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Guildford - Gomshall

Guildford to Gomshall Picture
The North Downs Way > Guildford to Gomshall

Introduction

This walk begins in the town of Guildford with it's attractive High Street and Castle. The walk initially follows the Wey South Path alongside the attractive River Wey, to the point where it joins the North Downs Way. It then crosses Shalford Park then into Chantries wood before climbing to the beautiful St Martha's Hill and St Martha's Church, from where there are excellent views to the South. The path continues past the famous beauty sport of Newlands Corner and then through woodland to Hackhurst Downs where there is a path into the pretty village of Gomshall.

Getting to the Start

Guildford has excellent transport links. The A3 goes close to the centre of Guildford, a short distance from the M25 motorway. The A25 and A31 also go through Guildford. Parking in Guildford is a little limited and can be expensive, so it might be worthwhile to use one of the park and ride sites.

Guildford also has excellent public transport links. It's on the London to Portsmouth rail line with regular fast trains from London, Havant and Portsmouth, run by South West Trains. Local trains run from Guildford to Ascot (via Camberley), Guildford to London Waterloo via Epsom and Guildford to London Waterloo via Cobham all operated by South West Trains. Finally, First Great Western Link run the North Downs Line from Reading to Gatwick Airport via Wokingham, Blackwater, Farnborough, Guildford, Dorking, Reigate and Redhill, with two trains running per hour.

There are bus services from most local towns and villages into the centre of Guildford.

Alternatively, due to the infrequent services from Gomshall, the end of the walk, you may prefer to start from Gomshall and time your arrival so you can get a bus or train into Guildford, to avoid a possibly long wait at Gomshall at the end of the walk.

The Walk

The historic city of Guildford is the starting point for this walk. The High Street is well worth seeing and there is also the remains of a castle, just off from the high street.

Guildford Castle The Castle Gardens, Guildford
Guildford Castle The Castle Gardens, Guildford.
Guildford High Street Guildford High Street
Guildford High Street Guildford High Street

The start of the walk begins at the River Wey, near the bottom of the high street and you follow this until the point where a wooden bridge crosses the river, around 3/4 of a mile from the centre of Guildford.

The River Wey from the wooden bridge
The River Wey from the wooden bridge.

Once over the wooden bridge the path goes over a field then across Shalford Park and then down a residential street for a short distance. before passing next to Chantry Wood on the right and fields to the left.

Chantry Wood Fields near Chantry Wood
Chantry Wood Fields next to Chantry Wood

After Chantry Wood the path crosses Halfpenny Lane and then begins to climb St Martha's Hill. At the top of the hill is St Martha's Church, a beautiful church in a spectacular location. The view from the top of the hill is excellent and you can see all the way to the South Downs in the distance.

View from St Martha's Hill St Martha's Church
View from St Martha's Hill St Martha's Church
View from St Martha's Hill View from St Martha's Hill
View from St Martha's Hill View from St Martha's Hill
View from St Martha's Hill
View from St Martha's Hill

From St Martha's Hill the sandy path descends and crosses the Downs Link, a path linking the North Downs Way with the South Downs Way. The path then descends to the road and runs next to the road for a while, passing White Lane Farm.

Keepers Cottage White Lane Farm
Keepers Cottage White Lane Farm

After White Line Farm the path turns right again and comes out at the well-known beauty spot of Newlands Corner where there are again excellent views towards the South Downs.

View from Newlands Corner View from Newlands Corner
View from Newlands Corner View from Newlands Corner
View from Newlands Corner View from Newlands Corner
View from Newlands Corner View from Newlands Corner
View from Newlands Corner View from Newlands Corner
View from Newlands Corner Albury from Newlands Corner
View from Newlands Corner View from Newlands Corner
View from Newlands Corner View from Newlands Corner

Here are some views around Newlands corner during the winter months.

Newlands Corner in Snow Newlands Corner in Snow
Newlands Corner in Snow Newlands Corner in Snow
Newlands Corner in Snow St Martha's in Snow
Newlands Corner in Snow St Marthas with Snow

There is an information centre, toilets and a take-away cafe at Newlands Corner. From Newlands Corner the North Downs Way crosses the A25 and then goes through woodland for quite a distance, although the woods are pretty, with lots of bluebells out when I did the walk.

Bluebells in the Woods Bluebells
The Woods east of Newlands Corner The Woods east of Newlands Corner

After a while the path passes West Hanger car park and then turns right past Hollister Farm where it then turns left past the farm and back through woodland again.
Hollister Farm
Hollister Farm

The path continues through the woods but turns to the right where there is a sign for Hackhurst Downs, rather than continue straight on. Shortly after here, take the next path on the right, leaving the North Downs Way. This path is a footpath that crosses Hackhurst Down and turns to the right, passing Churchfield Farm. As the path descends there are again excellent views.

The view approaching Gomshall The view approaching Gomshall
The view approaching Gomshall The view approaching Gomshall
Near Churchfield Farm
Near Churchfield Farm

The path becomes a small road down into the centre of the pretty village of Gomshall

Gomshall Gomshall
Gomshall Gomshall

Getting Back

If you're returning to Guildford there is a station in Gomshall, to the east edge of the village and up the hill (it is well signed), around a 5 minute walk from the centre. This is on the North Downs Line (Reading - Guildford - Redhill - Gatwick Airport), operated by First Great Western Link but there is only one train every two hours to Guildford. There is no ticket office at the station so you buy tickets on the train and you have to walk across the track to get to the platform for Guildford as there is no bridge or subway.

Alternatively there are regular bus services (approximately every 30 minutes) from the centre of the village back to Guildford. The main service is operated by Arriva on routes 21 and 32, but there are also evening buses on this route, operated by Northdown and a service run by Memory Lane on Sundays.

Links

The following web sites provide information on the area.


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