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  • Start: New Town Bridge, off Guildford High Street
  • End: Henley Fort
  • Country: England
  • County: Surrey
  • Type: Country
  • Nearest pub: Set by the River Wey at the start/finish of this walk, the White House pub (01483 302006) is idyllically located and serves up affordable quality food
  • Ordnance Survey: Ordnance Survey, Explorer 145
  • Difficulty: Medium
Google Map


Riverside views, plenty of history and some great pubs can all be found on this easy circular walk...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine March 2012

Photos: Grant Pritchard


Foot Notes: All you need to know...
Guildford Castle  Grid reference: 997 494  Map: Ordnance Survey, Explorer 145  Length of walk: Five-and-a-half miles, with some easy inclines, good views and an abundance of nature in fields and by the river  Route: Guildford Castle, Pewley Hill, Pewley Down, South Warren Farm, East Shalford Lane, Shalford Mill, The Seahorse, Wey Navigation, St Catherine’s Lock, Quarry Street, Guildford Castle  Food/Drink: At the half way point, Shalford is well served by three public houses – The Seahorse Inn in The Street; The Queen Victoria in Station Row; and The Parrott Inn in Broadford Road. There is also a small café called Delights (formerly The Snooty Fox)  Also nearby: The attractions of our county town for starters, including the museum, castle and Guildford House Gallery. On the return leg, you also pass the stunning ancient ruin of St Catherine’s Chapel  Recommended by: www.guildfordramblers.org.uk / www.surreyramblers.org.uk.  


Viewpoint 1
Guildford Castle was almost certainly built shortly after the Norman conquest of 1066. An obvious site for a castle, as Guildford was the only major town in Surrey back then apart from Southwark, it was constructed out of Bargate stone from the Godalming area, as this was stronger than the local chalk. These days, you can visit the remains of the castle to take in the views of the Surrey Hills from the top of the keep. 

Viewpoint 2
Centuries before even the Romans arrived, the Pilgrims’ Way came through Pewley Down, running from the Kentish coast along the top of the chalk escarpment of the South Downs. At Farnham, one branch went south to Winchester, once the capital of England, while the other went to Stonehenge. 

Viewpoint 3
Located down a little lane opposite The Seahorse, Shalford Mill was a working flour mill until 1914, when it fell into disrepair. It was rescued and presented to the National Trust by the mysterious Ferguson Gang in 1932. 

Viewpoint 4
One of the first British rivers to be made navigable, the River Wey Navigation was opened to barge traffic in 1653. Unlike many other less efficient waterways, it survived the railway era and continued to trade under private ownership until well after World War Two. The last owners, Stevens & Sons, donated the waterway to the National Trust in 1964. 

Viewpoint 5
St Catherine’s Chapel (now roofless) was built on the site of an earlier chapel after 1301, with the present building erected by Richard de Wauncey, Rector of St Nicholas, and consecrated in May 1317. The chapel may have become disused by 1546, as it doesn’t appear in the list of chapels suppressed by Edward VI. The chapel is now a romantic ruin but protected as a scheduled monument.



Originally published in Surrey Life magazine July 2011

Photos: Grant Pritchard

Escape Guildford town centre for Cathedral views and the home of Surrey police with this riverside stroll


Foot Notes: All you need to know...
New Town Bridge, off Guildford High Street  Grid reference: 994 494  Map: Ordnance Survey, Explorer 145  Length of walk: 5.5 miles with a small hill and four stiles  Route: New Town Bridge, Millmead Lock, Shalford Water Meadow, St Catherine’s Lock, ‘The Ridges’, North Downs Way, Henley Fort and back  Food/drink: Set by the River Wey at the start/finish of this walk, the White House pub (01483 302006) is idyllically located and serves up affordable quality food  Also nearby: Guildford Summer Festival is up and running so there are a huge amount of events taking place in our county town at the moment (and that’s before you start talking about the attractions: the museum, castle, Guildford House Gallery etc) Recommended by: Bob Hayward of Surrey Area Ramblers (see www.surreyramblers.org.uk


Viewpoint 1
Just by the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millmead Lock is the last of the Godalming Navigation locks and was opened when the canal to Godalming was completed in 1764. This walk takes you down the towpath past Guildford Rowing Club’s home.

Viewpoint 2
Once part of the Shalford House Estate, the Shalford Water Meadows lie just a short walk from Guildford town centre. Today, the meadows are fenced off to allow grazing by local organically-reared cattle, but until the early 20th century, they were also utilised as a vast public skating rink when winters were even colder than they have been in recent years.

Viewpoint 3
On January 1, 1851, the Surrey Constabulary began its policing of the county with a total of just 70 officers, the youngest of whom was a mere 14 years old. To celebrate the force’s 150th anniversary, a museum portraying the history of the force was opened at their headquarters, Mount Browne, with Sir Michael Caine performing the opening ceremony.

Viewpoint 4
The owner of Loseley Park is Michael More-Molyneux whose family have lived there since 1508.

Viewpoint 5
The walk also takes in one of the best views of Guildford Cathedral, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. However, the Second World War brought a halt to its construction and necessitated a ‘buy a brick’ campaign before it was finally completed.





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