Length: 17.2km (10.7 miles)
Longer options: 19.2km (11.9 miles) or 23.4km (14.5 miles)
Shorter option: 11km (6.8 miles) - normal morning but finishing very soon after lunch
Toughness: 5 out of 10: two quite big hill climbs, otherwise fairly gentle 9.30
train from Waterloo (the Portsmouth Harbour train, not the 9.33 stopping service)
to Guildford, arriving 10.03.
From Clapham Junction
get the 9.27
, changing there (arrive 9.45, depart 9.55) for the above train.
Buy a day return to Gomshall
, making sure it is "any permitted route
" (which it should be automatically if purchased at Waterloo).
For walk directions
. For GPX
This is possibly the only walk in the SWC canon that was created specifically to be done in January. A bracing winter outing, it has the advantage of sandy soils to keep mud down (at least in places) and some invigorating climbs and views. Also an interesting hill top church, and a cosy pair of pubs (or the choice of two cafes) for lunch.
After lunch the walk also includes options
to please both the "More short walks please!" and the stride-out brigade:
- Shorter ending
): This involves ending the walk just 1.4km after lunch when the route passes close to Gomshall station (instructions given in the walk document) -
(Slightly) Longer route to Gomshall
): Unless you are in a rush to get to tea, I highly recommend this 2km extra loop, which takes in a nice open section of the escarpment: it is option c)
in the walk document and if you follow the walk directions you will be prompted at the appropriate point.
- Long walk to Box Hill station
): If you are one of those hyper-speedy walkers who lives in dread of finishing too early, this extension along the North Downs Way should fill the hours of daylight very nicely. The last bit - the broad track down onto the Denbies Wine Estate - is very doable in the dark. Tea
options in Gomshall have changed a bit. The little tea room attached to the Abinger Hammer
post office was certainly still in operation back in the summer, but the capacious Tillings Tea Room
in Gomshall has now become a shop - the Lavender Goose
- with a small cafe attached. Of Gomshall's two pubs, the Compasses Inn
is the traditional/time warp choice, but the Gomshall Mill,
mostly a table service restaurant, also has a very cosy little bar. (If walking to Box Hill, the Denbies Wine Estate self-service is open until 5pm and the Stepping Stones pub is 400 metres beyond the station).
are at 15.50
(changing at Guildford), 16.04
(changing at Redhill, ie in the opposite direction), 17.50
(via Guildford), 18.04
(via Redhill): both routes take an hour.
There are also number 32 buses
from outside the Compasses Inn to Guildford at 16.19
, taking 25 minutes. The former is useful if you just miss the 16.04 train: the 17.19 bus probably doesn't save any time compared to the 17.50 train once you have factored in the walk from the bus station to the railway station in Guildford. Trains from Box Hill station
are at 40
past the hour to Victoria: your return to Gomshall should
be valid on this route (point out you can get to Gomshall by changing between the two Dorking stations). T=2.13