Surrey walk around Wonersh and Chinthurst Hill
PUBLISHED: 21:59 21 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:12 27 June 2018
Take a wander around the wonderful Wonersh village and discover stunning views and a spectacular folly in the surrounding countryside
• Start: Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Chinthurst Hill car park, Wonersh Common Road, Wonersh
• Grid ref: TQ014 462
• Satnav: GU5 0PR
• Length of walk: Allow about two hours for this enjoyable walk.
• Food and drink: Wonersh Village Stores provides takeaway food and drinks, while The Grantley Arms (Wonersh, Guildford GU5 0PE) offers both pub and restaurant menus.
• While you are there: Visit the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Art for Survival shop at Saba House, 7 Kings Road, Shalford GU4 8JU. For more about that and David’s amazing art, see davidshepherd.org
1 The walk starts from the Surrey Wildlife Trust car park on Wonersh Common Road. Follow the road back towards the B2128 and turn right at the junction. Then take the paved footway on the left-hand side of the road, heading towards the village.
2 Follow Wonersh Common Road past a small open common, called The Platt. This is one of the few fields in Surrey never to have been ploughed and was used as the village laundry area to dry the sheets.
3 Continue along the footway beside the B2128, passing some Victorian cottages, until you come to the wide-open Wonersh Common with its cricket square and attractive modern pavilion. There is also a fantastic ‘wooden’ children’s playground here provided and managed by the villagers themselves.
4 Carry on down the road until you reach the pretty black and white Tudor pub, The Grantley Arms. There is also a village shop here and a strange circular seating area right in the middle of the village intersection. This was originally the ice house to the historic Wonersh House (now demolished).
5 Cross over the road to Wonersh Village Stores and take the road called ‘The Street’ signposted to Bramley – keeping the shop on your right. Stay on the right-hand side of the road where there is a pavement. After 250 yards, you will see the entrance archway to Wonersh House. It is worth crossing over to view two unusual friezes created after World War Two. It shows all the work the villagers did during the war, including land girls and the nursing of injured soldiers, as well as depicting the daily life in the village.
6 After another 250 yards, you lose the path. Continue along past Gerald’s Wood and enter Chinthurst Lane. After 500 yards, you will reach a steep drive and gatehouse called Chinthurst Lodge.
7 Take this drive, as it is a right of way, and follow it up to the top of the hill to where it zig-zags tightly round to some private housing. Here, Surrey Wildlife Trust, who manage the site, have a noticeboard indicating the path straight ahead that takes you to the top of the hill and Chinthurst Tower. You will be rewarded with beautiful views of Guildford, the North Downs and the Surrey Hills.
8 Carry on past the tower, across the open ground bearing right, and you will come to a signed path indicating the path back to Chinthurst Hill car park. Be careful as this path is quite steep and slippery when wet.
• ‘Woghenersh’ is noted in a charter of 1305, and means “crooked field” in old English. It was a busy weaving village in the 16th century and many of the original cottages can still be seen today.
• The Grantleys lived for several generations in the village of Wonersh during the 18th and 19th centuries in their fine home Wonersh Park (now demolished). The Grantley Arms pub was lost by Lord Grantley in a game of cards with his butler.
• The 31st highest hill in Surrey, Chinthurst Hill is 397 feet high (121 metres above sea level) and is topped by a Grade II-listed 1930s folly tower built by the famous Arts & Crafts architect, Edwin Lutyens.