Graham Pearcey

Graham Pearcey

Walk number 5

River Wey and Compton (9.71 miles / 15.62 km / 4.00 hours):

Conduit Farm The Withies Inn Coneycroft Farm
Photos copyright © Graham Pearcey 2012 & 2017

Please click here for a map of the route.


  • Park at The Withies Inn, Withies Lane, Compton, Guildford, Surrey, GU3 1JA. Lunchtime bar food is served until 2:30 PM Sat-Thu, 3:00 PM Fri.
  • With your back to the pub, turn right along Withies Lane and proceed to the triangular junction with a grassy island in the middle. Turn right again (signed “No through road to Loseley Estate”) and in another five minutes or so, passing houses on your left and seeing a bridleway ahead, turn right yet again and pass through the gate if it is open, otherwise passing to the right of it. Continue along this track and, after a lodge on your left, pass through another gate.
  • When you reach a field gate signed “private” (with a warning about CCTV surveillance), turn left onto a footpath along the edge of the Loseley Park grounds. Cross a track and new stile, and follow the guide posts to pass through a black swing gate where the ground can be muddy, then keep the pond to your right till you pass through an identical gate. Go straight across a field (to the right of two large trees), and across another field to pass through the third and last such gate.
  • Keep straight ahead at the crossroads alongside Pillarbox Cottage, continuing past bungalows and two cattle grids on your right. Maintain direction onto a grassy uphill track. At the top, continue straight ahead to pass Surrey Police H.Q. (Mount Browne) on your left. Emerge onto a road (it may be muddy here) and keep straight on to the junction with the A3100. Turn left and, at the bus stop, cross the road to a public footpath sign by a barrier. Take this footpath, which proceeds under a railway arch to reach the River Wey.
  • Turn left, signed “Guildford”, and proceed along the towpath. Eventually a river bridge comes into sight.
  • Pass under the bridge but then turn sharp left next to a stone seat onto a steep lane, to pass Ferry Cottage and Pilgrim Cottage on your right. Cross a railway bridge and proceed until Ferry Lane emerges opposite The University of Law. Turn right and then left into Sandy Lane. After passing the back of town houses, immediately turn right at Piccards Manor and ignore the tracks off till you reach Piccards Farm.
  • Continue past cottages numbered ‘97’ and ‘96’ on the left and subsequently Piccards Farmhouse on your right, onto the farm road. Turn left then right following the North Downs Way (NDW) signs into woods. (Enter the gate if it is open, otherwise climb the stile to the right of it.) Follow this track until it sweeps right towards Conduit Farm, but you go left. Ignore the narrow track immediately merging in from your left and the subsequent wider track leading to a gate on your left. Instead, head uphill following the narrow sandy track which takes you through the woods. Keep to the main path with occasional posts and stretches of barbed wire on your left hand side – ignoring a gate to the left and a subsequent steep path between trees to the right – till you eventually reach a crossing with a bridleway. Proceed straight ahead (still signed NDW) . You have reached the half-way point of the walk.
  • On reaching farm buildings the track becomes wider and sandier. Keep straight on to pass the Watts Gallery, on your right, and reach a main road (Down Lane). Cross Down Lane and turn left, then first right, signed “Studios”. The track proceeds under a brick bridge and then a concrete bridge, but then you take an immediate left, signed Puttenham and NDW. Continue to follow NDW signs through woods, including straight ahead at a staggered junction of footpaths. The path becomes a road, with houses to your right. Ignore all bridleways, etc., to your left – keeping ahead through Puttenham Golf Club grounds. After another half a mile, you pass the clubhouse and emerge onto the B3000 opposite the Harvester Grill. Turn left and proceed for a full mile to a roundabout. After you’ve carefully crossed the A3 by means of a road bridge and reached a second roundabout, follow the Compton sign left. Keep to safe pavements where they exist, but note that when the pavement appears to continue at the foot of a grassy bank this actually leads to a dead end, so you need to remain roadside. At a third roundabout turn right into The Street then immediate left into Down Lane. Take care on this road as there’s no pavement.
  • Pass the Watts Cemetery Chapel on your right. This is worth a visit.
  • When you are ready to move on, continue along Down Lane but shortly follow a public footpath sign (right) through newly fenced fields just before Coneycroft Farm. At a concrete driveway turn right to proceed along its full length.
  • Turn right again through a new gate and immediate left through a gap. Keeping to the left side of a field follow the track through the tall grasses.
  • Arriving at a stile proceed along a narrow, muddy path bounded on both sides by a wire fence. Pass houses on your right and carefully descend steep steps, then turn right. In about 40m reach a familiar junction and retrace your steps to The Withies Inn pub.


This route was last walked on 31 August 2017, 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 Guildford station (add 2 miles/ 1.00 hours).


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