The Way near Shalford

30-Oct-04 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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St Martha's Hill

15-Feb-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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St Martha's Hill

15-Feb-19 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

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Wey-South Path under water

At Guildford lock

17-Jan-10 • rootebeete on Flickr

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Flooded Field

Chantries Hills in the background

17-Jan-10 • rootebeete on Flickr

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Field turned into a large duck pond

At least some creatures were enjoying the flood

17-Jan-10 • rootebeete on Flickr

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Chantries Horses

Happily munching away at the hay

17-Jan-10 • rootebeete on Flickr

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Guildford via Chantries Hill Circular walk


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.

Updated: Tue, 20-Apr-21

Date # Post
Tue, 15-Sep-20 7

Evening Walk: September Sunset from Chantries Hill

A mini-Guildford Circular via Chantries Hill and Pewley Down T=swc.57

Distance: Approximately 5 miles or 8 km for those more metrically minded

Difficulty: 4 out of 10

Travel: 18:05 South Western Portsmouth Harbour bound train from London Waterloo, arriving at Guildford at 18:35. Return trains are pretty frequent with the faster services being 20:34; 21:39; 21:49; 22:04; and 22:39.

It is that time of year again…..the last couple of years, we have had a September sunset walk on Boxhill….thought we would try Chanties Hill this time around, using the beginning of SWC 57 as far as St. Martha’s Church with its fine sunset viewing point (sunset should be at 19:14). We will then back track a bit, cross through a dip and return to Guildford via Pewley Down (reversing the beginning of Book 2 walk 13).

Post walk refreshments and possibly a meal can be had at various establishments in Guildford.

More information about the route can be found here (SWC 57) and here (Book 2 walk 13).

Enjoy the walk!

Hi. New to group. Is the SWC shadowing the Ramblers policy of 'The rule of 6 does not apply to us as we are a sports group', enabling you to walk as a larger group? Thank you.
No, the SWC has a policy of no more than 6 per group. If more than 6 attend a walk, they will be required to break into groups of no more than 6. Our walks do not have official leaders and instructions/GPX are available so breaking into smaller groups is possible.
Thank you. Will use app.

7 briefly assembled outside Guildford station before setting off in smaller groups. As the route through the park by the river and weir is STILL closed, we were a bit late arriving on the hillside but did manage to catch the last fading touches of red in the western sky....Given the heat of the day, most of the attendees obviously thought we needed rehydration and nearly half the group had brought refreshies to have at the church, but given the growing darkness, we deferred our drink stop to the top of Pewley Down where we enjoyed our al fresco drinks in warm evening air and did some stargazing before the easy finish back into Guildford. Quite a nice little micro Guildford circular for sunset viewing, probably better a week or two earlier....
Also, spotted on the walk on the path up Pewley Down were 5 female glow worms. A first sighting for many....
Sat, 09-Nov-19 13

Saturday walk - Guildford via Chantries Hill - Lots of woods, some views

Length: 20.3km (12.6 miles) T=3.57
Shorter options: 13.1km (8.1 miles) to Chilworth, 17.5km (10.9 miles) to Shalford

Catch the 9.28 train (two minutes earlier than usual, note) train from Waterloo to Guildford (9.35 Clapham Junction) to Guildford, arriving 10.13.

On arrival, leave the platform and past through the ticket barriers and out onto the station forecourt to do the meet and greet. (Just inside the doors if it is wet.)

Buy a day return to Guildford, though if you are planning to do one of the shorter endings, get a return to Chilworth or Shalford instead.

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, and for a map of the route click here.

This walk has plenty of woods, including sweet chestnut and beech which should be showing good colour by now, if there is any justice in the world. There are also views from Chantries and St Martha’s Hills and a riverside finish.

The walk last had an outing this time last year when heavy rain meant hardly anyone turned up. We can do better this year, right? (With the weather or numbers of walkers? - Ed) (Both, hopefully - Walk Author)

Lunch is in the very nice Drummond at Albury, which has always accommodated us in the past.

The walk can be ended at Chilworth via a short cut mid afternoon (making a walk of 13.1km/8.1 miles) but trains from this station are only every two hours at 3.56pm, 5.56pm etc. In between you can lurk in the Percy Arms or you may be able to catch a bus (hourly from outside the station) into Guildford

Better, if you can stand it, is to carry on to Shalford - 17.5km/10.9 miles - from where there are hourly trains on the hour (00 past) to Guildford, and also more frequent buses. There is a pub here by the station, and you might even get to the lovely Snooty Fox cafe, which shuts at 4.30pm.

The full circular walk (20.3km/12.6 miles) carries on from Shalford to Guildford along the River Wey - easily doable in the dusk or dark, though if the night is clear some of us may take advantage of the near full moon to do a moonlight walk in the area - eg southwards along the Wey to Godalming.

Trains back from Guildford are every 15 minutes - 03, 17, 33, 47
Sigh! Another soggy Saturday (the fourth in five weeks), though actually there was only rain in the afternoon after a dry morning. Approaching the lunch pub we even discussed carrying on past it to make the most of the dry weather (as maybe some of the sandwichistas did?) but it would have done no good, as the rain started shortly after. For the rest of the daylight hours it was then pretty relentless, though less extreme than last week.

There were 11 of us at the start of this walk; one more materialised soon after and one caught us at lunch. So 13 in all. Two “hors de combat” walkers also joined us for lunch in the pub.

Autumn colours were excellent throughout this walk, with golden beech and sweet chestnut prominent. The short cut before lunch, with its stately avenue of very tall beeches, was particularly fine. Honourable mention also goes to Blackheath after lunch, where copper coloured bracken complemented the tree tints.

The Drummond at Albury accommodated us for lunch without fuss, as always, and served walker sized portions. For tea I was delighted to introduce two walkers to the Snooty Fox in Shalford, one of my favourite tea stops. Two went to the Seahorse pub nearby, and two of us joined them there after tea.

At least one person had walked on to Guildford by this point and one got the train to Shalford. The four of us in the Seahorse pub then walked in the atmospheric last dregs of the daylight (not moonlight, alas, but a bit like it) across the Shalford Watermeadows and along the river to Guildford, arriving a little after 5pm. We had a drink in the White House and got a train at about 6.30pm.

I forgot to mention that at the start of this walk the route along the river from Millmead Lock was blocked by the collapse of a footbridge and weir in last Saturday’s deluge. We diverted around this fairly easily, but it meant the Wey Navigation was a metre lower than usual. Later research revealed it had been totally empty of water till the previous day, when construction of a temporary sandbag barrier to plug the gap started. Whether a temporary footbridge over the gap will also be erected soon, I do not know. Meantime a diversion around the blockage is possible by crossing Millmead Lock and walking to the main road, then turning right along it for about 300 metres until there is a footbridge across the Navigation to your right, which gets you back into the walk route.
Sat, 10-Nov-18 5

Saturday Walk Guildford Circular via Chantries Hill

Guildford Circular via Chantries Hill swc.57

Length: 12.6 miles (20.6km) (option to finish in Shalford 10.9 miles 17.2km)
Difficulty: 4 out of 10

The RMT strike planned for the 10th has been cancelled, so a chance of a Waterloo based walk. The walk promises autumn leaf colour and not much in the way of mud. There should be enough time to finish this walk, but perhaps bring a torch. In any case, the option to take the shortcut is around a couple of miles from the end. The directions were updated in January.

Trains: Get the 0915 Haslemere train from Waterloo (Clapham 0922) arriving Guildford at 0951.
Return trains from Guildford are frequent, but beware of the slow trains taking twice as long. Trains from Shalford are hourly, on the hour.

Lunch: The Drummond at Albury (01483 202 039 9.1km (5.6 miles) into the main walk

Tea: Shalford has pub & tea options whilst you wait for a train, as does Guildford
Just one SWC walker today? Big group on the Guildford station platform turned out to be with Metropolitan Walkers (who they?) Weather good until after lunch when heavy rain started. Decided to get the bus to Guildford after tasty pheasant and bacon pie at pub in Aldbury. Lovely sunshine and autumn colour in the morning.

sunny intervals in the morning heavy rain showers in the afternoon
5 on this walk. Beautiful autumn colours in the morning, a lovely pub for lunch, good company, what could go wrong? What went wrong was God decided to turn the water taps on. Scrambling to find my rucksack cover and anorak I got cut off from the group and decided to get my phone out to try and find my way back to Guildford. I didn't get my paper instructions out because from previous experience I knew that they turn to paper machee (spelling?) in such conditions. I now know a smart phone can also cause problems in such conditions. The screen being wet doesn't respond to touches! After a bit of swearing and finally getting somewhere half dry I finally got the thing to work. The moral of the story is, sometimes a covered set of paper instructions or a covered map are still superior. Just one more thing. It was 15 degrees yesterday and still I felt very cold waiting for my train, if it had been 4 degrees it could have been utterly awful; remember to wrap up warm for the Winter walks especially if heavy rain is forecast.
On the Guildford walks the SWC group usually gathers at the station entrance, rather than the platform. Probably it would be best if we make the meeting point clear when posting Guildford walks in future. Sorry to have missed you but hope that you had an enjoyable walk.

Sat, 28-Oct-17 22

Saturday walk - Guildford via Chantries Hill Circular - Surrey woods, hills and views

SWC Walk 57 - Guildford Circular via Chantries Hill
Length: - 20.6km (12.8 miles) for the full circular walk
- 17.2km (10.7 miles) finishing in Shalford
Toughness: 4 out of 10

9.30 (Portsmouth Harbour-bound) train from Waterloo (9.37 Clapham Junction) to Guildford, arriving 10.10.

Buy a day return to Guildford, unless you intend to return from Shalford, when a day return to Shalford is better.

For walk directions click here. For GPX file click here.

I am balancing the clamour for shorter walks here (due to be amply fulfilled anyway between now and the end of January!!!) with the demands who will want to make the most of this last day of British Summer Time.

This walk fits the bill thanks to a new option sneaked into a year and a half ago but not so far given an outing - namely the option to end in Shalford, rather than Guildford (option d in the walk directions).

You don't have to decide if you want to do this till late in the walk. The whole group will be together (as far as SWC groups are ever together...) for a pleasant walk along the River Wey, a climb over Chantries Hill with its woods and views (including sweet chestnut which can be very colourful in October), and the walk over St Martha's Hill - familiar territory for many of you.

You then descend to the village of Albury for lunch at the usually reliable and welcoming Drummond pub (a short cut through the woods to this is available, saving 0.8km/0.5 miles: it been incorporated into the Guildford to Horsley walk - see page 9 in that walk's directions: paragraph 28 in that walk is the same as paragraph 28 in this one).

After lunch it is up onto Blackheath, an area of heaths and more woods, where old timers will eventually recognise that they have jouned the route of book 1 walk 14 (which this walk was partly designed to replace, when that walk lost its lunch pub).

When you get back to the River Wey you have the option to finish at Shalford (where there are two pub options and a cafe, but the latter shuts at 4.30pm) or to carry on along the Wey into Guildford. (You can also use the option d directions to have an early tea in Shalford and then continue the walk to Guildford, it being probably the last day for some months when you have the luxury of having tea before the end of the walk.)

Trains back from Shalford are at 03 past the hour: with a nine minute change in Guildford, this gets you to Waterloo in one hour

Trains back from Guildford are every 15 minutes and take 41-44 minutes. T=3.57

Would the last person to finish please switch the lights off until spring....

Sounds good and will be a popular choice. Thanks, Walker.
There is a rail replacement bus service between Woking and Guildford on Saturday 28th
There is, but it does not affect us. Trains will run via an alternative route between Surbiton and Guildford but it does not affect journey times or frequencies. (This route is in fact used by some peak hour fast trains anyway). Thank the Victorians for building all these “pointlessly duplicated” rail lines.
I think the bus service only applies if you are getting on or off at Woking. Trains appear to be running directly from London and Clapham Junction to Guildford
22 on this walk, let us say I counted 17 at the beginning, but we acquired at least five more during the morning ('We parked at Chantries Hill", "I got an earlier train but it turned out to be a stopping service" "The hamster ate my homework" etc), so we were a nice big happy group going over Chantries Hill and St Martha's Hill. It was a lovely sunny day all you could ask for in the last day of British Summer Time and layers came off, right down to shirtsleeves. We had a pleasant sit in the sun on the benches in front of St Martha's church. But I noticed that for those of us who sat in the garden at lunchtime (for the last time this year??!!??) the layers started coming back on again ie, it was not QUITE as warm as it looked.

The lovely Drummond pub in Albury accommodated us all with ease, as it always does, bless it. I am a biased and prejudiced reporter, having written this walk, but I enjoyed it heaps, despite its familiarity: a nice range of terrains from woods to open views to heathland to farmland and then riverside. Autumn colours were good on outward faces that is to say, good tints on those parts of the tree explosed to the sun, green at path level still. The sweet chestnuts did not disappoint, and there were also four red admiral butterflies.

A handful of us tried the new option to the Snooty Fox tea room in Shalford the first time an SWC has visited this? Two got a bus from here to Guildford. Others went straight on to Guildford to tea, getting there as early as 3.30pm. The rest of the Snooty Foxers had a nice walk along the river into Guildford, enjoying the last of the British Summer Time sunshine.
In case anyone is wondering about the many "missing dog" posters en route today, I'm happy to say Shelley (who went missing from St. Martha's Hill on Monday 23rd and had since been spotted running around) has been found safe, although very hungry, and is back at home.
Jolly good anonymous,nice of you to report this happy news and proves that at least someone in the club likes dogs!😄
Sun, 06-Aug-17

Views from the Surrey Hills

Guildford Circular via Chantries Hill
Length: 20.6km (12.4 miles) Toughness: 4/10

09:59 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (Clapham Junction 10:08) arriving at Guildford at 10:39.

There are frequent return trains to Waterloo and some to Victoria.

The walk explores pleasantly hilly scenery in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, starting and finishing along the River Wey. Various options for shortening the walk are described in the Walk Introduction.

The recommended lunch pub is The Drummond at Albury (01483 202 039).

You will need to download the Walk Directions.
Sat, 09-Apr-16 20

Third Saturday Walk

Book 2 Walk 13/SWC 57: Guildford to Gomshall with Chantries Hill Start from SWC 57 – Historic Guildford, Glorious Escarpment Views, St. Martha on the Hill Church, Picturesque Shere and the North Downs Way

Distance: 11.8 Miles (19 kms for those metrically minded) with an option to extend to 13.8 Miles (22.4 kms) by continuing on to Boxhill
Difficulty: 5 out of 10
Train: Take the 9:30 Portsmouth Harbor train from London Waterloo to Guildford, arriving at 10:03. Return trains from Gomshall are at 15:53; 16:04; 17:53; 18:04; 19:53; 20:04; 21:25 and 21:55. If doing the extension to Boxhill return trains are at 28 minutes past the hour until 18:28; then at 01 past the hour until 22:01. Buy a day return to Gomshall via any permitted route.
This walk begins with a gentle stroll down the Wey navigation before launching steeply up Chantries Hill to St. Martha on the Hill Church. Once on the escarpment there should be lovely views to the valley below. The south facing slopes of the escapement and the woods on Chantries Hill are also great places for early bluebells – so keep your eyes peeled for these little beauties. The route then continues to the charming village of Shere where there is a choice of pubs for lunch. After lunch, the route then ascends to the North Downs Way for a loop near Gomshall where there should also be some nice bluebells on a diversion described in the walk directions before dropping back down to Abinger Hammer, near Gomshall. For the more energetic, you can continue the walk to Boxhill. You will need to follow the instructions from SWC 57 to point 25; then pick up the instructions from Book 2 Walk 13 at point 23. The walk instructions and more details are available here (for SWC 57) and here (for B2W13).
There is a choice of two pubs in Shere, the White Horse (01483 202518) and the more Gastropub William Bray (01483 202044), 5.7 miles into the walk. Large groups should call ahead from the Station.
The recommended tea stop is the Abinger Tea Rooms in the village of Abinger Hammer near Gomshall. The Compasses Inn in Gomshall is also a nice place for post walk refreshments while waiting for the train which only runs every 2 hours! If doing the extension to Boxhill, Denbies Winery is a good a tea stop and the Stepping Stones Pub near the station also provides refreshments.
Enjoy the walk!

I fully intend to join this walk, this will be my first SWC walk and I will be solo, anyone interested in teaming up just let me know!
Don't worry there will be others, some you may meet on the train, generally middle carriage, the group will congregate for introductions just through the automatic ticket barrier before the exit doors to the station, expect 10 20.
The White Horse pub, one of the lunch options on this walk, are offering a free starter or a pudding voucher if you sign up to the Chef & Brewer newsletter.
Alexander, I hope we didn't miss you. We congregated at the station entrance, by the ticket machines before setting off.
20 on this walk, including two who materialised at lunch, having started at Gomshall (does this count?). The weather was chilly with some sun and one brief shower. Bluebells were about a third out on Chantries Hill and a little over half in Old Sim's Copse. Lots of signs of leaves coming out on bushes and trees. Sightings of green woodpeckers.

Most lunched in the White Horse in Shere but some of us tried the adjacent William Bray, which was worryingly empty but served reasonable food (though the vegetarian mains were more like starters why do pubs assume vegetarians are not hungry?).

The group fragmented after lunch but I know one or two, possibly a lot more, rushed for the 4pm trains, while another set off alone to walk to Box Hill. Five of us did option c, the only slightly longer circular walk, which is recommended, and had a nice tea in the quirky Abinger Hammer tea room before catching the 6pm.
Sat, 23-Jan-16

Saturday Second Walk

Extra Walk 57: Guildford Circular – via Chantries Hill to Albury; returning via woods and the tranquil Wey navigation

Length: 12.8 miles (with options to shorten)
Difficulty: 4 out of 10
Train: Take the 10:00 Portsmouth Harbour train from London Waterloo to Guildford, arriving at 10:40. Return trains from Guildford are frequent, with regular faster services at 17 and 47 past the hour until 19:17 then 19:49; 20:17; 20:52; 21:17 and 21:49. Buy a day return to Guildford.
I was attracted to this walk by the following statement on the information page “While it is not mud-free, the sandy soils in the first two thirds of this walk means that it is drier underfoot in winter than many other walks” – so we shall see...... In more detail, this walk leaves Guildford along the river, then, heads up Chantries Hill with excellent views along the North Downs escarpment before dropping back into the valley for lunch. After lunch, you encounter totally different terrain – the sandy heath lands around Blackheath with a final drop back down to the river to follow the Wey navigation back to Guildford. Please note that this walk is totally different (opposite direction) from the Guildford walk done last Sunday.
Doing the full walk during daylight may be a push for some – so watch the clock at lunch – but the moon will effectively be full – so it might be nice to finish in moonlight..... Alternatively, the instructions include some short cut options and it would also be possible to finish in Shalford and take a train back to Guildford to cut off the last 2 miles or so (trains at 3 minutes past the hour) – if thinking of doing this option, please bring a print out of the OS map for guidance to get to the station. More information and the instructions for the walk can be found here.
The recommended lunch stop is in Albury at the Drummond (01483 202 039), which serves food all day (with a slightly more limited menu after 2:30). A reservation for 8 has been made at 1:00 PM, please call to update/cancel (as appropriate). Alternatively, if there are more people than the Drummond can accommodate, the Percy Arms (01483 561 765) in Chilworth is an option (however, note, that this requires a 0.9 mile diversion – so may necessitate some doing the shorter walk).
There are a couple of pubs slightly off the route in Shalford for anyone requiring an afternoon refreshment; otherwise, Guildford has several tea options (including a self-service restaurant in Debenhams).

Enjoy the walk and watch out for werewolves!
Shorter options are 9.3 miles (option a) or 8 miles (option c)
N=+20 (lost count in the fog!)
W= bright and cloudy with thick fog to start

A lively wander up through the downs, woodland and moorland of Surrey. Thick fog made for "atmospheric" views(!), and slightly challenging navigation in the morning. After an entertaining chat with the enthusiastic vicar at St Martha on the Hill, 16 of us had a delicious lunch at The Drummond at Albury. Service was very friendly and super efficient, so the advanced party headed off for an afternoon of beautiful light brightening throughout the afternoon.

Having arrived back in Guildford at 3.30pm 5 went off to find tea and cake, whilst 4 did a very thorough review of the pubs of Guildford. Having sampled several pleasant establishments, steak was devoured by the log fire at The Kings Arms.

A lovely and not excessively muddy day out!
Alternative route which avoids walking beside the A281 in the afternoon.
When you reach the A281 (point 70 in the text), instead of turning right alongside the road, cross straight over at the pedestrian crossing and carry on along the path opposite. When you come to the bridge, cross it and turn immediately right and go down to the path, following it left to join the original route at point 74
Sun, 08-Nov-15 14

The beautiful Surrey Hills

Download walk 57a - Guildford circular –short cut via Chilworth
Length 17.3km (10.3m); toughness 4/10. – two climbs near the start; otherwise gentle gradients.
Trains: London Waterloo 09.30 (Clapham Junction 09.39) Guildford 10.24. Fast return trains from Guildford at xx:05 and xx:35. Also two other slower, stopping trains each hour.
This lovely walk explores hilly scenery in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Your lunch pub is the Percy Arms in Chilworth ( 01483 561 765). Plenty of refreshment options in Guildford. In the station concourse there is a Costa Coffee

There are options to extend and shorten the walk as required. Full details about the walk(s) and directions can be found here
14 weather w= mild and cloudy with fleeting drizzle. Lovely walk with the group splitting into little sub groups; 3 doing the short cut without visiting the Percy Arms; 3 doing the long walk to go to a more favoured pub (the Percy Arms deemed to be less than friendly) with the intention of picking up the rail replacement bus service at Chilworth and the rest of us who had an atmospheric picnic lunch at "the church on the hill" listening to the Rememberance hymns filtering through the church walls.

When we reached the Percy Arms none of us felt we really wanted a drink there its the sort of place where someone greets you at the door to show you to your pre booked table and there was standing room only at the bar. We pressed on to Guildford using the Downs link route(must walk all of this in the summer if possible) where 4 of us found the lovely deli on the hill just off Guildfords main drag where welcome tea and cakes were consumed. Then a slow 4pm train back to London ending a fine day out.
The three who went on the the Drummond Arms in Albury were welcomed, given a better table than expected, with excellent beer and good food. Service was efficient and we found we had time to do the long option before dark so we walked the whole way and got back to Guildford in time for the 16:05.
Sun, 19-Jul-15

The beautiful Surrey Hills - an area of outstanding natural beauty

Free Walk 57 Variation : Guildford circular via Chilworth short cut
17.3km (10.7m); toughness 4/10.
London Waterloo 10:00 (Clapham Junction 10:09) to Guildford 10.40. There are frequent return trains from Guildford to London – about four an hour; two of which are fast trains stopping only at Woking and Clapham Junction.
This lovely walk takes you through the Surrey Hills – an area of outstanding natural beauty.
I have chosen the Chilworth short cut this time which means the Percy Arms is your lunch-time pub. However if you want to avoid any road walking you can take the Downs Link which crosses some attractive heathland where you can picnic.
Guildford has many pub and café options but if you want tea then you may find they close quite early. As a back stop there is a Costa’s at Guildford station.

Further details about the walk can be found here . Click on the download walk tab for full walk instructions and the various options to shorten or lengthen the walk
Sat, 21-Feb-15 Chilworth to Guildford
Sat, 21-Feb-15 Guildford to Chilworth
Sat, 21-Feb-15 22 Guildford Circular, via Chantries Hill
Sun, 02-Mar-14 5 Guildford Circular, via Chantries Hill
Sat, 09-Mar-13 16 Guildford Circular, via Chantries Hill
Sun, 05-Feb-12 Guildford Circular, via Chantries Hill
Mon, 29-Aug-11 Guildford Circular, via Chantries Hill (original version) - withdrawn
Sun, 17-Oct-10 Guildford Circular, via Chantries Hill (original version) - withdrawn
Sun, 17-Jan-10 Guildford Circular, via Chantries Hill (original version) - withdrawn
Sat, 04-Apr-09 Guildford via Chantries Hill Circular
Wed, 21-Jan-09 Guildford via Chantries Hill Circular
Sat, 15-Nov-08 Guildford via Chantries Hill Circular