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.
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) Standing in the Ripley Green car park with the toilets to your left, walk ahead to reach the access lane (with the High Street junction across to your left). Cross over the access lane and take the vehicle track ahead. Keep right at the fork, passing a row of houses on your left and a section of Ripley Green on your right.
When the vehicle track ends, simply continue ahead along the grass path, staying close to the line of houses on the left. You will emerge to a junction with the B367 Newark Lane, with the beautiful red brick arch lodge gates of Dunsborough Park on your right. If you glance through the first arch you will be able to see the stone eagle-topped secondary gates and a statue of Britannia just beyond this.
Turn right along the pavement and continue out of the village, crossing a stream and passing the entrance for Homewood Farm on your right. Follow the boundary wall for this farm on your right and, where a grass verge begins alongside the pavement, turn left across the road with care to take a narrow dirt path on the opposite side. Ignore the stile on your left, simply follow the path which leads you to the northern end of Papercourt Reservoir.
(1) Turn left along the waterside path, following the path in a clockwise direction with the reservoir on your right. The reservoir is a popular spot for rowing, fishing and dinghy sailing so there will be plenty for you to enjoy on the water. The reservoir edge is lined with beautiful coppiced trees and soon a pretty stream will begin on your left. Further along you will come to a fork. Take the right-hand branch which leads you onto the grass embankment directly alongside the water. Simply follow this embankment ahead, there is a bench along this stretch should you wish to pause and enjoy the views. Towards the end of the reservoir, you are forced to veer left, following the fence line of the sailing club's boatyard on your right. As you draw level with the back of the boatyard, turn left and follow the grass track (which can get very muddy) through the trees to reach a grass clearing. Turn right and keep ahead on this path until you reach a T-junction with a fence ahead. Turn right and follow this path which leads you through a gap in a wooden fence and on to reach a stile. Cross the stile and you will emerge out to Polesden Lane.
(2) Cross over the road with care, turn right along the pavement, cross over the side road Danesfield and, immediately afterwards, turn left through the wide wooden gate (passing under a height barrier). Follow the line of the fence on your left to join a narrow path which leads you past a section of allotments and then a large crop field, both on your right.
When the wooden fencing on the left ends, simply stay with the path along the left-hand edge of the field, soon leading you over a footbridge. The path swings left to reach a junction with a signpost (alongside a second footbridge). Fork right here, staying with the left-hand edge of the large crop field. At the end of the field you will come to a T-junction with a path within an avenue of trees.
Turn left, follow the path right over a footbridge and then stay with the fenced path winding round the field edge and crossing two further bridges. As you approach a collection of houses, stay with the field edge path which swings right. A section of concrete path leads you past some old corrugated iron barns on your left. Beyond this simply keep straight ahead. As you approach the road, swing right to follow the path with the roadside hedge running on your left. After passing a single garage building, turn left through the kissing gate to reach Tannery Lane.
(3) Turn right to join the footpath which runs along the right-hand edge of the lane. Further along this path leads you through a beautiful hedgerow tunnel. You will emerge to the edge of Send Business Park. Stay with the signed footpath, bearing right and passing the business park buildings (including Tannery House) across to your left.
Just beyond Tannery House, bear left to leave the public footpath to reach the junction with the park's access road. Turn left along this and then pass immediately to the right of Tannery House to reach the River Wey Navigation canal. Cross the canal bridge ahead and turn right to join the towpath.
Follow the towpath with the canal running on your right. Down to your left is another water channel, Broadmead Cut and beyond this, meandering out of sight through the marshland, is the original course of the River Wey. Continue only as far as the first lock, Papercourt Lock.
(4) Continue past the lock keeper's cottage on your left and follow the main path as it swings right over the canal bridge. At the far side, follow the vehicle track which swings right, leading you to a stile alongside a wide gate. NOTE: This field is likely to be holding cattle. Cross the stile and follow the obvious vehicle track, swinging left and then right to reach the wide metal gate at the far side. Cross the stile to the left of the gate and walk ahead along the vehicle access lane. As you approach the farm buildings, pass through the single black self-closing gate and walk directly ahead into the yard of Papercourt Farm. Bear right to reach the junction with Papercourt Lane. Turn left along the lane (passing the farm buildings on the left) and just before a wooden fence begins on the right, turn right ducking under a height barrier to join the signed public footpath. Follow the narrow path and further along this merges with a vehicle track. At the end of this track, pass alongside a disused stile to reach a junction with a lane. Cross over with care, pass alongside another disused stile directly ahead and you will come to a T-junction with a path on the western edge of the reservoir.
(5) Turn left and follow the path into the stone parking area for the angling club. Pass to the right of the Scout and Brownie Hut to join the path alongside the reservoir. Follow this path with the reservoir on your right, passing a number of properties on your left. Stay with the path as it swings right, leading you across the northern edge of the reservoir and passing a large pylon on your right. About 100 metres later you will come to a small clearing with an Angling Club sign, marking the point at which you joined the reservoir path on the outward leg. Turn left through the gap in the hedgerow and follow the narrow path back to the road. Cross over with care and turn right along the pavement, heading back towards Ripley village. For this return leg, continue past the Dunsborough Park Lodge on your left, but do NOT fork left into the Green, instead keep ahead on the pavement. You will come to the T-junction with Ripley High Street. This bustling High Street has a plentiful supply of pubs, cafes and shops to keep you occupied for a while. Ripley's main claim to fame is that it is the birth place of the great guitarist, Eric Clapton. If you are looking for refreshments there are lots of options. Just to your right you will find The Anchor pub or the dog-friendly Pinnocks coffee house, whilst to your left there is The Ship pub as well as a fish and chip shop, a bakery and The Nest cafe. Turn left along the High Street and follow this until you reach the village sign. Just before this sign, turn left into the access road for Ripley Green. A few metres along you will come to the car park on the right where the walk began.(D/A)
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 89ft - Ripley Green car park
1 : mi 0.54 - alt. 79ft - Waterside path
2 : mi 1.38 - alt. 92ft - Polesden Lane
3 : mi 2.16 - alt. 95ft - Tannery lane
4 : mi 3.03 - alt. 72ft - Lock keeper's cottage
5 : mi 3.61 - alt. 85ft - Edge of the reservoir
D/A : mi 4.64 - alt. 89ft - Ripley Green car park
You will need to negotiate a number of footbridges, some kissing gates plus three stiles (all of which have gaps within the adjacent fencing for dogs to pass through). Whilst the majority of the fields are arable, you will need to cross one field which is likely to be holding Dexter cattle. The field is very large (and the crossing relatively short), but do take the usual care with dogs in this field. Allow 2.5 hours.
There are public toilets in the car park at the start of the walk and plenty of options for refreshments in Ripley High Street before or after your walk.
Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 145 Guildford and Farnham. 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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