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Explore Surrey: Effingham Circular

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Explore Surrey: Effingham Circular
Author: exploresurrey, Published: 20 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, Effingham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Explore Surrey: Effingham Circular
Length: 5 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 4.5 mile (7km) gently undulating walk starting from Effingham Junction rail station. The route passes through woodland, farmland and over several commons. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council.

The walk includes a few gentle gradients. The route crosses heavy clay fields and wet low-lying meadows so good walking boots are required all year and wellingtons are recommended in the winter months (when some sections can be very muddy or have standing water). You will need to negotiate some gates plus 11 stiles (all of which have gaps alongside which should be suitable for most dogs to pass through). Several of the fields that you cross will be holding horses so take care with dogs. Allow 2 to 2.5hrs, depending on the conditions underfoot.

There are no pubs or shops along the main route. There is the choice of an optional detour into Effingham village where you will find The Plough pub and the Sir Douglas Haig Hotel near the junction between Lower Road and The Street. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Boxhill & Reigate. 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 walk starts and finishes from Effingham Junction train station (note: this is 1.5 miles from the village of Effingham itself). If you are coming by bus, there is a bus stop alongside the station or you can alight at Effingham village and adjust the walk to start at Waypoint 5. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info. If you are coming by car, the station has a pay and display car park (2.1m height restriction) which is free on Sundays, costs £2 per day off-peak (Saturdays and after 10.30am weekdays) and £6 per day peak (Bank Holidays and before 10.30am weekdays) – prices correct February 2015. Approximate post code KT24 5HX. Grid ref: TQ 103559.

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Walk Sections

Start to Woodland Edge Stile
Start to Woodland Edge Stile

Start point: 51.2908 lat, -0.4201 long
End point: 51.2895 lat, -0.4136 long

The walk starts from Effingham Junction train station. The London and South Western Railway Company built the line through Cobham to Effingham in1880 and this was extended to Guildford five years later. The station is 1½ miles away from the village and only limited development has taken place around it.

Leave the station platforms (or car park) up the steps to reach Effingham Common Road. Turn right along the pavement for 100m, passing the ticket office on the right and the bus stop on the left. At this point, cross the road to turn left through the white gates opposite.

After just a short distance (about 30m), turn right onto a public footpath (marked with a yellow arrow) and follow it through the woods. Note: this path, like many along the route, can get very muddy at times. As you emerge from the woodland, you will come to a junction with a grass track. Look ahead and you will see two wide gates, walk to the right-hand of these gates where you will find a half-hidden stile.

Woodland Edge Stile to Banks Common
Woodland Edge Stile to Banks Common

Start point: 51.2895 lat, -0.4136 long
End point: 51.2948 lat, -0.4037 long

Cross this stile and keep ahead on the fenced track with the pretty Norwood Farm visible through the fence on your right. Cross the stile ahead to enter a wider grass section with a hedge to the left and a stream to the right. Follow the path staying close to the stream on the right and this leads you alongside a disused stile and through the brick arch under the railway line

Pass by the next disused stile to join the fenced grass path. You may be lucky enough to see a herd of llamas in one of the fields alongside. Keep ahead to go over stile/footbridge to enter a section of coppiced woodland. Follow the path through the woodland (note: you may need to detour through the trees to the left to avoid fallen trees or standing water, but simply make your way back to the main path when you can). You will emerge to a T-junction with fields ahead. Turn right to enter Banks Common (marked with a National Trust sign).

Banks Common to Whitewashed Cottages
Banks Common to Whitewashed Cottages

Start point: 51.2948 lat, -0.4037 long
End point: 51.2957 lat, -0.3955 long

Banks Common is an ancient common which was presented to the National Trust in 1925 by Mr R. Calburn, the Lord of the Manor. It is thought to be named after the family of Thomas Bankes who lived in one of the cottages on the common during the eighteenth century. The National Trust also manages adjacent Little Bookham Common and Great Bookham Common, which consist of wet, low-lying meadows, scrub, woodland and twelve ponds. Tap the Listen button below (available via App only) to learn more.

Follow the track ahead along the edge of Banks Common (ignoring any smaller paths off left and right). Eventually the track passes Banks Farm on the left, and then swings right to pass some whitewashed cottages on the right.

Whitewashed Cottages to Rickleden
Whitewashed Cottages to Rickleden

Start point: 51.2957 lat, -0.3955 long
End point: 51.286 lat, -0.3882 long

A little further along you will come to a signed staggered crossroads of paths within the track. Take the right branch to join the public footpath signed to Little Bookham. Pass alongside the cattle grid and you will pass the edge of Little Bookham Common on the left. Continue along the track and you will pass the thatched property Oaktree Cottage (including a thatched well) on the left.

Stay on the track for some distance passing horse paddocks and then allotments on the right. Follow the road as it bears left, then turn immediately right along Maddox Lane. Stay on the track over the railway bridge, then keep ahead (ignoring the footpath on the right) to reach a junction with a residential road.

Cross over to take the footpath along the verge opposite, passing a number of houses on the right. In 230m, just beyond the property Rickleden, turn right onto the signed footpath which passes between gardens.

Rickleden to Second T-junction
Rickleden to Second T-junction

Start point: 51.286 lat, -0.3882 long
End point: 51.282 lat, -0.3942 long

Cross over the residential road, Burnhams Road, and then keep ahead down the private road opposite (don’t worry, this is a public right of way) signed to Wildwood, Woodside and Hazelwood. In 100m, just before the entrance gates to Wildwood ahead, turn left through the gate to join the footpath between tall hedges.

The path continues with a stretch of coppiced woodland on the right. Further along, you are forced to swing right onto a path through the centre of the woodland. The path widens to a grass track and leads you to a T-junction. Turn left up the track for 30m to reach a second T-junction.

At this point you can take an optional detour to Effingham village (for refreshments or bus stops) should you wish. To do this, turn left at this T-junction and keep ahead on the track (Water Lane). After 650m, by Farm Cottage on the left, bear right along the enclosed path and continue between the hedge and the field to reach Lower Road and the bus stops. Turn right along Lower Road to pass the Howard of Effingham School. The Plough pub and Sir Douglas Haig Hotel are near the junction between Lower Road and The Street. Return to this point when you are ready to continue.

The village of Effingham is thought to be a Saxon settlement. It sits on the dip slope of the North Downs, along the spring line where the chalk of the Downs meets the water-logged clay. King Edward IV granted Effingham Manor to Lord William Howard. The second Lord Howard of Effingham, Charles, was the Lord High Admiral of England and in command of the fleet which defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. He was a Commissioner at the trials of Lord Essex, Mary Queen of Scots, and the Gunpowder Plot conspirators. Another notable Effingham resident was Sir Barnes-Wallis, who invented the famous Dambuster bomb used in the Second World War.

Second T-junction to Lake Gate
Second T-junction  to Lake Gate

Start point: 51.282 lat, -0.3942 long
End point: 51.2837 lat, -0.3994 long

To continue the main walk, turn right.

(Note: If you are starting the walk having arrived by bus in Effingham village, take the narrow footpath north from Lower Road – just to the left of the garden centre. Follow this to Water Lane and bear left then follow the path ahead and then bearing right. Stay on the track as it swings left around a horse paddock. Now follow the directions from this point.)

Follow the track swinging right with a field on your left and woodland on your right for 260m to reach a gate ahead. Do NOT go through this gate, instead turn left through the V-shaped squeeze stile into the horse paddock. Walk ahead with the fence to your right. By the large oak tree, keep straight ahead through a second squeeze stile and continue with the fence on the right. A third squeeze stile (or at least the remains of one) leads you into the corner of a field. Cross this diagonally right and in the far corner you will find a wide gate with a large lake visible beyond.

Lake Gate to Lower Farm Road
Lake Gate to Lower Farm Road

Start point: 51.2837 lat, -0.3994 long
End point: 51.2875 lat, -0.4055 long

The lakes here were created around 1980, and are an important breeding area for many species of wildfowl as well as a large flock of Canada Geese.

Pass through the gate and walk a few paces ahead to reach the lake. Bear left along the gravel path and go through the wide gate into the horse paddock. Keep directly ahead (heading just to the left of the large trees visible ahead). Here you will find another squeeze stile. Cross this into the next paddock and walk right (between 2 and 3 o’clock) to reach the furthest field corner.

A squeeze stile and small sleeper bridge leads you out to a stone track within the lakes complex. Turn left then immediately right to join the footpath between two lakes. Beyond the lakes another squeeze stile leads you into a horse paddock. Keep ahead (uphill), passing to the left of the single oak tree, then follow the fence line on the left. In 130m, turn left over a metal ladder stile (or use the gate alongside) to join the residential road, Lower Farm Road.

Lower Farm Road to Cricket Field
Lower Farm Road to Cricket Field

Start point: 51.2875 lat, -0.4055 long
End point: 51.2857 lat, -0.4159 long

Continue down to the end of Lower Farm Road where you will reach a T-junction with Effingham Common Road. Turn right along the pavement and after just 35m cross over the road to turn left down the driveway for Tyrrells and Squirrels. Just before reaching the houses ahead, fork right across a grassy area where you will pick up a waymarker post marking the public footpath.

Follow this pretty narrow path between properties and you will emerge out to a T-junction with a track. Turn right and then immediately left onto a path through the edge of the woodland. You will emerge to another track with the cricket field directly ahead.

This land, known as North Common, was shared between the Manors of Effingham and Effingham East Court. It has never been enclosed and is now managed by Guildford Borough Council. In 1955 Mr Calburn, who had given Banks Common to the National Trust, gave an area of the North Common to the Parish Council for use as a cricket pitch. Four people still hold commoners rights and are summoned by the Parish Council each year to exercise those rights which have existed since medieval times and include the right to graze animals and to cut wood.

Cricket Field to End
Cricket Field to End

Start point: 51.2857 lat, -0.4159 long
End point: 51.291 lat, -0.4201 long

Go straight ahead across the cricket field, passing close to the cricket pavilion on the left and continuing to pass the practice nets on the right. In the corner you will find a stile which leads you onto the edge of Effingham Common.

Keep straight ahead over the centre of the common, heading for the tree line opposite. Just before you reach the line of trees, turn right keeping the trees on your left. Where the tree line swings away to the left, keep directly ahead and then bear slightly left towards the bungalows visible at the common entrance.

Cross the small bridge over the ditch to reach the road in front of the bungalows. Turn right and almost immediately the road dwindles to become a stone path passing the engine sheds on the left. The path leads you back to Effingham Junction Station on the left, where the walk began.

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


1 responses to "Explore Surrey: Effingham Circular"

nice walk, little confusing near the lake but otherwise good.

By suzym362 on 2016-01-24 18:31:08

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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