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|Explore Surrey: Tilford Birds and Bridges|
|Author: exploresurrey, Published: 12 Mar 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 12km (7.5 mile) circular picturesque walk taking in the Frensham Great and Little Ponds and the River Wey, discovering the medieval bridges at Tilford and enjoying an abundance of birds and wildlife. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council. |
The walk has several steady climbs and descents throughout. The paths through the woodlands can get quite muddy after wet weather so good boots are recommended. Some of the paths are fairly narrow, there are no stiles on route but you will need to negotiate a few single gates, some footbridges and one kissing gate. There is one short section of road walking and a few road crossings that require care. All the paths are enclosed from adjacent fields so you will not be sharing the paths with any livestock. Allow 4 hours.
There are public toilets at the Frensham Ponds Visitor Centre at the start of the walk. If you are looking for refreshments, the visitor centre has a snack bar, the Rural Life Centre (about 600m from waypoint 3) has a cafe and Tilford Village (4.5 miles into the walk at waypoint 5) has a village stores and The Barley Mow pub. 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 walk starts and finishes from the main car park at Frensham Ponds Visitor Centre (by Frensham Great Pond), situated between Farnham and Hindhead just to the west of the A287. Parking is free during the week, however, parking charges of £4 per day apply on Sat, Sun and Bank Holidays from Easter to the end of September (correct March 2016). The car park address is Bacon Lane, Churt, Surrey. The nearest postcode is GU10 3DS, which will take you to St Mary’s School on the A287. From this point turn onto the side road, Bacon Lane, and follow this south-west for 0.6 miles to reach the car park on the left-hand side. The car park is often full by lunchtime in the summer, so arrive early to avoid disappointment, or adjust the walk by parking in Tilford village.
|Start to A287|
Start point: 51.1584 lat, -0.7934 long
To begin the walk, make your way from the parking area to reach the timber-clad visitor centre which is home to the toilets and snack bar. Standing with your back to the snack bar window, walk at 1 o’clock through the picnic tables (away from the Great Pond which is beyond the building behind you) and join the section of boardwalks leading you into the heath. At the end of the boardwalk turn left for just a few metres to reach a junction with a wider sandy path. Turn right along this and at the fork, just a short way along, take the left-hand branch (straight on) which leads you uphill into the trees.
|A287 to Wey Footbridge|
Start point: 51.1658 lat, -0.7886 long
Cross over the main A287 with care and take the narrow path directly ahead leading you into woodland. This narrow path leads you through the trees to reach a crossroads with a wider woodland path. Turn left along this and, at the top of the small rise, you will come to a crossroads (marked with a waymarker post with blue arrows).
|Wey Footbridge to The Reeds Road|
Start point: 51.1717 lat, -0.7733 long
Cross the footbridge and follow the path ahead leading you to the buildings of Pierrepont Farm. This farm is run as a countryside restoration scheme and is home to plenty of wildlife. We were lucky enough to see a barn owl flying across the fields so keep your eyes peeled. Follow the track which bears left (passing the main farm building on your right) to reach a row of barns directly ahead. Turn right within this courtyard and then bear right again along the vehicle track.
|The Reeds Road to Wey Road Bridge|
Start point: 51.1831 lat, -0.7631 long
Cross over with care and take the bridleway directly ahead. Just 15 metres along, you will come to a waymarker post marking a junction. At this point, should you wish, you could make a detour to visit the Rural Life Centre. The centre is a country life museum spread across several barns, buildings and fields all brimming with artefacts. The museum has an entrance fee, is dog-friendly and also has a cafe, although entry into the museum is not payable just to use the cafe. If you wish to visit, turn left at this junction and you will find the centre about 600 metres along The Reeds Road.
|Wey Road Bridge to Tilford Village Green|
Start point: 51.1925 lat, -0.7584 long
Just a few metres beyond the river bridge, turn right onto the signed public bridleway which leads you into woodland. This sunken path leads you steadily uphill and then levels off with fenced hillside fields on your left. Further along you will come to a crossroads with a vehicle track. Go straight ahead to continue on the bridleway.
|Tilford Village Green to Meadow End Farm|
Start point: 51.1836 lat, -0.752 long
Keep straight ahead, passing The Barley Mow pub on your right and the village green on your left. In the summer months you may be lucky enough to catch a game of cricket here. The black and white building across to the left is the Tilford Institute. Designed by Edwin Lutyens in 1893, it is used as the cricket pavilion and as the stage for the Tilford Players.
|Meadow End Farm to White Cairn|
Start point: 51.1759 lat, -0.7604 long
Just after the farmhouse (and where the track swings left), go straight ahead through a small gate to join a footpath running between fenced pastures. You are likely to see both sheep and pigs in these pastures. At the end of the path, pass through the kissing gate ahead to reach a junction with a vehicle track.
|White Cairn to Viewpoint|
Start point: 51.1692 lat, -0.7735 long
Turn left heading towards the smaller car park and brick buildings and, before you reach these, turn right to join the path leading you uphill through the centre of the pine woodland. Through the trees to your left you will be able to see the water of Frensham Little Pond.
|Viewpoint to End|
Start point: 51.1642 lat, -0.7814 long
Continue on the path for about 70 metres to reach a T-junction with a wide level track. Turn left along this. On a clear day, from this high ridge you will have views across Little Pond to your left and glimpses of Great Pond across to your right.
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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