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A ramble around Compton - Surrey walks

PUBLISHED: 12:34 14 December 2015 | UPDATED: 17:49 14 December 2015

The North Downs offers stunning views across the Surrey countryside (Photo Simon Greig / Getty Images / iStockphoto)

The North Downs offers stunning views across the Surrey countryside (Photo Simon Greig / Getty Images / iStockphoto)

Simon Greig / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Put on your winter coat and get out and enjoy some stunning views along part of this famous long-distance walking route

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine December 2015

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The route...

The walk starts from the town bridge in central Guildford, near the White House pub. Follow the river along past Debenhams and the back of the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre where you cross a small bridge. Then, before the second bridge, at the canal, turn right and head along the path. Follow the canal for some distance, until you reach the North Downs Way marker to St Catherine’s – the atmospheric ruins of an old chapel.

Turn right onto the North Downs Way and follow the markers along the ridge line towards Farnham. Walk up between the houses to the A3100, the Portsmouth Road. Turn right for 50 yards and then left up Sandy Lane, beside the police college. After a hundred yards or so, the track bears off from the road into woodland.

Follow this route along the North Downs Way for several miles until you meet Downs Lane near Watts Gallery. Turn left down this road past Watts Chapel (well worth a detour) until you meet the B3000, New Pond Road, and turn left.

Carry on along the B3000 through the pretty village of Compton until you come to Polsted Lane.

Follow Polsted Lane left, away from the main road, until you reach Polsted Manor.

Take the footpath signposted to the right. Follow the path back along lower slopes of the North Down Way for several miles, crossing the lovely Loseley Park estate, until you reach the A3100 at Artington.

Walk along this road for about 100 yards and then turn right down to the River Wey, where you follow the path of the river left and back to Guildford.

 

Viewpoints:

• The North Downs Way is a long-distance footpath through Surrey to the Kent Coast at Dover. It is 156 miles long.

• Guildford is an ancient market town of Saxon origin, believed to have its roots in a gap in the North Downs where the River Wey was forded.

• St Catherine’s Chapel was established in the 14th century as a chapel of ease but was abandoned by the end of the Middle Ages. It is now a Grade I listed building.

• One of Compton’s most famous residents was the artist George Frederic Watts. Today, the local Watts Gallery is dedicated to his work.

• Polsted Manor is a modern house, but behind it stands the old manor house, a small, 16th-century, timber-framed building.

• The house at Loseley Park was built in the 1500s with stone from the ruins of Waverley Abbey. Privately-owned, it is open to the public.

 

Footnotes:

Start: Town Bridge, Guildford, near the White House Pub

Grid Reference: SU995495

Length of walk: Six miles and will take about three hours

Food/drink: There are three pubs to choose from – The Harrow Inn, Compton; The Withies, Compton; and Ye Olde Ship Inn at St Catherine’s, Guildford

Whilst you are there: Be sure to visit the wonderful Watts Gallery and its fantastic tea room (we love their Welsh rarebit!) and the stunning Watts Chapel.

Guided walk: The Surrey Hills Society will be leading a free walk along this route on Sunday January 3. For details of this event, see online: surreyhillssociety.org

 

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