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Puttenham Common and the North Downs Way

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Puttenham Common and the North Downs Way
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 30 Sep 2014 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Surrey, Puttenham
Walk Type: Woodland
Puttenham Common and the North Downs Way
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 3.5 mile circular walk around Puttenham Common in Surrey. The common comprises mixed woodland, grassland and heathland and is home to lots of birds, butterflies, reptiles and dragonflies which reside in the ponds, heather, grasses, silver birch, oaks and pines. The area is a popular spot with families and dog walkers but you will still be able to enjoy the peace within the expansive common and your climbs will be rewarded with fabulous views.

The walk has several long but very steady climbs and descents. There are no gates or stiles on route, just a short flight of steps to negotiate. The woodland paths can be very muddy after rain and the heath paths become very narrow in part. You will be sharing some of the bridleways with horse riders so take care with dogs. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

The village of Puttenham is located just south of the A31, between Guildford and Farnham in Surrey. The walk starts and finishes from Puttenham’s Common Middle Car Park (NOT the Top Car Park) on Suffield Lane. Leave the village heading south-west along Suffield Lane. You will pass the top car park on the right first and then, further along, you will come to the middle car park, also on the right. There is a 2m height barrier at the entrance. Approximate post code GU3 1BG.

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Walk Sections

Start to General's Pond
Start to General's Pond

Start point: 51.2041 lat, -0.6958 long
End point: 51.2079 lat, -0.6985 long

Standing in the car park with your back to the vehicle entrance, walk diagonally left across the car park to reach the far left-hand corner. Here you will find a Surrey Wildlife Trust information board explaining the flora and fauna of the area. You will also see a waymarker post with white, green and purple arrows for the common’s self-guided trails. We will be following the purple trail for the first half of this walk.

Keep ahead along the signed narrow sandy path, passing between oak and birch trees. You will reach a staggered T-junction, keep right to cross a marshy area via the low embankment bridge. Keep ahead up the short slope and continue ahead. A little further along you will come to a fork, keep left here and the boardwalk of sleepers will lead you to the edge of General’s Pond.

General's Pond to North Downs Way
General's Pond to North Downs Way

Start point: 51.2079 lat, -0.6985 long
End point: 51.2179 lat, -0.6967 long

Bear left, passing the pond on the right. Keep ahead along the obvious path through the woodland (still marked with the purple arrows), ignoring any smaller paths off left and right. Across to the left (beyond sight) are a series of ponds that have been created from the local stream. The ponds are very popular with wildfowl and you may be able to hear the call of geese through the trees.

The path climbs steadily between several pretty old oak trees and emerges out of the trees to a minor crossroads at the edge of heathland. Keep left for a few paces to reach a second staggered crossroads. Keep ahead here on the bridleway (still marked with the purple arrow). Follow this path onto the brow of open heath and grassland.

Here you will have fabulous views to the north, including the ridge of the North Downs. Evidence has been found of a hill fort here on Hillbury, which probably dated back to the Iron Age.

The path begins to descend and emerges to a staggered crossroads. Turn left onto the bridleway, signed again with the purple arrow. Follow the bridleway steadily downhill and keep left at the fork. You will emerge alongside a vehicle barrier to reach a T-junction with a wide track, part of the North Downs Way.

North Downs Way to Murtmoor
North Downs Way to Murtmoor

Start point: 51.2179 lat, -0.6967 long
End point: 51.2131 lat, -0.6855 long

Turn right along the North Downs Way. Follow the rocky path as it climbs steadily. The North Downs Way long distance path was opened in 1978 and runs from Farnham (just to the west) all the way to Dover.

You will come to a point where the track levels a little and a large grass clearing opens up on the right. Fork right here onto the grass track which crosses the clearing diagonally (marked again with the purple arrow). Across to the left you will pass a red and white mansion with multiple red brick chimneys.

Keep directly ahead on this path which leads you back through Puttenham Common. At the brow of the hill a set of power lines passes overhead and the path begins its steady descent. Under the bows of an old sweet chestnut tree, ignore the wooden kissing gate off to the left. A few paces further along, go straight ahead at the small crossroads. The path becomes a stone vehicle track and leads you past the impressive red brick property, Murtmoor, on the left.

Murtmoor to End
Murtmoor to End

Start point: 51.2131 lat, -0.6855 long
End point: 51.2042 lat, -0.6962 long

Stay on the stone track for some distance. Some way along, through a gap in the trees on the right, you will see the common’s other car park, Top Car Park. Beyond this there are great panoramic views to the south. You will emerge, alongside the car park entrance, to a T-junction with Suffield Lane.

Cross over and take the path which continues opposite, passing immediately to the right of the yellow sandstone and brick, Rodsall Cottage. The path swings behind the cottage and then leads you down a short flight of steps to reach a T-junction with a bridleway. Turn right along the sunken bridleway, passing between the steep banks.

As you emerge from the sunken track, keep ahead to pass the pretty Rose Cottage on the left. You will pass between the beautifully converted outbuildings of Rodsall Manor, including Stable House on the right. Next you will pass the manor itself on the left. The house dates from 1680 and is constructed of the same yellow sandstone as the outbuildings and local cottages. Where the manor’s garden wall finishes, ignore the bridleway off to the left. Instead stay on the tarmac lane which swings steadily right.

Just before the track swings right again, fork left onto the narrow signed bridleway (passing the gate for Rainbow’s End on the right). Follow the pretty sunken path steadily downhill and you will see plenty of evidence of the resident badgers here. Continue on through the small belt of woodland and you will emerge alongside Cutt Mill House.

Keep ahead along the tarmac access drive, passing the house on the left. The drive swings right and then left, passing between several converted outbuildings. Ignore the bridleway signed off to the left, simply stay on the tarmac drive which swings right again. On the left you will pass the impressive Cutmill Pond.

You will come to a T-junction with Suffield Lane. Cross over to reach the stone lay-by opposite. Take the path at about 2 o’clock which leads you up a slope through the woodland. At the top of the slope you will reach a T-junction with another narrow path. Turn right along this and it will lead you back to Middle Car Park where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2014 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


3 responses to "Puttenham Common and the North Downs Way"

Loved this walk and we will probably do it again. I am sure that it will look and feel different in each season.

There's plenty of car park space at the start and even a small picnic area...

By Richard on 2014-10-07 18:35:56

This was the first walk we tried using the app, it was great! superb directions. despite it being a damp dreary day it was a really lovely walk. Looking forward to repeating it in the spring

By beckygoodger on 2015-01-01 16:21:34

This was a lovely walk and the first one we took. Very impressed with the accurate directions. No need for a maps. We did this in early spring. Look forward to doing again when the leaves are on the trees.

By Dees on 2015-04-11 19:33:29

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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