Greensand Way 2 : Witley to Ewhurst walk

Greensand Way Stage 2 : The Surrey Hills : the Wey Valley, and remote villages


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: Wed, 27-Oct-21

Date # Post
Sat, 23-Mar-19 22

Saturday walk - Greensand Way from Witley to Ewhurst

Length: 13.7km (8.5 miles) to Shamley Green, 22.1km (13.7 miles) to Ewhurst
Alternative ending: Shalford 20.3km (12.6 miles) T=3.146

Toughness: 5 out of 10

9.15 train from Waterloo (9.22 Clapham Junction) to Witley, arriving 10.10.

Buy a day return to Witley.

This is a bit of an adventure - a map-led walk (ie no written directions), though there is a GPX file available here and you can print off a map of the walk here. As with all our walks, we have no leader and you are responsible for your own direction finding.

The idea is basically to follow a section of the Greensand Way - which is usually fairly well waymarked. This has not previously been covered by the SWC, though a part of the morning may be familiar from the Mildford to Godalming walk and the last part from Shamley Green to Ewhurst is done in reverse on the Holmwood to Shamley Green walk. Not having done the route otherwise, I cannot comment further on it, but it looks to cover pleasant mixed woodland and field territory which should be a promising area for early spring flowers.

An obvious place for lunch - 4.4 miles into the walk - is The White Horse in Hascombe, the lunch pub on the Milford to Godalming walk, though I find the mention of "taster menus" and a prominent photo of the chef on the website a bit alarming here: ie it sounds rather gastro to me.

The alternative, if you can hold your stomachs in, is to continue for another four miles to Shamley Green, where there are two pubs, the Red Lion on the village green serving food until 3pm and the Bricklayers Arms a bit before it on the main road (if entering from the Greensand Way direction) serving food until 2.30pm. (Both pubs are open all afternoon for drinks.)

You are 13.7km (8.5 miles) into the walk here and you could end the walk here, taking the number 53 bus from the stop opposite the Red Lion to Guildford at 12, 32 and 52 past the hour (until 18.52 and then hourly at 22 past).

Otherwise there are three options:

1) Continuing on the Greensand Way it is another 5.2 miles (so 13.7 miles in all) to Ewhurst village (taking the diversion shown on there GPX/map down off the Greensand Way after Windmill Hill), an interesting walk through hilly and woody territory. An hourly bus (also the 53) goes from The Glebe Centre in the middle of Ewhurst at 51 past the hour (last bus 17.51) to Guildford.

The problem on the Ewhurst village option is a lack of a tea option at the end, the Bull's Head in the village rather annoyingly being closed from 3pm to 6pm. The Windmill, a gastro pub two miles earlier, at the point where the route leaves the Greensand Way, may be an alternative: it seems to be open all afternoon. But be sure you leave time to get to the bus if you stop here. Note that the stop is a little way south of the Bull's Head.

2) Another idea, if you are happy reading maps, is to carry on to Cranleigh - another 3km or so from Ewhurst, or even less if you cut out Ewhurst altogether and head directly for Cranleigh. This is a substantial town and has pubs, a Costa Coffee open till 6pm, and - more to the point - buses every 20 minutes to Guildford until 18.42, then at 15 past the hour till late. The only drawback is that for the last mile or so of the route you are walking through dull suburbia: once you get to it, the town centre is tolerably pleasant.

3) A much easier way to continue the walk from Shamley Green is to follow the entirely flat Downs Link and then the River Wey path to Shalford (4.1 miles, so 12.6 miles from Witley) or Guildford (6 miles, so 14.5 miles from Witley). A GPX for this route is included as an optional extension to the Holmwood to Shamley Green walk here. Shalford has two pubs, regular buses to Guildford, and an hourly train on the hour (00 past) with good connections at Guildford for Waterloo.

However you have got there, trains from Guildford to Waterloo are every fifteen minutes until late: make sure you get the fast ones via Woking, not the slow ones via Cobham or Effingham Junction.

Intend coming and will lunch at Hascombe (table booked) then to Shamley Green for tea at the Red Lion and then the bus to Guildford.
22 on this walk, including one late starter who “missed the train by minutes” and walked alone till mid afternoon. The weather was at first the same grey skies we have had all week, but around lunchtime the skies cleared a bit to give some sunshine. Birds sang lots of blackbirds, wrens, great tits and robins, and at least fifteen chiffchaffs, our first migrant arrivals, confirming that spring is finally here.

Five stopped for lunch at the White Horse in Hascombe, with the intention of ending the walk at Shamley Green. I hear two picknickers joined them and they found a nice cafe with good cakes (open till 4pm) at the end of their walk. The rest of the group carried on past the White Horse to have lunch in Shamley Green, which we reached at 1.30, some picnicking in the churchyard and some going to the very excellent and efficient Bricklayers Arms. After lunch some intended to take the Downs Link to Shalford but six of us carried on along the Greensand Way, climbing up into wonderful wooded hills. Arriving at the fine viewpoint of Pitch Hill we met the late starter and a welcome burst of sunshine.

The seven of us then turned north and followed the GPS route to Gomshall, deciding this was not much further than going to Ewhurst. We split into two groups, four rushing (literally running towards the end, I am told) to get the 5.50 train from Gomshall and three of us stopping for tea at the Hurtwood Inn in the very scenic village of Peaslake. I thought the walk onwards from there, across gentle green pastures with blackbirds singing in the distance, was very idyllic. We were or were not just in time for the 6.19 bus we never found out because we went instead to the Gomshall Mill for dinner, catching the 7.50 train.

This is a very excellent outing, with scenery varying from heath and pine forest to green fields and pretty villages. There were LOTS of bluebell woods, not yet out of course apart from the occasional rogue bloom, and some interesting verge flowers, with more on the way. So all in all just what the doctor ordered and worth adding to the SWC canon.

This would make a perfect shorter walk catching a later train as the White Horse in Hascombe doesn't open until 12.00 and we arrived at 11.45 even at our relaxed pace. We then waited 45 mins to be served our meals and we were the only diners at 12.00pm.

Meals were nice but the cod came with the greasiest of Rosti and the tiny portions encouraged several in our party of 6 to have puddings. Leaving at 2pm we then just made it to Shamley Green where the tearoom next door to the Red Lion serves award winning cakes until 4pm. Luckily a hen party of champagne tea diners were still enjoying themselves and we were able to enjoy tea and enormous wedges of gastro cakes before catching the punctual bus 53 to Guildford which runs 3 times an hour.

You need to get off at the stop for the theatre as the bus doesn't go to the station.

This was a beautiful walk with good sandy paths and only a few sections of mud churned up by horses as the Greensand way is a bridleway mainly. Highly recommended for the relaxed walkers who like to take it easy and enjoy their food in like minded company.

Hoping that this walk will be written up for the benefit of the less IT orientated walker and Ramblers groups who are looking for shorter walking routes.