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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.

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Saturday, 17 August 2019

Saturday walk - Guildford Circular via Albury Park, with maybe some heather

Length: 25.5km (15.5 miles), with shorter endings at Chilworth (18.5km/11.5 miles) or Shalford (20km/12.4 miles)
Toughness: 7 out of 10. T=3.185

9.45 (Haslemere-bound) train from Waterloo, (9.52 Clapham Junction) to Guildford, arriving 10.24.

Buy a day return to Guildford, unless you might want to take one of the shorter endings at Chilworth or Shalford, in which case by a return to one of those stations (Chilworth is the further away, if you want to cover all options).

For walk directions click here, for GPX click here, and for a map of the route click here

One rationale for choosing this walk is that it crosses Albury Heath shortly before lunch, whose heather may now be starting to bloom (but catching heather at the right time is always tricky). It also passes a decommissioned church and the interesting Silent Pool. In the afternoon there are fine downland views.

The lunch pub is the William IV in Little London, 7 miles into the walk, which has reopened after being renovated. I am always a little nervous relying on just one pub, but the walk also passes within a kilometre of Shere, which has oodles of lunch options. In extremis Newlands Corner, 3 miles after Little London has both a takeaway kiosk serving burgers and chips and the like, and a sit-down cafe serving meals: otherwise this is a possible early tea stop.

After Newland's Corner you are following a ridge route into Guildford, with the option to cut down to either Chilworth (limited trains: see below) or Shalford to shorten the walk (to 11.5 miles or 12.4 miles respectively): both have refreshment options. Not mentioned in the walk directions Shalford has the wonderful Snooty Fox cafe, one of my favourite tea places, but it closes at the cruelly early hour of 4.30pm.

Trains from Chilworth go at 15.56 and 17.56, changing at Guildford: between those hours there is may be bus services. Shalford has hourly trains to Guildford on the hour (00 minutes past) and also regular buses.

Trains back from Guildford are every 15 minutes: just turn up and get the next one.

1 comment:

Walker said...

N=18 on this walk, I reckon, including one person on a slightly later train and one on a slightly earlier one. The weather was w=fairly-sunny: not wall to wall blue skies, but a perfectly decent day.

This was the first time I had done this walk in its current incarnation, with the river and lowland bit first, then the ridges to finish. I thought this worked well. I saw two lots of swallows near Chilworth and there was decent amounts of heather in flower on Albury Heath and St Martha’s Hill.

Lunch at the William IV was very nice. I am not sure I have ever tried this pub before and I was agreeably surprised. Interesting food, efficient taking of orders at the bar, cheerful waitressing, a tranquil location and good coffee.

After lunch there was a slight disappointment when the decommissioned church was closed for a theatre performance. One walker left at this point to walk to Shere and Gomshall. The rest of us pushed on to the Silent Pool, which was neither silent nor clear-watered, followed by the good stiff climb up onto the downs.

Many of us had tea with the bikers at the tea kiosk on Newlands Corner. Four or five left here to do the shorter ending to Chilworth, lured by the promise of a lift. At least eight carried on along the ridges to Guildford, with a sit down in the sun on the benches at St Martha’s Church. Five of us helped a boat work the gates of Millmead Lock and then had a drink at the White House.