A gently undulating walk starting from Effingham Junction rail station, this route passes through woodland, farmland and over several commons. This walk is published through a collaboration with the Surrey County Council. The walk includes a few gentle gradients. The route crosses heavy clay fields and wet low-lying meadows so good walking boots are required all year and wellingtons are recommended in the winter months (when some sections can be very muddy or have standing water).
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D/A) The walk starts from Effingham Junction train station. The London and South Western Railway Company built the line through Cobham to Effingham in 1880 and this was extended to Guildford five years later. The station is 1.5 miles away from the village and only limited development has taken place around it. Leave the station platforms (or car park) up the steps to reach Effingham Common Road. Turn right along the pavement for 100m, passing the ticket office on the right and the bus stop on the left. At this point, cross the road to turn left through the white gates opposite. After just a short distance (about 30m), turn right onto a public footpath (marked with a yellow arrow) and follow it through the woods. Note: this path, like many along the route, can get very muddy at times. As you emerge from the woodland, you will come to a junction with a grass track. Look ahead and you will see two wide gates, walk to the right-hand of these gates where you will find a half-hidden stile.
(1) Cross this stile and keep ahead on the fenced track with the pretty Norwood Farm visible through the fence on your right. Cross the stile ahead to enter a wider grass section with a hedge to the left and a stream to the right. Follow the path staying close to the stream on the right and this leads you alongside a disused stile and through the brick arch under the railway line
Pass by the next disused stile to join the fenced grass path. You may be lucky enough to see a herd of llamas in one of the fields alongside. Keep ahead to go over stile/footbridge to enter a section of coppiced woodland. Follow the path through the woodland (note: you may need to detour through the trees to the left to avoid fallen trees or standing water, but simply make your way back to the main path when you can). You will emerge to a T-junction with fields ahead. Turn right to enter Banks Common (marked with a National Trust sign).
(2) Bank's Common is an ancient common which was presented to the National Trust in 1925 by Mr R. Calburn, the Lord of the Manor. It is thought to be named after the family of Thomas Bankes who lived in one of the cottages on the common during the eighteenth century. The National Trust also manages adjacent Little Bookham Common and Great Bookham Common, which consist of wet, low-lying meadows, scrub, woodland and twelve ponds. Follow the track ahead along the edge of Banks Common (ignoring any smaller paths off left and right). Eventually the track passes Banks Farm on the left, and then swings right to pass some whitewashed cottages on the right.
(3) A little further along you will come to a signed staggered crossroads of paths within the track. Take the right branch to join the public footpath signed to Little Bookham. Pass alongside the cattle grid and you will pass the edge of Little Bookham Common on the left. Continue along the track and you will pass the thatched property Oaktree Cottage (including a thatched well) on the left. Stay on the track for some distance passing horse paddocks and then allotments on the right. Follow the road as it bears left, then turn immediately right along Maddox Lane. Stay on the track over the railway bridge, then keep ahead (ignoring the footpath on the right) to reach a junction with a residential road. Cross over to take the footpath along the verge opposite, passing a number of houses on the right. Just beyond the property Rickleden, turn right onto the signed footpath which passes between gardens.
(4) Cross over the residential road, Burnhams Road, and then keep ahead down the private road opposite (don't worry, this is a public right of way) signed to Wildwood, Woodside and Hazelwood. Just before the entrance gates to Wildwood ahead, turn left through the gate to join the footpath between tall hedges. The path continues with a stretch of coppiced woodland on the right. Further along, you are forced to swing right onto a path through the centre of the woodland. The path widens to a grass track and leads you to a T-junction. Turn left up the track for 30m to reach a second T-junction. At this point, you can take an optional detour to Effingham village (for refreshments or bus stops) should you wish. To do this, turn left at this T-junction and keep ahead on the track (Water Lane). Coming up around Farm Cottage on the left, bear right along the enclosed path and continue between the hedge and the field to reach Lower Road and the bus stops. Turn right along Lower Road to pass the Howard of Effingham School. The Plough pub and Sir Douglas Haig Hotel are near the junction between Lower Road and The Street. Return to this point when you are ready to continue. The village of Effingham is thought to be a Saxon settlement. It sits on the dip slope of the North Downs, along the spring line where the chalk of the Downs meets the water-logged clay. King Edward IV granted Effingham Manor to Lord William Howard. The second Lord Howard of Effingham, Charles, was the Lord High Admiral of England and in command of the fleet which defeated the Spanish Armada in 1588. He was a Commissioner at the trials of Lord Essex, Mary Queen of Scots, and the Gunpowder Plot conspirators. Another notable Effingham resident was Sir Barnes-Wallis, who invented the famous Dambuster bomb used in the Second World War.
(5) To continue the main walk, turn right. (Note: If you are starting the walk having arrived by bus in Effingham village, take the narrow footpath north from Lower Road just to the left of the garden centre. Follow this to Water Lane and bear left then follow the path ahead and then bearing right. Stay on the track as it swings left around a horse paddock. Now follow the directions from this point.) Follow the track swinging right with a field on your left and woodland on your right for 260m to reach a gate ahead. Do NOT go through this gate, instead turn left through the V-shaped squeeze stile into the horse paddock. Walk ahead with the fence to your right. By the large oak tree, keep straight ahead through a second squeeze stile and continue with the fence on the right. A third squeeze stile (or at least the remains of one) leads you into the corner of a field. Cross this diagonally right and in the far corner you will find a wide gate with a large lake visible beyond.
The lakes here were created around 1980, and are an important breeding area for many species of wildfowl as well as a large flock of Canada Geese. Pass through the gate and walk a few paces ahead to reach the lake. Bear left along the gravel path and go through the wide gate into the horse paddock. Keep directly ahead (heading just to the left of the large trees visible ahead). Here you will find another squeeze stile. Cross this into the next paddock and walk right (between 2 and 3 o'clock) to reach the furthest field corner. A squeeze stile and small sleeper bridge leads you out to a stone track within the lakes complex. Turn left then immediately right to join the footpath between two lakes. Beyond the lakes another squeeze stile leads you into a horse paddock. Keep ahead (uphill), passing to the left of the single oak tree, then follow the fence line on the left. Turn left over a metal ladder stile (or use the gate alongside) to join the residential road, Lower Farm Road.
(6) Continue down to the end of Lower Farm Road where you will reach a T-junction with Effingham Common Road. Turn right along the pavement and after just 35m cross over the road to turn left down the driveway for Tyrrells and Squirrels. Just before reaching the houses ahead, fork right across a grassy area where you will pick up a waymarker post marking the public footpath.
Follow this pretty narrow path between properties and you will emerge out to a T-junction with a track. Turn right and then immediately left onto a path through the edge of the woodland. You will emerge to another track with the cricket field directly ahead.
This land, known as North Common, was shared between the Manors of Effingham and Effingham East Court. It has never been enclosed and is now managed by Guildford Borough Council. In 1955 Mr Calburn, who had given Banks Common to the National Trust, gave an area of the North Common to the Parish Council for use as a cricket pitch. Four people still hold commoners rights and are summoned by the Parish Council each year to exercise those rights which have existed since medieval times and include the right to graze animals and to cut wood.
(7) Go straight ahead across the cricket field, passing close to the cricket pavilion on the left and continuing to pass the practice nets on the right. In the corner you will find a stile which leads you onto the edge of Effingham Common.
Keep straight ahead over the centre of the common, heading for the tree line opposite. Just before you reach the line of trees, turn right keeping the trees on your left. Where the tree line swings away to the left, keep directly ahead and then bear slightly left towards the bungalows visible at the common entrance.
Cross the small bridge over the ditch to reach the road in front of the bungalows. Turn right and almost immediately the road dwindles to become a stone path passing the engine sheds on the left. The path leads you back to Effingham Junction Station on the left, where the walk began.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 194ft - Effingham Junction train station
1 : mi 0.4 - alt. 171ft - Stile
2 : mi 1.01 - alt. 131ft - Bank's Common
3 : mi 1.36 - alt. 118ft - Bank's Farm
4 : mi 2.16 - alt. 177ft - Residential road
5 : mi 2.6 - alt. 203ft - Oaken Wood
6 : mi 3.3 - alt. 157ft - End of Lower Farm Road
7 : mi 3.79 - alt. 180ft - Cricket field
D/A : mi 4.33 - alt. 194ft - Effingham Junction train station
You will need to negotiate some gates plus 11 stiles (all of which have gaps alongside which should be suitable for most dogs to pass through). Several of the fields that you cross will be holding horses so take care of dogs.
There are no pubs or shops along the main route. There is the choice of an optional detour into Effingham village where you will find The Plough pub and the Sir Douglas Haig Hotel near the junction between Lower Road and The Street. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Boxhill & Reigate. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways 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.
A circular walk exploring the woodlands and open spaces of East and West Horsley and Effingham, including Great Ridings Wood, Oldlands Wood and the Sheepleas. The route also takes you past a number of the beautiful flint bridges built by Lord Lovelace in the 1800s. This walk is published through a collaboration with Surrey County Council.
The Horsley Diamond Jubilee Trail is a circular walk through the Parishes of East & West Horsley and Effingham using mainly public footpaths and bridleways to link up woods and open spaces with public easy access, including: The Forest, Effingham Common, Great Ridings Wood, Oldlands Wood, Effingham Forest and the Sheepleas.
A circular walk from Cobham, taking you through the beautiful countryside around Downside and discovering the local history and wildlife. This walk is published through a collaboration with the Surrey County Council.
A fairly easy walk around Norbury Park, a mix of woodland, chalk grassland and farmed fields. This walk is published through a collaboration with the Surrey County Council. The walk includes several long, but very gentle gradients. Most of the paths are firm stone tracks, but a few sections in the second half of the walk can get very muddy at times.
A circular walk from the village of Ripley, taking in Papercourt Reservoir, open fields and a short stretch of the River Wey Navigation. This walk is published through a collaboration with the Surrey County Council. The walk is almost entirely flat. The paths are all unmade, following the edge of waterways and fields, and can get very muddy at times so good boots are required, or wellingtons with grips in the winter months.
A slightly challenging walk around Norbury Park, a mix of woodland, chalk grassland and farmed fields. This walk is published through a collaboration with the Surrey County Council. The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout including a few reasonably steep gradients. The route follows paths through woodland and clay fields which can get very muddy. You will need to negotiate some steps and kissing gates but there are no stiles.
You will discover a river that has carved a route through the chalk of the North Downs, some of the best ancient yew and box woodlands in Europe and historic parkland that has inspired famous writers and artists through the centuries. Step off the train at Leatherhead Station and you will soon pick up the silver metal arrows that will guide you along this walk to Dorking. This walk is published through a collaboration with the Surrey County Council.
The ground is reasonably level and there are no stiles, but conditions will vary according to the weather and boots or stout footwear is recommended. The majority of the walk is in woodland, but there are contrasting open areas too. Its character will vary with the seasons, so it is worth repeating at different times of the year. There are several busy roads in the area and the route also crosses the Leatherhead Golf Course. Special care is therefore needed in places on the route.
For more walks, use our search engine.
The GPS track and description are the property of the author.