Chiddingfold - Surrey walks
PUBLISHED: 14:25 12 July 2011 | UPDATED: 21:43 29 June 2015
Take in award-winning pubs and a donkey sanctuary on this walk around the beautiful village of Chiddingfold
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2011
Foot Notes: All you need to know...
Start: From the Green, Chiddingfold (free parking) Grid reference: 961 354 Map: Ordnance Survey, Explorer 133 Length of walk: Six miles with a few inclines and stiles Route: The Crown Inn, The Downs, Combe Court, Lockwood Donkey Centre, Witley Station, Noddings Farm and back Food/drink: The Crown Inn (01428 682255), where this walk starts and ends, was named Condé Nast Johansens’ Most Excellent Inn in Great Britain 2010 and awarded Recommended Status for 2011. Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans’ Mulberry Inn (01428 644 460) is also just down the road Also nearby: The stunning Ramster garden and tea house are open daily until Sunday June 19 Recommended by: Pat Difranco of Godalming and Haslemere Ramblers Group, who is leading a similar walk on Sunday May 8 at 10am (see www.godalmingandhaslemereramblers.org.uk)
Dating back to the 13th century, The Crown Inn is believed to have enjoyed royal patronage – it is recorded that King Edward VI and some 4,000 men camped on the Green at Chiddingfold on July 21, 1552, and it would seem surprising if they hadn’t availed themselves of the hospitality.
Combe Court was built in 1850 by the Rev John Storer and later owned by George Henry Pinckard, chief officer of the Clerical, Medical and General Life Assurance Company. In 1867, Pinckard established what is now Chiddingfold Church of England Primary School. He also funded major restoration of St Mary’s parish church including the building of the lychgate, and is buried in the churchyard. Combe Court has now been converted into luxury apartments.
One of the UK’s oldest donkey sanctuaries, the Lockwood Donkey Centre moved to its current site in the mid 1960s. Today, as well as providing a sanctuary for donkeys, it also rescues and rehomes horses and ponies that have been badly treated. It will be open to the public every Wednesday from May 4, 11.30am to 4pm.
Author Louis de Bernieres, best known for Captain Corelli's Mandolin, based his 2009 collection of short stories, Notwithstanding, on the lives and tales of Wormley and the local area, where he was brought up.
Chiddingfold itself is a stunning little village to explore and most properties around the green date from the 14th to 16th century. Look out for the timber-framed Wealden houses with later additions of tile hung or period facades. The village is also famous for its torchlit procession, bonfire and fireworks display in November.
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