Summer cycle tips and routes for you and your family

By Michelle Sharland

Michelle is a local cycle coach for both adults and children and founder of  Michelle Rides.

It really is time to make the most of summer and these glorious summer days and long evenings. I have a few tips and routes to get you and your family out on your bikes to enjoy our beautiful countryside. We are lucky to live where we do!

For Starters

Make sure all your bikes are in good working order!

  • Pump the tyres (a foot pump is good for this). If you are going off-road with your children, make sure their tyres are slightly softer to absorb some of the bumps.
  • Oil the chains. Just a small amount of oil to lubricate the chain makes a big difference to smooth running of the bike components. A good tip is to oil your chain, turn the pedals a few times and then wipe the chain with a dry cloth. This removes excess oil as you only need it in the links.
  • Check the brakes. This includes that they both work when you pull front and back brakes – even them out if they are not the same. Brake pads should be clean, evenly worn and still have some life in them. Also, check they are well aligned to the rim of the wheel so they don’t rub against the tyre.
  • Make sure the gears work properly. Kids bikes have less gears than adult bikes so make sure they are able to use them all. There is nothing worse than riding a bike where the gears are stuck or are difficult to change. If you don’t know how to do this, ask a cycling buddy or get the bike serviced. Sometimes the cables need replacing as they have stretched.

The right equipment is important for a successful outing.

  • A helmet that fits well!! Need I say anymore?? I often see children with helmets that are too big for them or with very dangly straps and their helmets flopping around on their heads. You want to know that your children’s heads will be protected if they fall or bump their head on a low lying branch.
  • Cycling gloves or mitts help protect little (and large) hands should we fall. Most children have grip-shift gear changers and after a while of changing gears, their hands get sore and their enjoyment of riding decreases accordingly.
  • Cycling padded shorts are a bonus. You can get inexpensive padded shorts from www.wiggle.co.uk and they make a huge difference to us all. Just remember – no underwear….. (yip! That’s right… it causes chafe. Most unpleasant and please don’t share your shorts with anyone else)
  • Snacks – or as we call them in my household…. ‘motivators’… it’s great to see what your small ones can do when they have some incentive. It also helps to keep their energy levels up. Don’t forget lots of water!
  • Take some small spares with you. Hand pump, inner tubes that fit your bikes, puncture repair kit and some tyre levers. Make sure you know how to change an inner tube too. Youtube.com has lots of good tips.
  • A first aid kit is probably not a bad idea either. It doesn’t have to be your whole kit but a few essentials may come in handy (hopefully not needed….. but best be prepared). Wipes, plasters and perhaps a bandage. Also consider Antisan and sun-cream. The nettles are ripe and stingy now. 
  • Plan your route and ‘quit while you are ahead’. You ideally want to get home with your little ones asking for more! Start small to gauge their interest and ability. Maybe a little pootle down the railway path to the Barley Mow could be a good start (for young children who are starting out on family cycles). For older children, head to the Queen’s Head, Clandon through Hatchlands Park or try out any of the routes below.
  • Remember: Grassy or off-road paths are harder work than smooth tarmac. Uphill is harder work than flat – even small undulations can be energy sapping.

Tried and tested local routes

The routes below have been mapped out on the Strava App. Click on the link and it will take you to the route. If you want it to navigate for you, you will need to download the app and then you can follow the route from your phone. Easy! (Any problems, I can help you…)

The River Wey Tow Path: (Ripley to Guildford)

Distance: 15km

Start / End: Ripley playground to Guildford

Pros: Away from traffic. Lots of river activity and locks along the way. You can’t get lost. Flat (except for a few bridges). Happy children!

Cons: Not many facilities along the way so be self-sufficient. Can be a bit bumpy. The path at times is close to the water’s edge.

Other: It can get busy but take your time. Give the kids and ice-cream in Guildford and hop on a train back home. They may wish to cycle back too.

https://www.strava.com/routes/12483026

Hatchlands Park

Distance: 7km

Start / End: Hatchlands park (Ripley Lane Entrance)

Pros: Lovely easy trail and suitable for most bikes. Pub in Clandon.

Cons: Crossing the A246 TWICE! (walk please)

Other:  You can ride to the entrance from anywhere in Horsley – if your kids have the endurance.

https://www.strava.com/routes/14111755

Shufflers photo

Fullers Farm via the permissive route – 5K and 10K options

By Graeme Verra from the Horsley Shufflers. 

This is one of 18 routes followed by the Horsley Shufflers, a local group of runners who meet at 8am each Saturday at The Quaich.

There are 10k and 5k options and the routes are suitable for walkers as well as runners / joggers. This full route is notable for on a clear day it has possibly the best view from Horsley looking north and also towards the tall landmarks in London. The route uses public rights of way and permissive paths.

Distance: 10k or a shortened option of 5k

Time: 2 hours or 1 hour

Ability: Full walk (moderate) involves a few sections of steep climb and descent on uneven tracks. In places there are tree roots that present a tripping hazard. The longer route is not suitable for buggies. Shortened option (easy) but with uneven tracks in a few places.

Sections of the route can be muddy after heavy or prolonged rain.

  • Starting at Station Parade go along Kingston Avenue next to Budgens and then continue on the footpath beside the Village Hall.
  • Take the bridleway going left that follows the side of an open area. This is just before the bridge on the right over the railway.
  • After joining the bridleway follow it till you see a gate straight in front of you and the bridleway going left around it. Shortly after the gate go right through a gap in the hedge to join the permissive path towards West Horsley Place.
  • At the end of this path and where it meets another path turn right and follow it behind the grounds of West Horsley Place and the Opera House.
  • Where this path crosses a footpath continue forward and then diagonally on a permissive path that crosses the field in front to a gate at the far side.
  • Go through the gate and turn right. At junction soon afterwards follow the path bearing left. Follow this footpath going towards another gate and continue straight on past the back of Cranmore School and join a minor tarmacked road.
  • At the far boundary of Cranmore School take the marked footpath left up to the slip road (old road) that is above the A246. Turn right before crossing the A246 and then go left at the roundabout up Shere Road.
  • Just over 100m up Shere Road take the marked footpath (a rough tarmacked track) on the right (look for footpath sign on the left side of Shere Road). After about 50m the footpath leaves the track and goes left up a bank just before a house.
  • Follow the footpath squeezing beside a narrow concrete barrier at one point.
  • Follow this narrow footpath until there is an opening on the right hand side with a permissive footpath map (it may be hidden with foliage). This is before the footpath narrows further and before passing gates either side into open fields.
  • Follow the permissive path as it rises and then turns right. At the top there are benches and an opportunity to look at the views. On a clear day you can see Central London and the Wembley Arch.
  • Continue on the permissive footpath and cross over the top end of a downhill track and continue on the permissive footpath going forward.
  • At the next concrete track (a bridleway) turn left* (*There is an option to turn right at the track here and go directly down to Blake’s Lane).
  • Follow the bridleway (track) as it goes up and follow it as it turns right down through a hollow.
  • At the end of the bridleway it meets a tarmacked track where you go right for a short distance towards Fullers Farm. Here the bridleway turns off right and starts its descent on an uneven track.
  • The bridleway descends to Blake’s Lane where you turn right and back to the Epsom Road (A246).
  • Cross over the A246 and go right then take the slip road (old road) that leaves on the left.
  • After about 100m take the footpath signposted off on the left through a gate and follow it to The Street past the back of some houses and along a short section of tarmacked road.
  • At the main junction go left and follow The Street to the railway bridge and then take the footpath along the railway line going right just before the bridge.
  • Follow this footpath back as it runs parallel to the railway line and return to Kingston Avenue.
  • Finish off with some refreshments in the Quaich. This where the runners on Saturday start and finish.

For a shorter 5k route follow the directions above until you pass the back of Cranmore School. Do not take the footpath that goes left but continue on Cranmore Road until it meets The Street. Turn right and re-join the longer route as it continues to the railway bridge and the footpath that goes back to Kingston Avenue.

 

Horsley Shufflers

Horsley Shufflers is an informal running / jogging group for a range of abilities and ages, male and female. There is no membership and there are no fees. Routes are only suggestions and runs are self-guided with everyone responsible for their own safety and anyone else’s safety they encounter. The routes may include road crossings and other hazards so they may not be suitable for a younger person unless accompanied by an adult.

The group meets at Quaich, East Horsley, Saturday 8am and at The Barley Mow, West Horsley, Tuesday 8pm.  On Saturday there are two run suggestions of approximately 10k and 5k followed by a drink and socialising. On Tuesday the group collectively decides where to go with runs being typically about 7k.

For information, see here.

Local Walks within 20-30 minutes of Horsley

By Michelle Scott

There are so many great walks a bit further afield from Horsley but here are some of my favourites:

St Martha’s Hill

One of the most scenic walks around and also very good in the winter as it so sandy. To access St Martha’s Hill you need to drive through Albury and then take a right hand turn up Guildford Lane. The car park is a mile or so on the left hand side. From the car park walk straight up the hill to St Martha’s church which is a beautiful and remote church with stunning views over Albury and Chilworth.

There are lots of bridleways off the main North Downs Way and you can also access St Martha’s from Newlands Corner.

If you want a longer walk you can carry on walking from St Martha’s church down the North Downs Way towards Guildford and you will come to the Chantries woods which also have lots of lovely trails to explore.

If you are feeling fit there are a few 10km trail runs which take in St Martha’s, Newlands Corner and the Chantries such as the Hard as Snails race.

Blackheath
Blackheath is a lovely sandy common which has some pine forest and lots of trails to explore. You can reach it by turning left at the level crossing at Chilworth. Keep going along the road until you reach Blackheath and a brilliant signpost which says something like This Way, That Way, Somewhere Else…

Turn left at the crossroads, past the Villagers Pub which is sadly no longer in operation and the car park is at the end of the road.

Frensham Little Pond 
Again this is a great place to go in the winter as the tracks are really sandy. The pond is huge and has a lovely sandy beach but I don’t think dogs are allowed to swim in there anymore.

Holmbury St Mary and Pitch Hill
There are over 60 miles of trails around this area. You can park at the car park up the road from the Royal Oak pub and walk up to the top of Holmbury Hill and back or go on a circular walk.

To access Pitch Hill you can park in the car park in Peaslake which is past the Hurtwood Inn and again walk up to the top of Pitch Hill and back.

The views from both of these hills are stunning!

Leith Hill
There are several car parks for Leith Hill – if you park at the one closest to the tower it is a relatively easy walk up to the Tower which has amazing views and also serves tea, coffee and cakes!

Headley Heath
To get here you go on the A24 round Leatherhead and take the right at the roundabout at the top of the hill towards Headley and keep going along until you meet the B2033. Turn right onto this road towards Tadworth and the car park is about ½ mile on the right.
There are some lovely self-guided trails through the heath and there is also a lovely natural play area for children.

Ripley Canal / River Wey
This is such a lovely walk along the canal tow path in the summer – we tend to walk up to the Anchor for midway refreshments!!!

You can access the canal from Ripley Common (see suggested walk on link above).

Or you can park in the car park on the Newark Lane which is the road from Ripley to Pyrford. The car park is on the left hand side just before the traffic lights at the canal itself.

Cycling with kids & Heels on Wheels

BY MICHELLE SHARLAND of Michelle Rides

Many people ask me where there are good places to take children cycling. We are spoilt for choice around here but we do need to be mindful to keep distances and terrain manageable for our younger members on two wheels. My motto: ‘Quit while you are ahead’… you really do want them to go out again. Also take a backpack stocked with a few ‘motivators’ (biscuits, haribos etc…. they’ll burn these off anyway).

Here is a list that I have put together but there are many more out there – please do let us know of any good ones you find!

  1. Brooklands Airfield – a great place to teach your youngster to ride independently.
  2. Sheepleas – for older children who have bikes with gears. You can’t get too lost here either.
  3. Hatchlands park along the periphery path. Why not cycle to The Queens Head in Clandon?
  4. Francis Corner (one of the car parks at the top of Green Dene) – on the North Downs way. There is a 5km circular route or you can ride to Newlands Corner for an ice-cream and back again through the forests.
  5. Newlands Corner – a great place to have a go at single track and different paths. Ice-cream is always available at the tea-hut. There are a few longer trails that can take you into Guildford from there (via St Martha’s Hill) but I only recommend doing this with older children who have ridden a bit.
  6. Virginia Water
  7. Windsor Park
  8. Swinley Forest, Bracknell – great for all levels as they have graded purpose built trails. There is also a fabulous play area too for afterwards.
  9. Down’s Link disused railway line – starting at Bramley. A great, flat trail for all the family to ride. Take a picnic or cycle all the way to Shoreham (I’ve done this in 2 days with my kids).

 

Cycle Coaching

I am a British Cycling Level 2 coach and is very keen to help your little ones develop their confidence on their bikes so that they are safe when out and about. I run small groups during the warmer months in the holidays. I also offer 1:1 sessions for those children who are not quite managing to get onto 2 wheels independently. Please contact me for more details through the contact form here.

Horsley Heels on Wheels

Horsley Heels on Wheels is back on track to ride out every Friday morning from Quaich after school drop off. Ladies, if you have a road bike and want to join us, please do. We usually ride for around 2-3 hours (depending on how long we stop for coffee). Many women are worried that they won’t be fast enough to keep up or that they don’t have the right kit. We have a ‘no drop’ policy so that everyone rides together. The more you ride, the fitter you’ll get so now is a good time to join us. This is an exciting year as there are a few events we’ll be doing. Come along and meet some great ladies in lycra!!

I aim is to have two groups in the future of varying average speeds but with equal amounts of enthusiasm. We also have a few ladies who are keen to mountain bike so this is also an option for those who really don’t want to ride on skinny tyres!

All the rides are supported and guided by myself where safety is paramount. I can also handle simple mechanical issues and even feed you gels / bars if you run out of energy too!

Ziggy dogwalking copy

Some of the best places to walk 10-20 minutes from Horsley

By MICHELLE SCOTT

Following on from my post last month on my favourite walks within 5-10 minutes of Horsley, this month I look at some of my favourite routes a little further afield, many of which are already listed in the Horsley Hub under Out and About: Exploring the Outdoors: Walking and Trail Running.

Francis Corner

This can be accessed by either parking off the road at the top of Green Dene as the road bends round to the right (there is a right hand bend sign) or in the dedicated car park further along Coombe Lane but before the road joins Staple Lane. The car park is tucked back on itself on the left hand side as you approach up the hill from Horsley. This is another great walk for buggies and bikes and you can follow either the easy access trail or walk along the path in either direction until you reach the North Downs Way and then either walk to White Down or to Newlands Corner following the signs.

West Hangar

This has a large car park at the top of Staple Lane on the right hand side. You can walk along the North Downs Way to Silent Pool or Newlands Corner from the car park or you can take a track south from the car park which goes along the chalk escarpment of the North Downs. It can be very muddy in the winter though!

 

Newlands Corner

This has stunning views across to Shere and Albury. It is a very popular place and has a large car park and café which does great hot chocolate. There is a great walk from here to St Martha’s church along the North Downs Way or the disabled trail through the woods behind the car park is buggy and bike friendly.

White Downs

This is a must in the spring to see the carpets of bluebells which grow here. There is a really lovely self-guided trail from the car park which takes you through the woods and then left down onto the North Downs Way which goes left along the chalk escarpment with great views over Gomshall, Abinger and Westcott.

Polesden Lacey

This is another NT property but you access the numerous estate walks even if you are not a NT member but you will need to pay for the car park. You can buy a map of the estate walks from the shop and there are lots of very well signed trails for you to explore which can take you right up to the top of Ranmore Common. There are often sheep in the fields so you will need to take care when walking in or near these fields. It has the benefit of not one but 2 coffee shops!!!

Norbury Park

This is another favourite of mine. You can park in the car park just off the Bocketts Farm roundabout on the A246 or in the Bocketts Farm car park itself (with easy access to the teashop there for a coffee afterwards!). There are numerous trails you can follow and if you are feeling adventurous you can link Norbury Park with Polesden Lacey (see the route of the Bookham 10km run). If you walk down from the car park and keep straight on at the first crossroads at the bottom of the hill and then take a left up the large chalk/gravel path as the land opens out you will come to Norbury Park Sawmill. If you turn right here along a bridleway this opens out to some stunning view of Mickleham and Box Hill.

Ranmore Common

There is a lovely walk from the main car park at the top of Ranmore Common called the Denbies Hillside Walk. You can pick up a map from the information kiosk in the car park. Rather than do the circular walk down to the bottom of the valley and back up again you can also just walk along the North Downs Way here either towards Box Hill or towards White Down. There are a couple of smaller NT free car parks on the right before the large car park which you can cut down onto the North Downs Way from as well.

Box Hill

There are lots of amazing walks here – some buggy friendly (The Natural Play Trail walk) and some not (the walk from the Stepping Stones up to the top of Box Hill). The NT have leaflets with maps of all the walks and the Natural Play Trail is always a big hit with my boys (although it can get pretty muddy in the winter!). There are stunning views from the top of Box Hill and the café does brilliant cakes (and much needed ice creams in the summer)!

Esher Common/Black Pond

This is another lovely place to walk, especially in the winter as the trails are quite sandy and not really ever too muddy. You can park in the main park off Portsmouth Road (on the left as you cross the A3 as you head away from Cobham towards Esher). Cross the main road and then walk into Esher Common. If you walk in a straight line you come to Black Pond which is a great place for dogs to swim. There are lots of different trails to explore although I normally do a loop past the pond and then cross the bridge over the A3 then take the next big left and then at the t-junction left again until you cross back over the A3 further down and then a left back to Black Pond along one of the sandy trails. You can walk from Esher Common into Oxshott Common which is also lovely and can be accessed via car parks off Sandy Lane or there is a car park on Littleheath Lane/Kimberley Ride in Oxshott. There is a signposted trail called Trail 2000 which is a circular walk.

There is also a lovely walk from the Esher Pond car park on Portsmouth Road into the woods that back onto the car park and you can then walk along the River Mole and head down a bridleway to Garson’s Farm and back along West Hill.

Ziggy dogwalking copy

Some of the best places to walk within 5-10 mins of Horsley

By MICHELLE SCOTT

I have owned my dog Ziggy for over 11 years and we both love our daily walks in the amazing Surrey countryside on our doorstep.

We had only just moved to Horsley when we decided to get a puppy so I didn’t know the local area at all. I bought an OS Explorer Map and every day I would drive to a different car park shown on the map that was near some woods, a common or a river.

I wanted to share with you some of my favourite places for walking – many of which are already listed in the Horsley Hub under Out and About: Exploring the Outdoors: Walking and Trail Running.

  1. Great Ridings Wood

We walk here from our house through Effingham Common as unfortunately there isn’t any public parking near to the woods. There is a large bridleway cutting through the middle of the woods called Old London Road which is buggy and bike friendly. There are lots of walks off to the side of the bridleway and 2 guided walks as well which are worth investigating. If you continue along Old London Road onto Dirtham Lane and then cross over the A246 there is another bridleway which will take you into the underused Oldlands Woods where there are many Lovelace Bridges to explore – and you can cross over the Dorking Arch to reach Dick Fock Common as well with more Lovelace Bridges to see.

2. Sheepleas

Sheepleas works so well for dog walking as it is easy to get to and there are 3 large carparks at St Mary’s Church, Shere Road and Green Dene. I have pushed a buggy around here, although it can be quite hilly and some of the tracks can be quite stony. There are many different routes so you never get bored and again there is a self-guided trail you can follow. Liz Crooke has provided a great route in her blog on Sheepleas in the Horsley Hub January newsletter.

3. Bookham Common

I use the free car park at Hundred Pound Bridge accessed from Downside Road by the Cricketers but you can also park in the pay and display car park close to Bookham train station. You can also walk/cycle/run to Bookham from the bridleway just past Effingham Junction train station.

This is a great walk for buggies and bikes as the trails are wide, flat and not very muddy:

There are maps in the information kiosks in the car parks with self-guided walks. We usually go on a loop from the Downside car park to the Merritts Cottage crossroads and then carry on past the Hollows and Eastern ponds and then take a right towards the Bookham car park and then right again back to the big Isle of Wight pond. We love going in the spring and seeing the swans building their nest and then later watching the cygnets and ducklings swimming in the pond from the bird hide at Upper Eastern pond.

4. Hatchlands Park

This is a National Trust property which has a great well-maintained perimeter walk (approx. 5km) which is suitable for bikes and buggies. It does have cattle roaming freely in the central fields so you may need to put your dog on a lead if it is scared of livestock. It also has the benefit of a coffee shop!

Liz Crooke has described another great route through here, from the King William pub in West Horsley to the Queen’s Head pub in Clandon.

Next month Michelle will be sharing her favourite walks within 10-20 minutes of Horsley.

Sheepleas walk e1515068464350

A stroll around Sheepleas

by LIZ CROOKE

Distance: Approx 3.5km (if you don’t get lost!!)

Time: Approx 1 hr (depending on how much you play!)

Ability: Easy (although one way is a steady incline)

Buggy friendly: Yes, but it can get really muddy. I tried it with my Uppababy on a muddy day and it struggled. Be best if you have an all terrain buggy

This route is fairly tricky to describe as there are lots of cross roads and different ways you can go at various points. I will do my best to describe the correct way. However, if you have a fairly good sense of direction then you should be ok. Otherwise there are a lot of dog walkers who can point you in the right direction if you get lost!

Route:

Start in the car park behind St Mary’s church on the A246.

From the car park walk with your back to the church, through the car park, out of the exit (with the church behind you.) There is a fairly obvious exit into Sheepleas. Make sure you take the gate on the left side, not the one straight in front of you.

You’ll know which is the correct gate as there is a sign to the left of it about dog walkers on Sheepleas.

Walk through here, onto Cowslip Meadow, which is marked by a name sign called Cowslip Meadow! Walk through here, keeping to the right and into a 100m tunnel of trees at the end, into a wide open space.

Follow the obvious path straight through the middle. Go straight ahead through what I call ‘kissing bar’ (like a kissing gate without the gate, presumably to keep cyclists out.  The bar should have the ‘Horsley Jubilee trail’ badge on it.

Follow the sign for the Shere road car park at the next junction and walk through the kissing bars saying ‘no bicycles’.

Stick to the fairly obvious path on the right and when you get to the end you’ll see a post on the left saying ‘Jubilee trail’ again. Take the right fork (don’t turn right, it’s about the 2 o’clock angle) and walk up the fairly steep hill.

You’ll see a brick ‘monument’ at the top of the hill. From here, on the right day you can get a great view of London.

Once you’ve stopped and waved Hello to the Queen, continue on past the monument and cut diagonally across the picnic area through the fabulous circle of tree (great for playing with kids) to a wooded area.

This bit is confusing so read carefully: Once through the wooded area, take the left fork for about 15 m. Turn left, walk 10 m, then take the right fork. Follow this path for about 10 mins. It takes you past lots of bramble bushes (great for blackberrying at the right time of year.) It loops around on a wide loop to the left, taking you back towards the main open space you crossed previously.

At a ‘junction’ you turn right – it’s fairly obvious – and you are essentially walking parallel to the open space you walked through previously (it’s on your left). Walk down here for a few hundred metres then turn left which takes you back to Cowslip meadow.l You then need to retrace your steps through Cowslip meadow and back to the car park.

If somehow you go the wrong way and end up continuing down towards the road again, it’s not a disaster as you will most likely just end up coming out onto the A246 close to the Duke of Wellington and you can just turn left onto the main road and walk back to the church.

Good luck!

Walk to Black swan

East Horsley to the Black Swan, Ockham

Distance: Approx 6.5km round trip

Time: Approx 90 mins one way

Ability: Medium (fairly easy terrain but the way there is all uphill with one quite steep stretch)

Buggy friendly (as long as your buggy doesn’t mind getting muddy!!) But be aware there is a stretch of road at the end for about 200-300 metres with no pavement

Make your way to Green Lane (off Ockham Road North). Opposite Green lane is a lane signposted public footpath. The lane is called Whitehill Lane. Walk up this lane. From the beginning of Whitehill Lane to where you turn off to walk through a wood is approx. 1.3 miles. You can drive up this lane and there are a couple of place you could leave your car to shorten the journey if you need to.

Walk up the lane almost as far as you can go (ignore the bridleway signs off to the right and then the left) and about 15 metres before a gate that says ‘Private, no public access’ which leads to a farm, take the right turn signposted public footpath. The takes you into the wood.

Follow the fairly wide path straight ahead for about 10-15 mins through the wood. at the end of this path you will see a little bridge to cross and a house ahead on the left.

Cross the bridge and walk around to the left. You’ll see a farm to the right but go around the left corner.

Walk past with the house on your left and you’ll be on a paved lane with fields either side. Follow this lane for about another 1.5miles or 20-25 mins. It will take you past a field with horses on your right and maize fields on your left. Continue to follow this and you will eventually walk up a very steep incline which is 200-300 metres long.

At the top of this hill continue walking straight ahead and you will see the road. When you get to the road, turn right.

Walk along the edge of the road for about 300 metres and you will see the Black Swan Ockham straight ahead of you.

Enjoy a well earned drink!

To return, simply retrace your steps!

King William IV pub to Queens Head Pub (and back – a circular route)

Distance: Approx 5km (3 miles)

Time: Approx 90 mins (if you just walked there and back!)

Ability: Easy

Buggy friendly

Starting at the King William IV pub turn left out of the pub and walk down the road approx 100 metres and take the left hand turn into Pincott lane (be aware there are no pavements on this road so watch out for oncoming cars)

At the end of this lane cross over the road and walk through the black wrought iron gates facing you (the small gate to the right is permanently unlocked)

Walk up the stony lane to the end where you will see a locked iron gate and a wooden gate facing you  – enter through the wooden gate into the bottom of Hatchlands park. Be aware that this is National trust property.

Walk straight ahead towards another large wooden gate (locked) about 200 metres ahead. There is a kissing gate to the right of it – go through there. Follow this path up the hill and you will see on your right a wooden children’s  play area called ‘Wizard Wix’s Warren’ This is a lovely place for children of all ages, consisting of a mini obstacle course, fantastic authentic tree house, picnic tables – look out for the squirrel/owl houses on the tree as you first enter. Dogs are not allowed in here.

If you don’t stop there, continue straight ahead until you come to another large locked wooden gate with a smaller unlocked wooden gate to the right. Enter the inner park here.

Walk on the grassy path you see straight ahead of you for about 200 metres – until you reach the road, then veering slightly to the right, follow the road all the way through the park – keeping the house on your left the whole time.

About 300 metres up the road on your right there is a lovely old hollowed out tree that my little one loves to play shop in – we call it his lollipop tree!

Continue to follow that road through the park – you can veer off to the left if you like and stop to feed the ducks at the duck pond.

Once you reach the cattle grid at the far end of the park, cross this and follow the road veering right. You are now out of the park and into Clandon. Continue walking straight ahead for about 200 metres until you reach a lovely little church which you pass on your right as you follow this road – finally reaching the Queens Head pub!

Have a well earned drink and maybe a bite to eat!

To return, leave the pub and head back the way you came towards the church. This time, follow the pavement around the left hand bend where you have the church on your left. Once you get around this left hand turn, you will see an entrance to what looks like a little parking area on your right. It is immediately on the left of  ‘The Old Post Office’. Go down this path (it looks like someone’s garden but don’t worry it’s public!) You will see a sign that says ‘Tunmore Fields were presented to the village in 1948…’ and it will take you past some lovely little cottages.

Continue to follow this footpath and it runs along the side of Hatchlands park (but not inside it). You will walk past the duck pond on your right and you can follow this path along the whole of the side of Hatchlands, going straight ahead along this path for approx 1.5 miles.

Eventually you will see a 2 large gates which you need to go straight through (and if you look to the left here you should notice the train line). Once you’re through these gates, follow this path around to the right and continue to follow the path for approx 0.5 miles. You cross 3 or 4 more gates, going straight through them and then you will end up back at the entrance to Hatchlands you came through at the beginning of the walk.

Turn left here and return back down the stony lane to the black wrought iron gates. Cross the road, walk up Pincott Lane, turn right onto The Street and you will see the King William IV ahead of you.