A ramble around the Greensand Way - Surrey walks
PUBLISHED: 08:09 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:20 27 March 2017
© John MIller
Explore the amazing new sculptured benches and views of the Greensand Way near Cranleigh
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2017
Share photos from your Greensand Way walks at www.surreylife.co.uk/photos
1. This walk starts from Winterfold Donkins Car Park 5. Facing the view, turn left along the path and you will see the first of the Inspiring Views sculptural benches., Perspectives by Giles Miller. Retrace your steps back to the main path. The Greensand Way is waymarked with yellow and black GW arrows and leads you steadily downhill to reach the road. Turn right along the road edge (ignoring the sunken track bridleway on your right). Continue past the parking area and, just as the road begins to rise, fork right to join the path running parallel with the road.
2. This path climbs steadily and, eventually, you will meet a small crossroads. Continuing to follow the GW waymarkers, until you meet a small T¬junction. Turn right (signed GW) and keep on this main path. About 120 metres along, fork right to reach the next bench and viewpoint, on Reynards Hill, called Contour, by Russell Jakubowski.
3. Return to the path and turn right to continue along the Greensand Way. Pass alongside the vehicle barrier and walk down the slope into Hurtwood Car Park 4. Leave via the vehicle entrance and turn right for a few paces along Winterfold Heath Road to reach the T¬junction. Cross over and join the signed GW footpath. Follow this main path ahead (passing a cottage on your right ). As you emerge from the trees, bear left to join a stone access track and then just a short way along look up to your right where you will see Ewhurst Windmill.
4. Just beyond the mill, you come to a junction with a tarmac track. Turn right along this and, just before the entrance gate for Four Winds, fork left onto the narrow sunken path leading you downhill with a fence running on your right. Continue on until you reach a junction with the road. Turn right along the road passing The Windmill pub. Join the raised right¬hand pavement, which leads you past Pitch Hill House. At the fork in the road, take the right (signed a public footpath and access for Stable House). Soon, fork left onto a driveway. Pass to the right of the house.
5. Towards the bottom of the slope, the path bears right and then swings steadily left, around a circular wooden copse on your left (once the site of a Roman Villa). The path then leads you past the beautiful old buildings of Rapsley Cottage and its farm on your left.
6. Just beyond the farm, continue ahead on the tarmac access drive. At the T¬junction, turn right and head for Wykehurst Farm. Continue on and you will come to a choice of tracks and paths ahead.
7. Take the second path on the left, passing through a wide metal gate. Pass a disused stile and walk ahead to the centre of the grass clearing. Walk towards a small waymarker until you reach a small crossroads. Go straight ahead (uphill) to join the grass path. Stay alongside the tall fence on your right to its end and then follow the path as it swings left into woodland. At the first small junction, bear left and then turn right and cross the stream via the wooden footbridge. At the far side of the bridge, turn immediately left through a stretch of coppiced trees and then bear right, onto the edge of a golf course.
8. Keep straight ahead, staying close to the line of trees on your left. Cross the parking area and walk straight ahead on the wide grass verge, with the fenced driving range to your right. Pass to the left of the driving range building, past a disused stile to reach a junction with the road, Barhatch Lane. Cross over the road and walk ahead into the entrance for Wyphurst Home Farm (signed as a bridleway).
9. When you reach a junction marked with a fingerpost, turn right, continuing on the public bridleway. Walk straight ahead, and eventually you will come to a waymarker post underneath wooden pylons. The main route back to the car park continues on the bridleway ahead. The path crosses a stream and then 300 metres further along, you will come to a junction with a side track on your right. Do NOT take this, instead keep ahead along the main stone track, passing the entrance for Colmans Farmhouse on your right.
10. When you come to a fork in the woodland bridleway, keep left. As you enter a small clearing, follow the main track, staying alongside the tall wire fence on your left. At the bottom of the slope, keep ahead (uphill) for just a few paces. Where the track swings hard left, fork right to join the narrow footpath. Continue straight ahead and at the next fork, take the left¬hand path (NOT the sunken path). A few paces later you will approach a waymarker post. Fork left, just before the post, onto a path leading you through the bracken and onto the main footpath leading back to Car Park 5.
• The Greensand Way is a long distance path of 108 miles which runs from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent. It was opened in 1980 and is jointly managed by Kent and Surrey county councils.
• The trail follows the Greensand Ridge, a layer of lower greensand that was laid down in the Lower Cretaceous period, more than 100 million years ago.
• The Inspiring Views project, the brainchild of Surrey Hills Arts, aims to discover, reveal and interpret the views from the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Need to know:
Start: Car Park 5, Winterfold Donkins Car Park, which is accessed from Winterfold Heath Road
Grid ref: TQ065 427
Postcode for Sat Nav: There is no postcode for the car park but the nearest is GU5 9EN (which will take you close to the area). You will pass car parks 4, 12 and 13 – keep going until you reach Car Park 5 on the left-hand side.
Length of walk: Allow about 2½ hours for this moderately challenging walk.
Food and drink: For another spectacular view, head for The Windmill at Pitch Hill, Ewhurst GU6 7NN. Otherwise, the village of Cranleigh is blessed by great cafés and pubs.
While you are there: Visit the aforementioned Cranleigh, claimed to be the largest village in England and packed full of independent shops to browse.
Free guided walk: The Surrey Hills Society will be walking this route with Inspiring Views project manager, Ali Clarke, on Sunday March 5, 11am. See surreyhillssociety.org for details.