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|Shalford Park, North Downs and Loseley Park|
|Author: Claire, Published: 06 Jun 2017||Walk Rating:|
|A 7 mile (can be shortened to 6 miles) circular walk starting just south of Guildford in Surrey. This route follows a stretch of the North Downs Way, but don’t think this means hills, open spaces and long-reaching views. Instead, this walk is characterised by tree-lined and narrow hedge-lined quiet paths that lead you to a wonderful range of surprises along the way. There are water meadows, a river, stunning woodlands, an art gallery, horse training and police training facilities, a stately home, a canal and a water mill. |
The route has several steady gradients but there is nothing too steep or too long. Several stretches of path are very narrow and so are prone to becoming overgrown in the summer – the paths are well-used so will usually be passable, but long trousers are recommended to protect you from the nettles. Some of the woodland bridleways can be muddy so boots are a must. Most of the paths are fenced away from the fields, but you will cross one paddock (out of use at the time of writing, but it could hold ponies in the future) and also the Shalford Water Meadows, where a handful of conservation cattle are used for grazing in the summer months (the six cows present when we walked through with our dog didn’t even seem to notice us, and there is usually plenty of space to give them a wide berth). You will need to negotiate several flights of steps, footbridges, kissing gates and one stile (which has a very large gap alongside for dogs to walk through). There is no road walking, but you will need to cross busy roads a few times. Allow 4 hours.
The walk starts at the car park for Chantry Wood, between Guildford and Shalford. Leave Guildford heading south on the A281 and, when you draw level with Shalford Park on your right, turn left into Pilgrims Way. Where the road bears left, turn right into the access track for Chantry Wood and you will find the free, stone-surfaced car park on your left (with space for about 20 cars). Approximate post code GU4 8AD. If the car park is full, there is alternative roadside parking. Head back along Pilgrims Way (towards the A281) and then turn left into Clifford Manor Road. The roadside parking here is limited to 4 hours Mon-Sat (unlimited on Sundays), which should give you time to complete the walk. The post code for this overflow parking is GU4 8AG. If you are coming by train, Shalford rail station is just a 2-minute walk from Waypoint 9, the road junction between Station Row and the A281.
|Start to River Wey|
Start point: 51.2256 lat, -0.564 long
Leave the Chantry Wood car park via the vehicle entrance and turn right long the entrance track to reach the road, Pilgrims Way. Cross to the far pavement and turn left along this, following the road downhill to reach the T-junction with the A281 Shalford Road. Cross over the main road with care (there is a crossing point just to your right) and go straight ahead to enter Shalford Park, signed as the North Downs Way.
|River Wey to Piccards Manor|
Start point: 51.225 lat, -0.5767 long
Turn left along the river bank and then turn right to cross the tall river footbridge via the flights of steps. At the bottom of the far steps, go straight ahead to follow the riverbank with the river on your right. After just 50 metres you will come to a Victorian stone grotto on your left, built around a natural spring. This marks the bottom of Ferry Lane.
|Piccards Manor to West Warren|
Start point: 51.2255 lat, -0.5822 long
This track soon dwindles to become a path with a tall hedgerow on your left and a rough field on your right. The path continues through trees and later widens to become a track once again, leading you between the buildings of Piccards Farm. Simply keep ahead on the access track, leading you ahead between fenced pastures and then swinging left (with glorious views on your left) to reach a fingerpost. Do NOT turn right onto the North Downs Way, instead keep ahead for a further 40 paces and then turn right onto the signed public bridleway.
|West Warren to Watts Gallery|
Start point: 51.2222 lat, -0.6091 long
Keep ahead on the woodland bridleway, soon a sunken path between pretty banks. At the far end of West Warren, you will come to a fingerpost marking a junction of paths. Here you have two choices.
|Watts Gallery to Little Polsted|
Start point: 51.2207 lat, -0.6302 long
At this point we leave the North Downs Way to begin our return journey. Turn left along the road edge (there is a painted walkway for pedestrians) for just 30 metres and then turn left onto the signed public footpath, a narrow path with a tall wooden fence running on your right. Stay alongside the right-hand fence as the path leads you uphill and then back down, before continuing ahead through woodland with wire fences each side.
|Little Polsted to Loseley Crossroads|
Start point: 51.2187 lat, -0.6177 long
Turn left at this junction, to join the stone track signed as a public footpath. Pass through the gap to the right of a wide metal gate and continue ahead along the stone track. Further along you will pass Polsted Lodge on your left. Pass through the gate ahead and continue on the stone track to reach the next wide gate (marked Private). This marks the boundary of Loseley Park.
|Loseley Crossroads to Littleton Lane|
Start point: 51.2184 lat, -0.6078 long
Cross the stile (it has a walk-through fence gap for dogs) and follow the grass path ahead, leading you along the right-hand edge of this large grass meadow, with excellent views of the manor house and parkland on your right.
|Littleton Lane to St Catherine's Lock|
Start point: 51.2193 lat, -0.5955 long
Cross over and go straight ahead to continue on the track opposite (signed as a public footpath). The tarmac track dwindles to a grass path and, after about 400 metres, you will reach a waymarker within the hedge on your right. Ignore the left-turn here, instead stay straight ahead on the main footpath. Soon after, you will reach a bench on your left, perfectly placed to enjoy the views of the woodland hills that have now opened up on your right. Keep ahead on the path, staying close to the fence on your left. The buildings on your left are Mount Browne.
|St Catherine's Lock to Station Row|
Start point: 51.22 lat, -0.5756 long
Go straight ahead to cross the canal bridge and stay with the stone track as it swings right then left to cross a second bridge over a weir. Pass through the kissing gate to enter Shalford Water Meadows (where once again you may come across conservation cattle). Stay with the stone track leading you through the meadow. As you approach a wooden gate ahead, turn right across the grass to reach the canal, and then turn left through the gate to join the canal’s towpath.
|Station Row to End|
Start point: 51.2156 lat, -0.5674 long
Cross over to the far pavement and turn left along this, heading north on the right-hand pavement of the A281. (NOTE: If the road is too busy to cross, just follow the left-hand pavement and there is a crossing with traffic lights just beyond the point where we will be turning right off this main road.)
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2017 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Went for the 6 mile and it was lovely,bit overgrown with lots of stinging nettles but well worth a few stings!
|By dot1971 on 10 Jun 2017|
Just going to say the same. Wear long trousers, my husband had shorts on ab found the return leg a challenge. Otherwise loved the walk, lots of interesting features.
|By staceym on 11 Jun 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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My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!