A circular walk from Godalming Station in Surrey, exploring the valley of the River Wey, west of the town including the medieval stone bridge in Eashing. This walk is published through collaboration with Surrey County Council.
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) Leave Godalming rail station via the main exit (on Platform 2), cross the road and turn left along the pavement. Where the road bends right, fork left to join the tarmac footpath ahead. Go straight on, crossing over the side road Westbrook Road, and then take the next left, Borough Road, passing the Church of St Peter and St Paul on your right. This church has an elegant spire of timber framing with lead.
Just beyond the bus stop, fork left onto the stone public footpath and follow this across the wooden footbridge over the River Wey. Beyond the bridge, keep straight ahead, passing some offices on your left. Rejoin the pavement and follow this as it swings left to lead you under the railway bridge.
(1) About 20 metres beyond the railway bridge, turn left onto the signed public footpath and follow this with a stream running on your right. Cross over the entrance drive for Westbrook Mills and keep ahead to continue on the tarmac footpath. Further along, the tarmac path runs alongside the River Wey on your left and then later leads you over a wooden footbridge with a beautiful weir across to the left.
Further still, at the fork, stay with the main surfaced path which swings right (away from the river) leading you between sections of marsh, under powerlines, over a footbridge and then uphill between houses to reach a junction with the road, Peperharow Road.
(2) Turn left along the road and, at the end, keep straight ahead on the public footpath into Milton Wood (with a wall running on your right). Go through the staggered barrier ahead and continue on the obvious path with the woodland sloping up to your right and down to your left. You will be able to see the River Wey meandering in the valley bottom to your left.
Stay with this path which leads you over several boardwalks and via flights of steps, taking care as it can be very muddy and slippery in part. Eventually, you will emerge from the woodland via another staggered barrier. Stay with the path ahead, passing a large property on your left, and passing through a gateway to reach the tarmac access drive. Bear right along this drive and continue only until you reach the corner of a garden wall on your right.
(3) Do NOT turn right here, instead keep ahead for a few paces and then turn left onto the signed bridleway into the woodland. Stay with the main bridleway which climbs steadily, swinging left and then continues along a ridge within the woodland. Beyond the woodland, the bridleway leads you under power lines and continues with a horse paddock on the left.
Just beyond an old brick pillbox, pass through the wide wooden gate and keep directly ahead on the concrete drive with horse paddocks still immediately on your left. Continue ahead, past the stables and a couple of houses, to reach the T-junction with the road, Lower Eashing.
(4) Cross over and turn left along the lane (taking care of traffic) and soon you will be able to join the right-hand pavement. As the pavement ends, continue along the road edge (taking care) and follow this over Eashing Bridges. Across to the right you will have a good view of Eashing Mill, which produced paper from 1658 to the 1870s and today houses offices.
This medieval double bridge is the best of a series on the River Wey between Farnham and Guildford, probably built by the monks of Waverley Abbey in the 1200s. Of particular interest are the downstream cutwaters which are rounded to prevent eddying (or turbulence) of the water and consequent wearing down of the piers. Clearly the monks knew how to build bridges to last! Today the bridges are owned by the National Trust.
At the end of the second bridge, take a moment to look to the right where you will see the mill race still flowing beneath the old mill buildings. If you are looking for refreshments at this point, you will be able to see The Stag pub about 200 metres up the road to the right. To continue the walk, turn left to join the signed public footpath running immediately alongside the River Wey on your left. There is a bench here should you wish to pause and enjoy the bridge and river wildlife.
The path climbs first steadily and then more steeply to reach a kissing gate. Go through this into a pasture (which may be holding cattle) and follow the path directly ahead to reach a stile (just to the left of the white house). Cross this and continue a few paces forward to reach the road.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The next 500 metres of the route follows the edge of this road, which can be busy and has a number of bends. For your safety use the grass verges where possible and swap between the two road edges to ensure you are visible to the traffic. Turn left along the road, follow it around a sharp right-hand bend (with Eashing Farm on the left) and continue past the complex of barns on the right. 150 metres later, turn left into Halfway Lane (signed as a public bridleway).
(5) Follow Halfway Lane, a tarmac access lane, for some distance. You will pass the Fitzpatrick Vet Hospital on your left (which you may recognise from the TV show, Supervet) and then come to a junction of paths alongside a single cottage, Far Cottage.
Stay with the main bridleway lane which swings right and then left to pass another property on your right. Keep ahead as the bridleway lane narrows to a stone path heading downhill through a tunnel of trees and follow this all the way to the bottom. At the end, join the tarmac lane which swings steadily left, passing between old cottages. Within one of the gardens on your right, look out for the old monkey puzzle tree which has grown significantly taller than the cottage itself.
Continue directly ahead, with the rail line running on your right and you will come to the rear of Godalming Station on your right, where the walk began. Turn right through the gates onto Platform 1. If you need to get to Platform 2 or the car park, turn left along the platform to reach the underpass that will lead you under the railway.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 167ft - Godalming rail station
1 : mi 0.31 - alt. 128ft - Railway bridge
2 : mi 0.88 - alt. 164ft - Road
3 : mi 1.51 - alt. 197ft - Signed bridleway
4 : mi 2.3 - alt. 154ft - Lower Eashing
5 : mi 3.02 - alt. 256ft - Halfway Lane
D/A : mi 4.09 - alt. 167ft - Godalming rail station
The walk has a few gentle climbs and descents throughout. It follows unmade bridleways and paths for the most part, which can be very uneven underfoot and can also get very muddy at times so good boots are a must (or wellingtons with grips in the wet winter months). There are several boardwalks, some steps, a gate, some staggered barriers and one stile (which has access alongside for dogs). There is a section of about 500 metres along the edge of a fairly busy road, so the walk is not recommended for young children. One of the fields may have livestock.
Godalming itself has many options for refreshments at the start or end of the walk. Ordinance Survey Map: Explorer 145 Guildford & Farnham. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Please respect people's privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.
Enjoy this trek and opportunity to dive back into nature and feel that connection once more.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
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Moderate level of difficulty (steep climb to hilltop).
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