Tillingbourne - Short Option

An undulating walk in the Surrey Hills, starting from Chilworth Station and passing through farmland, woodland and parkland. The route crosses the Tillingbourne stream, which used to power a number of powder, paper and corn mills in the area. There is also a longer version of this walk available. This walk is published through a collaboration with the Surrey County Council.

Technical sheet
No. 7706375
A St. Martha walk posted on 13/04/21 by Aurelie-21. Update : 13/04/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h10[?]
Distance Distance : 6.96km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 73m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 80m
Highest point Highest point : 121m
Lowest point Lowest point : 50m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Surrey Hills
Location Location : St. Martha
Starting point Starting point : N 51.21546° / W 0.52571°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) Exit Chilworth railway station alongside the phone box to reach the bus shelter on the triangular green. Turn right along pavement for the A248 and follow it for 470m. As you draw level with Longfrey Farm on the left, turn right into Dorking Road (signed as the Downs Link). Follow the lane over the railway bridge and, immediately afterwards, fork left through the gap in the white fencing (passing the small cottage on the left). Keep ahead on this grass path which soon runs between fences. Cross the stile into a horse paddock and walk diagonally right to reach the far right-hand corner. Pass through the kissing gate and follow the path which swings right, with a hedge on the right. Where the hedge swings away, keep ahead on the path along the line of the bank across the field (probably lined with electric fencing). The path becomes a track, following a line of trees on the left. Cross a stile ahead (or use of the gate alongside) to pass Postford Farm Cottages on the right.

(1) Keep straight ahead on the main track (ignoring the footpath signed to the right) which leads you downhill and past the stables on the left. Continue across the stream and then stay on the main track which swings right past a barn/stables. Keep ahead along the tarmac track (ignoring the stile on the left) to reach a T-junction with a sunken lane. Turn right and then immediately left over a stile to enter a pasture (which may be holding cattle). Follow the obvious grass track ahead with a grass bank immediately on the left and a stream (The Bourne) across to the right. The waters of The Bourne, a tributary of the Tillingbourne, are used for growing watercress. You will pass Little Ford Farmhouse on the left, a timber-framed building dating from the sixteenth century. Immediately afterwards, pass through the kissing gate ahead to reach a junction with a stone vehicle track.

(2) Turn left through the gateway into the courtyard and then turn immediately left again through another gateway to join a stone track passing the farmhouse on the left. Go through the gate and follow the path up through a section of old coppiced trees. As you emerge from these trees, continue ahead for just a short distance to reach the white gates of the railway crossing. NOTE: This railway crossing is unsignalled so take extreme care, taking time to look and listen for trains before you cross. At the far side, follow the path at about 11 o'clock across the field, passing to the right of a small clump of trees. Continue in the same direction towards the woodland ahead. Just before the end of the field, a fence begins on the right. A few paces along this, turn right over a stile to enter the woodland. Walk straight ahead on the narrow woodland path which soon widens to become a track to reach a crossroads. Keep straight ahead, passing a fenced clearing/section of young trees on the right. At the brow of the hill (where the fence ends) you will come to a crossroads with a sandy track.

(3) Keep straight ahead on the narrow path, soon following a wire fence on the left. The path emerges with a T-junction with a sunken path, Warren Lane. Turn left and you will pass between farm gates each side (which provide great viewpoints). Continue down the sunken path and, at the junction, swing left. The track will lead you to the end of a residential road, Church Lane. Keep straight ahead along this lane and, further along, you will pass a stone memorial (for Louisa Duchess of Northumberland) on the right and Albury Church on the left.

(4) Keep ahead, passing the village bowling green on the right. Follow the road as it swings right down to reach a T-junction with the A248 at the centre of the village. The Drummond Arms pub is visible just to the right. Turn left along the road, taking care as the pavement is narrow in parts. Pass Weston Farm and then pass Water Lane and Guildford Lane on the right. Stay on the pavement as it climbs to the left. Opposite Vale End Fisheries on the left, you will see a choice of two footpaths on the right. Cross over the road and take the second of the footpaths, passing through a staggered barrier. Note: this path can be muddy. Follow the path with Waterloo Pond on the right and a stream on the left. You will come to a T-junction with a tarmac drive. Turn left along this. You will pass Postford Mill Pond on the left and a former mill building on the right (now converted into residential and office buildings). Over the years there has been a series of powder, paper and corn mills in this area relying upon the Tillingbourne for water power. Immediately after the mill on the right, you will come to the bridge over a millpond sluice.

(5) Cross the bridge then bear right (at about 2 o'clock) to join the signed public footpath which leads you between fences. Follow this narrow path with a house on the right and fenced horse paddocks on the left and it will lead you past a disused stile. Keep ahead on the fenced path between fields. The Admiralty Cordite Works were built in this area in 1915, during the First World War. The remains of a stove house can be seen by the modern pond to the right and the row of cottages were converted from the cordite press house. You will come to a sleeper bridge and stile ahead.

(6) Cross the bridge and stile to enter the horse paddock. Keep ahead in the same direction across this field, crossing some concrete foundation remains from the Admiralty Cordite Works. At the far side, cross the stile to enter a smaller paddock. Keep in the same direction across this field and cross the stile opposite to reach a junction with Lockner Farm Track.
Turn right, crossing the bridge, and then turn left through the staggered barrier to enter the site of Chilworth Gunpowder Mills. You will pass an interpretation board on the right which gives more information about the mills. Continue ahead with the canal on the left, passing the old buildings on the right. The Smokeless Powder Works were built in the 1890s and this middle section of the former works is owned by Guildford Borough Council, stretching for over a kilometre down the valley. Substantial remains of the works, the canal used for transport and water power, roller mill stones for mixing the gunpowder and the site of the older water powered mills can be seen. Beyond the building remains, follow the path as it swings right, passing a bench on the left, then continue straight ahead. You will come to a picnic area on the right.

(7) Immediately alongside the picnic area, turn left and follow this footpath (known as Vera's Path) across the footbridge. You will see the remains of an old rail track across the stream on the left. The path leads you out to a T-junction within Chilworth, alongside the school. Turn left along the pavement and you will pass the Percy Arms on the left and then come to Chilworth Station on the right, where the walk began.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 57m - Chilworth railway station
1 : km 1.61 - alt. 76m - Postford Farm Cottages
2 : km 2.55 - alt. 67m - Gateway
3 : km 3.32 - alt. 121m - Narrow path
4 : km 4.29 - alt. 62m - Church Lane
5 : km 5.49 - alt. 53m - Bridge
6 : km 5.87 - alt. 51m - Bridge
7 : km 6.53 - alt. 52m - Picnic area
D/A : km 6.96 - alt. 57m - Chilworth railway station

Useful Information

The walk has several steady slopes plus a couple of steeper sections. The paths across woodland and farmland can get quite muddy so stout shoes or boots are required and wellingtons are recommended in the winter months. You will need to negotiate a number of kissing gates plus 7 stiles (all of which have open fence surrounds which will be suitable for most dogs to pass through). You will be sharing a few of the fields with horses and at least one field may be holding cattle so take particular care with dogs. You will need to cross the railway at an unsignalled footpath crossing so take extreme care and listen carefully for trains before you cross. There is one short stretch of road walking. Allow 2.5 hours.

If you are looking for refreshments there are a couple of options. The Percy Arms pub is at the start of the walk, opposite Chilworth Station, and the Drummond Arms pub is in Albury by Waypoint 5. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 145 Guildford and Farnham. This walk follows public rights of way 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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