Weekend Walk: Shamley Green and Winkworth (9.5 miles)

This is a walk which offers some splendid views and a brush with religious history and, in parts, a fairly strenuous leg stretch. Some of the bridleways can get pretty muddy, so stout waterproof boots are recommended outside of the summer. I did the walk starting at Winkworth Arboretum, which enabled us to reach Shamley Green for lunch. SR

1. Walk roughly west-south-west, out of the back of the green and down Hullbrook Lane, away from the B2128. Walk all the way to the T junction at the end. Go right and almost immediately take a footpath out left to continue forward. This takes you across the River Wey and then under what was a railway bridge.

2. Continue on up to the A281. Turn left and walk about 300 yards to cross and turn off right, up a concrete lane signed Bonhurst Farm and alongside a Bramley sign. Walk about ½ mile along the wide track to reach the farm and, here, turn right. Quickly reach a T junction and turn left along a track. Now, walk about ¼ mile, passing a lone house and, shortly thereafter, reaching cross paths. Continue straight ahead along a narrow, in places deeply cut, path. Pass a house, ‘Keepers’ and reach ‘Gatestreet Barn’.

3. Here, turn right onto a wide track in a field. Follow this until passing a single storey outhouse and emerging on a tarmac drive heading towards “Wintershall”, a large house. (Wintershall lends its name to the Wintershall Players, who perform Passion Plays.) A few yards on, the path forks right, over the grass and around the side of the garden to bypass the house. On the far side, turn left and immediately right on a track with a lake below, to your left. (You will see here some of the Passion Play props, for example the tomb in which Jesus is buried, with the large circular rock at the entrance). The track swings left to climb up and out through a gap into a field. Cross the field straight ahead and enter a wood. Walk along just inside the wood, parallel to the field edge and keep going to reach a narrow lane (emerging with a 17th century farmhouse ‘Scotsland Farm’ off to your left). Turn right.

4. Walk along the lane a little way and take a track left, into trees again. Ignore a side path left and continue up, following the path as it swings right and continues to climb steeply for a short distance. At the top continue forward along the path and follow it down, passing ‘Langshurst Farm’ and swinging gradually left. Take the first footpath right and quickly reach the busy B2130, Hascombe/Godalming road. Go, carefully, straight across and up a track, passing ‘Elm Cottage’ and continuing to climb up a fairly steep slope to emerge at the end of a residential road. Follow this as it swings sharply left and then reaches a T junction with another road. Turn right and walk along to the end and the junction with the B2130.

5. Turn right and, again carefully, walk about 100 yards along the B2130 before taking a footpath left, just beyond the entrance to ‘Eden House’ and before the road drops steeply down. This path takes you to the Winkworth Arboretum car park and the end of the outward leg. Turn right to enter the Arboretum to find the café and toilets. (You do not need to be a National Trust member. You will be using a public footpath and they are happy to have you spend money in the café).

6. Go straight on, beyond the café and the ticket box, until reaching a four-way signpost. Here, follow the ‘Boathouse’ sign and fork left and down the ‘Fiona Adam Steps’. At the T junction at the bottom turn right and quickly reach another T junction where you turn left. A little further on fork right to cross a footbridge, again right. Follow the path over two more footbridges and a pointless tiny third (with a waterfall to your right). Reach a field at a T junction with another path. Turn left and walk through to a narrow road. Here, head left along the road to pass some cottages and continue as far again beyond them to reach another house on the left. It is ‘Phillimore Cottage’.

7. Follow a signpost left, up its drive. Turn right before the house, into the corner of its garden to find a path running left and along by the garden edge and parallel to the road. Follow this along the right-hand side of two fields and out to another narrow road. Turn right to cross a stream and quickly reach a T junction in Thorncombe Street. Turn left, walk a few yards and, just past a telephone box, take a footpath right, up a track and onto Thorncombe Hill. You climb up through two fields. At the top, pass through a corridor between fields and enter trees. The path now bears slightly right and drops down through trees to another field. Continue down and straight across. Climb over a stile onto cross paths and continue straight ahead. Reach a road and turn left.

8. After about 300 yards, at a sharp bend, take a track right, along the side of ‘Brookwell’. Follow this path through to the A281. Cross, turn left and walk about 150 yards to turn right on a track running between farm buildings. This track takes you over the River Wey and the Wey South Path and arrives at a lane. Jink right and cross to turn left and walk up through a field. You will arrive on the road from Shamley Green, opposite Shamley Green Church. Cross and then walk (very carefully) left, down to the Green and your starting point.

DISTANCE: 9.5 miles

OS MAPS: Explorer 145 Guildford & Farnham, Godalming & Farnborough

START GRID REFERENCE: 4 032 1 438

STARTING POINT: Shamley Green – park around the Green. You could also start at Winkworth Arboretum and start the walk at paragraph six.

REFRESHMENTS: There is a café at Winkworth Arboretum which is open from 10am to 4.30pm every day. There is a café/deli in Shamley Green called the Speckledy Hen, which is open 8am to 4pm weekdays and 9am to 4pm on Saturdays. There are also two pubs if you require something stronger!

The walk is taken from Guildford Rambling Club’s portfolio (guildfordramblingclub.org.uk) with thanks.

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