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Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail

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Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail
Author: Claire, Published: 01 Nov 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail Walking Guidestar1 Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail Walking Guidestar1 Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail Walking Guidestar1 Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail Walking Guidestar0 Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail Walking Guide
Surrey, Shere
Walk Type: History trail
Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail Walking Guide
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0006_mist Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail Walking GuideToday's weather
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A 1.5 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 explores the beautiful village of Shere giving you an opportunity to appreciate what makes the village such a sought after residential location and such an attraction for tourists and visitors. Along the way you’ll be able to enjoy the many historic cottages, the river and ford, the pretty shops and ancient church plus learn more about the history that has shaped the village.

The walk follows mainly well-made stone and tarmac paths and pavements. One short section by the ford can be a little softer underfoot but this can be excluded from the walk if necessary. There are a few gentle climbs and descents. The pavements can be quite narrow in places (so take care with children and dogs) and you will need to negotiate two kissing gates and a few single gates (the kissing gates can also be excluded if necessary). Allow 30 to 60 minutes.

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 Rectory Lane
Start to Rectory Lane

Start point: 51.2198 lat, -0.4647 long
End point: 51.2207 lat, -0.4696 long

Begin the walk outside the Dabbling Duck cafe. The cafe building was designed by the architect Edwin Lutyens (most famous for designing the Cenotaph in Whitehall). Lutyens designed a number of the buildings in the village for the Bray family, who have been Lords of the Manor of Shere since 1487.

Standing on Middle Street, facing the Dabbling Duck cafe, turn right heading away from the river (using the right-hand pavement). You will pass a pair of timber-framed cottages on the left. As you draw level with the Post Office, cross over to join the narrow left-hand pavement. Follow this alongside the wall and you will pass the Drinking Fountain set into it. This was given to the village by two maiden ladies who hoped to encourage visitors and residents to drink water rather than beer!

Keep left at the junction into Upper Street. On the right you’ll pass the Manor House Lodge (another of Lutyens’ contributions to the village). The village of Shere formed part of the Olympic Cycling Road Race for London 2012. The men’s course was a length of 240km and the women’s course was a length of 140km. Both routes passed through Shere and Gomshall before completing several laps of the nearby Box Hill. The local area is now more popular than ever with cyclists.

After passing the cream coloured Lime Cottage, then Waitlands and Knapps Cottage on the left, take the next turning on the left into Rectory Lane.

Rectory Lane to Lower Street Ford
Rectory Lane to Lower Street Ford

Start point: 51.2207 lat, -0.4696 long
End point: 51.2194 lat, -0.4678 long

Follow Rectory Lane and, just before the properties end, turn sharp right down a public footpath which is immediately before the wide white gate for the Old Rectory. (Note: this section can get a little bit muddy and includes two kissing gates. If you don’t have suitable footwear or need to avoid the kissing gates, simply keep ahead down Rectory Lane, cross the ford via the footbridge and then pick up the instructions in the next section – Lower Street Ford to Spinning Walk.)

Follow this path with the tall garden wall of the Old Rectory running on the left and you will emerge out to a crossroads with a wider tarmac lane. Turn left along this lane and on the right you’ll pass the black and white Chantry Lane Cottage.

A little distance further you’ll reach a ford where the River Tillingbourne crosses Chantry Lane. Cross over the ford using the footbridge and immediately afterwards turn left through Vicky’s Kissing Gate to join a stone path with the Tillingbourne running immediately on the left.

Pass through the next kissing gate and follow the stone track ahead with lines of lime trees each side. The lane is known as Lime Avenue. Ignore the private footbridge off to the left, simply keep ahead and then pass through the next gate to reach the corner of Lower Street, with another ford over to the left.

Lower Street Ford to The Spinning Walk
Lower Street Ford to The Spinning Walk

Start point: 51.2194 lat, -0.4678 long
End point: 51.2176 lat, -0.4656 long

Keep ahead along Lower Street, following the wall of the village allotments on the left. Follow Lower Street and take time to enjoy the range of pretty old cottages and properties.

The cottages in Shere present a mixture of styles from the 15th to 20th centuries, but the central part of the village is still fundamentally 16th and 17th century, with many timber-framed houses. The names of the cottages in Lower Street, such as Weavers Cottage indicate the increased prosperity during this period, produced by the woollen industry. Sheep stealing was rife in the Shere district during the years 1830 to 1840. One of the gang’s meeting places was the White Horse pub in the village and it was not uncommon to see a great deal of poached game on the premises. Eventually the gang was convicted having been found guilty of housebreaking at a large house in Wonersh.

One cottage of particular note is the half-timbered flint Old Prison House which you’ll see on the right. The cottage includes a jettied upper floor and a barred window on the front. Jettying is a building technique used in medieval timber-frame buildings in which an upper floor projects beyond the dimensions of the floor below. This has the advantage of increasing the available space in the building without obstructing the street.

Keep ahead, ignoring Orchard Road off to the right, and soon you’ll see the Tillingbourne running once again to the left. You will emerge to a T-junction with Middle Street. Turn right along the road and you will pass between the White Horse pub on the right and the village square on the left. Take some time here to appreciate the centre of the village.

The White Horse Inn is an attractive black and white timbered building which, back in 1450, was a house called Cripps. It became an inn in the late 17th century and from 1866 to 1945 it was managed by the Askew family and was frequented by literary and artistic figures.

Shere is considered by film directors to be a beautiful, quintessentially English country village. Being just about an hour away from London (where cast and crew are often based), it is no wonder that Shere has been chosen as a location for a number of film productions.

The Ruling Class, a 1972 British black comedy film starring Peter o’Toole and Alastair Sim, features some scenes filmed in Shere. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, starring Renee Zellweger was also partly filmed in Shere. Tonnes of false snow were sprayed over the church and graveyard meaning the village experienced an early-winter blizzard for the scene where Renée Zellweger is a bridesmaid at the re-marriage of her mother and father.

Most recently, the 2006 romantic comedy film The Holiday was partly filmed in Shere. The film stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as two lovelorn women from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, who temporarily exchange homes to escape heartbreak during the holiday season. Filming locations included The Square, the White Horse, Rookery Nook (opposite the White Horse) and Collins the Greengrocer (in the Square). As well as the village streets, the film crew also needed a property to act as Iris’s (Kate Winslet’s) cottage. In the end the film company chose an empty field on the hillside overlooking Shere Church. There, they built the shell for Rosehill Cottage where all of the exterior scenes at Iris’s house were filmed.

Continue along Middle Street as it begins to climb. You will need to cross over where necessary to stay on the pavements. Follow the road as it swings right and then left. Just before you reach the national speed limit signs, marking the edge of the village, cross over to turn left into the Spinning Walk.

The Spinning Walk to Church
The Spinning Walk to Church

Start point: 51.2176 lat, -0.4656 long
End point: 51.2189 lat, -0.4629 long

Running on the left is a beautiful old retaining wall. Follow the quiet residential lane and you will pass a number of properties including Shere View House, The Rectory and The Old Surgery.

Just beyond The Old Surgery follow the lane as it swings left to become Church Hill. You will emerge to a T-junction with the church directly opposite. Shere Church has lots of interesting history and it is worth exploring the grounds.

The church spire, built between 1213 and 1300, is an excellent example of a brooch spire. It was covered with cedar shingles, but in 2000, these had to be replaced and handmade oak shakes were used. An intriguing aspect of the church is the tale of The Anchoress of Shere. In 1329, Christine Carpenter made a solemn promise to devote her life to God and live in a holy place. The Bishop of Winchester gave permission for her to be enclosed in a cell which was built in the north wall of the chancel. Food and drink was given to her through a grating on the outside wall and inside the church a quatrefoil allowed her to receive communion. After three years, she decided to leave her cell, but in 1332 she was granted her request to be returned to the cell so she may be enabled to achieve her salvation.

Church to End
Church to End

Start point: 51.2189 lat, -0.4629 long
End point: 51.2201 lat, -0.4645 long

When you’re ready to continue, return to the point at the bottom of Church Hill facing the church. Turn right for just a few yards and then turn left through a wooden gate onto a public footpath through the church yard. Keep ahead through the church yard (with the church to the left) and pass out through the wooden gate at the far side. Immediately afterwards keep ahead over the wooden footbridge which crosses the River Tillingbourne.

The stone path continues ahead through an area of grass and if you look to the left you’ll see the village’s outdoor swimming pool with its colourful changing room doors. The path leads you out to a T-junction with Gomshall Lane. Turn left along this.

On the left you’ll pass the infant school and then the impressive Old Telephone Exchange. On the right you’ll pass Shere Village Hall and then Shere Museum. The museum is open weekend and Bank Holiday afternoons. The extensive displays include objects of daily life - tools, toys, domestic items, wartime and leisure - mainly from Victorian times to the 1950s and some surprising finds from earlier periods. The collection covers all aspects of the history of the parish of Shere, which encompasses the villages of Shere, Gomshall, Peaslake, Holmbury St Mary and parts of Abinger.

Soon after the museum, turn left back into Middle Street. A little way along you’ll come to the Dabbling Duck cafe on the right 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.


2 comments for "Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail"

Lovely walk for a sunny Sunday afternoon. It takes in all the places you want to see in Shere (the ducks, the river and the church) but also some slightly different places such as Rectory Lane, the swimming pool and Spinning Lane. We also managed to get my daughter's wheelchair around the entire route. There are a couple of kissing gates, but they both have ordinary gates next to them. The footpath between Rectory Lane and Chantry Lane was very narrow, but still didn't cause a problem, and this could be avoided.

By petalawrence on 10 Apr 2016

Some great buildings to be seen, a walk for the summer!

By StoryTails on 04 Sep 2016

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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