Wanborough to Godalming walk

Over the North Downs ridge to Watts Gallery, then a ramble to historic Godalming

History

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 Post # Weather
Wed, 22-Dec-21 Wednesday Walk Wanborough to Godalming - today's non-foodie walk - over the North Downs ridge - and along the River Wey 19 intermittently sunny and chilly without being cold
Wed, 09-Dec-20 Wednesday Walk Wanborough to Godalming - Watts Gallery and Watts Chapel, Compton, and the River Wey 20 dry and milder than yesterday
Sat, 23-Feb-19 Wanborough to Godalming 14 warm and sunny
Sun, 26-Aug-18 Sunday Walk: Wanborough to Godalming - Watts Gallery and Chapel. 6 continuous rain
Wed, 17-Jan-18 Wednesday Walk: Wanborough to Godalming - Watts Gallery and Chapel, and along the River Wey 11 sunny and cold but dry all day
Sat, 04-Nov-17 Wanborough to Godalming 14 grey and overcast
Wed, 18-Jan-17 Wednesday Walk - Watts Gallery and Chapel, Compton and then beside the River Wey to Godalming 12 cold but sunny
Sun, 26-Jul-15 Sunday First Walk – Watts Gallery & Chapel and the River Wey
Sat, 20-Dec-14 Wanborough to Godalming 20
Sun, 01-Dec-13 Wanborough to Godalming 8
Sat, 06-Apr-13 Wanborough to Godalming 16
Sat, 21-Jul-12 Wanborough to Godalming
Sat, 21-Jul-12 Wanborough to Guildford (longer version, via Godalming)
Sat, 21-Jan-12 Wanborough to Godalming
Sun, 16-Oct-11 Wanborough to Guildford
Sun, 27-Feb-11 Wanborough to Godalming
Sat, 08-Jan-11 Wanborough to Godalming
Sat, 09-Jan-10 Wanborough to Godalming
Wed, 05-Aug-09 Wanborough to Godalming
Sat, 10-Jan-09 Wanborough to Godalming
Sun, 29-Jun-08 Wanborough to Godalming
Sat, 12-Jan-08 Wanborough to Godalming
Sun, 20-May-07 Wanborough to Godalming
Sat, 13-Jan-07 Wanborough to Godalming
Wed, 22-Dec-21
Wednesday Walk Wanborough to Godalming - today's non-foodie walk - over the North Downs ridge - and along the River Wey
Book 1, Walk 2 - Wanborough to Godalming

Length: 12.9 km (8 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10
London Waterloo: 10-00 hrs SouthWestern service to Haslemere Does NOT stop at Clapham Junction
Arrive Guildford: 10-32 hrs Change trains
Leave Guildford: 10-53 hrs SouthWestern service from Guildford to Farnham
Arrive Wanborough: 10-59 hrs
Clapham Junctioners - with senior railcards
Clapham Junction: 09-52 hrs SouthWestern service from Waterloo to Portsmouth & Southsea
Arrive Guildford: 10-24 hrs Change trains
Leave Guildford: 10-53 hrs SouthWestern service from Guildford to Farnham (as above)
Arrive Wanborough: 10-59 hrs
Return

Godalming to Waterloo: 15-12, 15-28, 15-40, 16-12, 16-25, 16-40, 16-51, 17-12, 17-25 and so on
Rail ticket: Today you will need to buy a day return to Wanborough plus an off peak single from Godalming to Guildford
Whilst our mid-week foodies are heading for the Pot Kiln for their pre-Christmas indulgence, the rest of us will give this short but lovely walk a go. Most of you will be familiar with it, so I will not bumble on, other than to say in the morning we cross open fields to pass Wanborough Manor and its tiny church. A steady but easy ascent takes us over the Hoggs Back, then down through a vineyard and on along the North Downs Way to Compton where we find Watts Gallery and Watts Chapel. Picnickers often stop here for their lunch, popping into the very good Watts Gallery tea shop for a drink, whilst pub goers will have to wait until they are back in Godalming - unfortunately, their usual pub lunch stop, the Withies Inn, in Compton is CLOSED until 28 December following an outbreak of Covid amongst the pub's staff.
After Compton we head through woods and over fields before dropping down to the River Wey, for a relaxing final leg beside the river, all the "way" into Godalming. Tea options are detailed in the Walk Directions.
This short walk seldom disappoints.
T=1.2
Walk Directions are here: L=1.2
  • 18-Dec-21

    Have any places been booked at the Withies?

  • 18-Dec-21

    Maybe no one is doing this walk . Most are going to the Kiln Pot!

    Kiln Pot good, however went there two months ago

  • 19-Dec-21

    Hi Gavin, I suspect you are wrong. Best I know only a select number of Foodies have booked the Pot Kiln. I believe most mid-week walkers who want to go on a walk this coming Wednesday will opt for the Wanborough walk.

  • 19-Dec-21

    Covid update: The Withies Inn has just cancelled my lunch table booking due to an outbreak of the virus amongst its staff. The pub will be closed until the 28th December. So lunch today on this walk will be at the Watts Gallery caff - if open - or its a picnic job for all - or do this short(ish) walk in one go without stopping, and have a late lunch or early tea in Guildford.

  • 19-Dec-21

    For Guildford read Godalming

  • 19-Dec-21

    Pot Kiln still planning to open, currently has some vacancies.

    Phone 01635 201366.

  • 19-Dec-21

    Yes, bring a snack and eat at Godalming. I know Godalming for pubs but not eating.

    The Star is the pub i go to for beer. Stops serving food at 2.15.

    However they have about 7 ales and similar live ciders.

  • There is a delightful coffee shop close to The Withies called The Farmm Shop, at Mellersh Farm, Losely Park, New Pond Road GU3 1HZ

  • 22-Dec-21

    15 off the posted train (which was bang on time - well done, South Western): then add the later starters and car drivers, and we mustered 19 today: back to the giddy numbers of two weeks ago ! We were privileged - and it was a great pleasure - to have amongst us our SWC Webmaster, making a rare mid-week outing. We hope to see more of him in 2022.

    We enjoyed a day which was intermittently sunny and chilly without being cold : in fact, the conditions were pleasant - and enjoyable - for an early winter's walk. The start was muddy, as expected, the afternoon not so bad. With the Withies Inn being closed, most of us stopped at Watts Gallery, with about 9 of us taking lunch in the Gallery's cafeteria, and the rest enjoying their picnics outside. The caff was busy but we all managed to find tables and although ordering for some of us was a bit haphazard, our meals arrived promptly: the soup looked good and the Welsh rabbit was excellent - nice and spicy !

    The group - which had kept together as far as Watts Gallery - then became dispersed and fragmented as the picnickers left well before the lunchers had finished. The sun disappeared as most of us headed for Godalming - but reappeared briefly as late arrivals reached the town. I was alone and book checking latterly (my choice !) and after enjoying tea at Cafe Mila, I popped into Star Inn on Church Street, to find a number of our walkers in good spirits. They looked set in for the duration - they may well still be there as I write this twaddle ! So here's wishing them - and all our SWC walkers - a very Merry Christmas.

  • 22-Dec-21

    There were eight or so in the Star. A kind of family run pub under the guise of Greene King.

    The burgers were as best as they can be, from 5pm serving very good food. There were about ten ales, and about four ciders and a perry, and a 12pc mead ale. Seriously, difficult to find mead ales anywhere since Henry V111.

    The soup at the Watts Cafe was very good.

Wed, 09-Dec-20
Wednesday Walk Wanborough to Godalming - Watts Gallery and Watts Chapel, Compton, and the River Wey
Book 1, Walk 2 - Wanborough to Godalming or Guildford

Length: 12.9 km (8 miles) to Godalming or go long to Guildford - an extra 4 miles
Toughness: 3 out of 10
London Waterloo: 09-45 hrs Southwest trains service to Portsmouth Harbour Clapham Junction 09-52 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 10-24 hrs Change trains
Leave Guildford: 10-53 hrs Southwest trains service from Guildford to Farnham
Arrive Wanborough: 10-59 hrs
Return
Godalming to Waterloo: 16-09, 16-25, 16-41, 16-51, 17-11, 17-25, 17-41, 17-51, 18-25 etc
Guildford to Waterloo: 4 fast trains an hour
Rail ticket: buy a day return to Wanborough plus a single from Godalming to Guildford (for those ending in Godalming)
Please read our Covid rules before coming on today's walk and observe the rules all day
This makes for a nice short(ish) winter's walk to ease ourselves back into SWC walking, without encountering any demanding hills. Those that like a longer walk can opt to continue along the River Wey from Godalming to Guildford - and safe to do in failing light. But the rest of us will be happy with the standard walk today, which offers sights as well as variety. In the morning we arrive at Watts Gallery - its cafe might have reopened - if so, its very good. Otherwise, we continue - after a brief detour to Watts Chapel - to Compton and its pub, the Withies Inn, for those who wish to dine alone or in secure bubbles within Covid rules. It's a very nice pub with comfy dining areas. I leave it to you to book or show up on spec.
Post prandial we head through farmland and more woods before we drop down to the River Wey for a final, relaxing leg beside the river into Godalming. For tea shops etc please refer to the Directions.
T=1.2
Walk Directions are here: L=1.2
  • 09-Dec-20

    18 in all. The day was dry and milder than yesterday (Hardly warm, mind you). Muddy in places.

    3 dined at the Withies, which I’m told was good. Most picnicked near Watts Gallery.

    We made it to Godalming fairly early. Say 2.30, with some slowcoaches crawling in as late as 3.

  • Anonymous
    09-Dec-20

    N+2 joining later, 4 extended muddy walk on to Guildford, arriving about 4pm

  • 11-Dec-20

    The 18 already includes sone late starters but, as it’s Xmas and as the SWC hsurveillance helicopter wasn’t flying on Wednesday, we’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. 20

Sat, 23-Feb-19
Wanborough to Godalming
With 66 people walking last Saturday and a dry and fairly mild weekend forecast, here's an 8 mile/13 km walk for those of you who prefer a shorter outing.

Getting there:

Catch the 9:45 am Portsmouth & Southsea train from London Waterloo (9:52 am from Clapham Junction).
Change at Guildford to catch the 10:30 am Ascot train (currently advertised as departing platform 6) arriving at Wanborough 10:36 am

What tickets to buy:

Buy a cheap day return to Wanborough and be prepared to buy a single fare from Godalming to Guildford on the return journey.


About the walk:

Watts Gallery (admission about £12) and Watts Cemetery Chapel about 4 km (1 hour) into the walk make an interesting cultural interlude in this pleasant walk. In a further 1 km The Withies Inn t: 01483 421158 is the suggested stop for those wishing to eat a Pub lunch. Please note booking is strongly recommended for this venue.
The recommended tea stop in Godalming is the Cafe Mila in Angel Court which shuts at 4:30 pm
Enjoy the walk!

Getting back:

Trains depart from Godalming station to London Waterloo at 25 and 53 minutes past the hour. No changes are needed and the train stops at Clapham Junction

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  • 25-Feb-19

    12 , warm and sunny , This was the first Saturday of the year when we were able to sit outside the pub at lunch time. As usual the Withies Inn at Compton provided good food and excellent service. We arrived quite early and most customers seemed to be outside in the sun. We also got to Mila cafe in Godalming quite early in the afternoon and again warm enough outside for afternoon tea. On the way back to the station we noticed an carpet of crocuses in the Church yard. An enjoyable day out.

  • 25-Feb-19

    There were 2 more on the 10:15 train. That must make it 14 We explored the Gallery, done the Chapel,bumped into A.N. Other and finally managed to catch part of the group up at Godalming Station.

Sun, 26-Aug-18
Sunday Walk: Wanborough to Godalming - Watts Gallery and Chapel.
12.9 km (8 miles), difficulty 3/10
A lovely, if short, walk featuring open fields, remote woodland, and the Watts Gallery, tea room, and chapel. Have lunch there or a little further on in The Withies Inn. Later, there's more woodland and a stretch along the River Wey to the ancient town of Godalming.
Anyone wanting more could continue along the river for another 4 miles to Guildford.
Trains
Unusually, trains for both of today’s walks leave Waterloo at about the same time. Be nice to each other. We don’t want to hear of any nipping or hair pulling.
Get the 9:30 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 9:39). Change to the Ascot train at Guildford (arrive 10:12, depart 10:17 plat 6). Arrive Wanborough 10:23.
Return from Godalming at xx:56, xx:27.
Buy a return to Wanborough plus a single for the short stretch back from Godalming to Guildford.
There are frequent trains from Guildford if anyone is thinking of finishing there.
Lunch The Withies Inn 01483 421158 or Watts Gallery Tea Shop 01483 811 030 (free entry).
Tea The suggested tea stop in Godalming is the Cafe Mila in Angel Court, just off the High Street, open until 4pm. There's a Costas, open till 5, and a Nero open till 5:30, both on the High Street. Pubs include the recently refurbished Red Lion on Mill Lane or a Wetherspoons, the Jack Phillip, on the High Street.
The Watts Gallery in Compton honours Victorian artist G F Watts. As well as regular displays, there is what looks like an intriguing exhibition about James Henry Pullen "inmate-inventor-genius". Another explores Mary Watts' involvement with the Suffragists. It costs £11.50 to get in (£5.75 with an Art Card).
Nearby, the beautifully decorated Watts Chapel is worth a look - and free.
Walk Directions: here
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  • Anonymous
    25-Aug-18

    Planning to go on this walk irrespective of the weather conditions.

  • Sandy
    26-Aug-18

    Just 6 braved the continuous rain for this nice little walk, stretched out to five hours, at least for me, by one culture stop and several refreshment stops. There were 5 on the appointed train and another who caught up on us having lunch under an awning in the garden of Withies pub. Most of us had already stopped for a most welcome morning tea or coffee and some respite from the rain at Watts Gallery. Two of us visited the gallery and 3? the chapel. The afternoon stretch down to Godalming was very enjoyable despite further opportunities to get wet in the overgrown bits. Two of us had another good tea and cake stop at Mila's before making a dash for the 1527 train.

Wed, 17-Jan-18
Wednesday Walk: Wanborough to Godalming - Watts Gallery and Chapel, and along the River Wey
Book 1, Walk 2 - Wanborough to Godalming

Length: 12.9 km (8 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10 (more if muddy)

London Waterloo: 10-15 hrs Haslemere service. Clapham Junction 10-22 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 10-50 hrs Change trains
Leave Guildford: 11-00 hrs Ascot service
Arrive Wanborough: 11-06 hrs

Return: Godalming to Waterloo: 15-25, 15-51, 16-25, 16-38, 16-51, 17-25, 17-40 and 17-51 hrs

Rail ticket: Buy a day return to Wanborough plus a single from Godalming to Guildford

This short walk has lots of variety and sights and it usually makes for a lovely winter's outing.

In the morning a new route avoids a waterlogged path as you head over fields towards Wanborough Church (worth a visit), Your walk then continues steadily uphill along a bridleway over-arched by evergreens before you cross the A31 road and head down through Greyfriars Vineyard. You are soon on the North Downs Way as you head for Watts Gallery (worth a visit) with its much improved tea room, a possible early lunch stop. Just down the road from the Gallery is Watts Chapel, again, well worth a visit.
You now head for the village of Compton, via a farm and along the edge of a wood (which can be muddy), for the lunch pub stop on today's walk, the usually excellent and comfy Withies Inn Booking ahead is strongly advised - I prefer the informal bar area to the restaurant with its low ceiling, which I find cramped and claustrophobic. Withies Inn: 01483-421158. Your e.t.a will depend on the number of sights you visit in the morning.
After lunch you have a pleasant route over fields and through woodland, then along an undulating path above and beside the River Wey, before you drop down to walk beside the river all the way into Godalming. The preferred tea stop of late is the upstairs room in Cafe Mila, in Angel Court, just off the High Street. After tea you have a ten minute walk to Godalming station, for your journey home.
This is a lovely little walk - and so Recommended.
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Walk Directions are here: L=1.2

  • Marion Watkinson
    17-Jan-18

    Weather forecast looks good. I’m coming

  • 18-Jan-18

    9 off the scheduled train, and 2 who took an earlier one, so for the second Wednesday running, we had 11 for today's adventure.

    Once again we were fortunate with the weather: sunny and cold but dry all day , with medium mud levels as to be expected. The early arrivals visited Watts Gallery, to be joined by others for a visit to Watts Chapel. On then to Withies Inn where 7 of us enjoyed a good luncheon, with usual excellent service despite this pub being full, as always (booking ahead, which we did, is now essential, both mid-week and at weekends). Our 4 sandwichers had a drink at the bar, some sitting by a cosy fire.

    Forcing ourselves back out into the open for the afternoon leg, we enjoyed some nice views along the route, then some sloppy mud on the undulating path above the River Wey, before the pleasant, dry leg beside the River into Godalming, where 5 headed direct to the railway station for an early train and an early return to London. 4 (I believe) went to Cafe Mila for tea, whilst 2 of us set out along the tow path beside the River for the four and a half mile walk extension to Guildford. We arrived there just before 5 pm in fading light (but still not dark) for a quick drink at the Britannia pub, then on to the station for a fast train home.

    Another most enjoyable SWC mid-week outing in the best of company.

Sat, 04-Nov-17
Wanborough to Godalming
t=1.2

Length: 13km / 8m
Toughness: 3 / 10
Transport: Take the 10:15 from London Waterloo change at Guildford to arrive at Wanborough at 11:06. Return from Godalming to London at xx:39 and xx:53.

From the description:

This short but lovely walk crosses open fields, passing Wanborough Manor and its tiny church. It soon goes over the Hoggs Back (the North Downs ridge) to descend into remote woodland, passing Watts Gallery, tea room, and Chapel. The Chapel (free) is worth the slight detour. A little further is The Withies Inn, an excellent country pub. Later, after more woodland, the walk is along the River Wey, followed by tea, or a pint in the ancient town of Godalming.

  • Anonymous
    05-Nov-17

    14 , 13 at the start, 1 joined at Watts Gallery. Rain stooped as soon as we arrived at the station, grey and overcast in_the_morning_ brighten_up_in_the_afternoon. We even saw blue sky for a few moments. A lovely walk in good company. Ten had lunch at the Withies Inn followed by tea at Cafe Mila. Most caught 4:39pm train back to London. Felt a quite early finish but it was nice to get back home early and look forward to the next Saturday rather than being late home and feeling knockered. BTW: The Watts Gallery Cafe has gone a bit upmarket (not price but quality). The amond and fruit scone was divine - so I am told.

Wed, 18-Jan-17
Wednesday Walk - Watts Gallery and Chapel, Compton and then beside the River Wey to Godalming
Book 1, Walk 2 - Wanborough to Godalming

Length: 12 km (7.5 miles)
Toughness: 2 out of 10

Options to extend to Guildford or mix and match with Book 2 walks available

London Waterloo: 10-15 hrs (Haslemere train) CJ 10-22 hrs
Arrive Guildford: 10-50 hrs
Leave Guildford: 11-00 hrs (Ascot train)
Arrive Wanborough: 11-06 hrs

Return: Godalming to Waterloo: 15-25, 15-51, 16-25, 16-38 and 16-51
or from Guildford to Waterloo- frequent trains

Rail ticket: Buy a day return to Wanborough plus a single from Godalming to Guildford (if returning from Godalming)

A short winter's main walk today but one which contains lots of variety and places of interest. Shortly after leaving Wanborough station the walk proceeds along an (often) soggy or waterlogged path across fields to Wanborough Church, then it's a steady incline through a strip of woodland to cross the busy A31 road. Onwards then through a vineyard and along the North Downs Way to Watts Gallery (worth a visit) where an early lunch can be taken in the Gallery's excellent cafe. Nearby is the Watts Chapel (also worth a visit) for those who like or dislike art nouveau. You then walk past a farm and along paths which skirt woodland to Compton and to your suggested lunch stop at the popular Withies Inn. Please phone ahead with numbers: 01483-421158
After lunch your route takes you through more woodland and across fields before you walk beside the River Wey into Godalming for tea at Cafe Mila or one of the other establishments in the town.
Although today's walk is short in length, most SWC walkers find it quite sufficient and enjoyable for a winter's outing. However, if you are one of our "I don't get out of bed for less than 12 miles" walkers, you can "go long" today and continue the walk from Godalming by disappearing into the fading light on a route march along the Wey Navigation towards Guildford.
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Walk Directions here L=1.2
Next Week: Wednesday, 25 January: SWC Walk 7 - Knockholt Circular

[Comments on this post have been hidden. Apologies to all who commented, *especially* the un-anonymous ones -- Andrew]
  • 19-Jan-17

    12 walkers for this very short walk on a cold but sunny day, through near-perfect wintry scenery: frozen ground (apart from some stretches exposed to the sun), hoar frost on bushes and fields, clear far views.

    We visited all the sites en route (Wanborough Church, Watts Gallery [2 even paid to see the exhibition], Church and Cemetery, looked (unsuccessfully) for a wine tasting hut at the new-ish Greyfriars Vineyard and had a (very long) delightful lunch at the Withies Inn (we even took a bottle of their self-branded wine home for the return journey). This very traditional pub, with veeeery low ceilings, proved that even a reassuringly retro menu can be expensive, although in this case everyone agreed that it was well worth every penny.

    1 walker went off to take a bus from somewhere nearby, the others got to Godalming for 1/4 to 4, so a couple of us continued on to Shalford or even Guildford (2 others would've wanted to, but had early evening appointments back in The Smoke).

    5 others were up for tea and cake at Cafe Mila; 16.38 train for those.

    Not a walk many had done before (it being so short...), but thoroughly enjoyable all the same. [pp TG]

Sun, 26-Jul-15
Sunday First Walk – Watts Gallery & Chapel and the River Wey
Book 1 Walk 2 – L=1.02.b
Length: 12 km (7½ miles) to Godalming; about 20 km (12½ miles) extended to Guildford. Toughness: 2 or 3/10

10:30 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (Clapham Jct 10:39), changing at Guildford (arr 11:10, dep 11:17) for the Aldershot train and arriving Wanborough at 11:23. Buy a day return to Wanborough.

If you finish at Godalming, trains back are hourly at 56 minutes past and you will need to buy a single to Guildford. If you extend the walk to Guildford, fast trains to Waterloo are at 05 & 35 minutes past and your Wanborough ticket will be valid.

The standard Book 1 walk is normally done in the depths of winter so I hope that its dire warnings of waterlogged and muddy paths hold less terrors in July. Its highlights are the Watts Gallery and Chapel in Compton; the latter is free to enter and well worth the short detour. You can choose between a light lunch at the Tea Shop next to the gallery or carry on a little further to one of the best lunch pubs on an SWC walk, the popular Withies Inn; you can usually eat outside or squeeze into its bar area but you'll need to call ahead if you want to eat in the restaurant.

When you reach Godalming in mid-afternoon you can decide whether to extend the walk along the towpath of the Wey Navigation into Guildford, a further 8 km (5 miles). There are no written directions for this but they are hardly necessary: you go through the riverside park, cross the river on the town bridge (A3100) and then simply keep the water on your right for the rest of the day.

Godalming has several tea places on its High Street but 'long walkers' might like to carry on to Hector's On the Wey café, familiar from the end of Walk 20 (Milford-Godalming). The final stretch into Guildford is the same as Walk 14 (Gomshall-Guildford) and you could refer to that walk's notes for further refreshment places before the journey home.
  • Eliz parker
    26-Jul-15

    Just thought that I'd let people know that there was a problem with the compass pub on this saturday's walk.the owner rang me to say that sat walkers were not welcome, as some walkers upset the staff! Not sure who.