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The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail

There are currently 3 comments and 6 photos online for this walk.

The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 01 Aug 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walkstar1 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walkstar1 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walkstar1 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walkstar0 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk
Surrey, West Clandon
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk boot The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk
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A 5 mile circular pub walk from The Onslow Arms in West Clandon, Surrey. The Onslow Arms is a smart community pub where drinkers and eaters alike get a warm welcome on the terrace, in the walled garden or alongside the real fires inside. The walking route performs a simple circuit around the surrounding Surrey countryside, taking in the grounds of Clandon Park, immaculate golf courses and majestic stretches of woodland.

The walk has just a few gentle gradients. The paths are wide and open for the most part, but the optional narrow stretch within West Clandon can get overgrown in summer and the woodland paths can be very muddy after rain and in winter. You will need to negotiate a few single gates, kerbs and footbridges, but there are no steps or stiles on route. The first (and last stretch) follows the road through West Clandon but this has a pavement and traffic, whilst busy, is limited to 30mph. There are a couple of road crossings, so take particular care at these points. Two of the fields you cross are horse paddocks so take care with dogs. Approximate time 2.5 hours.

West Clandon is located on the A247, about 5 miles south of Woking and 4 miles north east of Guildford in Surrey. The Onslow Arms is located at the northern end of the village, opposite the village hall. If you are coming by car the pub has its own large free car park at the rear. Approximate post code GU4 7TE. Alternatively, if you are coming by train the Onslow Arms is just 200 yards from Clandon Station, which is served by trains direct from Waterloo.

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Walk Sections

Start to Clandon Park
Start to Clandon Park

Start point: 51.261 lat, -0.5036 long
End point: 51.2523 lat, -0.5043 long

Leave the Onslow Arms car park back to the road, cross over with care and turn left along the pavement. Follow the right-hand pavement through West Clandon village, passing between the residential properties which vary widely in their architectural style, including several old half-timbered cottages.

Some way along you will pass Summers Cottage on the left and soon afterwards a pavement begins on the left-hand side of the road. At this point you have two choices for the next half mile of the walk. The first option continues along the pavement through the village (meaning you will be accompanied by the traffic) whilst the second option takes footpaths through the adjacent fields and golf courses across to the left (some parts of which can be muddy and/or fairly overgrown at some times of year). The choice is yours.

For the first option: Stay on the right-hand pavement and follow it through the village passing the infant school on the right. Immediately after Parkside cottage on the right (and opposite the gates for Ashley Park Nursing Home on the left), turn right onto the stone track signed as a public footpath which leads you into Clandon Park.

For the second option: Cross over to join the left-hand pavement, pass the gates for the large property called Summers and then turn left onto the signed public footpath. Follow this narrow path between fences. When the fences end, keep ahead on the green footpath with open fields visible to the left and the car park and club house for the golf course visible to the right. Just beyond the club house, you will come to a fingerpost marking a footpath junction. Turn right to join the tarmac access lane leading you through the golf course. Just after passing a metal gateway on the right you will see some hazel bushes also on the right. Turn right here, crossing over a sleeper bridge into the hedgerow. Follow this narrow footpath through the tunnel of hedgerows. The fields to the left are Clandon Wood, a natural burial ground with a glass pavilion at its centre for memorial services, which is managed as a nature reserve with wildflower meadows, lakes and woodland. Eventually you will emerge to the end of a stone track. Keep ahead along this to reach the road, with the church opposite. Cross over (take extreme care as this is a difficult bend) and turn right along the pavement. Cross over the entrance drive for Clandon Park and, soon afterwards, turn left onto the stone track signed as a public footpath which leads you into Clandon Park.

Clandon Park to Merrow Lodge
Clandon Park to Merrow Lodge

Start point: 51.2523 lat, -0.5043 long
End point: 51.2473 lat, -0.5249 long

Follow the stone vehicle track heading downhill into the grounds of Clandon Park. At the crossroads keep straight ahead and a few yards later you will come to an old wooden gateway ahead. Take a moment to look to the left here and you will see Clandon Park mansion which sits at the centre of the park.

Clandon Park was built by a Venetian architect for Lord Onslow in the 1720s. As one of the country’s most complete examples of a Palladian mansion it featured original stucco ceilings and marble fireplaces, and contained a superb collection of 18th-century furniture, porcelain and textiles. Sadly, in April 2015, a fire broke out at Clandon. Everyone was evacuated from the building but the fire caused significant damage, effectively leaving the house a shell. The National Trust hopes to rebuild the interior of Clandon Park mansion, restoring some of the former features.

Pass through the wooden gateway and a few paces later fork left over the sleeper bridge to join the footpath through the woodland. At the junction keep straight ahead, crossing two footbridges, the first over a stream and the second over a large ornamental lake. At the end of this path, a gate leads you into a paddock which is likely to be holding horses.

Keep straight ahead across the paddock and leave via the gate at the far side. Cross over the stone track and take the gate ahead into the next paddock. Walk at about 10 o’clock and then bear right following the line of the copse on the right. Keep directly ahead beyond the copse to reach the next gate. Pass through this and continue directly ahead, following the line of the fence on the right. On the left you will pass the outbuildings and stables of Temple Court. Keep ahead along the grass track, with fenced paddocks on the right, and you will emerge out to the edge of a large field.

Turn left, following the fence line on the left. When the fence ends, you will emerge to a T-junction with an old tarmac track. Turn right along this. This track was once the main entrance drive for Clandon Park and the remains of the old lime tree avenue can still be seen. Just before the end of the drive, fork right (passing just to the left of the final lime tree). Pass through the wide metal gate followed by a smaller black gate to reach the grass verge in front of Merrow Lodge and the park’s entrance gates known as the Golden Gates. The latin motto on the Onslow Crest, Semper Fidelis, translates as Always Faithful. The family’s alternative motto, Festina Lente (which translates as More Haste, Less Speed), is better known and is the one show on the Onslow Arms sign.

Merrow Lodge to Trodd's Lane
Merrow Lodge to Trodd's Lane

Start point: 51.2473 lat, -0.5249 long
End point: 51.2406 lat, -0.5198 long

Standing with your back to the entrance gates, take the footpath at about 2 o’clock and, before the roundabout, turn left to cross the road at the designated crossing point. Turn left along the quiet small lane, passing St John’s Rectory on the right. Follow the lane as it swings right, passing between the cricket ground on the left and the tennis courts on the right. Merrow Cricket Club has been established since 1880 and the beautiful old timber-clad pavilion dates from 1908.

Just beyond the cricket pavilion (and before you reach the gym), fork left to join the narrow footpath between hedgerows. Soon, the views across Clandon golf course open up on the left. Follow this path zig-zagging around the edge of the golf course, staying alongside the fence on the left. Once you are on the far side of the golf course, you will have great views back down the slopes and on a clear day you will see the sky line of Woking town centre.

Just beyond this point, the footpath swings right leading you through a section of woodland. As you emerge from the trees, bear right along the path at the side of the golf course and you will emerge out to a junction with Trodd’s Lane.

Trodd's Lane to Wildwood T Junction
Trodd's Lane to Wildwood T Junction

Start point: 51.2406 lat, -0.5198 long
End point: 51.2434 lat, -0.5057 long

Turn left along the grass verge (passing a Surrey Hills boundary marker). After just a few yards, turn left again onto the signed public footpath. Walk ahead on the stone track, passing the 6th Tee on the left, and then fork left to join the stone path which leads you between trees. Follow the obvious track through the tree line, keeping right at the first major fork. You will emerge from the trees to the edge of one of the fairways.

NOTE: You now need to cross the fairway so please show respect for the golfers by allowing them to play their shots before you cross (they will be playing from your right) and watch out for any stray flying golf balls. Cross directly over the fairway and at the far side pick up the stone path which continues through the woodland, Wildwood.

Some way along, you will come to a major fork in the path. Take the left-hand branch heading downhill (passing beautiful old box trees), swinging left and then right. Follow the main path ahead through the coppiced trees (ignoring the small path to the left).

You will come to a waymarker post marking a junction between the footpath which you are following (marked with yellow arrows) and the bridleway which is crossing your path (marked with blue arrows). Go straight ahead and continue until you reach a T-junction within the woodland.

Wildwood T Junction to End
Wildwood T Junction to End

Start point: 51.2434 lat, -0.5057 long
End point: 51.2612 lat, -0.5031 long

Turn left at the T-junction and follow the footpath winding through the trees. Soon the path leads you past a waymarker post (alongside a boundary fence) and then bears left to lead you down an impressive avenue of tall straight elegant beech trees. This beautiful section of woodland has a majestic and spiritual feel, almost like a natural cathedral.

Half way along this avenue you will come to a fork, take the right-hand branch continuing along the main avenue. At the end of the tall beech trees, continue straight ahead on the path leading you through a section of much younger mixed woodland. You will emerge alongside a disused stile to reach the grass verge alongside Shere Road.

Turn left along the grass verge to reach the major road junction with the A246. You need to make your way across the two carriageways to reach the road sign for Woking and Leatherhead. Do so by via the grass verge islands and using the traffic lights to help you judge when the traffic flow will stop for each carriageway. When you reach the road sign, you will find a tarmac path set within the verge. Turn right along this and then turn left onto the pavement of the A247 signed for West Clandon and Woking.

The pavement soon leads you past the pretty flint church of St Peter and St Paul. Immediately after the lych gate, you again have the same choice of paths back to the pub:

Should you wish to use the footpaths (which avoid the traffic noise but can be overgrown/muddy at some times of year) turn right just before church cottage and retrace your steps to the end of the path, left along the tarmac drive up to the clubhouse and then left again back out to the road. Cross over and turn right through the remainder of the village to reach the Onslow Arms.

Alternatively, for the simplest route, keep ahead along the left-hand pavement and follow this past the infant school on the left and then the large property of Clandon Regis on the right. Just before the end of the village, you will find the Onslow Arms on the right for some well-earned hospitality.

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


3 responses to "The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail"

Some pleasant parts of the walk particularly the woods but quite a lot of walking near busy roads and one tricky crossing dual carriageway double junction. Flat walk not testing physically. Cross two golf courses. Quiet walk though didn't meet other walkers. End up at good pub Onslow Arms.

By ln1rdm on 2016-09-25 14:35:39

Wonderful in Autumn. Be careful crossing the roads!

By kingsleyhome on 2016-11-19 11:09:24

Leisurely five mile walk with highlights being The Wildwood and subsequent tall beech wood, the latter quite extraordinary. Walked in late November in bright anti-cyclonic weather (high 3 Celsius) and generally firm underfoot. A pity about the road noise but was expected. I endorse previous review comments on road crossings, particularly crossing A247 at end of first walk option.

By boardroom on 2016-11-30 15:42:41

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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6 images to "The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail"

4782_0Richard1438413702 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
This is the footpath that you can take for the 'second option' near the start of the walk.
4782_1Richard1438413702 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Clandon Park mansion July 2015.
4782_2Richard1438413702 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The Golden Gates of Clandon Park.
4782_3Richard1438413702 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
Even though we walked the route on a Wednesday we saw a game of cricket - plenty of spectators too in the pavilion.
4782_4Richard1438413702 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The avenue of beech trees towards the end of the walk are truly spectacular. This was taken in July 2015.
4782_0Richard1438413767 The Onslow Arms Park and Woodland Trail Pub Walk Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
The turning on the route home should you wish to take the 'second option'.

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