This site uses cookies please click 'Accept' to continue and remove this message or 'More....' to view our Privacy Policy

iFootpath uses first and third-party cookies to provide you with a personalised browsing experience. We do so in accordance with our Privacy Policy. By actively continuing to use this website, closing this banner or clicking the Accept button below, you consent to our use of cookies.

For full access to iFootpath, to view the GPS powered map, rate the walks, print, leave comments, mark walks as Favourite & Completed (mirror in the App), and much more please Register and login. It's free and only takes a moment or two. Already registered? Login here.

Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal

There are currently 4 comments and 6 photos online for this walk.

Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal
Author: Explore Surrey, Published: 17 Apr 2018 Walk Rating:star1 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canalstar1 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canalstar1 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canalstar1 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canalstar1 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal
Surrey, Alfold
Walk Type: Woodland
Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal boot Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal
iFootpath home page    Get the iFootpath iOS/apple app    Get the Android app from Google Play    Get the Android app from Amazon
pdf Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal
Download
the pdf

(click here)

0001_sunny Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost CanalToday's weather
9 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 0 mph WSW
Next few days: Hover over icon for more info.
0002_sunny_intervals Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal 0017_cloudy_with_light_rain Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal 0002_sunny_intervals Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal 0002_sunny_intervals Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal 0006_mist Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal

An 8km (5 mile) circular walk from Sidney Wood near Alfold in Surrey (near the border with West Sussex). This attractive route explores mixed woodlands and old parkland as well as a long stretch of the old Wey and Arun Canal, built during the Napoleonic Wars and now reclaimed by nature with some stretches undergoing restoration. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council.

The walk is relatively flat, with just a few steady gradients. It follows long stretches of bridleways through woodland and parkland, with some stretches that can become very muddy (so good boots are required, or wellies with grips after periods of rain). There are no stiles, kissing gates or livestock on route, but you will need to negotiate some gaps alongside vehicle barriers, one bridle gate and some narrow paths and uneven, rutted tracks. Allow 2.5 hours.

There are no refreshments directly on route, but you will find pubs in nearby Alfold and Loxwood. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 134 Crawley and Horsham. 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 at the free Forestry Commission car park in Sidney Wood, accessed from Dunsfold Road between Alfold Crossways and Dunsfold. There is no sign for this woodland car park from the road, but the access drive is shared with two properties (Cobdens Farm and Sedgehurst). The post code for these properties is GU6 8HU, which should take you to the correct woodland entrance drive. As you enter the woodland, keep left at the first two forks, pass under the 2m height restriction barrier and you will see the Sidney Wood Forestry Commission car park on your right. This large circular car park has several parking bays and a picnic area.

Walk Sections

Start to Canal Towpath
Start to Canal Towpath

Start point: 51.1058 lat, -0.5352 long
End point: 51.1049 lat, -0.5445 long

Leave the car park via the vehicle entrance and swing left to pass under the height restriction barrier. After about 120 metres, turn sharp left onto the first left-hand driveway (marked with a Sedgehurst Private sign on your left), soon passing a blue arrow on a waymarker post (on your right) which marks this driveway as a public bridleway.

Continue for about 500 metres to reach a tall fingerpost on your right. Fork right here, leaving the tarmac drive to join the unmade bridleway path, passing between wooden bollards and leading you into the woodland. Follow the bridleway ahead, passing the nature reserve called Fir Tree Copse on your right (this was once part of the ancient Chiddingfold Forest, comprises of hazel, oak and ash and has a stunning carpet of bluebells in the late spring).

Ignore the path signed right into this nature reserve and you will come to a fork in the bridleway (marked with two blue arrows). Take the right-hand branch and this leads you to an old metal gate ahead. Pass alongside this gate and you will immediately cross over the course of the derelict Wey and Arun Canal. Immediately after this channel, turn left onto the public footpath, part of the Wey South Path which follows the old towpath (with the old canal running on your left).

Canal Towpath to Lock Flight
Canal Towpath to Lock Flight

Start point: 51.1049 lat, -0.5445 long
End point: 51.0976 lat, -0.5468 long

Walk ahead along the old towpath, which we will be following for the next mile. The old canal on your left may appear as a water channel or just a muddy trench, depending on the time of year and recent weather. Either way, it holds a fascinating history…

In the closing years of the 1700s, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing and the country’s road network was struggling to cope with the required transport of raw materials and finished goods. By 1803 there was an added complication with the start of the Napoleonic Wars which saw Britain at war with France. The usual cargo shipping route from London to Portsmouth around the coast was now at risk of enemy attack. Instead, an inland route was required. The Wey and Arun Canal was built to complete this inland route, although by the time it was completed in 1816, the war was over. Find out more about the canal’s heyday, its decline and restoration progress by tapping the Listen button (App only) below…

As you walk along the towpath, you will pass some concrete milestones, which show the mileage to and from The Arun and The Wey. Originally these were installed every half mile so that tolls could be levied accurately. Stay on the towpath, ignoring two footpaths signed off to the right and passing the Arun 13 – Wey 10 milestone. The canal now bends steadily left then sharp right. On this next straight stretch of canal you will pass a wider basin area (where an old glassworks once operated) and then a stretch with steeper tree-lined banks. This marks the point which once held a flight of six locks.

Lock Flight to High Bridge
Lock Flight to High Bridge

Start point: 51.0976 lat, -0.5468 long
End point: 51.0926 lat, -0.54 long

Continue along the towpath until you emerge to a junction with a tarmac access track, with the white property called Knightons Court ahead. Turn left to join this tarmac access track leading you through the woodland. You will come to a vehicle barrier ahead, alongside a Sidney Wood sign. Pass alongside the barrier and keep ahead on the stone path leading you through the woodland.

At the first woodland crossroads, keep straight ahead. As you reach the next vehicle barrier ahead, pass alongside this and follow the fenced track which leads you past the white property at High Bridge on your right.

High Bridge to Gennets Bridge Lock
High Bridge to Gennets Bridge Lock

Start point: 51.0926 lat, -0.54 long
End point: 51.0827 lat, -0.5333 long

Immediately after the property you will reach a T-junction with a tarmac access lane. Turn right (passing the house on your right) and then turn immediately left to join the signed public bridleway. This bridleway is still part of the Wey South Path and you will have the canal channel running on your left once again.

Follow this pretty stretch of old towpath ahead (which we will be following for about a mile). Further along, you will be able to see the beautiful fishing lakes of Upper Oakhurst on the far bank to your left. Ignore the three side path options (a canal footbridge on your left, a stile on your right and a second footbridge on your left).

Just after passing the Arun 11.5 – Wey 11.5 milestone, you will find yourself at the restored Gennets Bridge Lock. This lock is one of the latest restoration success stories of the Wey and Arun Canal Trust and had its official opening ceremony in April 2018.

Gennets Bridge Lock to Oakhurst Cottage
Gennets Bridge Lock to Oakhurst Cottage

Start point: 51.0827 lat, -0.5333 long
End point: 51.0863 lat, -0.5303 long

Immediately after passing the lock, turn left to cross the canal bridge (signed as part of the Sussex Border Path). We have now crossed into the county of West Sussex for this most southerly portion of our walk. After crossing the canal, keep ahead on the bridleway stone track leading you through the woodland. After about 400 metres, you will reach a fingerpost on your left marking a crossroads of bridleway paths.

Turn left here to join the unmade (and often muddy) track between hedgerows, signed as a public bridleway. The track leads you past a large cottage on your left, Oakhurst Cottage, to reach a staggered crossroads of tracks.

Oakhurst Cottage to Rosemary Lane
Oakhurst Cottage to Rosemary Lane

Start point: 51.0863 lat, -0.5303 long
End point: 51.0944 lat, -0.5315 long

Go straight ahead at this crossroads (actually a small dog-leg left then right) and follow the vehicle track leading you away from the cottage and through the open grassland. Keep ahead on this main track, passing a pretty pond on your right and then bending right then left. You will notice your surroundings have a feeling of historic parkland, and indeed this area is home to a number of old illustrious halls. Just a few hundred metres to the north is Velhurst Farm, a former Wealdon hall house which dates from the early 1500s with 54 acres of formal gardens, ponds and paddocks.

At the next fingerpost, ignore the footpaths signed to the side, instead keep ahead on the main bridleway track. Pass through the bridle gate ahead (or the wider farm gate alongside may be open anyway) to reach a fork. Take the right-hand branch, leading you through the trees to reach an access drive lined with wooden posts. Follow the bridleway ahead, with the wooden posts running on your right. You will emerge to a junction with Rosemary Lane.

Rosemary Lane to End
Rosemary Lane to End

Start point: 51.0944 lat, -0.5315 long
End point: 51.1059 lat, -0.5351 long

Cross over the lane and take the signed public bridleway directly ahead, leading you past the entrance for Rosemary Cottage on your left. Stay ahead on the woodland track bridleway, an old thoroughfare known as Sachelhill Lane.

After about 800 metres, look out for a waymarker post on your right, marking a side path on your right. Do NOT take this, instead keep ahead for a further 20 metres and then turn left onto the path into Sidney Wood (marked with a Riding By Permit Only sign). Pass this sign on your right and ignore the small side path into the trees on your right, instead keep straight ahead on the main forest stone path.

You will emerge to a junction with a wider stone track (leading ahead and right). Turn right to join the stone track and follow this for about 400 metres to reach a vehicle barrier. Here you will find the car park on your left where the walk began.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

Check out these resources for your walk

hotels Hostel Directory GetMap Rail

network Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2018 by iFootpath and the author exploresurrey and may not be reproduced without permission.


4 comments for "Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal"

Beautiful autumn walk, completely alone with my husband and 2 dogs.

By sadiemccarth on 03 Oct 2018

I love this canal walk. The first time I walked Sydney Woods with my dog, I came upon the canal by accident. Everything the reviews above have said is true. There is something quite magical about the silent serenity of that long body of quiet water. Today when I did it (20/7/18) at the height of the summer drought, there was sadly little trace of water. However, the Woods were cool, the insects were buzzing and the atmosphere retained its quiet dignity. Today, with the help of this App, I knew where I was going and could make out the location of this walk and wood in relation to adjacent villages and the nearby Wey-Arun canal system.

By aloseff on 20 Jul 2018

We loved this walk on 5/5/2018. Beautiful scenery and occasionally a few rather nice houses to see. The bluebells were perfect and the water sparkled in the spring sunshine. Perfect! We went wrong towards the end but that was our fault not due to the instructions. Too busy talking to realise should have taken a left turn! Thoroughly enjoyed it anyway. Thank you!

By nancywalking on 05 May 2018

A lovely walk on 21/4/18 in warm sunshine. The woodland flowers were at their best. It took us two hours to include border terrier diversions and the directions were spot on. We recommend the Sun Inn at Dunsfold for a good beer and Ham, Egg and chips.

By davidbailey on 21 Apr 2018

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.

Powered by World Weather Online.

We've an App too

Did you know that we have an iFootopath App? - includes all walks with directions and a live map...

No need to print and no more wrong turns....

Get the iFootpath App

appstore  en badge web generic

Click top right X to close.

6 gallery images for "Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal"

10464_0Richard1523967926 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 17 Apr 2018
Gennets Bridge Lock - April 2018. Construction work was still going on when we visited.
10464_1Richard1523967926 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal Image by: Richard
Uploaded: 17 Apr 2018
Gennets Bridge.
10464_adminv1537 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal Image by: Sharon
Uploaded: 14 May 2018
Completed April 2018
10464_adminv1512 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal Image by: Sharon
Uploaded: 14 May 2018
Wey
10464_adminv1582 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal Image by: Sharon
Uploaded: 14 May 2018
Arun
10464_0Sharon1001526299716 Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal Image by: Sharon
Uploaded: 14 May 2018
The Boys

Share

 

Walks Nearby

Recently Added Walks.

Lary to Morven, AberdeenshireShoreham and Polhill Bank, KentCreagan Riabhach, AberdeenshireAround Craigendarroch, AberdeenshireClimbing Craigendarroch, AberdeenshirePainswick, Bisley and the Wysis Way, GloucestershireBallater Old Rail Line to the Bridge of Gairn, AberdeenshireAround Ballater Golf Course, AberdeenshirePannanich: Craig Coillich, Aberdeenshire

There are currently 1290 shared walks online. Add yours today!

Uncover an Elevation Chart for this Walk

Find out more by becoming an iFootpath Fan (Free for 40 Days).

 

Elevation_Chart Explore Surrey: Sidney Wood and the Lost Canal

What our customers say

We've an App too

Did you know that we have an iFootopath App? - includes all walks with directions and a live map...

No need to print and no more wrong turns....

Get the iFootpath App

appstore  en badge web generic

Click top right X to close.