Godstone paths, ponds and churches

A circular walk from the pretty village of Godstone in Surrey, taking you on a simple loop through the surrounding fields and lanes via old mills and the adjacent village of Tandridge. This walk is published through a collaboration with Surrey County Council.

Technical sheet
No. 8389322
A Godstone walk posted on 29/04/21 by Aurelie-21. Update : 29/04/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h55[?]
Distance Distance : 6.04km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 54m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 57m
Highest point Highest point : 130m
Lowest point Lowest point : 90m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Godstone
Starting point Starting point : N 51.24705° / W 0.06629°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) From the parish car park cross the road to reach the pavement in front of the White Hart (there are zebra crossings over to the left should you need them) and turn right, passing the pub on the left. Immediately after the pub, turn left on the driveway signed as a public footpath to the village church. Keep directly ahead, passing the White Hart Barn Village Hall on your left and the Youth Centre on your right. Now simply continue following the fenced tarmac path which leads you past the large Bay Pond on your left. Bay Pond was built by George Evelyn (an arms manufacturer) to power his gunpowder mill, Leigh Mill. By 1611 the mill was in full production and even supplied gunpowder to the Tower of London. Today the pond is managed as a nature reserve by Surrey Wildlife Trust. Keep your eyes peeled for frogs, dragonflies and wildfowl, including great crested grebes (which we were lucky enough to spot while walking). Beyond the pond, the tarmac path climbs steadily and you will emerge to a junction with a road. Cross over with care and take the small flight of steps that lead you into the grounds of St Nicholas' Church.

(1) Although St Nicholas' Church was largely rebuilt and restored by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott in 1873, fragments still remain of the original Norman building. This area was previously called Walkingstead, but this name began to decline as Godstone developed. Today, the area is called Church Town. Take the path which runs along the right-hand edge of the church. At the far corner of the church, take the path ahead which leads you downhill through the churchyard. At the bottom, continue ahead to join the unmade path between fenced sections of scrub. The path leads you over two old bridges, with a large pond, Glebe Pond, now on your left. At the far end of the pond, follow the path as it swings first right and then left, heading uphill along a field edge. Across the fence on the right you will be able to see Glebe House. At the top of the slope keep ahead on the stone path which leads you through a section of trees and out to a footpath junction at the edge of a large crop field. Turn right and follow the path heading downhill along the right-hand edge of the crop field. Just before you reach the power lines, bear right through a gap in the hedgerow to reach a T-junction with a track. Turn left along this track and follow it as it swings first left and then right, passing the buildings of Leigh Place on your right. Keep straight ahead, alongside two vehicle gates. Ignore the footpath signed to the right, simply stay ahead on the track which eventually leads you through an underpass beneath the A22.

(2) Just a few paces beyond the underpass, you will reach a signed junction of paths (directly in front of Hop Garden Cottage). Turn right and follow the path as it swings left (following the garden fence) and then right, climbing steadily to reach a signed crossroads. Take the main bridleway straight ahead, which soon swings left. This bridleway, which is fenced with beautiful woven hedgerows, leads you past Old Park Wood on your right. Beyond the woodland, the path follows a dog leg and then leads you steeply downhill. The path now climbs steadily, heads through a tunnel of trees and leads you out to a junction with Jackass Lane, with the pretty buildings of Little Court Farm directly opposite.

(3) Turn right along the lane, and after about 200m you will be approaching the T-junction with Tandridge Lane. NOTE: Take extreme care at this junction, it is safest to approach it via the open raised green on your left. Cross over Tandridge Lane and turn right along the pavement, following it downhill between houses towards the centre of Tandridge village. Take time to enjoy the expansive views ahead.

Towards the bottom of the slope, just after passing the double entrance gates for the Blacksmiths and Wrought Iron Makers (and about 30 metres before you reach the Barley Mow pub), cross over the road to turn right into the access track signed as a public footpath. Continue alongside a gateway into the crop field and stay with the obvious track (part of the Greensand Way) which leads you between two sections of crop field.

At the end of the first section of fields, the track leads you through a belt of trees and then swings right to continue between more fields. Eventually you will emerge via a kissing gate to reach a junction with the main A22 road. NOTE: This can be busy and the traffic is fast moving, so please take extreme care when crossing, waiting for a suitable gap before you do so.

(4) After crossing the A22, take the footpath directly ahead (still part of the Greensand Way) and follow this through the kissing gate into Castle Hill Woods. Within this woodland there are the remains of an early Norman mound or motte which would have once had a wooden defence tower on it. At the first signed junction, keep straight ahead, following the line of the fence on the left.

Eventually the path leads you between hedgerows to a signed junction by the corner of a garden fence. Keep straight ahead and then bear left to cross the stream via the narrow footbridge (or the ford). Continue ahead on the tarmac entrance lane, passing the main entrance for Leigh Mill House on the right (the former site of the gunpowder mill mentioned earlier).

Towards the top of the slope (just before the stream passes under the roadway) turn sharp right onto the signed public footpath between fences. At the first junction, keep straight ahead, passing a mill pond on your right. At the end of this path you will come to a T-junction with the vehicle track that you should recognise from your outward leg (when you passed from left to right). Turn left passing alongside two vehicle gates and following the track swinging right at the entrance for Leigh Place.

At the next left-hand bend you will see a signed junction, at which point you have two choices. If you wish to AVOID the stiles and horse paddock on the main return leg, fork right onto the field edge path here and then simply retrace the route from your outward leg. Otherwise, stay with the main access track which swings left. The track leads you past the old entrance gates for Leigh Place on the left and the entrance for Glebe House on the right. At the end of the track you will reach a T-junction with Church Lane.

(5) Cross the lane and take the flight of steps at about 1 o'clock, signed as a public footpath. Follow the footpath between fences and it will lead you to a kissing gate at the edge of a horse paddock. (This was holding a couple of fairly inquisitive horses when we walked, so take care with children and dogs). Pass through the gate and turn left, following the left-hand edge of the horse paddock. At the end of the field, turn right along the bottom boundary and you will find a stile (and makeshift gate) on the left. Cross this, turn right for a few paces and cross the stile ahead to reach Bullbeggars Lane. The area of the paddock you have just crossed was once known as Women's Field and is said to be the site of burial pits for the victims of Black Death in 1349. The name Bullbeggar is said to be a corruption of Bagle which means Goblin. Turn left along Bullbeggars Lane, taking care as you approach the T-junction, and then turn right to join the pavement alongside the main road. Follow the road back towards the centre of Godstone. This road runs along the line of a Roman Road and it is not surprising that this later became a popular coaching road. As you enter Godstone you will pass between The Bell and The Coach House and then come to the White Hart on the right, all signs of the old coaching inns that populated the road. Queen Victoria and the Czar of Russia are just two of the notables who are said to have stayed in the White Hart. Cross over the road to reach the parish car park on the left, where the walk began.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 105m - Parish car park
1 : km 0.63 - alt. 113m - St Nicholas' Church
2 : km 1.64 - alt. 99m - Underpass
3 : km 2.57 - alt. 118m - Jackass Lane
4 : km 4.05 - alt. 98m - A22
5 : km 5.15 - alt. 99m - Church Lane
D/A : km 6.04 - alt. 105m - Parish car park

Useful Information

The walk has just a few gentle slopes throughout, with a couple of short steeper parts. Many of the bridleways and paths across fields and through woodland can get very muddy so good boots are a must (or wellingtons with grips in the winter). One of the fields may be holding (inquisitive!) horses. There are a few kissing gates, some steps plus two stiles (which have open fencing alongside for dogs to pass through). Both stiles and the horses may be avoided by re-tracing steps along part of the outward leg to return to Godstone. At one point, there is a crossing of the A22 (the visibility is good but the road can be busy with fast moving traffic) and there are a couple of short sections on quiet country lanes, so take particular care at these points.

There are many options for refreshments, either at the start or end of the walk at Godstone's many pubs and cafes or at the pub in Tandridge about half way round. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Information is included, 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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