The town of Guildford has a huge selection of walks to choose from with several long distance trails, hill climbs, parks, rivers and canals to explore.
This long circular walk makes use of some of the waymarked footpaths running through the area, showcasing the best of the surrounding North Downs countryside. You'll follow sections of the Fox Way, North Downs Way, Wey South Path and Downs Link long distance trails on this 20 mile tour of the area.
The route starts in the town centre, near the castle. From here you can pick up the Wey South Path and follow the River Wey to Shalford Park. You then pick up the North Downs Way and head east towards St Martha's Hill, passing Pewley Down on the way. From the St Martha's Hill viewpoint there are tremendous views over Newlands Corner and the surrounding Surrey Hills.
The walk then descends past the 17th century Chilworth Manor to Blackheath Common. The 250 acre common consists of lowland heathland, woodland and acid grassland. Look out for pretty heather in the autumn months.
At the common the route turns west, following a section of the Downs Link to Chinthurst Hill and Bramley. Here you link up with the Fox Way which takes you to Farley Hill before coming to Godalming. There's a nice waterside section along the River Wey Navigation Canal to enjoy here.
After leaving the canal the trail continues through Upper and Lower Eashing before passing through Shackleford Heath. You then skirt the edge of Puttenham Common where there's miles of good walking trails and two large ponds.
The route then bends round to the east, passing Puttenham, Compton, Littleton and Loseley Park. The park has a series of splendid gardens and attractive grounds surrounding Loseley House.
Shortly after Littleton you return to the River Wey for a final waterside section to take you back into Guildford.
This walk explores the area to the south of Guildford. If you head north you can continue your walking on Whitmoor Common.
There's also lots of nice easy walks in the nearby Chantry Wood and the option of picking up the long distance Greensand Way which passes through the town.
Guildford Ordnance Survey Map - view and print off detailed OS map
Guildford Open Street Map - view and print off detailed map
Guildford OS Map - Mobile GPS OS Map with Location tracking
Guildford Open Street Map - Mobile GPS Map with Location tracking
In the pretty village of Shalford you could visit the Seahorse pub for some refreshments on the route. There's a fine menu and an attractive outdoor space that’s ideal for a spot of al fresco dining when the sun makes a welcomed appearance. You can easily find it in the village at postcode GU4 8BU for your sat navs.
Further Information and Other Local Ideas
In Shalford you could also stop to visit the historic Shalford Mill. The National Trust owned watermill dates from the 18th century and is well worth a visit if you have time after exploring the woods. You can enjoy a fascinating guided tour of the mill and find out all about the its place in the history of Shalford. There's even the opportunity to buy a bag of Shalford Mill flour afterwards.