Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Walk number 1

St Martha’s Church and Silent Pool (10.72 miles / 17.26 km / 4.75 hours):

Chantry Cottage Percy Arms St Martha's Church
Photos copyright © Graham Pearcey 2011 & 2019

Please click here for a map of the route.

  • Park at The Percy Arms, Chilworth, Surrey, GU4 8NP. Food is served until 3:00 PM and again from 6:00 PM Mon-Fri. Food is served all afternoon until 10:00 PM Sat. No food available Sun except for those who've booked in advance.
  • Leave the pub car park next to the electricity sub generator opposite Percy Cottages. Pass the school and take an immediate right onto a narrow footpath, "Vera's Path", which passes between fields and crosses a new footbridge. Beyond the footbridge, turn left, and follow the wide track all the way to the green-painted iron gate at the end. Turn right along the road and cross the Tillingbourne river to meet Halfpenny Lane.
  • Turn left at the Halfpenny Lane sign, proceed less than 10m and bear right onto a rocky footpath that climbs a hill. At the end turn left along the road for less than 10m until you come to a large field. Enter the field. Bear left and follow the clear track along the left-hand edge of the field until in the ‘dip’ you reach a fenced-off stable and metal barn on your right. Then maintain direction along the hedged track ignoring side turnings until the path ends abruptly at Manor Farm.
  • Go right and immediate left, keeping the hedge to your left. At the second field maintain direction along the path, eventually catching a glimpse of Guildford Cathedral over to the right. On reaching a quiet, residential road, proceed through the gap and turn right. Almost immediately bear right onto a marked footpath that skirts Chantry Wood (right). Keep straight ahead at Chantry Lodge but, shortly after this, turn right onto the broad track just beyond Chantry Cottage, the former keeper’s cottage of the Austen Estate: the fingerpost indicates “North Downs Way” (NDW). When this track briefly descends to bear left into a farm, continue straight ahead on a narrower track (waymarked NDW). When the woodland ends, the sandy path passes between fields. When you reach a crossing of paths, continue ahead on a path again marked NDW, keeping straight through woods. Another track merges from the left and you then ascend to meet a road.
  • Turn left and in less than 30m turn right onto a narrow climbing path alongside Southernway Cottage. Keep ahead on this path as it becomes increasingly wide and sandy, and enters woodland. Follow the church sign uphill until you reach St Martha’s Church. Maintain direction outside the graveyard wall so that the church is on your right, and then join a wide sandy track, with trees to its left and spectacular country views to its right. Descend steeply following the “Self-guided Trail” signs. After merging with a bridleway from the right, leave the NDW by bearing right at the next junction. Pass to the right of a ruined building before picking up another “Self-guided Trail” sign to follow a path which leads towards a small car park. Turn sharp right just before the car park, following another “Self-guided Trail” sign, to cross over Guildford Lane and join a marked bridleway. Follow the bridleway until it crosses the footpath that leads to Newbarn settlement (left), traverses a field and descends through a wood to reach Water Lane. Cross the lane, and follow a path with steep banks, past houses and left of a gate, which is padlocked to exclude vehicles not walkers.
  • When the bridleway turns left by a cottage, keep straight ahead, passing to the right of another gate that may be padlocked. At the next fork, bear right and take the path through woods. You have reached the half way point of the walk.
  • On reaching the blue entrance gates of a sand pit, go straight ahead onto a narrow path. Cross a stile to proceed along the left-hand edge of a field. Continue through a new metal swing gate and an old wooden swing gate to reach the A248. Cross the road and turn left at the post-box to follow the pavement. On reaching the next junction, re-cross the A248 and proceed a short distance along the A25 to a field gate on your left. Now carefully cross both carriageways of the A25. Proceed straight ahead past Silent Pool Cottage (right) and ascend to the entrance gate for Albury Organic Vineyard, but don’t go in. Here turn right to take the narrow, sometimes overgrown path called “The Foxway”, which proceeds with the vineyard fence to its left and trees on its right until you start to climb an exceptionally steep hill.
  • This path eventually reaches a crossing with a bridleway which is another section of the NDW. Turn left onto the bridleway, and after about five minutes there’s a fork left signed “Permissive Horse Ride” but you keep straight ahead (uphill) and carry on for another 20 minutes. On reaching the A25, turn right to pass the entrance of Plucky Pheasant café then carefully cross the A25 and pass a wooden sculpture to take a grassy route to the Newlands Corner Visitor Centre. Walk to the farthest end of the car park, admiring the wonderful views of the Surrey hills on your left as you go, and continue along a stony path. After some time, a rugged stump can be seen next to a bench over to your left, but you continue on the current path as it becomes shadier under trees. Eventually, at a staggered junction with a finger post (right), you take the obscure path on the left through trees, marked “Self-guided Trail”. After a short distance bear left, also marked “Self-guided Trail”, to emerge into a car park by a bench.
  • Proceed straight ahead on a waymarked path into the trees. Follow the waymarkers first right and then left to descend to White Lane. Cross the road and climb steps (marked NDW) to a path that runs parallel to the road and once even touches it. Eventually emerge onto Guildford Lane next to Keepers Cottage. Take the rising path between the cottage and its garages, and climb to a cross-paths. Here turn right, marked “Self-guided Trail”. The main path is fairly obvious until after about ten minutes it swings left uphill at another “Self-guided Trail” sign to join a higher path.
  • Turn right. A stone in the middle of the path is inscribed “G.B.B. 1933.” Beyond the stone, turn sharply left onto a narrower steep path that leads back to St Martha’s Church. Keep to the right around the outside of the graveyard wall until you come to, first, a single bench and, then, three benches together.
  • Between the one bench and the three, take the sandy path that descends to the tree-line. Cross a bridleway and continue very steeply downhill. Pass the sprawling Chilworth Manor buildings on your right as the path levels out. At a cross-paths, ignore the ‘permissive footpath’ to the Percy Arms, instead turning left along the narrow bridleway and then bearing right onto the parallel ‘permissive footpath’ until both bridleway and footpath merge onto a farm track that shortly bears right.
  • Cross the Tillingbourne by a bridge. Turn right just before the next bridge, in order to pass an information board that’s visible from the current track. Pass the ruins of mill buildings on your right, bear right and continue to the triangular junction near picnic tables that you saw earlier. Turn left and retrace your steps to the Percy Arms pub.

This route was last walked on 2 January 2019, and the directions were accurate then. Please e-mail me if you find any errors, if you would like a copy in Word format, or if you would prefer a version that starts and ends at Chilworth station.

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