A gently and easy circular walk starting from Puttenham Common, passing through farmland and woodland. The walk passes the Palladian mansion Puttenham Priory, and through the village of Puttenham along the foot of the Hog's Back ridge. This walk is published through a collaboration with the 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) It is worth taking time before you start the walk to enjoy the views from the car park. There is an extensive view south to the sandy heights of Hindhead and Blackdown and this is a popular spot for picnicking.
To begin the walk, leave the car park via the vehicle entrance back to Suffield Lane. Cross over the road with care and go ahead past Top Rodsall Cottage on your left. Follow the path as it turns left behind the cottage and continue down some steps to a T-junction with a sunken track. Turn left and then almost immediately turn right along the footpath through the woodland edge.
At the junction of paths, continue in the same direction on the path marked with a yellow arrow. Follow this path with an open field to the left. At the edge of the woodland, pass through a kissing gate ahead and continue on the grass track between open fields (note: the area to the right is used for rearing game birds so take particular care with dogs).
At the end of the grass track, cross the low stile ahead to join a narrow fenced path. The path leads you alongside a second (disused) stile and then swings left (over an area that can get quite boggy) to reach the road (Puttenham Lane) via a third stile (or the gate alongside).
(1) Turn left along the road, taking care of any traffic, for 150m to reach a kissing gate and field gate on the left. Turn left through the kissing gate and follow the path along the left-hand boundary of the field. The path swings left, right and left again to reach a stile at the top of the rise. Pass alongside this (with the fence still on the left) then bear diagonally right (at about 2 o'clock) across the field to each a stile between oak trees. Cross this stile and walk at about 11 o'clock across this next field. Beyond the brow of the rise, follow the path straight ahead (with views to the church and Puttenham Priory within the village) to cross a stile into a belt of woodland. Follow the fenced path along the edge of the woodland belt. Beyond the trees, cross the next stile ahead then follow the fenced path with a large pond visible through the hedge on the left. The path leads you out via a stile to the village road, Suffield Lane.
(2) To the right you will see the entrance gates for Puttenham Priory. Cross over and turn right along the road edge (taking extreme care of traffic here) to reach the T-junction. Cross over with care to reach the pavement in front of the Good Intent pub.
The village has some of the last remaining hop gardens in Surrey. Oast houses were built here in the nineteenth century to dry the hops before they were transported to breweries in Guildford and London. The last oast houses were in use until the early 1970s when they were converted into houses. (If you wish to see the oast houses and the church you can take a small detour by turning right at this T-junction).
(3) Standing on the pavement facing the pub, turn left along The Street. Soon you will be forced to swap to the left-hand pavement.
The long street village of Puttenham stands on the spring line dividing the chalk of the Hogs Back to the north from the Greensand to the south. Local chalk and sandstone have both been used in the construction of many of the older cottages.
Ignore the first footpath signed off to the left, but at this point it is a good idea to glance behind you for a good view of the medieval church of St. John the Baptist. Keep ahead and soon you will be forced to swap back to the right-hand pavement. Where the road swings right, fork left onto Lascombe Lane.
(4) Lascombe Lane forms part of the North Downs Way. This National Trail crosses the northern edge of Puttenham Common and continues up Lascombe Lane and through Puttenham village. This long distance footpath runs for 153 miles through the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It starts in Farnham on the Surrey-Hampshire border, and ends at Dover. It is particularly popular with walkers due to the impressive scenery along the route, and Newlands Corner and Box Hill are well-known local viewpoints and picnicking spots.
At the fork, leave the North Downs Way, and take the left-hand branch onto Highfield Lane (heading uphill). Follow the lane passing horse paddocks on the left (these were holding adorable miniature ponies as we passed). From this point there is an excellent view beyond the paddocks (back to your left) of the Palladian mansion Puttenham Priory.
In 1223 the manor of Puttenham was divided between two sisters, one of whom gave her half of the manor to the Augustinian Priory of Newark near Ripley. In 1761 Thomas Parker, the then owner of the manor of Puttenham Priory, built the present house and incorporated some of the older manor house within it.
Continue up to the top of the hill where you will find the property, Lower Lascombe, on the left.
(5) Ignore the footpath signed right here, simply keep ahead on the lane for 160m to a point where the lane bears right. Fork left here (at about 11 o'clock) to join the signed footpath across the crop field. Cross the stile and continue in the same direction across the next field (which may be holding cattle). Cross the next stile, go over the tarmac drive and keep ahead to join the fenced footpath passing the red brick and tile property on the left. The path leads you through a section of woodland, managed by The Woodland Trust. You will come to a kissing gate ahead.
(6) Go through the kissing gate and turn left along the sandy track. Keep straight ahead at the crossroads of paths to pass a cottage on the left. The path climbs to pass an impressive square brick property, Murtmoor, also on the left. Keep ahead along the main track, ignoring any small paths into Puttenham Common on the right. Surrey Wildlife Trust manages the 263 hectares of Puttenham Common. Constant grazing over the centuries maintained the open heathland which developed on the acid sandy soil. When grazing ceased, trees (especially birch) invaded parts of the heath. However it is still an important area of now scarce lowland heath and part of the common is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Eventually you will see a smaller path forking right which leads you past a row of small wooden posts and to the car park where the walk began. (Don't worry if you miss the fork, the main track will lead you to the car park vehicle entrance anyway).(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 341ft - Car park
1 : mi 0.79 - alt. 236ft - Puttenham Lane
2 : mi 1.72 - alt. 302ft - Puttenham Priory.
3 : mi 1.77 - alt. 305ft - Pub
4 : mi 2.08 - alt. 341ft - Fork
5 : mi 2.32 - alt. 397ft - Footpath sign
6 : mi 2.78 - alt. 371ft - Kissing gate
D/A : mi 3.29 - alt. 341ft - Car park
The walk includes several climbs and descents throughout. The paths can get quite muddy so stout boots are recommended. You will need to negotiate several kissing gates, some steps and 9 stiles along the way (all the stiles have adjacent dog gates or gaps in the fencing alongside that should be suitable for most dogs to pass through). You may come across livestock in some of the fields, including at least one field which may hold cattle, so take care with dogs.
If you are looking for refreshments, the Good Intent pub in Puttenham village is about half way round the route.
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.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.