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Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)

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Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)
Author: exploresurrey, Published: 10 Mar 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)star1 Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)star1 Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)star1 Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)star1 Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)
Surrey, Chilworth
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version) boot Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version) boot Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)
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0002_sunny_intervals Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version)Today's weather
12 °C, Partly cloudy, Wind: 12 mph SSW
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A 4.5 mile (7km) undulating walk in the Surrey Hills, starting from Chilworth Station and passing through farmland, woodland and parkland. The route crosses the Tillingbourne stream, which used to power a number of powder, paper and corn mills in the area. There is also a longer version of this walk available on iFootpath, 8 miles in length. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council.

The walk has several steady slopes plus a couple of steeper sections. The paths across woodland and farmland can get quite muddy so stout shoes or boots are required and wellingtons are recommended in the winter months. You will need to negotiate a number of kissing gates plus 7 stiles (all of which have open fence surrounds which will be suitable for most dogs to pass through). You will be sharing a few of the fields with horses and at least one field may be holding cattle so take particular care with dogs. You will need to cross the railway at an unsignalled footpath crossing so take extreme care and listen carefully for trains before you cross. There is one short stretch of road walking. Allow 2.5 hours.

If you are looking for refreshments there are a couple of options. The Percy Arms pub is at the start of the walk, opposite Chilworth Station, and the Drummond Arms pub is in Albury by Waypoint 5. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 145 Guildford and Farnham. This walk follows public rights of way 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 from Chilworth Rail Station in Surrey. There is a bus stop directly outside the station on the A248, or one just to the east of this at Longfrey Farm. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info. There is no car parking available at the station so please travel by public transport. Grid ref: TQ031472.

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Walk Sections

Start to Postford Farm Cottages
Start to Postford Farm Cottages

Start point: 51.2154 lat, -0.5254 long
End point: 51.2107 lat, -0.5061 long

Exit Chilworth railway station alongside the phone box to reach the bus shelter on the triangular green. Turn right along pavement for the A248 and follow it for 470m. As you draw level with Longfrey Farm on the left, turn right into Dorking Road (signed as the Downs Link). Follow the lane over the railway bridge and, immediately afterwards, fork left through the gap in the white fencing (passing the small cottage on the left).

Keep ahead on this grass path which soon runs between fences. Cross the stile into a horse paddock and walk diagonally right to reach the far right-hand corner. Pass through the kissing gate and follow the path which swings right, with a hedge on the right. Where the hedge swings away, keep ahead on the path along the line of the bank across the field (probably lined with electric fencing).

The path becomes a track, following a line of trees on the left. Cross a stile ahead (or use of the gate alongside) to pass Postford Farm Cottages on the right.

Postford Farm Cottages to Little Ford Farmhouse
Postford Farm Cottages to Little Ford Farmhouse

Start point: 51.2107 lat, -0.5061 long
End point: 51.209 lat, -0.4958 long

Keep straight ahead on the main track (ignoring the footpath signed to the right) which leads you downhill and past the stables on the left. Continue across the stream and then stay on the main track which swings right past a barn/stables. Keep ahead along the tarmac track (ignoring the stile on the left) to reach a T-junction with a sunken lane.

Turn right and then immediately left over a stile to enter a pasture (which may be holding cattle). Follow the obvious grass track ahead with a grass bank immediately on the left and a stream (The Bourne) across to the right. The waters of The Bourne, a tributary of the Tillingbourne, are used for growing watercress.

You will pass Little Ford Farmhouse on the left, a timber-framed building dating from the sixteenth century. Immediately afterwards, pass through the kissing gate ahead to reach a junction with a stone vehicle track.

Little Ford Farmhouse to Sandy Track Crossroads
Little Ford Farmhouse to Sandy Track Crossroads

Start point: 51.209 lat, -0.4958 long
End point: 51.2154 lat, -0.4939 long

Turn left through the gateway into the courtyard and then turn immediately left again through another gateway to join a stone track passing the farmhouse on the left. Go through the gate and follow the path up through a section of old coppiced trees. As you emerge from these trees, continue ahead for just a short distance to reach the white gates of the railway crossing.

NOTE: This railway crossing is unsignalled so take extreme care, taking time to look and listen for trains before you cross. At the far side, follow the path at about 11 o’clock across the field, passing to the right of a small clump of trees. Continue in the same direction towards the woodland ahead. Just before the end of the field, a fence begins on the right. A few paces along this, turn right over a stile to enter the woodland.

Walk straight ahead on the narrow woodland path which soon widens to become a track to reach a crossroads. Keep straight ahead, passing a fenced clearing/section of young trees on the right. At the brow of the hill (where the fence ends) you will come to a crossroads with a sandy track.

Sandy Track Crossroads to Albury Church
Sandy Track Crossroads to Albury Church

Start point: 51.2154 lat, -0.4939 long
End point: 51.2188 lat, -0.4975 long

Keep straight ahead on the narrow path, soon following a wire fence on the left. The path emerges with a T-junction with a sunken path, Warren Lane. Turn left and you will pass between farm gates each side (which provide great viewpoints). Continue down the sunken path and, at the junction, swing left.

The track will lead you to the end of a residential road, Church Lane. Keep straight ahead along this lane and, further along, you will pass a stone memorial (for Louisa Duchess of Northumberland) on the right and Albury Church on the left.

Albury Church to A248
Albury Church to A248

Start point: 51.2188 lat, -0.4975 long
End point: 51.2198 lat, -0.4999 long

Keep ahead, passing the village bowling green on the right. Follow the road as it swings right down to reach a T-junction with the A248 at the centre of the village. The Drummond Arms pub is visible just to the right.

A248 to Sluice Bridge
A248 to Sluice Bridge

Start point: 51.2198 lat, -0.4999 long
End point: 51.2211 lat, -0.5135 long

Turn left along the road, taking care as the pavement is narrow in parts. Pass Weston Farm and then pass Water Lane and Guildford Lane on the right. Stay on the pavement as it climbs to the left. Opposite Vale End Fisheries on the left, you will see a choice of two footpaths on the right. Cross over the road and take the second of the footpaths, passing through a staggered barrier. Note: this path can be muddy.

Follow the path with Waterloo Pond on the right and a stream on the left. You will come to a T-junction with a tarmac drive. Turn left along this. You will pass Postford Mill Pond on the left and a former mill building on the right (now converted into residential and office buildings).

Over the years there has been a series of powder, paper and corn mills in this area relying upon the Tillingbourne for water power.

Immediately after the mill on the right, you will come to the bridge over a millpond sluice.

Sluice Bridge to Sleeper Bridge
Sluice Bridge to Sleeper Bridge

Start point: 51.2211 lat, -0.5135 long
End point: 51.2192 lat, -0.5177 long

Cross the bridge then bear right (at about 2 o’clock) to join the signed public footpath which leads you between fences. Follow this narrow path with a house on the right and fenced horse paddocks on the left and it will lead you past a disused stile. Keep ahead on the fenced path between fields.

The Admiralty Cordite Works were built in this area in 1915, during the First World War. The remains of a stove house can be seen by the modern pond to the right and the row of cottages were converted from the cordite press house.

You will come to a sleeper bridge and stile ahead.

Sleeper Bridge to Lockner Farm Track
Sleeper Bridge to Lockner Farm Track

Start point: 51.2192 lat, -0.5177 long
End point: 51.2189 lat, -0.522 long

Cross the bridge and stile to enter the horse paddock. Keep ahead in the same direction across this field, crossing some concrete foundation remains from the Admiralty Cordite Works. At the far side, cross the stile to enter a smaller paddock. Keep in the same direction across this field and cross the stile opposite to reach a junction with Lockner Farm Track.

Lockner Farm Track to Picnic Area
Lockner Farm Track to Picnic Area

Start point: 51.2189 lat, -0.522 long
End point: 51.2177 lat, -0.5262 long

Turn right, crossing the bridge, and then turn left through the staggered barrier to enter the site of Chilworth Gunpowder Mills. You will pass an interpretation board on the right which gives more information about the mills. Continue ahead with the canal on the left, passing the old buildings on the right.

The Smokeless Powder Works were built in the 1890s and this middle section of the former works is owned by Guildford Borough Council, stretching for over a kilometre down the valley. Substantial remains of the works, the canal used for transport and water power, roller mill stones for mixing the gunpowder and the site of the older water powered mills can be seen.

Beyond the building remains, follow the path as it swings right, passing a bench on the left, then continue straight ahead. You will come to a picnic area on the right.

Picnic Area to End
Picnic Area to End

Start point: 51.2177 lat, -0.5262 long
End point: 51.2155 lat, -0.5256 long

Immediately alongside the picnic area, turn left and follow this footpath (known as Vera’s Path) across the footbridge. You will see the remains of an old rail track across the stream on the left. The path leads you out to a T-junction within Chilworth, alongside the school. Turn left along the pavement and you will pass the Percy Arms on the left and then come to Chilworth Station on the right, where the walk began.

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network Explore Surrey: Tillingbourne at Work (Shorter Version) Original GPX source file

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


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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