SWC Walk 131 - Guildford to Horsley
Length: 17.1km (10.6 miles) or 20.1km (12.4 miles)
Toughness: 4 out of 10: two substantial hill climbs, otherwise mainly level
train from Waterloo
to Guildford, arriving 10.04. Clapham Junction
can catch the 9.27
to Woking and change there (arr 9.45, dep 9.56) for the above train.
Buy a day return to Guildford
For walk directions
I thought this might suit for our last walk before the Great Darkness begins, because if you do the full 20.1km/12.4 mile walk
you will fill the available daylight hours (see Last Minute
above) and also hopefully get some good autumn colour. Woods on this walk include Chantries Hill, which has some fine sweet chestnuts as I recall, and "the boring bit" - a straight couple of miles along the North Downs ridge after Newland's Corner which is all under the tree canopy. But this walk also has fine views aplenty - from Chantries Hill and Newland's Corner in particular, and possibly a distant view of The Shard etc towards the end.
For lunch, the Drummond at Albury
has never disappointed us yet, but there are alternatives. If you are a sandwich-eater or don't require a formal lunch you can take the short cut to Newlands Corner
- the 17.1km (10.6 mile)
version of the walk - and either jostle with leather-clad bikers at its kiosk (which nevertheless has a quite extensive burger-and-chips-style menu), or try out whatever the current incarnation of the tea shop
across the main road is (I can't keep up with its sundry changes in decor/format). The ever-popular escarpment at Newlands Corner is definitely the best place for picnics.
Those who have lunched at The Drummond might use either of the above options as an early tea stop
(perhaps a dessert stop
, as they are fairly soon after lunch), because pickings get slim thereafter. The only refreshment, in fact, is at The Barley Mow
pub 1 mile from the end of the walk, which does do tea in pots, but gets ratty if asked for this more than two or three times in an afternoon. Cruelly, there are no pubs or cafes at all by Horsley station, though the Budgens
on the corner (open to 10pm) does have a tea machine and a nice selection of pastries (or did last time I looked).
If you want to linger in The Barley Mow, note that the path from there to Horsley station is all tarmac and along the railway line, albeit through semi-woodland: ie though unlit, it is doable in the dark (though a torch would be useful). Trains back from Horsley
are at 17
and 47 past
. Unless these trains are delayed, ignore the 11 and 41 past trains which actually get to Waterloo a few minutes later.