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The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail

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The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 06 Oct 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail Walking Guidestar1 The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail Walking Guidestar1 The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail Walking Guidestar1 The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail Walking Guidestar0 The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail Walking Guide
Surrey, Shere
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail
Length: 8 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail Walking Guide boot The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail Walking Guide boot The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail Walking Guide
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A 7.5 mile circular walk from the Dabbling Duck cafe in Shere, Surrey. The Dabbling Duck is a great place to meet up for breakfast, morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea. The welcome is warm and the food is a treat. The walking route follows long stretches of beautiful ancient lanes which criss-cross this area of the Surrey Hills. You’ll pass through sections of heath and woodland with the opportunity to see plenty of wildlife and enjoy views across the landscape.

The walk has many fairly gentle climbs and descents throughout plus just a couple of short, more challenging gradients. The vast majority of the route follows ancient lanes which are fairly wide, but are rocky and uneven, and can be muddy in winter. There are no stiles on route, just a handful of gates including one kissing gate. You will need to cross the rail line at one point, using an un-signalled crossing, so take particular care here, especially with children and dogs. Allow 3 to 4 hours.

Shere is located between Guildford and Dorking, just south of the A25. It is easiest to park in the free village car park. Turn off the A25 into Upper Street and follow this as it swings left – look out on the left for the small blue ‘P’ sign which leads you into the village car park. From the car park, you need to make your way to the Dabbling Duck cafe to begin your walk. Exit the car park back to the junction with Upper Street. Turn left along the pavement for just a few paces, and then cross over with care to turn right into Middle Street. You’ll find the Dabbling Duck just a little way along on the right. Approximate post code GU5 9HF.

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Walk Sections

Start to Railway Crossing
Start to Railway Crossing

Start point: 51.22 lat, -0.4646 long
End point: 51.2102 lat, -0.4701 long

Standing on Middle Street, facing the Dabbling Duck cafe, turn left down Middle Street and shortly you’ll pass the 1885 fire station on the right, now serving as public toilets. Keep ahead to cross over the River Tillingbourne, where you’ll see plenty more dabbling ducks, this time of the feathered variety.

Keep straight ahead as the village road climbs steadily. Ignore the first public footpath to the right, into Pilgrim’s Way. Take the next turning on the right, Pathfields, marked with a public bridleway sign. At the end of the section of residential lane, keep straight ahead onto the stoney narrow path. Continue as this path heads steadily uphill and enters a section of trees.

As the path dips, another path joins in from behind. Soon afterwards keep right at the first fork, and then keep left at the second fork. Follow this path through a pretty section of mixed woodland, part of Shere Heath. You will come to a T-junction with Little London Road.

Cross over with care and take the public bridleway continuing opposite. Follow the main obvious path through this next section of the heath (keeping ahead at the staggered crossroads). You will come to a T-junction with a wider track. Turn left for just a few paces to reach the railway crossing.

Railway Crossing to Lockhurst Hatch Farm
Railway Crossing to Lockhurst Hatch Farm

Start point: 51.2102 lat, -0.4701 long
End point: 51.1939 lat, -0.4765 long

Cross the railway with care via the pair of gates. Note: This is an un-signalled crossing so take particular care to listen and look for trains before you cross. At the far side, turn right along the quiet lane passing houses to the left. On the right, look out for a small enclosure holding a number of adorable goats.

As the properties on the left end, keep straight ahead passing alongside a vehicle barrier to join the old lane known as Ponds Lane. Note: this woodland track is a byway and so you may occasionally come across motorbikes as well as horses. In the steep-sided banks you’ll see many holes and burrows which are home to lots of rabbits, badgers and foxes.

Follow the lane for some distance, ignoring any paths off to the left and right. At length you’ll pass by another vehicle barrier with Dilton Farm on the left, keep ahead on the green lane. Continue for some distance further and eventually you will emerge to a crossroads of paths, with the entrance to Lockhurst Hatch Farm on the left.

Lockhurst Hatch Farm to Hound House Road
Lockhurst Hatch Farm to Hound House Road

Start point: 51.1939 lat, -0.4765 long
End point: 51.1844 lat, -0.4633 long

Go straight ahead onto the narrower path, passing under a tunnel of trees. You will emerge to a junction with a wider track, keep left along this. As you reach a fork with a stone cottage visible ahead, keep left.

Follow this path, passing a tiered drainage culvert, and eventually you will come to a fork in the path, with both branches of the bridleway marked with blue arrows. Keep left here onto a fairly wide path heading steadily uphill. This sunken path has a rocky base which has been shaped into steps by the force of running water over the centuries.

You will emerge from the trees to reach a staggered T-junction with a quiet tarmac lane. Turn right along this and on the left you’ll pass the gated entrance to Dewdney. Do NOT take the footpath into the trees on the left, simply follow the quiet tarmac access lane. Towards the end of the lane, it swings left to reach a T-junction with Hound House Road.

Hound House Road to Peaslake
Hound House Road to Peaslake

Start point: 51.1844 lat, -0.4633 long
End point: 51.1917 lat, -0.4473 long

Cross over the road with care and take the bridleway directly opposite. Keep ahead (ignoring the footpath up the steps to the left) into the woodland. Follow the main bridleway, staying close to the fence on the left.

Where the fence swings away to the left keep straight ahead and you will see a small parking area and then a number of wooden buildings through the trees to the left. This is Bentley Copse, the county campsite for Surrey Scouts. The site has facilities for young people to take part in a wide range of activities including archery, abseiling, air-rifle shooting and pioneering.

Keep ahead at the minor crossroads which sits within a dip in the path. A little further along you’ll come to another crossroads, again keep straight ahead. Soon the path swings left with the fenced property, Peaslake House, to the left. Keep left at the fork and you will reach a T-junction with the access lane for the house. Turn right along this for just a short distance to reach a T-junction with the road.

Cross over with care, turn left for just a few paces and then turn right onto the minor path into the woodland. You will come to a junction with a wider track, turn left heading downhill and after just a few paces turn left again onto the smaller path which leads you into the woodland parking area. This is one of the car parks for Hurtwood, the largest area of common land is Surrey, which stretches for many miles to the south from this point.

Keep left through the car park, heading for the road. Turn right along the road edge for just a few paces and then fork right to join a narrow woodland path running parallel to the road on the left. As the path swings right and begins to climb you’ll have a great view of the unusual church clock spire to your left. At the T-junction with the tarmac track, turn left heading downhill. You will pass St Mark’s Church on the left and then emerge out to the village road within Peaslake.

Peaslake to Broadfield Road
Peaslake to Broadfield Road

Start point: 51.1917 lat, -0.4473 long
End point: 51.1993 lat, -0.4425 long

Keep right along the village road and you will pass the ornate metalwork fir cone village sign on the left. As you approach the war memorial, pass to the right of it to reach the T-junction with the main road in the centre of the village. The village is a haven for cyclists, and this area is often crowded with mountain bikers using the village stores after long rides within the local hills.

Cross over the road to take Radnor Road opposite. After just a few paces fork left up the footpath passing through a staggered barrier. At the top of this short steep climb, pass through the staggered barrier into Plaws Hill. Cross over to go straight ahead into the narrow lane, passing Tor Cottage on the left.

Pass between a number of properties and then keep straight ahead through a staggered barrier to join a woodland footpath. Go through the next staggered barrier and after a few paces you’ll reach a crossroads. Turn left and follow the path with the hedgeline of a private property over to the left. Keep ahead along the gravel driveway and continue as this becomes a tarmac lane, which swings right heading downhill.

Follow the lane as it then swings left, passing the property Southcots on the left, staying on the main lane with the property wall running to the left. The lane continues passing between many substantial properties to reach a T-junction with the main road, Pursers Lane. Turn right along the pavement.

As you reach the side road, Hoe Lane, cross over to join the left-hand pavement along the main road. Ignore the first footpath off to the left, instead continue ahead past Pursers Farm Barns on the right. Soon afterwards, look out for a turning on the left, Broadfield Road, a stoney lane marked with a public footpath sign.

Broadfield Road to Railway Bridge
Broadfield Road to Railway Bridge

Start point: 51.1993 lat, -0.4425 long
End point: 51.2166 lat, -0.4488 long

Turn left into this lane and follow it for some distance. Some way in, ignore a footpath off to the right. Soon afterwards fork left onto a narrow footpath (this is immediately before the start of a property’s hedge boundary on the left).

Follow this narrow fenced path with open fields and great views of the Surrey Hills across to the left. You emerge via a kissing gate to the main road. Turn left along the pavement and follow it as it swings right. As the road begins to swing left, cross over to turn right down Birches Lane, marked with a footpath sign. Keep ahead, ignoring the path off to the right.

After passing several houses, the path narrows passing through a tunnel of holly. The fenced path continues with open fields to the right, and swings right along the top of these. You will reach a waymarked fork in the bridleway, keep left here. This pretty sunken path finally emerges to a residential road. Keep ahead to join the raised walkway running alongside the road, passing Tower Hill Farm on the right. This path leads you to the arched railway bridge.

Railway Bridge to End
Railway Bridge to End

Start point: 51.2166 lat, -0.4488 long
End point: 51.2201 lat, -0.4646 long

Pass under the railway arch and you’ll emerge to a T-junction with a pretty cottage opposite, with ornate black timber designs set into the white gable end. Turn left along the road. You are now in the village of Gomshall, and you will pass Gomshall Cottage on the right.

Continue past the bus shelter, bear to the right of the grass triangle and then cross over to go straight ahead into Gravelpits Lane (a signed bridleway). Immediately before the gated entrance to Gravel Pits Farmhouse, turn right and keep right at the fork to join a woodland footpath.

Follow this path for some distance. To the right you’ll have views across the open fields to the slopes of the North Downs. Eventually you will come to a staggered crossroads. Turn right here on the path heading for the church spire in Shere, visible ahead. In the field on the left you may be see the beacon, a metal basket on top of a tall pole. These flaming beacons are lit to commemorate occasions such as jubilees, although the original purpose of such beacons was to pass messages around the country to warn of invasion.

You will emerge out to Church Lane with the church directly opposite. Keep left along the lane and keep ahead beyond the church, joining the right-hand pavement. At the T-junction, keep right and cross back over the River Tillingbourne. You will reach the Dabbling Duck on the left for some well-earned refreshments.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 responses to "The Dabbling Duck Shere and Peaslake Trail"

Great walk with plenty to see and excellent lunch afterwards.

By tuesday on 2014-05-14 15:18:44

Lovely long walk, lots of woodland and very wet and muddy in places. Superb directions.

By Ronnie on 2015-02-05 06:04:06

We walked this in August and just brilliant walk - loads to see and the directions are so easy to follow. The stop at Peaslake was perfect timing for an excellent local pork pie and cup of tea.
Highly recommended.

By DJsmix on 2016-08-21 09:32:49

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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