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Explore Surrey: Puttenham Circular

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Explore Surrey: Puttenham Circular
Author: exploresurrey, Published: 18 Feb 2015 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 UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Surrey, Puttenham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Explore Surrey: Puttenham Circular
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 3 mile (5km) gently undulating circular walk starting from Puttenham Common, passing through farmland and woodland. The walk passes the Palladian mansion Puttenham Priory, and through the village of Puttenham along the foot of the Hog’s Back ridge. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council.

The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout. The paths can get quite muddy so stout boots are recommended. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates, some steps and 9 stiles along the way (all the stiles have adjacent dog gates or gaps in the fencing alongside that should be suitable for most dogs to pass through). You may come across livestock in some of the fields, including at least one field which may hold cattle, so take care with dogs. Approximate time 1.5 hours.

If you are looking for refreshments, the Good Intent pub in Puttenham village is about half way round the route. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 145 Guildford and Farnham. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Information is included for your interest, but please respect people’s privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

The village of Puttenham is located just south of the A31, between Guildford and Farnham. The walk starts and finishes from Puttenham Common Top Car Park on Suffield Lane. Leave the village heading south-west along Suffield Lane and you will come to the top car park on the right, opposite Top Rodsall Cottage. There is a 1.95m height barrier at the entrance. If you are travelling by public transport, there is a bus stop on the A31 at Puttenham Hill. From here, you can walk down to Puttenham village and adjust the walk to start from this point. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info. Approximate post code GU3 1BG. Grid ref: SU 919462.

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Walk Sections

Start to Puttenham Lane
Start to Puttenham Lane

Start point: 51.2074 lat, -0.6847 long
End point: 51.2082 lat, -0.6683 long

It is worth taking time before you start the walk to enjoy the views from the car park. There is an extensive view south to the sandy heights of Hindhead and Blackdown and this is a popular spot for picnicking.

To begin the walk, leave the car park via the vehicle entrance back to Suffield Lane. Cross over the road with care and go ahead past Top Rodsall Cottage on your left. Follow the path as it turns left behind the cottage and continue down some steps to a T-junction with a sunken track. Turn left and then almost immediately turn right along the footpath through the woodland edge.

At the junction of paths, continue in the same direction on the path marked with a yellow arrow. Follow this path with an open field to the left. At the edge of the woodland, pass through a kissing gate ahead and continue on the grass track between open fields (note: the area to the right is used for rearing game birds so take particular care with dogs).

At the end of the grass track, cross the low stile ahead to join a narrow fenced path. The path leads you alongside a second (disused) stile and then swings left (over an area that can get quite boggy) to reach the road (Puttenham Lane) via a third stile (or the gate alongside).

Puttenham Lane to Suffield Lane
Puttenham Lane to Suffield Lane

Start point: 51.2082 lat, -0.6683 long
End point: 51.2213 lat, -0.6676 long

Turn left along the road, taking care of any traffic, for 150m to reach a kissing gate and field gate on the left. Turn left through the kissing gate and follow the path along the left-hand boundary of the field. The path swings left, right and left again to reach a stile at the top of the rise.

Pass alongside this (with the fence still on the left) then bear diagonally right (at about 2 o’clock) across the field to each a stile between oak trees. Cross this stile and walk at about 11 o’clock across this next field. Beyond the brow of the rise, follow the path straight ahead (with views to the church and Puttenham Priory within the village – more of this later) to cross a stile into a belt of woodland.

Follow the fenced path along the edge of the woodland belt. Beyond the trees, cross the next stile ahead then follow the fenced path with a large pond visible through the hedge on the left. The path leads you out via a stile to the village road, Suffield Lane.

Suffield Lane to T-junction
Suffield Lane to T-junction

Start point: 51.2213 lat, -0.6676 long
End point: 51.2219 lat, -0.6675 long

To the right you will see the entrance gates for Puttenham Priory. Cross over and turn right along the road edge (taking extreme care of traffic here) to reach the T-junction. Cross over with care to reach the pavement in front of the Good Intent pub.

The village has some of the last remaining hop gardens in Surrey. Oast houses were built here in the nineteenth century to dry the hops before they were transported to breweries in Guildford and London. The last oast houses were in use until the early 1970s when they were converted into houses. (If you wish to see the oast houses and the church you can take a small detour by turning right at this T-junction).

T-junction to Lascombe Lane
T-junction to Lascombe Lane

Start point: 51.2219 lat, -0.6675 long
End point: 51.2214 lat, -0.6735 long

Standing on the pavement facing the pub, turn left along The Street. Soon you will be forced to swap to the left-hand pavement.

The long street village of Puttenham stands on the spring line dividing the chalk of the Hogs Back to the north from the Greensand to the south. Local chalk and sandstone have both been used in the construction of many of the older cottages.

Ignore the first footpath signed off to the left, but at this point it is a good idea to glance behind you for a good view of the medieval church of St. John the Baptist. Keep ahead and soon you will be forced to swap back to the right-hand pavement. Where the road swings right, fork left onto Lascombe Lane.

Lascombe Lane to Lower Lascombe
Lascombe Lane to Lower Lascombe

Start point: 51.2214 lat, -0.6735 long
End point: 51.2185 lat, -0.6782 long

Lascombe Lane forms part of the North Downs Way. This National Trail crosses the northern edge of Puttenham Common and continues up Lascombe Lane and through Puttenham village. This long distance footpath runs for 153 miles through the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It starts in Farnham on the Surrey-Hampshire border, and ends at Dover. It is particularly popular with walkers due to the impressive scenery along the route, and Newlands Corner and Box Hill are well-known local viewpoints and picnicking spots.

At the fork, leave the North Downs Way, and take the left-hand branch onto Highfield Lane (heading uphill). Follow the lane passing horse paddocks on the left (these were holding adorable miniature ponies as we passed). From this point there is an excellent view beyond the paddocks (back to your left) of the Palladian mansion Puttenham Priory.

In 1223 the manor of Puttenham was divided between two sisters, one of whom gave her half of the manor to the Augustinian Priory of Newark near Ripley. In 1761 Thomas Parker, the then owner of the manor of Puttenham Priory, built the present house and incorporated some of the older manor house within it.

Continue up to the top of the hill where you will find the property, Lower Lascombe, on the left.

Lower Lascombe to Kissing Gate
Lower Lascombe  to Kissing Gate

Start point: 51.2185 lat, -0.6782 long
End point: 51.2144 lat, -0.6854 long

Ignore the footpath signed right here, simply keep ahead on the lane for 160m to a point where the lane bears right. Fork left here (at about 11 o’clock) to join the signed footpath across the crop field. Cross the stile and continue in the same direction across the next field (which may be holding cattle).

Cross the next stile, go over the tarmac drive and keep ahead to join the fenced footpath passing the red brick and tile property on the left. The path leads you through a section of woodland, managed by The Woodland Trust. You will come to a kissing gate ahead.

Kissing Gate to End
Kissing Gate to End

Start point: 51.2144 lat, -0.6854 long
End point: 51.2078 lat, -0.6848 long

Go through the kissing gate and turn left along the sandy track. Keep straight ahead at the crossroads of paths to pass a cottage on the left. The path climbs to pass an impressive square brick property, Murtmoor, also on the left. Keep ahead along the main track, ignoring any small paths into Puttenham Common on the right.

Surrey Wildlife Trust manages the 263 hectares of Puttenham Common. Constant grazing over the centuries maintained the open heathland which developed on the acid sandy soil. When grazing ceased, trees (especially birch) invaded parts of the heath. However it is still an important area of now scarce lowland heath and part of the common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Eventually you will see a smaller path forking right which leads you past a row of small wooden posts and to the car park where the walk began. (Don’t worry if you miss the fork, the main track will lead you to the car park vehicle entrance anyway).

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author exploresurrey and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 responses to "Explore Surrey: Puttenham Circular"

This is a pleasant walk - it will be even better in a week or two (from mid- end of April), when the bluebells will be out. Most of the stiles are now kissing gates.

Thanks Jodale - we have updated the photo and stile/kissing gate change for the bit as walkers leave Puttenham Lane. If anyone else is able to tell us exactly which other stiles have become gates we can update the rest of the wording.

By Jojale on 2016-04-03 18:13:55

Lovely walk with a good variety of scenery. The Good Intent pub which is about half way through the walk serves the best chips we have ever had!

By MrsF on 2016-08-29 18:23:46

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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