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|Explore Surrey: Godalming and Hydon’s Ball|
|Author: Explore Surrey, Published: 21 Jan 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|IMPORTANT NOTE: THE FOOTPATH AT BUSBRIDGE LAKES IS CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR REPAIR SO THIS WALK IS NOT PASSABLE. WE WILL REMOVE THIS NOTE ONCE THE PATH IS REPAIRED AND THE WALK IS OPEN. |
A 14.5km (9 mile) circular walk (which can be shortened to 7 miles) from Godalming Station in Surrey, taking in the woodlands, lakes and old lanes to the south of the town, including a climb to the top of Hydon’s Ball where you will be rewarded with magnificent views. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council.
The walk has several climbs and descents including a couple of very steep sections. There are no stiles or gates on route but you will need to negotiate several flights of steps. All of the paths are enclosed, so you will not encounter any livestock. The bridleways and paths are very rutted and uneven in many places and can also get very muddy, so good boots are a must (or wellingtons with grips in the wet winter months). There are a couple of sections of walking along country lanes so take care of traffic at these points. The route also takes you across a golf course, so please show respect for the golfers by allowing them to take their shots before you cross and watch out for any stray golf balls. If the full 9 mile walk is too long for you, you can shorten the walk to around 7 miles by finishing at Milford Station and then returning to Godalming by train. Allow 4.5 to 5 hours.
Godalming itself has many options for refreshments at the start or end of the walk, but there are no facilities along the rest of the route. You may like to stock up with supplies in Godalming and then enjoy a picnic on the top of Hydon’s Ball where there is a stone seat. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 145 Guildford & 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 walk starts and finishes from Godalming rail station. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info. If you are coming by car, the station does have a pay and display car park which costs £7.50 per day Mon-Fri and £2 Sat (correct January 2016). There are alternative car parks within Godalming if you prefer. Approximate post code GU7 1EU.
|Start to Recreation Ground|
Start point: 51.1865 lat, -0.6186 long
Leave Godalming rail station via the main exit (on Platform 2), cross the road and turn right along the pavement, heading downhill and swinging left. Continue past the Old Mill on your right and, towards the top of the hill, turn left into Mint Street. At the crossroads go straight ahead to continue along Mint Street. You will come to a T-junction with Church Street (with a black and white half-timbered property ahead). Turn right for just a short distance to reach the Pepperpot (the 1814 octagonal town hall) and then turn left along the High Street.
|Recreation Ground to Busbridge Lakes|
Start point: 51.1826 lat, -0.6119 long
Turn right on the tarmac path, following the line of hedges and fences on your right. At the junction with the road, turn left along Busbridge Lane (using the right-hand pavement) with the recreation ground on your left. Stay with this road for some distance, taking particular care for the stretches where there is no pavement. At the crossroads, keep straight ahead to continue along the second stretch of Busbridge Lane.
|Busbridge Lakes to Hydon's Ball|
Start point: 51.1696 lat, -0.6108 long
Beyond the lakes, stay with the obvious path which climbs steadily and then begins to level off. Further along the path leads you between the buildings of Clock Barn Farm with stables on the right and the function and wedding venue on the left. Continue directly ahead on the tarmac access drive, all the way out to a junction with the road.
|Hydon's Ball to Water Lane|
Start point: 51.1473 lat, -0.6032 long
This makes a great place to pause, appreciate the views and to enjoy a picnic. Hydon’s Ball was the name given to this site when a signal station was positioned here, used to synchronise time over long distances. You will notice the large stone seat is dedicated to Octavia Hill, one of the founders of the National Trust. She was a tireless campaigner for improving the welfare of city-dwellers, establishing the social housing movement and promoting recreational green spaces, particularly hilltops where people could rise above the city’s air pollution.
|Water Lane to Enton Mill|
Start point: 51.1515 lat, -0.6326 long
Turn left along the lane, taking care of any occasional traffic. At a sharp left-hand bend, you will see a fingerpost. Turn right here onto the stone track (signed as a bridleway), passing a post box on your right. Just before Chenton Cottage, you will see another fingerpost marking a junction. Turn left here onto the access drive which leads you past a converted barn on your left.
|Enton Mill to Milford Station|
Start point: 51.152 lat, -0.6421 long
Continue along the main vehicle access lane, swinging right and then left and eventually passing a social club on the right. Immediately after this, turn right to join the signed public footpath which runs just to the left of the social club and its garden. At the end of this narrow footpath you will emerge to the corner of an access drive with horse paddocks directly ahead.
|Milford Station to Tuesley|
Start point: 51.1631 lat, -0.6371 long
Cross over the road and turn right over the level crossing. Turn left into the small parking area and follow the vehicle track directly ahead (with the rail line running on the left). Simply follow this track for some distance, passing a large plant nursery on the right and Milford Golf Course on the left. After passing a single house on the left, keep straight ahead on the narrow woodland footpath.
|Tuesley to Shackstead Lane|
Start point: 51.1697 lat, -0.6244 long
Turn sharp left, following the lane steeply downhill and swinging right (taking great care of traffic on this bend). At the bottom of the slope, just beyond the row of old quarry cottages, turn left onto the signed public footpath. Follow this path downhill (taking care as it is extremely rutted from water erosion).
|Shackstead Lane to End|
Start point: 51.178 lat, -0.6157 long
Use the central island to cross Shackstead Lane and then keep straight ahead into Tuesley Lane. Take the first road on the right, Oakdene Road and, when this road swings right, keep straight ahead to join the narrow tarmac footpath between fences. At the first road junction, cross over and keep directly ahead on the continuation of the tarmac path. You will emerge out to a road junction at the corner of the recreation ground (which you should recognise from the outward leg).
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 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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