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!