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This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Wednesday Walk - Guildford Circular (via Albury Park)

Length: 24.9 km (15.5 mi) [shorter walks possible, see pdf or webpage]
Ascent/Descent: 407m; Net Walking Time: 6 hours
Toughness:  7/10

Take the 10.00 Portsmouth Harbour train from Waterloo (10.25 Woking), arrives Guildford 10.33.
From Clapham J take the 09.42 Guildford train, arrives 10.34.
Return trains: 4 fast ones per hour, on xx.00, xx.17, xx.34, xx.47.

This fairly long circular walk explores the area to the south-east of Guildford. The landscape is exceptionally varied, with water meadows, valleys, woods, heathland, parkland and fine views from the contrasting chalk hills of the North Downs and the adjacent Greensand.
The walk leaves Guildford via Shalford Water Meadows alongside the River Wey Navigation, then heads east from Shalford up the valley of the River Tillingbourne. This was once an important industrial area and the route includes a heritage trail through the extensive ruins of the Chilworth Gunpowder Mills, the national importance of which is reflected in its status as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. An attractive stretch along the quiet valley of Law Brook (one of the river's tributaries) and across the small Albury Heath brings you to a lunchtime stop in the hamlet of Little London.
The route now heads north through Albury Park, designed by the English landscape pioneer John Evelyn. In 1819 the estate was acquired by the banker Henry Drummond, who built a new parish church in Albury and closed the old Saxon Church, now isolated in the private parkland but accessible to the public. At the same time he became one of the founder members of a new religious movement and built the neo-gothic Catholic Apostolic Church for it. The route then passes the crystal-clear waters of Silent Pool on its climb up the North Downs, where a stretch along the North Downs Way leads to a mid-afternoon refreshment stop at the Newlands Corner viewpoint.
The final section of the walk includes one more climb to another famous church with a long history, St Martha-on-the-Hill, perched on the side of the Greensand hills. A gradual descent through Chantry Wood leads back to the River Wey and Guildford. An alternative return route to Shalford (see below) takes in another historical site on the Tillingbourne, the 18thC Shalford Mill, now managed by the National Trust (open Wed & Sun, by guided tour only; last tour 4pm); admission (2018) is £3.

Lunch: The William IV in Little London (11.5 km/7.1 mi, food to ???). Under new Mgmt, and with a new chef as of end Sep…
Tea: Snack Bar and Café at Newlands Corner (5 or so km after lunch); plus plenty of options in Guildford. See the webpage for details.

For summary, map, height profile, photos, walk directions and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.185


Marion said...

Anyone prefer a shorter walk say 10-12 miles with fewer hills?

Thomas G said...

Shorter versions from as little as 8.7 miles are available on this walk.

Anonymous said...

Shalford Circular springs to mind. Even that could be shortened by ending at Chilworth which has a train an hour all afternoon.

Thomas G said... the walk post says, in its very first line: "[shorter walks possible, see pdf or webpage]"...he/she who can read...

Anonymous said...

Marion, where are you starting from please?

Thomas G said...

3 arranged on the train and/or the platform to take a connecting train and 'only' walked Shalford to Chilworth (or even only the Chilworth Circ?), and after the rest of us had disentangled ourselves from a Richmond Ramblers group, 8 others assembled outside the gates at Guildford Station (as has become custom for Guildford walks, due to there always being some car drivers turning up for Guildford walks, today it's been two of them - and a dog). So n=11 in w=sunny-and-warm weather.
All info panels en route were studiously surveyed (rare for a SWC group), but still the short walkers were met just before lunch. The William IV pub had indeed been re-opened under new ownerhsip and after a full refurb. And today was the first day of food service with their new chef in situ.
Prices are London-lite, the quality was good, service attentive and (apart from the plaice dish arriving quite a bit later than the other dishes) there was no glitch. Recommended. And still with 4 ales on the pump...
On to the Saxon church and up the North Downs, where the sandwichers were 'caught' at the Newlands Corner cafe. The 'fast' walkers were by now at the back (deserts and coffees at the pub saw to that) and also stopped for a spot of sunbathing on a bench. It was that type of day.
Convivial drinks near the end at The Britannia for 4 of us. And then delays on SWR into London. Welcome to the real world!