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

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

Length 10.1 miles / 16.3 km
Toughness 4 out of 10 ( 1100 feet / 340m of ascent, mainly 1 steep climb after lunch)
Walk Notes

This is the start of the Greensand Way (GW), but for logistical reasons, its 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 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, just 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 This area is now peacful as the A3 was diverted in a tunnel under the hill in 2011 (so older OS maps will be out of date here).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.

  • 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.


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)

In Haslemere, about 10 mins walk from the station are a good Wetherspoons, and 2 tea rooms - Darnleys tearoom (tel.01428 643048) on the High Street, which closes at 5pm (but sometimes at 4pm on Sundays) and Hemingways café, tearoom and gift shop (tel. 01428 648716), open until 5-30pm weekdays and until 4pm on Sundays.

By the station itself is a pub than may be walker-unfriendly

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.
  • 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.
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Back (not a train station)

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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.

Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



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