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 03-Apr-10 c Farnham Circular
Sat, 10-Oct-09 a Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 30-Aug-09 c Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 20-Jun-09 Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 09-May-09 c Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 14-Mar-09 ? Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 06-Dec-08 a Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 20-Sep-08 Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 25-May-08 ? Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 02-Dec-07 ? Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 02-Dec-07 a Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 03-Nov-07 a Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 04-Aug-07 ? Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 17-Jun-07 Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 09-Jun-07 Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 03-Mar-07 c Guildford to Farnham
Sun, 11-Feb-07 a Guildford to Farnham
Sat, 03-Feb-07 a Guildford to Farnham
Length: about 8 miles or 11-12 miles T=2.12
9.36 train from Waterloo (9.44 Clapham Junction) to Guildford, arriving 10.19
Buy a day return to Godalming, unless you are definitely intending to do the full circular walk to Guildford, in which case a day return to Guildford is fine.
This walk is a combination of some of my favourite bits of walk route around Guildford:
- You start with the Hog's Back start of the Guildford to Farnham walk (click on the link for GPX, directions) etc) - a nice energetic climb to banish all that festive season lethargy, and then fine views from the top of the ridge. There is then a descent to Watts Gallery, with its cafe, and the nearby chapel. All this is just under 4 miles
- At Watt's Galley, switch to the Wanborough to Godalming walk (click on the link for GPX, directions etc) and follow that to Godalming - again, just under 4 miles. Early in this route a pub lunch is possible at the wonderful Witthies Inn, though it is always a good idea to book (it has both a restaurant and a bar area where one can eat). You could expect to arrive at the pub at 12.30-12.45.
Godalming has various tea options and you can get trains back from there at 12 and 40 past the hour.
- If you want a longer walk, simply head north along the Wey Navigation path. In 3 miles there is the option of diverting to Shalford station, which has trains at 11 past the hour to Guildford (there are also regular buses), or you can carry on along the Wey for another mile (or so) into Guildford, from where fast trains to London go at 21, 35, 52 and 59 past today.
  • 06-Jan-24

    It looks like the 14.12 may be the last train from Godalming to Waterloo for some time. Lots of cancellations due to track inspections.

  • 06-Jan-24

    I want to say “many”: people came at me from all directions in the foyer of Guildford station. I counted at least 22. I hear two got a slightly later train, so at least 24 .

    Off went this enormous group in the wrong direction. I phoned several to try to summon them back to the right route and got nothing but voicemails. But at last the GPX corrected them and we set off to climb the Hog’s Back.

    Nice views from the top, but when the route switched to the other side of the ridge many decided instead to stay on the track, the old road, with no views. A few of us followed the specified route (NOT muddy btw) and enjoyed the southern views. I lost sight of a big chunk of the group as a result.

    At Watt’s Gallery at least one split off to walk to Farnham. Did any go to the Chapel? My contingent did not. As we got close to the Withies Inn there was a bit of sun , which was nice, and the same was true for a time after lunch. Otherwise cloudy.

    What a lovely pub the Withies is! Possibly the friendliest and most attentive on all our walks. Two tables had been booked in their bar and they actually encouraged us to combine them into one. Food came quickly in generous portions. Their restaurant looked empty, which I hope was just a post-Christmas lull. Ten at the start of the walk had indicated they wanted a pub lunch, so predictably 14 actually had one.

    I had picked this walk as being not to prone to flooding. I had forgotten that it approaches Godalming along the River Wey. First sighting of this revealed a mighty brown Amazon, filling the entire valley. Predictably the last riverside section into the town was under water and we had to divert around it on the roads.

    The flood plains at Godalming were also living up to their name, making a walk north along the river to Guildford doubtful - a pity as it was still only 2.30pm. I heard two did try it but did not get too far. There was also a sudden intelligence that the trains south of Guildford were all suspended due to a landslip south of Petersfield. About a dozen walkers greeted this news by diving onto a bus to Guildford.

    Three of us stayed in Godalming and went for tea, with two going to the Star for a drink. Four more also arrived for tea. Godalming is now full of tea places!! Ours was called Esquire’s and had gorgeous cakes and big tea cups.

    While at tea we discovered that trains had resumed. We got the 16.12 - the first northbound train in five hours, according to station staff. Approaching Guildford we could see that the Wey south of the town resembled the Okefenokee Swamp, so it was probably just as well we did not try to walk it. Oh well, a longer walk next week….

Length: 13.4km (8.3 miles)
Difficulty: 2 out of 10
Trains: Catch the 10.00 Guildford train from London Waterloo (10.25 Woking) arriving Guildford 10.32. From Clapham Junction, you can take the 9.57 train to Woking (10:15) and change for the above Guildford train.
There are several trains an hour from Guildford back to London, some faster than others.
Lunch: Watts Gallery tea shop in Compton (01483 813590), located 6.2km (3.8 miles) into the walk, serves cakes, soups, sandwiches, salads, and hot savouries.
The Withies Inn, Compton (01483 421158) Compton is situated 7.2km (4.5 miles) into the walk.
Tea: Various options in Guildford.
This walk is one of the options described in the L=2.12.a
  • 29-Nov-23

    16 met at Guildford station and agreed to do the Hog's Back start which provided a good warm-up and great views on this cold clear sunny windless day. We reached Watts gallery before midday and 5 picnicked outside the cafe there before joining the rest of the group at Watts chapel where the sheltered stone seating area above the chapel was bathed in sunlight providing an even better picnic spot. All visited the chapel which looked stunning in the light filtered through its windows.

    The group spread out after lunch. Ten followed the conventional route and four a different approach to Guildford. Two had spent longer at Watts chapel and followed the wrong star on leaving it, doing a loop which put them an hour behind the rest. Some had tea and very large slices of cake at the Yvonne Arnaud cafe, some had drinks at the Britannia pub. The earliest finishers caught the 14.49, the latest lot the 15.49. A lovely walk in perfect weather and good company as always.

Length 16.2 km (10.1 miles), 2/10 or 20.6 km (12.8 miles) 6/10 with the Godalming finish

A Surrey wood and heathland walk today, with a lot of solid or sandy surfaces making it suitable for muddy conditions, but with the option of switching to walk 1.12 Farnham to Godalming after Charleshill if it's not too wet. You will have to make a good pace to get to Godalming in daylight after a pub lunch, but there are good pubs to finish in either way!

Travel: 0953 from Waterloo (Clapham Junction 1000, Woking 1029), to Farnham, arriving 1055. Return trains from Farnham at 28 and 58. Plenty of trains from Godalming.

Get a return to Farnham; if returning from Godalming you will also need a Godalming-Woking single.

Lunch: the Barley Mow in Tilford (tel 01252 792 205), just off the route, would be an early lunch stop and the green there is probably the best picnic spot. The Donkey in Charleshill (tel 01252 702 124) comes about 45 minutes later and is nearer half way through the walk. Booking is recommended.

Tea: in Farnham, we usually end up in the Mulberry pub by the station, but there are interesting options in Abbey Street across the A31. In Godalming, the Star on Church Street is a favourite post-walk watering hole, but those looking for a tea room should head for Cafe Mila (tel 01483 808569) in Angel Court, just off the High Street. Other tea options include the usual suspects such as Caffè Nero and Costa Coffee.

For walk directions, map and GPX click here


  • 19-Jan-23

    I wasn’t planning to do a walk report so did not count, but about 17 on this walk in gorgeous sunshine . This was a good choice for this time of year because lots of the route is on sandy soils, so relatively little mud. But today it was largely irrelevant since the ground was mostly frozen. There were some fascinating ice patterns in the puddles.

    Some sandwichers stopped for lunch in Tilford. Eight of us headed to the Donkey for a pub lunch, having booked a table. We turned out to be the only customers in its sunny dining room, and were royally attended to, with generous portions of food. Some of the sandwichers popped in for drinks and seven of them headed on to Godalming, following the book one route, and arriving before dusk, I hear. Their train home was very crowded with passengers from Southampton (the main line being closed by a landslip at Hook).

    The eight pub lunchers did the circular walk to Farnham across the heaths (I hear a couple of sandwichers did likewise separately). We got to Farnham as the sun was dipping below the horizon and felt well satisfied with our outing. Three went either for the first train or to the pub; five of us went to the Bush Hotel for tea. Here after some negotiation we were served with a ridiculously huge selection of cakes (we had expected little petit-fours) and struggled to eat half of them. Yet all this and tea came to just £7.50 a head.

  • 19-Jan-23

    22 were counted at the start. sunny all day, a perfect day for a walk.

  • 19-Jan-23

    22 in fact. My correspondents indicate that 10+3 did the circular while nine made it to Godalming: 6 of the 7 who picnicked at Tilford were caught up by one pub-goer. Two others, well, let's just say they pioneered an alternative route from Charleshill along paths further to the north.

    There was a huge flooded area of path around Fullbrook Farm which most circumvented by crossing nearby fields. Wishing to avoid more potential flooding on the way into Godalming, we later we left the book route and followed the "Fox Way" which turned out to be a good winter alternative apart from a few hundred yards of horrendous busy road around Upper Eashing. Most of us headed for the Star, where we were joined after about half an hour by the two who had had a more roundabout journey. A convivial time was had in the pub before we caught the busy train Walker mentions.

Change of walk start due to South Western trains now operating a restricted timetable during duration of RMT strikes (no service to Wanborough outside of peek commuter hours)

Guildford to Godalming - start of Book 2 walk 12a), then switch to Book 1 walk 2

Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10 some ups and downs but nothing steep
London Waterloo: 10-30 hrs South Western trains to Southampton Central Clapham Junction 10-38 hrs
Arrive Woking : 10-56 hrs Change trains
Leave Woking : 11-13 hrs South Western service from Woking to Portsmouth Harbour
Arrive Guildford: 11-23 hrs

Godalming to Waterloo: South Western's once-an-hour service from Portsmouth Harbour to Woking, leaving Godalming at 48 mins past the hour. Change at Woking for on-going services to Waterloo (total journey length about 1 hr 8 mins)

Rail ticket: Buy a day return to Godalming
Today's hybrid walk is a bit of a bugger's muddle of a concoction which might just work if we are fortunate with the trains. The length of the walk is also appropriate for the shortest day of the year. Leaving Guildford we head for the river and follow it for a while before leaving it for a stretch along the North Downs Way to the village of Compton and Watts Gallery, where an early lunch can be taken in its excellent cafeteria (your only lunch option if you do not have a reservation at the Withies Inn).
For a pub lunch you continue through a stud farm then along the edge of a wood to the far side of Compton, where you find the popular and very good Withies Inn. Making a reservation is highly recommended. Your e.t.a is (now) 1-15 pm. I suggest you book on-line.
After lunch the walk continues through woods and along field edges before you take an undulating woodland path before walking beside the River Wey all the "way" into Godalming. There should be some tea shops open although our beer buffs make straight for the Star pub. Keep an eye on the time as train services home are only once an hour.
Walk Directions are here for the Book 2 morning leg, and here for the Book 1 afternoon leg
  • 17-Dec-22

    @Marcus. This walk, too, has a problem with an emergency "overtime ban" timetable. Wanborough is rush hour only.

  • 18-Dec-22

    Many thanks, Andrew. It's back to the drawing board - once again ! South Western are now operating a greatly restricted timetable. I will manufacture a walk between Guildford and Godalming - but I hope our walkers accept the longer journey times.

    I cannot wait for the New Year and my retirement from walk posting ! !

  • 21-Dec-22

    The connection at Worthing didn't work because of delays , so the 5 of us are, an hour later, doing an ad hoc walk from Milford to Godalming.

  • 21-Dec-22

    9 on this walk, though only 4 did the specified route. Let me explain….

    I shall not repeat the rather un-woke expression in the walk post, but the muddle today was all provided by the South Western Railway. Yesterday I went to York on LNER, who were operating a full service, despite the RMT overtime ban. Today SWR were operating a pathetic skeleton service, and failed to run even that properly.

    To cut a long story short, the specified train from Waterloo reached Woking a few minutes late, at which time the connecting train to Guildford was still on a parallel track. It could not depart without crossing the route of the Waterloo train, but still pulled out of the station just after the Waterloo train arrived, and then sat outside the station at a signal while the other train passed. The result was that five walkers on that train missed the connection. After a 45 minute wait at Woking they entrained to Milford and improvised a six mile route to Godalming.

    Three of us, including the walk poster, happened to have got earlier trains to Woking. So we got to Guildford more or less on time. There we met a fourth walker who had come on the slow line via Cobham. We set off to do the specified route in a mix of cloud and sun , with the odd splash of rain.

    A very pleasant walk - the autumn colour now nearly all gone - some oak leaves only - and blue tits starting their mating song (no, not early at all: normal time for this). Happily our walk poster had booked for four in the Withies Inn, though in fact we would have got a place anyway (the restaurant was fairly full, but not the bar: less busy than might be expected at this time of year).

    After lunch we had a bit more mud, but generally this walk was dry underfoot - until we got to the riverside section near Godalming. The Wey here had burst its banks, and after finding all routes through the marshes waterlogged we headed along a not unpleasant suburban road into the town.

    Here in the Star we met the Milford party, already in their cups. We too had cups - of tea and coffee in big pots.

    On the way home a busy ten car Portsmouth train terminated at Woking and its occupants were funnelled after a 20 minute wait onto an equally busy train from Southampton to Waterloo. It is a hell of a way to run a railroad….but hey, we survived and had a fine day out.

Book 2, Walk 12 - Guildford Circular with Hog's back start
Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10 a steep ascent out of city centre, remainder of walk 2 out of 10
London Waterloo: 10-30 hrs South Western service to Portsmouth Harbour; does NOT stop at Clapham Junction; Woking: 10-55 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 11-02 hrs
Clapham Junctioners

Clapham Junction: 10-27 hrs South Western service from Waterloo to Exeter St Davids
Arrive Woking: 10-45 hrs Change trains
Leave Woking: 10-55 hrs South Western service to Portsmouth Harbour (as above)
Arrive Guildford: 11-02 hrs

Guildford to Waterloo: fast services at 01, 21, 34 and 49 mins past the hour
Today's walk starts with a climb up a steep road to a grassy plateau above the city. Your reward for this hard work is a panoramic view of the city and its cathedral below you. On top you will be relieved to know you have had your main exercise for the day as the going for the rest of the day is relatively easy. You drop down a steep path to eventually connect with a section of the North Downs Way which you follow through woodland into the village of Compton. Here you find Watts Gallery, with its excellent cafeteria for those wanting an early lunch (there is an entry charge to the art gallery but entry is free to the cafeteria) and down the road, Watts Chapel, well worth a visit for those new to this walk: there is no entry charge. For those who prefer a pub lunch, you continue through a stud farm then through woodland to the far side of Compton, where you come to the Withies Inn, a favourite with SWC walkers and usually very good. 'Phoning ahead with numbers, or booking a few days before, is recommended (for the comfy bar area, not the restaurant) 01483-421158 your e.t.a today is 1 pm.
After lunch at the Withies, you walk through Losely Park, then down an access road past the Surrey Police HQ, to the banks of the River Wey. You now follow the river back to Guildford. Tea can be taken in the pleasant cafe area / foyer to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. You also have a good choice of pubs in the city centre for those who like a libation or tincture at walk-end.
Today's walk might be short in length but it is highly enjoyable - recommended.
Walk Directions are here: L=2.12
  • 16-Oct-22

    Will this follow the written route on website. I might be able to join after working in the earlier morning?

  • 17-Oct-22

    Yes Gavin, it will.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to join you today as I have to attend a funeral in the morning. But I should be back in harness the following week (and on the Whitchurch walk this Saturday).

  • 18-Oct-22

    Hi Marcus,

    Thankyou. I'm not sure whether I can make it, will try.

    Commiseration with you for the funeral, if that is the best word!

  • 18-Oct-22

    Hi Marcus,

    Thankyou. I'm not sure whether I can make it, will try.

    Commiseration with you for the funeral, if that is the appropriate word!

  • Hi, route says Guildford Circular, but GPS says Farnham

  • 19-Oct-22

    Southern Explorer - if you open the written, on-line Directions by clicking on them, you will see that Guildford Circular with the Hog's Back start is a variation of Guildford to Farnham, a longer walk. I believe the GPS directions for the circular walk are on the website.

  • 19-Oct-22

    Some apps (such as outdoor active) don't show all the options on our gpx files.

  • 19-Oct-22

    All the more reason to have a copy of the latest written directions in your back pack - far more reliable than routes shown on hand-held gizmos !

  • 20-Oct-22

    16 set off from Guildford station, with 2 more joining for part of the walk later on, so 18 in total. The weather improved as we climbed up onto the Hogs Back, and it was warm and sunny enough for shorts and T-shirt by lunchtime.

    About half the group enjoyed excellent service and food at the Withies Inn, whilst others had a picnic lunch in the warm sunshine. Not sure if anyone went to the Watts Gallery.

    The afternoon stroll through Losely Park was very pleasant, but the path along the River Wey was closed on the west bank, so that we had to double back and cross over to the over side.

    In all a lovely early autumn outing, and probably the best weather we'll see until the spring!

    Thanks to Marcus for posting.

  • 20-Oct-22

    Think the number can be safely rounded up to 20.

    I joined just along the A31 and found one of the three or four paths up to easily find the bulk of the walkers.

    Indeed by taking bus 46 (hourly, goes to Watts Gallery) or 65 bus (half hourly) to Farnham Road Opp The Drive, Guildford, ie round corner from Station. Then get off after a mile or so, or as needed. Or taxi, about £7

    And I saw another late starter.

    4 of us went for beers afterwards to up to three pubs (guess who!).

  • 21-Oct-22


    overcast at first then warm and sunny

Book 2, Walk 12a) - Guildford Circular with Hog's Back start

Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10 One very strenuous climb up onto the Hog's Back Remainder of walk: 2 out of 10
London Waterloo: 10-00 hrs SouthWestern service to Guildford Does NOT stop at Clapham Junction Woking 10-25 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 10-33 hrs
Clapham Junctioners

Clapham Junction: 09-57 hrs SouthWestern service (from Waterloo) to Salisbury
Arrive Woking: 10-15 hrs Change trains
Leave Woking: 10-25 hrs SouthWestern service to Guildford (as above)
Arrive Guildford: 10-33 hrs

Guilford to Waterloo: SouthWestern fast services at 05, 19 and 49 mins past the hour
SouthWestern stopping services at 04, 34 and 45 mins past the hour
A nice short walk today, with a good steep ascent at the very start, which will more than remove the previous night's cobwebs. But once on top of the Hog's Back, the views below are magnificent - and almost worth the knackering effort !
From the Hog's Back we drop down to the North Downs Way which we follow into Compton, where we find Watts Gallery and Watts Chapel. There is a pleasant cafe in the former. On then through a farm and along woodland to the far side of Compton and the excellent Withies Inn, the suggested lunch stop. Booking ahead is advisable - 01483-421158 - your e.t.a is 12-30 pm.
After lunch we walk through Losely Park - a good picnic stop - to come out beside the River Wey, for a relaxing walk along its tow path all the way into Guildford. For walk-end refreshment stops see the Directions.
Walk Directions are here: L=2.12
  • 11-Feb-22

    Hi, how long roughly is the climb?

  • 11-Feb-22

    Seems forever but probably no more than fifteen minutes. It's the only climb on today's walk so do enjoy it ! ? !

  • 11-Feb-22

    I have booked a table for 4, at the Withies for 12:30, i.e. Joanna and I plus whoever would like to dine inside. I did not want to book for more than 4 as not sure of demand.

  • 12-Feb-22

    I'm up for lunch if place still available. Thanks

  • 12-Feb-22

    22 of us assembled outside Guildford railway station, although we might have "lost" two on the climb up to the Hog's back. Once on top we were greeted with some thin, slippery mud which was a bit treacherous to walk on although, thankfully, no-one took a tumble. After our descent from the upper plateau we enjoyed walking on sandy, mud-free bridleways all the way to Compton. No-one opted to visit Watts Gallery or Watts Chapel today, so most of us continued to the Withies Inn, where fourteen of us had lunch in the pub's comfortable informal bar area, and most of us enjoyed the fare on offer and the excellent choice of draught beers. The pub was empty when we arrived at 12-15 pm, which was of some concern, but come 1 pm the pub was full, so there was no need to be concerned for this lovely pub's viability. Four of the picnickers joined us for drinks in the pub and I believe the others enjoyed their lunches in the picnic area next to the pond in Losely Park.

    The weather at the start of the day was mild with hazy sunshine turning to lovely sunshine after lunch . In fact, conditions were most pleasant if not ideal for a winter's walk.

    Eighteen of us left the Withies Inn together and the easy walk through Losely Park in the afternoon sunshine was delightful. On reaching the River Wey we encountered a number of families out enjoying the weather and a few other walkers. On arriving in Guildford shortly after 3 pm some opted to continue their walk by 2 to 3 miles by walking up to Chantry Wood before returning to Guildford. Some nine of us who were suitably sated by the day's walk had tea in the comfortable Yvonne Arnaud Theatre cafe, and very pleasant, too. Fast trains then took us back to London.

    We enjoyed a lovely day in fine weather and the best of SWC company.

    More, please !

  • 13-Feb-22

    Thanks to all for welcoming me, a first-timer, to yesterday's walk. And thank you to Marcus, too, for posting the details here.

    Friendly company and great weather after midday made the walk a great experience. Lunch at the 400-year-old pub was a nice warm and cozy break, as well.

    If you're keen to promote the Walking Club and attract new members, you might consider posting walks to this forum:

    I myself stumbled on the Walking Club website from someone casually mentioning it there. And I know there are 10s of 1000s of people in the London area that are active on this forum and would be interested in a walk.

    In any case, I hope to join you all again for another walk in the next 2 weeks.

    - JohnN

  • 13-Feb-22

    Thanks for your comment, John, but I'm sorry I forgot to mention in my walk report we had one first timer today - your goodself !

    I'm glad you enjoyed the walk and we look forward to seeing you on another SWC walk.

Sun, 04-Jul-21 : Sunday Walk - Farnham Circular 7

Farnham circular (option c of the Guildford to Farnham Walk)


Length 10.1 miles

Toughness: 5 out of 10

This walk follows the morning of the Farnham toGodalming walk as far as its lunch pub, the Donkey in Charleshill, and then uses the latter part of the Guildford to Farnham walk to return to Farnham. This creates a nicely contrasted walk, following a pretty valley in the morning and across wooded heathland in the afternoon.

Trains: Catch the 10.07 from London Waterloo (CJ 10.14) arriving Farnham 11.13.

Return trains from Farnham are at xx:00, xx:30. Buy a return to Farnham.

Lunch: The Donkey in Charleshill (booking recommended - tel 01252 702 124) or bring a picnic.

Tea: options described in the walk directions.

For COVID contact tracing purposes, please email or register on LWUG if you intend to come on the walk. In the event that you develop COVID symptoms in the week following the walk, please email or Your contact details will not be shared with anyone.

  • 05-Jul-21

    7 did this walk on a warm mainly dry day with a couple of heavy showers - one at the start of the walk and one mid afternoon.There were pools of water and plenty of mud on some paths but overall the going wasn't too bad. We had lunch on the village green in Tilford and it looked like some cricket might be played but they looked at the sky and retreated indoors. The heathland in the afternoon had some heather already in bloom. Elsewhere, the humid weather and abundant vegetation felt tropical. One caught the 4 o'clock train, two the 4.30. Four stopped for refreshments in Farnham.

Book 2, Walk 12b) - Guildford Circular with Hog's Back start

Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10 (at start): remainder of walk - 2 out of 10
Change in outward train time - better service now showing, although service shown below in strikethrough is still shown in timetable
London Waterloo: 10-30 hrs Portsmouth Harbour service; Does NOT stop at Clapham Junction; Woking 10-55 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 11-02 hrs

Clapham Junctioners: CJ: 10-27 hrs Exeter St David's service
Arrive Woking: 10-45 hrs Change trains
Leave Woking: 10-55 hrs on Portsmouth Harbour service, as above
Arrive Guildford: 11-02 hrs

London Waterloo: 10-15 hrs Haslemere service Clapham Junction 10-22 hrs Woking 10-43 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 10-50 hrs
Return 4 fast trains an hour

Covid-19 Compliance: the mantra is now: "Hands-Face-Space-Fresh Air". We will get plenty of the last, regardless, but the other three will be down to all of us observing social distancing and following the current guidance for walkers. The majority of SWC Walk Posters believe the "Rule of Six" still applies to SWC walks - at least until 16 May. Please all come prepared to exchange contact details for track and trace purposes. If you prefer to pre-register for this walk (not essential - but it facilitates the collection of contact details) please e-mail me at Thank you.
An energetic start to today's walk is rewarded by fine panoramic views of Guildford and Guildford Cathedral. We then drop down from the Hog's Back plateau to the North Downs Way which we follow to the outskirts of the village of Compton. Watts Gallery is still closed until May but Watts Chapel, down the road, should be open - and worth a visit if this walk is new to you. Through a farm and then through a wood and you come to the usually excellent Withies Inn, which reopened on 12 April for outdoors dining. If seeking a pub lunch here you should book in advance.
After Compton you head for Losely Park, a good spot for a picnic (as are the grounds of the closed Watts Gallery). On through the park and you come to the River Wey for a relaxing riverside walk back to Guildford. There should be plenty of takeaway options here for post walk refreshments before your journey back to London.
Walk Directions are here: L=2.12
  • Gavin

    What time might it be good to book lunch for at the Withies?

  • 12-Apr-21

    Hi Gavin, I have booked a table for 6 at the Withies for 12-45 pm. If you now find the Withies fully booked when you contact them you may have one of my places, if you wish.

  • 13-Apr-21

    Their boking site says they have no spaces within 2.5 hours.

    I could phone them, and if they do have some spaces, could book more than just one, as your spaces might be filled? Bw, Gavin

  • 14-Apr-21

    No bad thing to book a second table even if you have to wait a short while for it to become available. You can always spend some time in Compton, at Watts Chapel. The afternoon leg of the walk is short, so unless you are in a hurry to return to London you will have plenty of time today to complete the walk. As our first official (non-Renegade) SWC Wednesday walk back post Lockdown 3 - no bad thing perhaps to have a leisurely, non-rushed day.

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I wonder if there is still a space for lunch at the Withies? Thanks. Alice.

  • 14-Apr-21

    Yes, Alice, I am sure we can fit you in on one of our tables.

  • 14-Apr-21

    I have booked a table for 6 at 13.00, for snacks and drinks only. The restuarant outside is full.

    I would hope to eat a full meal though. However, I guess this can be sorted on the day. Obviously the weather will affect things. I would hope to make it even if there are hurricanes.

    I will likely get a taxi from the Withies to Guildford station, as I prob have a meeting at 5pm in Tooting.

  • Anonymous

    Great, thank you Marcus! Alice

  • Anonymous

    Hi Marcus, I've got things coming up at work so cannot go for the walk tomorrow. Won't be able to join the lunch at the Withies. Have an enjoyable walk! Alice

  • 21-Apr-21

    I tried sending email to:

    and it was called a deamon-error.

    I am doing the whole walk today as my meeting at 5pm is cancelled.

  • 21-Apr-21

    9 on a sunny cloudy and sometimes windy day. A pleasant easy-going walk. (Pleasant and easy-going, that is, except for the gruelling slog up the hill out of Guildford). On top, after the oxygen had been administered, our way was carpeted with celandine, wood anemone and even a few cowslips. Later, we were alongside huge yellow fields of oilseed rape. Eventually the Withies was reached and I was able to relax with a pint of draught beer (the first in 4 months) and wait for the others to catch up. Four ate and were appreciative. Some had as many as two pints of beer.

    Then we were off, back to Guildford for a tea / alcohol break in the White House. One minor disappointment - the final stretch of riverside, in Guildford, is blocked. I had to divert onto the road.

  • 22-Apr-21

    Thanks for the walk report, Ian. The five walkers in my group opted to cross the pedestrian bridge before you reach the closed weir to enter Guildford and walk on the other (eastern) side of the River Wey (as suggested in the Walk Directions, para 32). We still had a short section of road walking at the end of the fields, but we though whilst the route around the weir remains closed, the alternative route is better and more enjoyable.

    Good to see everyone, and a nice day out.

  • 22-Apr-21

    For para 32 in my comment below, please read para 160 in the latest on-line version of the Walk Directions.

  • 22-Apr-21

    That's what I did, Marcus, but at the point where you have to come out on the road, it was not particularly obvious that the river route ahead was blocked. I crossed over the footbridge at that point and continued along the riverside until I was blocked by a big fence. Then I had to retrace. I must have lost at least 20 minutes of important drinking time.

Book 2, Walk 12ab) - Guildford Circular with Hog's Back start

Book 2, Walk 12b) - Guildford Circular with Hog's Back start

Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles)
Toughness: 6 out of 10 (due to initial climb onto the Hog's Back: remainder 2 out of 10)

London Waterloo: 10-15 hrs Haslemere service CJ 10-22hrs Woking 10-43 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 10-50 hrs

Return: fast trains at 01, 19, 34 and 49 mins past the hour

This walk will be familiar to SWC mid-week walkers, and it makes for a most enjoyable winter's walk, with an energetic start up onto the Hog's Back, to enjoy some lovely views. Thereafter, you drop down onto sandy paths and tracks to make your way to Watts Gallery and Watts Chapel. If you wish you can stop for lunch in the Gallery's very good cafeteria, although your recommended lunch stop today comes 30 minutes later at the excellent and very popular Withies Inn in Compton tel: 01483-421158. It is essential to 'phone ahead from Guildford railway station with numbers (your e.t.a excluding time for stops at the Gallery and Chapel is 12-30 hrs). As I will not be with you on the walk today perhaps someone else could do the honours in contacting the pub. Try to reserve a table in the informal bar-lounge area, not the formal restaurant with its claustrophobic low ceiling.

After lunch you have an enjoyable walk through the open parkland of Losely Park before you descend to the River Wey, for a relaxing riverside walk to Guildford. Here you have a good choice of refreshments stops, with the Debenham's store self-service restaurant and - next door - the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre cafe being popular with SWC walkers.
Your walk directions are here L=2.12

  • David F

    11 walkers set off from Guildford on a cold and breezy but bright day with sunny periods . At least four elected to extend the walk to Farnham, three of whom ate sandwiches outside the Jolly Farmer, while one walker opted to eat in the pub, perhaps encouraged by the powerful central heating. The walk was successfully navigated by a combination of OS map, GPS and written instructions. There was mud, but no more than would be expected at this tine of year. We reached Farnham at about 4.15 p.m. and found a convenient pub while waiting for the 65 bus back to Guildford. This deposited us at Guildford station in time to catch the 17.34 back to London.

  • Anonymous

    The weir bridge in Guildford Park is still missing after its collapse last year. It collapsed last year as someone was walking across it and the moment was caught on video

Mr M Tiger
Mr M Tiger
13.4km (8.3 miles) Difficulty 2/10
A pleasant outing from Guildford, visiting Watts Gallery and Chapel, and Loseley Park .
Trains Get the 10:00 Guildford train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:09) arriving Guildford 10:48.
Fastest return trains at xx:01 or xx:31
The Withies Inn in Compton (01483 421158) is the suggested lunch stop for this walk. A friendly rural pub serving food 12-3pm.
Watts Gallery tea shop in Compton (01483 813590), 5.7km (3.5 miles) into the walk, serves a range of light meals (including vegan options) from 12-4pm , with sandwiches and cakes served 10.30am to 5pm.
Plenty of options in Guildford, the self-service restaurant of Debenhams, open till 5pm Sunday, has an excellent selection of cakes, and a beautiful view overlooking the River Wey. For other options, explore the town’s high street, or there is a Costa Coffee at Guildford station.
The Watts Gallery in Compton is dedicated to the memory of Victorian artist G F Watts. It costs £11.50 to get in (£5.75 with an Art Card). The gallery has some impressive paintings and is currently hosting an exhibition on Christina Rossetti. Near the gallery, the beautifully decorated Watts Chapel is worth a look - and free.
Directions: here
Pages 1-5 and 10-12 will suffice for the circular. The sections you need are
  • Guildford station to the North Downs Way
  • To Watts Gallery via North Downs Way
  • Watt's Gallery to Loseley Park
  • Loseley Park to Guildford
  • 01-Mar-19

    You'll have to keep yourselves separate from a group of Capital Walkers who will also be spilling out of this train at Guildford and starting off alongside the Wey. They'll then be heading off in the other direction so your paths are unlikely to cross again unless you happen to meet up on the train home.

  • Tony

    2 set off in constant , alternating drizzle and light rain. After a fireside lunch at the recommended pub we braved strong winds and horizontal rain as we followed the river Wey back into Guildford. Sandy soil made for firm paths and not too much sticky mud. A bracing walk with some atmospheric views.

  • Anonymous

    constant alternating drizzle and light rain

13.8 miles/22.2km
4 out of 10

This is a walk of two halves, with gentle countryside in the morning, passing by the Watts Gallery to lunch at Puttenham, while the afternoon route heads up into the wilder Surrey Heathlands.

Trains: 10:00 from London Waterloo, arriving at Guildford at 10:33. Return from Farnham at xx28/xx58. A day return to Farnham is also valid for the outward journey to Guildford.
Lunch: An early stop after 5.2 miles/8.3 km at The Good Intent, Puttenham, food served until 2:30pm (tel 01483 810387). An alternative to the Good Intent is to stop 300m before at the Harvester pub on the B3000.
  • 06-Feb-19

    Hi Bridie2,

    I would like to join you on your walk from Guildford to Farnham on Saturday. This will be my first time walking with the Saturday Walkers club, is their any thing I need to know?

    Regards Barry

  • 06-Feb-19

    There is lots of useful information about how our walks work here, Barry

  • 06-Feb-19

    Thank you for the quick response. I have downloaded the walk PDF and will also take a print out. See you on Saturday.

  • Anonymous

    I may take up the option in the directions to do the shorter circular walk back to Guildford, at Compton (or possibly after lunch in Puttenham)

  • 10-Feb-19

    12 at Guildford Station, one of which had walked in from his car parked at Watts Gallery, near where we later picked up his partner, so 13 in sunny then grey weather. 9 ate at The Good Intent (we had called ahead to book a table), the picnickers joined us so we all left at the same time, but then we split into sub-groups when crossing Puttenham Common and the woods thereafter. Snowdrops nearly everywhere up to the Commons, in gardens, under large trees, in churchyards and on the wayside. The River Wey full and fast-flowing. Mud: still modest for the time of year. Unbelievable numbers of dog walkers, and some hikers as well.

    In Farnham some went to The Lamb, others to The Mulberry, the stragglers were on the 16.58.

Book 2, Walk 12b) - Guildford Circular, with Hog's Back start

Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles) Longer options available, finishing in Godalming or Farnham
Toughness: 6 out of 10 (one steep ascent at the start, remainder of walk 2 out of 10)

London Waterloo: 10-15 hrs Haslemere service. CJ 10-22 hrs, Woking 10-43 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 10-50 hrs

Return: 00, 17, 34 and 47 mins past the hour

This walk makes for a good winter's outing, with a steep hill at the start, up onto the Hog's Back, to get shot of the cobwebs, worth the effort for the spendid views, then it's downhill to a nice mixture of woods, Surrey heathland, farmland and open spaces, plus places of interest en route, namely Watts Gallery and Watts Chapel. You can have lunch in the Gallery (without, I believe, having to pay the entrance fee) but the main lunch stop for those who appreciate a good pub is the Withies Inn, in Compton. Please 'phone ahead with numbers from Guildford station, or shortly thereafter: this popular pub is busy all year round: 01483-421158 your e.t.a is 12-40 pm. Request a table in the comfy bar area - I find the restaurant, with its low ceiling, hot and a bit claustrophobic.

Post prandial, you have a pleasant walk through Loseley Park, which takes you out onto a road near the River Wey. You now head for the river for your homeward leg back to Guildford. Plenty of pubs and tea rooms await your custom before you walk to the railway station for fast trains back to London.
Walk Directions are here: L=2.12
  • Anonymous

    may do this walk in the old fashioned way so maybe see you all at Watts Gallery.


  • 24-Jan-19

    16 assembled in the concourse of Guildford's railway station before setting off on the steep climb up the minor road to the Hog's Back. This ascent gets steeper every time I try it. The views from the top made up for energy expended, made more atmospheric by the previous night's dusting of snow. The weather - mostly sunny and bright all day assisted - we we enjoyed near perfect winter walking conditions all day. A walk along the top and then it was downhill on a slippery, narrow path to connect up with the North Downs Way which took us to the Watts Gallery, where at least 2 in our party stopped for a visit. 2 others then set off to tackle the Farnham long walk version of our walk. Most others visited Watts Chapel before heading through farmland and woodland to the Withies Inn, where 10 dined, enjoying this pub's friendly service and cuisine - most of us enjoy our visits to the Withies.

    The afternoon leg, in contrast to the morning's climbs, was pleasantly flat - Losely Park, then a walk beside the River Wey. Having set out from the pub in relays, all bar 2 of the early leavers headed straight for the station on reaching Guildford, the two stopping for tea at Debenhams. The 4 in my group took tea next door at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre - and very nice, too. On then to the railway for a fast train back to London.

    I believe today's walk was enjoyed by all - for its variety and contrasts, inclines to keep a SWC walker honest, good water features, easy travel, and an excellent lunch stop - in perfect weather, to boot. It just goes to show you don't always have to trudge 15 miles to have a rewarding walk. Our 8.5 miles today with its ups and downs and sights en route methinks was just right for many of us.

    I hope our 2 Farnham walkers enjoyed their day and arrived at their destination in daylight.

  • David M

    The 2 Farnham walkers arrived in good time to take tea at Farnham station before heading back on the 4.58 train to Waterloo. The approach into Farnham is not the prettiest, but all in all a very nice walk and made better still by the near perfect weather.

Guildford to Godalming book 2 walk 12b, with alternative ending
Length: 13km (8miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

Optional extension back to Shalford (17.6km/10.9 miles) or Guildford (10.4km/12.6 miles)

9.45 train from Waterloo (9.52 Clapham Junction) to Guildford, arriving 10.23. (Make sure you get this one, not the slow one at 33 past...)

Buy a day return to Godalming (or to Shalford or Guildford, if you have definitely decided to return from there: otherwise a day return to Godalming covers all eventualities)

This walk is a combination of two different walks (so two sets of instructions or GPX files needed: see below) with an optional extension along the Wey Navigation.

First you start with option b) or book 2 walk 12 Guildford to Farnham - directions here (see page 9 to start: you need pages 8-11 of this document, plus the home page for lunch and history details) GPX file here. This takes you on a steep climb up onto the Hog's Back ridge, with fine views both northwards and southwards.

After the Hog's Back section follow the Guildford Circular directions as far as the Watt's Gallery cafe or Witthies Inn - both excellent, but both popular for lunch: squeeze into them politely please: in the past poorly-behaved walkers have upset both establishments. Watt's Gallery Chapel is also worth a quick visit if you don't know it.

You could then just follow the Guildford Circular version of walk 12 back to Guildford, but my recommendation is to switch at either Watt's Gallery or the Witthies Inn to the Warnborough to Godalming walk (book 1 walk 2 - directions here, GPX here - start from the end of paragraph 8 from Watt's Gallery or from paragraph 11 for the Witthies Inn): follow this walk to its end in Godalming, making a walk from Guildford of 13km (8 miles).

Trains back from Godalming go at 25 and 53 minutes past the hour.


After tea, an optional extension, if there is still light, is to walk up the Wey Navigation path to Shalford or Guildford. This is an atmospheric and interesting walk, perfectly flat, easy to follow and doable in the dusk. To do this go to the far (eastern) end of Godalming high street, and follow the road as it veers left to a big road bridge over the river. At the far end of the bridge, turn right onto the riverside path.

The way is then not in doubt all the way to Guildford. After 4km (2.5 miles) you are forced to cross a main road (a busy road: not the minor road at Farncombe Lock not far beyond Godalming). If you turn right here and then veer left across the common in about 100 metres, you come in another few hundred metres to another main road, with Shalford station beyond it. Trains from here go at 03 past the hour, changing at Guildford for Waterloo. There is a pub conveniently close to the station for tea. If you end here you will have walked 17.6km (10.9 miles)

Or at the busy road crossing, simply continue onwards on the Wey path into Guildford, another 3.5km (2.2 miles), making a total Guildford circular walk of 20.4km (12.7 miles). Fast trains back to Waterloo from Guildford are every 15 minutes and there are lots of tea options, including a Costa Coffee with seating at the station itself. T=2.12b

  • 31-Dec-17

    19 very mild but overcast . An interesting variation on the various Guildford circulars. At lunch time we split about 50:50 for the Watts Gallery / Cafe / Chapel and the Withies Inn. The Withies offers two menus - light lunches in the bar area or the restaurant menu which they will also serve in the bar area. Both good but the restaurant menu is getting quite expensive. The Wey was in full flow as we went on for early tea and cake in Godalming. Some stayed on to look round the shops and I believe others walked back to Guildford or Shalford.

Book 2 Walk 12 b) - Guildford to Farnham with Hog's Back start

Length: 22.2 km (13.8 miles) (Guildford Circular 13.6 km, 8.5 miles)
Toughness: start 6 out of 10 (initial steep ascent) but most of walk (both) 2 out of 10

Option to mix and match with other Guildford walks

London Waterloo: 10-15 hrs (Haslemere train) CJ 10-22 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 10-50 hrs

Return Farnham to Waterloo: 28 and 58 mins past the hour
Return Guildford to Waterloo: four an hour

Rail ticket: if doing the Farnham walk, buy a day return to Farnham. Otherwise, a day return to Guildford

Your options for today - St David's Day and Ash Wednesday - include a longish walk to Farnham or a pleasant, shorter Circular walk around Guildford. I suggest you all set out together on the Hog's Back start - a steep ascent but rewarded with panoramic views of Guildford.

Having descended from the Hog's Back you all head for Watts Gallery and Chapel, which will be familiar with walkers who ventured out on the Wanborough walk some five weeks earlier. Those on the Circular walk now head for the suggested lunch stop, the popular and usually excellent Withies Inn in Compton. Please phone ahead with numbers: 01483-421158. The Farnham walkers part company with the Circular walkers at Watts Gallery and they head for lunch at the Good Intent pub in Puttenham Village: again, best 'phone ahead with numbers: 01483-810387.

After the Circular walkers have dined in Compton their afternoon walk is quite different to the Wanborough walk and takes them over farmland and into Loseley Park with a final leg beside the River Wey into Guildford, with its many tea and pub options.

For those heading for Farnham, you have a long afternoon ahead of you ( 8.7 miles) and you will need to maintain a healthy pace to make Farnham in daylight, but it is doable, and your route takes you over classic Surrey heathland, woods and commons, giving you a rewarding long walk.
Walk directions here L=2.12

Next Week Wednesday 08 March: SWC Walk 94 - Watton-at-Stone Circular
  • Anonymous

    The "Download Walk (pdf)" button on the Watton-at-Stone circular walk page doesn't seem to be working at the moment.

  • 27-Feb-17

    try now

  • Anonymous

    No change as yet, I'm afraid.

  • Sandy

    I can't join you on Wednesday but if you're doing the circular version, make sure a stray dog doesn't follow you when you pass Coneycroft Farm (at option (a) paras 17-18). It's happened at least a couple of times, as David M knows.

  • Anonymous

    Download button now fixed, thanks Andrew!

  • 01-Mar-17

    14 , Eight took the shorter circular option and six the longer linear walk ending in Farnham. cloudy with the odd spot of rain from time to time and generally better than forecast. Six of us had lunch at the Withies Inn which was up to its usual high standard of food and service. The circular walkers got back to Guildford quite early and four went for tea in the Debenhams Restaurant with its panoramic river view.

Book 2 Walk 12a – Guildford Circular
Length: 13.6 km (8.5 miles). Toughness: 2/10

10:30 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:39), arriving Guildford at 11:10.

There are fast return trains from Guildford at 05 & 35 minutes past the hour.

I suggest doing the standard version of this Book 2 walk, but the website version now includes a slightly more strenuous alternative start and you could take a vote on this before setting off. Both variations lead you into Compton via the Watts Gallery tea room and/or Watts Chapel (the latter is free and well worth a visit), before heading back to Guildford via Loseley Park. If you want a pub lunch you have to make a small detour to the Withies Inn on the return leg, but this popular pub is likely to be even busier than usual just before Christmas and I'd be tempted to get something earlier at the Gallery tea room.

For refreshments at the end of the walk you'll find all the usual suspects along Guildford's High Street as well as several riverside pubs. Debenham's self-service restaurant has a particularly nice riverfront setting, though they might be a bit sniffy if you're trailing copious amounts of mud as you make your way to it through the store.

You'll need to print the directions from the Book 2 Walk 12 document. T=2.12.a
  • 04-Dec-16

    Those interested in Arts and Craft design may like to take advantage of tours of Limnerslease, GF and Mary Watts' home, built for them nearby and recently opened to tours. exhibition at Watts Gallery.

    Leighton House is displaying 'Flaming June' at the moment and a visit to LH is much enriched by an included tour, every sunday at 3pm by a knowledgeable Scotswoman. Connected with F J's display is an exhibition at Watts Gallery of works of the same period, each accompanied by a description from the owner - Untold Stories: British Art from Private Collections offers an exciting opportunity to see great works of art which are normally kept behind closed doors.

    These extra items may delay your return to Guildford, but there is a regular hourly bus service detailed with full timetable at the bottom of the 'Visit Us' web page of the Watts Gallery

  • 04-Dec-16

    p.s. reduced entry at LeightonHouse with Art fund card and NT England card, NOT NT Scotland

  • 06-Dec-16

    p.p.s. NO TOURS OF LIMNERSLEASE on sunday 11th December.

  • 12-Dec-16

    15 on this walk in fine sunny and clear weather. We all took the longer tarmac climb to enjoy views óf Guildford with its cathedral dominating the landscape. Because the pub was fully booked we all lunched or had refreshments at the Watts Gallery cafe and if you get there early enough seating should nót be a problem. After lunch most of us visited Watts Chapel before the return leg to Guildford which is mostly the opening stretch of the Guildford to Farnham walk in reverse. On the way we were joined by a friendly half-grown rottweiller dog which appeared to have become separated from its owners. It was tagged so we left it in the hands of a kindly local. We forsook the riverside route to return to Guildford via a track across the still dry water meadows. Six of us then found a table in a cafe Nero in Guildford's bustling High street before heading home on a fast train. An excellent winter walk with little mud underfoot and some fine views.

Book 2 Walk 12 - Guildford to Farnham
13.8 miles/22.2km
4 out of 10

This is a walk of two halves, with gentle countryside in the morning, passing by the Watts Gallery to lunch at Puttenham. The afternoon route heads up into the wilder Surrey Heathlands, a vast area of woods, sandy grassland and heather-covered moors.

Trains: 9:45 Portsmouth & Southsea train from London Waterloo, arriving at Guildford at 10:23. Return from Farnham at xx28/xx58. Buy a day return to Farnham - recent experience is that this is accepted by the ticket barriers at Guildford station.

Lunch: The Good Intent, Puttenham, serves food until 2:30pm, tel 01483 810387, located 5.2 miles/8.3km into the walk. An early option is the tearoom at the Watts Gallery (3.4 miles/5.5km), which serves soups/sandwiches at lunchtime. And an alternative to the Good Intent is to stop 300m before at the Harvester pub on the B3000.

The traditional place for tea in Farnham is the Bush Hotel, 300m past the station, but there are many other options in Farnham's picturesque town centre.

  • 22-Aug-16

    The heather should be at its best in the second half this walk. It can be quite a spectacle

  • Anonymous

    I think the shop at Loseley Park is open for ice creams etc...

  • Anonymous

    12 -approx dry and shady in the woods . 2 joined at lunchtime, 1 having taken an alternative route and 1 on a later train. 1 other late walker dropped out at Watts Gallery. Pleasant morning, nice heather on the heathland, good lunch, a few too many roads in the afternoon for my liking.

Book 2 Walk 12a (variation) – Guildford Circular, with alternative start
Length: 12½ or 14 km (7.8 or 8.7 miles). Toughness: 3/10

10:30 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:39), arriving Guildford at 11:10.

There are fast return trains from Guildford at 05 & 35 minutes past the hour.

The book version of this short circular walk will be (over-)familiar to most SWC stalwarts – although its last Sunday outing was 2½ years ago – but it has been re-invigorated with this new start. On this variation you climb up onto the North Downs ridge (the Hog's Back) for far-reaching views on both sides before dropping down to join the North Downs Way, where the walk notes offer a number of continuations.

If you don't want a pub lunch the simplest option is to follow the book route into Compton via the Watts Gallery tea room and/or Watts Chapel (the latter is free and well worth a visit), before heading back to Guildford via Loseley Park. However, my inclination would be to head first to the popular Withies Inn, which is usually able to squeeze walkers into its bar area for lunch. From here the walk notes direct you straight back to Guildford but it's not difficult to detour into Compton if you want to visit the Chapel and/or Gallery, an extra 1½ km or so.

At the end of the walk there are many possible tea places in Guildford, with the book recommending Debenham's self-service restaurant on the riverfront. There are also several riverside pubs plus a choice of cafés and coffee shops in the High Street.

You'll need to print the new route directions from this Hog's Back Start Option document. For the return route, bring Book 2 or print the relevant pages from the main Book 2 Walk 12 document. T=2.12.a
  • 07-Jan-16

    The Witthies Inn is a very nice pub, one of the best, with super helpful staff. So please be nice to them. I dimly remember some SWC party a while back reporting that they had arguments with the staff and got "banned". We definitely don't want to fall out with this place, so be nice.

    Back in the summer I went there for lunch on a weekday and ordered at the bar from the restaurant menu. I didn't want to sit inside, so I opted for a table in the garden. Bless them, they sent a white-coated waiter out to lay my table and to serve my meal in proper restaurant style, using fork and spoon to transfer my mousaka neatly from dish to plate (wish I knew how to do that!). So in short, top hole place.


  • Anonymous

    As it's a Sunday and pubs are generally busy, I recommend giving them a courtesy call from the station to book a table.

  • 09-Jan-16

    Withies claim to be fully booked in the bar tomorrow lunch. Didn't ask about the restaurant. Just so you know.

  • 10-Jan-16

    11 on this walk. Weather fairly sunny in the morning cloudy some rain in the afternoon . A nice climb out of Guildford onto the Hog's Back, from where there was a fine view. Paths minimally muddy apart from one sunken section. The Witthies Inn was alas fully booked, but the Watts Gallery cafe accommodated us, even if the welsh rarebit portions were considered "a bit small for walkers". A few visited the Gallery itself.

    After lunch most of us visited Watt's Chapel and then headed off into the woods where there were some squelchy bits to negotiate. It rained as we approached Loseley House but soon stopped. The Wey Navigation was a brown torrent but fortunately not high enough to flood the path.

    The Debenham's self-service restaurant was alas closed for some special reason or other, but a few of us eventually found a nice cafe after an exhaustive search. I am not sure we could find it again, however...

  • 13-Jan-16

    The cafe in Guildford is called Coffee Culture. It is on Tripadvisor as #2 place for coffee (tea and cakes as well). The link below. It is worth noting it for future outings.

T=2.12.c Book 1, walk 12 + Book 2 Walk 12c - Farnham Circular
Length: 16.2km (10.1 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10 - gently undulating

9.23 train from Waterloo to Farnham, arriving 10.25

From Clapham Junction, get the 9.27 Exeter St David's train and change at Woking (arrive 9.45, depart 10.00). As the more perceptive of you will spot, this train is actually faster than the direct train between Clapham Junction and Woking.

Trains back are at 28 and 58 past the hour

This walk combines the walks numbered 12 from book 1 and book 2 to make a gentle circuit of the countryside around Farnham. At least half of it is on sandy heathlands which hopefully will be a bit drier underfoot than other paths at this time of year. Nevertheless I would come prepared for mud because it is January after all.


Start with Book 1, walk 12 (click here for directions) and follow them as far as The Donkey in Charles Hill

After lunch you need the directions for Book 2, walk 12 (use of the online directions, which were updated in September, is recommended). On page 9 of those directions you will find short link instructions for option c) which will join you up with the main walk directions for Book 2, walk 12 (you actually only need page 5 and 6). You then follow these to the end.


The best-sited pub is The Donkey in Charles Hill, 9km/5.5 miles into the walk, but it is worth ringing this on the day to make sure they have room (you should get there at 1pm or so).

If not, then the Barley Mow in Tilford, 6.2km/3.8 miles into the walk has been a reliable alternative in the past, but if you stop here note that you still have 10km/6.3 miles to do after lunch.


The Mulberry pub by Farnham station had turned into something of a party/sports venue when we passed in September. Better to make the effort to walk a few hundred metres up the road into Farnham town, which has some tea rooms, if you can get to them in time, plus lots of pubs. It is a very pretty place too and worth seeing in its own right.
  • Anonymous

    11 dry with a short shower in the morning .

    A good choice of walk for this time of year. There were some short muddy bits and a few large puddles but generally this was mostly dry paths making the walking easy. Good lunch as ever at the Donkey and friendly service of tea and scones in the comfort of The Bush Hotel in Farnham.

Book 2, walk 12 - Guildford to Farnham
Length: 22.2km (13.8 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10 - fairly flat

9.45 train from Waterloo (9.52 Clapham Junction) to Guildford, arrive 10.23

Best ticket: an interesting question. Some say that a day return to Farnham (£11.55 with a Network Card) works through the barriers at Guildford, but if it doesn't, South West Trains can be fussy about imposing penalty fares. You can cover your back by buying a single from Woking to Guildford for the outward journey (£2.40 with a Network Card, so £13.95 in total), but you will need to do this from a ticket office (in which case you might as well ask them if the Farnham return would work at Guildford).

Otherwise a day return to Guildford (£10.55 with a Network Card) plus a single from Farnham to Woking (where the lines join = £5.20) comes to £15.75.

For walk directions click here.

Before anyone starts posting comments about it, yes, for a second week I am putting up a book walk not an SWC walk (as would be more normal for this slot). My reason is because the (longish) afternoon of this walk crosses some wonderful heathlands which should still hopefully have plenty of heather in flower. (If one times this right, they can look really quite spectacular). We also need to get some longer walks in before the clocks go back (!!) and I think it is a while since this walk had a Saturday outing.

The morning is a simple walk along the North Downs Way - mainly lowland tracks at this point. Lunch is in the Good Intent in Puttenham, which normally manages to accommodate us, but if not there is (or was last time I looked) a Harvester pub just before it.

Tea is most conveniently had in a pub by Farnham station, though if you get there during shopping hours the historic town centre has some other nice tea places. Really this walk could do with a tea stop mid afternoon, however, which it doesn't have. You could bring a thermos…

Trains back from Farnham are at 28 and 58 past till late.
  • 08-Sep-15

    My take on the ticket is that a return to Farnham is all you need. If you ask the SWT website for a return to Farnham via Guildford, it shows you the trains and tells you the Railcard fare is the same £11.55. You're allowed to break your journey with an off-peak ticket so you can exit at Guildford (or any station on this route).

    The Guildford ticket barriers may not be correctly programmed to allow this, of course. But if you say "your website says that via Guildford is a permitted route to Farnham" I don't see how the staff could not let you through.

  • 09-Sep-15

    PS. One caveat to my previous comment. I've checked that the "via Guildford" route applies to tickets from London and Clapham Junction, but the website doesn't let you check it from, say, Boundary Zone 6. It's just possible that different conditions apply to these tickets.

  • Anonymous

    I did this walk recently and the return to Farnborough ticket was fine, I got through the barrier no problem. There were some road works on the final section to the station, so a detour was necessary, but I suspect this is all finished now. Hilary

  • Anonymous

    Sorry I meant Farnham return ticket! Hilary

  • 12-Sep-15

    Super walk (I'll leave full details and metrics to others)

    Stunning woodland, ponds, heathland and fascinating fungi.

    Blackberries and wild plums available for foragers.

    As an extra bonus my my Farnham return ticket (bought with freedom pass and senior rail card) opened the barrier at Guildford Station

  • 13-Sep-15

    The metrics are 24 on this walk, a nice happy, chatty group. sunshine and cloud (we will not mention the brief shower in the afternoon).

    The heather on the heaths was, alas, about three quarters over but there were still some reasonable flashes of colour. Some in my party (including me) were wilting a bit before the end, but the earlier heathland sections were very nice, and terrain-wise this is a very easy walk, with no hill climbing to speak of.

    Yet again I reflected on what a great little pub the Good Intent is: simple pub grub but tasty. Efficient service. I had forgotten it had a garden (rather a pity we sat inside on a sunny day). We probably quadrupled their lunchtime turnover.

    The Mulberry pub by the station has turned into a party/sports venue - loud youth and even louder football commentary. A good business choice for them, but not quite the walk one wants to end a walk. But I understand one Farnhamite, born and bred, in our party led many to "The Maltings", a tea place reached by going down the road into Farnham and taking the first left.