A circular walk exploring the canal towpath, riverside path, woodland, heath and small settlements around Frimley in Surrey. This walk is published through a collaboration with Surrey County Council.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) Leave the parking area back onto the access lane and turn left to join the surfaced track, passing alongside a vehicle barrier and heading directly away from Sturt Road. At the fingerpost, keep ahead (signed to the Pavilion and Canal North). The track leads you across a stream and you will see the L-shaped pavilion building ahead. Turn left immediately before the pavilion, following this path between the pitch and putt course on your left and the pavilion on your right.
Continue in the same direction, passing between football pitches, and you will emerge to a junction with the towpath of the Basingstoke Canal. Turn left, following the towpath with the canal running on your right. Soon you will reach Guildford Road Bridge. Just before the bridge, follow the path as it swings left away from the canal to reach the road. Cross over with care and turn right, following the pavement across the canal bridge. Take the first left, an access road signed as N Towpath. Just before you reach Frimhurst Lodge, fork left to join the towpath with the canal now running on your left.
Soon the towpath merges with the access road again, crossing the aqueduct (dating from 1839) which carries the canal over the railway. Immediately after this, fork left, leaving the tarmac lane to join the wide towpath. A little further along you will come across a section with a shallow beachy area (tempting for a doggie paddle, but do take care as the water gets deep very quickly). On the opposite bank you will see a stone arch bridge leading into a watersports lagoon.
Stay with this towpath as it leads you under a pipe bridge, past a row of canal-side properties on the far bank and on to reach the next road bridge overhead, Deepcut Bridge.
(1) Pass under the bridge and then turn right up the flight of concrete steps. At the top, turn right and right again to follow the pavement over the canal bridge. Continue along the pavement to reach the mini roundabout marking the edge of Deepcut village. You will notice the distinctive village sign adorned with lock gates and wild red roses. The design was inspired by a conversation between the blacksmith and the local lock keeper, who mentioned that he was always sorry to have to cut back beautiful wild roses each year so that the lock gates could be operated safely by the canal users.
Just beyond the roundabout, use the designated crossing point to cross the main road with care. Turn left along the pavement (back on yourself) and cross the side road, Lake Road. Stay with this tarmac path as it swings right to become the left-hand pavement along Lake Road. After 200 metres, as you draw level with Holly Cottage on your left, cross over to turn right into the side road (marked as a no through road), Bellew Road.
Follow the road climbing steadily, passing a row of properties and continuing into woodland. You will pass the entrance for the Royal Logistics Corps barracks and headquarters on your right. Stay with the road as it bears right, passing more properties on your right, and follow it for some distance further. Ignore the side road on the right, Woodend Road, and continue just a little further to reach house number 27 on your right. Turn left here, passing alongside a vehicle barrier to join the tarmac track leading you into woodland. IMPORTANT NOTE: The woodland is an MOD training area so please stick to the public paths (described here) and keep children and dogs close.
Keep ahead for about 90 metres, at which point you will find an open grass area on your right and an unmade track to your left. Turn left onto this track and follow it, soon leading downhill and bearing right. At the very bottom of the slope you will come to a crossroads with another woodland track, known as Valley Road.
(2) Turn right to join this wide level track running through the heart of the woodland. You will reach a T-junction, turn left here to join another wide track (known as Frith Hill Road). Follow this track for some distance, ignoring all the paths off to the side. Running along the left-hand side of this path you will see a beautiful moss covered ridge, peppered with many old tree stumps. This is a good example of a boundary bank, probably dating from the early 1800s. In 1801 the Government enclosed common land, which previously everyone had shared for grazing their animals and harvesting fuel in the form of wood and peat. The new enclosures were distributed to the rich for farming, increasing levels of poverty for the remaining masses. Locally, the authorities put aside this area of heathland for the poorest villagers to harvest wood and peat, and it is still known as the Frimley Fuel Allotments today. Eventually, the boundary bank swings away to the left as you reach a junction of paths with a gate visible at about 10 o'clock. Go through this gate, follow the path winding through the trees and you will emerge to a T-junction with a surfaced park path. Turn right along the path and follow it through the St Catherine's SANGS (Suitable Alternative Natural Green Space). This area has been designated for local people to use for games and dog walking, to ease the impact on the more environmentally sensitive areas of the Thames Valley Basin Special Protection Area. Follow the path as it winds through the open space passing a number of benches. The path swings left to reach a crossroads. Turn right and leave the SANGS through a gate to reach St Catherine's Road.
(3) Cross over the road and turn right along the pavement, heading downhill. Where the road bends right, keep straight ahead onto the shared footpath and cycleway. At the T-junction, turn left and keep ahead on the footpath and cycleway, passing a school on your right and then emerging to the road, Field Lane. Turn right along the pavement. Further along, where the road swings right to become Frimley Grove Gardens, cross over with care to keep straight ahead into the side road which soon becomes a track marked as unsuitable for motor vehicles. Just after passing house number 28 on your left, turn left up the paved steps to enter the churchyard of St Peter's Church.
(4) A few paces into the churchyard, follow the surfaced path swinging right to run parallel with the boundary fence on your right. Simply keep ahead along this main path, ignoring any side paths. Take your time to appreciate the ornate nature of many of the headstones. Just after passing a beautiful stone carved military helmet adorning a grave on your right, stay with the main path as it swings left and leads you to a T-junction at the far side. Turn right (with a boundary fence running to your left) and follow the path around the left-hand edge of the church. Go down the main steps to exit the churchyard onto Grove Road.
Turn right for a few paces and then turn left to cross over the two branches of the road. Bear right and follow the pavement along Church Road, following it all the way to the double mini-roundabout. Here, in the centre of Frimley, you will find Ye Olde White Hart pub along with a range of other shops, restaurants and takeaways should you want to stop for refreshments.
Keep ahead along the left-hand pavement, later passing the Railway Arms on your right, to reach the entrance for Frimley Station on your left.
(5) (NOTE: If you are starting the walk at Frimley rail station, walk along the access lane, Station Approach, to reach a T-junction with the High Street. Turn left, heading away from the shops and town centre. Now follow the rest of the directions in this section.)
Keep straight ahead, following the pavement over the railway. Stay with the pavement as it swings left (signed to Blackwater Valley Path South). Just before the road swings right to a roundabout, fork left to join a path between hedgerows, the Blackwater Valley Path heading south. Fairly soon, the path leads you through a single gate and past Frimley Bridge Lake on your left. The lakes at Frimley originate from the 1950s, when gravel was extracted from the area. Once extraction finished in the 1980s, the pits were allowed to flood, forming lakes teeming with wildlife.
Simply follow the Blackwater Valley Path, heading south for some distance. Some way along, the River Blackwater (which gives this path its name) will join your journey, running directly on your right. With the river on your right and lakes with reed beds on your left, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. We were lucky enough to see a heron fishing for his lunch.
Eventually, you will pass through another metal gate to reach a T-junction. Turn left here (heading away from the dual carriageway). This track swings right to reach another T-junction. Turn left again and follow the path leading you between two areas of fenced private lakes. At the end of this path you will reach the railway crossing. NOTE: This is an official crossing point but is not signalled so please take your time, looking and listening carefully for trains before you cross.
(6) Cross the railway via the two swing gates to reach the end of a residential road. Walk directly ahead along the residential road. At the fork, with a triangular grass island, turn right. Follow this road as it swings steadily left, passing the pretty thatched property called The Barn on your right. You will come to the large open green of Frimley Green. Cross over the road to join the left-hand pavement and follow this along the right-hand edge of Frimley Green, heading towards the Rose and Thistle pub. At the road junction, cross over to reach the pavement directly in front of the (dog friendly) Rose and Thistle. As well as the pub, there are also a few shops over to the left if you are looking for refreshments at this point. Standing facing the pub, turn right along Sturt Road, passing public toilets on your left. Follow the road as it leads you under the railway bridge and past the vicarage and St Andrew's Church on your left. Soon afterwards, turn left into the access lane for Frimley Lodge Park where you will find the car park where the walk began. (NOTE: If you started the walk at Frimley rail station, continue following the walk directions from the start).(D/A)
D/A : km 0 - alt. 71m - Parking area
1 : km 1.62 - alt. 90m - Bridge
2 : km 3.51 - alt. 101m - Frith Hill
3 : km 5.19 - alt. 92m - St Catherines Road
4 : km 6.25 - alt. 73m - Churchyard
5 : km 7.01 - alt. 65m - Pavement over the railway
6 : km 8.86 - alt. 65m - Railway
D/A : km 9.82 - alt. 71m - Parking area
The walk is almost entirely flat with just a couple of gentle slopes. There are no stiles or kissing gates on route, but there are a few flights of steps and two simple gates. The majority of the paths and tracks are surfaced, but some of the stretches through woodland and heath can get very muddy after wet weather. There is no livestock on route and the woodland and heath sections are very popular with dog walkers. There is a rail track crossing on this path.
There are public toilets in Frimley Lodge Park (at the start of the walk) and also on Sturt Road at Frimley Green (towards the end). There are many options for refreshments on the way round. There is a cafe in Frimley Lodge Park, a range of restaurants and takeaways on Frimley High Street about half way round (including Ye Old White Hart pub) and a range of shops and takeaways at Frimley Green towards the end (including the Rose and Thistle pub). Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 145 Guildford and Farnham. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Information is included for your interest, but please respect people's privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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