Greensand Way 1 : Witley to Haslemere via Thursley, Surrey Hills walk

Greensand Way Stage 1 : Gibbet Hill, Devil's Punch Bowl and Hindhead Common

Hat adjustment - near Brook, Greensand Way

Hat adjustment - near Brook, Greensand Way

05-Jan-19 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Walk in woods - near Brook, Greensand Way

Walk in woods - near Brook, Greensand Way

05-Jan-19 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Gorse in full flower - near Thursley Ulex europaeus

Gorse in full flower - near Thursley

Ulex europaeus

05-Jan-19 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Exiting pub in Thursley

Exiting pub in Thursley

05-Jan-19 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Pub window decoration - Thursley

Pub window decoration - Thursley

05-Jan-19 • stephenmid on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk145 swc145 greensandway 46578485372



05-Jan-19 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Tinsel by the graveyard - Thursley

Tinsel by the graveyard - Thursley

05-Jan-19 • stephenmid on Flickr

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Length 10.8 miles/17.3 km
Toughness 5 out of 10 (362m of ascent, mainly 1 prolonged climb after lunch)
Walk Notes

This is the start of the Greensand Way (GW), but for logistical reasons, it's recommended you do it in reverse, as Haslemere is a better place to finish, having pubs, tea rooms, and more regular trains.

The walks starts gently over open agricultural land and through woods, and crosses the A3 (safely) to Thursley.

Thursley's St Michael and All Angels church is worth a visit. There are some benches with a lovely view in the churchyard (a good picnic spot). A nearby grave has a poignant 'husband died 1917 wife died 1980' epitaph. Lunch is in The Three Horseshoes, a gastro-pub with a nice beer garden, 500m off the route, north of the church.

After lunch there's a direct route to Gibbet Hill (272 metres / 892 ft) which climbs a now peaceful spur of the hill, with dramatic views into Devil's Punch Bowl. The area was once notorious for highwaymen. In 1786, a sailor (buried in Thursley's church, and commemorated by the Sailor's Stone) was robbed and murdered after drinking at a pub in Thursley. The 3 murderers were caught and hung here. This area is now peacful as the A3 was diverted in a tunnel under the hill in 2011 (so older OS maps will be out of date here). The former road is now grassed over.

After the summit, the walk follows the rim to Hindhead (NT visitor centre and cafe, pub).

Finally, its down a rim on the south side of the hill into Haslemere. The centre has some nice old buildings, tea rooms, and a Wetherspoons. The station is about 10 mins walk away, where you'll find a good pub opposite.

  • Take the train from Waterloo Station to Witley. Journey time 50 minutes. Buy a day return to Haslemere.
  • There are up to four trains an hour back from Haslemere. Journey time 50-60 minutes.
  • By car: park at Witley, 1 stop by direct train from Haslemere (1 per hour)

Suggested Train : Nearest to 10.00am


The Three Horseshoes pub in Thursley (01252 703268) has an informal eating area and restaurant inside the pub plus extensive seating outdoors in the attractive beer garden. Just off the route in Thursley.

For a picnic, try Thursley's churchyard, or the summit of Gibbet Hill.

Tea Break

For a tea break, or late lunch, in Hindhead, are the Devil’s Punchbowl Hotel & Restaurant (tel. 01428 606565) and the The National Trust’s Devil’s Punch Bowl Café (tel. 01428 606565)

Greensand Way

This walk is one of 11 stages of the Greensand Way - a regional long distance path in the Southeast of England

  • Surrey Council have several leaflets of the Surrey (west) part of the route with OS mapping and directions (but not accomodation or public transport information) available from their website
  • Kent Council have an online book with instructions and map extracts of their (east) half of the route. [Dec-20] The route and directions are dated and differ from the ground in places.
  • The original guidebook to the walk is long out of print and hard to get. It did have OS mapping (with the contours removed!). In any case, the route has had many small changes in the meantime.

Haslemere town centre (about 10 mins walks from the station)

  • There are 2 suggested teas places, both with inside and outside seating areas. Darnleys tearoom (tel 01428 643 048) on Haslemere High Street, a long-term friend of SWC walkers, closes at 5.00 pm. It reopened in November 2020 after extensive refurbishment.
  • Opposite Darnleys, and open until later, is Hemingways (tel 01428 643 048), a large coffee shop, cafe and wine bar, is also highly recommended. It's cakes are delicious.
  • Alternatives, for those in need of a stronger drink, are the Swan Inn, or the White Horse Hotel (formerly a Wethies, food: midday-3.00pm and 6.00pm-9.30pm Monday to Friday; midday-9.30pm Saturday; midday-9.00 pm Sunday), both in the High Street.
  • Nearby on West Street, on your way to the railway station, is the Real English Drinks House (and post office!), open to late Monday to Saturday and until 5.00 pm on Sundays.

Haslemere station

  • Metro Café and takeaway (tel 01:428 651 535) is just before the station (open till 10pm; 9pm Sundays).
  • There is a bar at Harper's Steakhouse (formerly The Station House / Inn on the Hill) opposite the station
Help Us!

After the walk, we would love to get your feedback

You can upload photos to the SWC Group on Flickr (upload your photos) and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:

By Train

Out (not a train station)

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start GU8 5TB Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish GU27 2PD Map Directions Travel to the start:

Map Walk This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234


Dec-20 Andrew

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