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Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village

There are currently 4 comments and 1 photos online for this walk.

Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village
Author: Claire, Published: 13 Apr 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guidestar1 Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guidestar1 Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guidestar0 Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guidestar0 Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guide
Surrey, Farnham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guide boot Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guide
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A 4 mile circular walk near Farnham in Surrey taking in the remains of Waverley Abbey (the first Cistercian Abbey in Britain) along with a visit to the picturesque village of Tilford.

The walk is relatively flat, there are no stiles and just a couple of gates/kissing gates. There are a few sections of road walking, including several hundred metres without pavements so the walk probably isn’t suitable for children. The woodland tracks will be very muddy after wet weather. Entry to the Abbey ruins is free, dogs are welcome and the site is open during daylight hours every day. Approximate time 2 hours.

The walk starts from the small gravel car park for Waverley Abbey. The car park is accessed from the B3001 (Waverley Lane) between Farnham and Elstead. Travelling from Farnham, the car park is on the right just before the road passes over the River Wey, marked with brown tourism signs for Waverley Abbey and Waverley Abbey House. Approximate post code GU9 8EP.

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Walk Sections

Car Park to Waverley Abbey
Car Park to Waverley Abbey

Start point: 51.2025 lat, -0.756 long
End point: 51.1999 lat, -0.7599 long

From the small gravel car park, walk away from the road and pass through the kissing gate at the back. Follow the path ahead with the River Wey to the right.

On the opposite bank you will see Waverley Abbey House. During the First World War the house was used as a military hospital caring for more than 5,000 officers. Later the house became a residential nursing home. Today, the 18th century house is managed by a Christian organisation as a conference centre.

Continue ahead and pass through a turnstile gate by the river bridge and then turn left to pass through a second gate to enter the site of the Waverley Abbey ruins. The site is managed by English Heritage and should you wish, you can download a 20 minute audio guide from their website to understand the history of the site.

The monastery at Waverley, the first Cistercian house to be established in Britain, was founded by William Gifford, Bishop of Winchester, in 1128. It was colonised with 12 monks and an abbot from Aumone in France. By 1187 there were 70 monks and 120 lay brothers in residence. It continued to grow through the 13th and 14th centuries. The monks and lay brothers farmed the surrounding land, were active in the Cistercian wool trade and provided shelter for pilgrims and travellers and an infirmary for the sick. Waverley followed the traditional plan of a Cistercian abbey. It featured a large church, almost 91 metres in length.

Waverley Abbey to Footpath Fork
Waverley Abbey to Footpath Fork

Start point: 51.1999 lat, -0.7599 long
End point: 51.1974 lat, -0.753 long

When you have finished exploring the abbey site, retrace your steps back to the car park. Pass through the car park and turn right onto the road, taking care as there is no pavement and the cars can be travelling quite quickly.

Follow the road over the river and then as it bends to the right signed towards Godalming. Continue past Mill House on the right and then as the road bends to the left by a chevron sign, turn right down a woodland track with a public byway sign. Continue until you reach a junction in the track, with the byway signed to the right and a footpath signed ahead.

Footpath Fork to Sheephatch Lane
Footpath Fork to Sheephatch Lane

Start point: 51.1974 lat, -0.753 long
End point: 51.1945 lat, -0.7473 long

Go straight ahead here, on the public footpath. Follow the narrow winding fenced woodland path downhill. Eventually you will pass through a single wooden gate and the path continues alongside Friars Way Cottage on the left. Soon afterwards you will come to a T-junction with the road, Sheephatch Lane.

Sheephatch Lane to Tilford Village Stores
Sheephatch Lane to Tilford Village Stores

Start point: 51.1945 lat, -0.7473 long
End point: 51.1838 lat, -0.7506 long

Turn left onto Sheephatch Lane and then after just a few paces, turn right onto Tilford Lane. Follow the road edge for a few hundred yards, again taking care around the bends as there are no pavements and the traffic can be moving quite quickly.

As you come to Waverley Abbey School on the right you will be able to walk on the wider grass verge and then immediately after the school the pavement begins. Continue along the narrow pavement past a number of properties until you reach Tilford Village Stores on the right.

Tilford Village Stores to Tilhill House
Tilford Village Stores to Tilhill House

Start point: 51.1838 lat, -0.7506 long
End point: 51.1897 lat, -0.754 long

A few paces further along from the stores, and just before the bridge over the river, you will come to a public bridleway to the right. This is where the walk continues, but you will want to make a small detour across the bridge to see Tilford village green.

The bridge over the river is a listed ancient monument and you will see on your left the beautiful weir which runs from a gravel-bottom wide section of the river. The shallow river basin here is popular with young families and dogs who love to dabble in the water. Ahead is the village green and there is often a cricket match in progress if you come on a summer weekend. Two pubs overlook the village green.

To continue on the walk, cross back over the bridge and then turn left along the bridleway. Go along the bridleway and in the fenced field on the left you will see one of the pill boxes, built as a defence line during World War Two. Follow the bridleway ahead and it will soon begin to climb up hill. At the T-junction with the tarmac lane, turn left and you will come to the Mediterranean style Tilhill House on the right. The views over to the left across the valley are beautiful at this point.

Tilhill House to Car Park
Tilhill House to Car Park

Start point: 51.1897 lat, -0.754 long
End point: 51.2026 lat, -0.755 long

Continue straight ahead on the sandy track climbing into woodland. Take the right hand path at the fork in the track, heading uphill. Continue ahead and you will pass the distinctive tall slate wall of Ebernoe House on the left. A little further along on the right you will pass Sheephatch Farm on the right, which includes a wooden barn set upon stone mushrooms.

Keep right to follow the track to the road. Cross over and take the public byway opposite with a fenced private woodland on the left. After a little distance the path begins to descend downhill through a section with steep sides of tree roots. At the bottom you will come to a metal gate ahead, this is the Footpath Fork you passed over near the start of the walk.

Turn left here to follow the woodland track back to the road. Turn left and follow the road as it bends left and then crosses over the river. You will come to the car park on the left.

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network Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.

4 comments for "Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village"

Too much road walking involved for my complete enjoyment, otherwise the rest of the walk was ok. Best though is Waverley Abbey ruins.... quite stunning.

By martin on 10 Jul 2015

Agree with Martin - too much road walking however this walk does have a bit of everything - ruins, village, woodlands, meadows, and rivers. The detour in Tilford was out of this world idyllic. Loved the mash up and exploration of what surrey has to offer. Something else to note: some of the paths in the summer are a little overgrown with nettle or other thorny/itchy plants.

By sula03 on 08 Aug 2015

Improvised this walk. Started at Tilford parking by the river opposite the green then picked up the walk from point 4 and walked to Waverley Abbey for a picnic and then back via Mother Ludlums cave, footpath on the left at the bottom of Camp Hill Lane. Then back the way we came which avoided most of the roads. Just about the right distance and interest points for our kids (5-10)

By alechilton on 31 Aug 2016

A fair walk - but the two road sections are far from ideal - the second one being particularly long, with no footpath in the 40mph which in anything other than perfect light borders on dangerous. A bit of careful planning with an OS map might yield a similarly nice walk in the same area - perhaps over to the East slightly to take in Crooksbury Common?

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thank you for the comment Richard. Yes, we are aware that the road walking sections aren't ideal on this walk, hence they are mentioned in the walk intro (indeed it is one of only a handful of walks on iFootpath that we say isn't suitable for children). It was a route published some time ago and we don't want to remove it as several of our walking customers do still enjoy it. There are several other alternative iFootpath walks that take in Tilford village and the surrounding commons. You may like to try Tilford Birds and Bridges or Medieval Waverley. They are available via our App (the best way of following our guides and supporting the growth of our walking collection).

By RJ2DJ on 02 Jan 2017

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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1 gallery images for "Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village"

735_0clairesharpuk1361029880 Waverley Abbey and Tilford Village Walking Guide Image by: Claire
Uploaded: 16 Feb 2013


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