Godalming to Guildford

Published by Morley Ramblers on

10 February 2024. We had 18 walkers starting the walk. Unusually for Morley Ramblers, more than half the walkers were men. Apart from a 15 minutes downpour, it was good weather for walking. However, there had been a lot of rain in the previous week, so we made a couple of detours by road walking to avoid flooding of the River Wey.

After a 45 minutes walk along quiet roads, we paused at the lovely green at Upper Eashing with a beautiful old cottage and an Edward VII post box in the wall. This was when the downpour happened and we donned our waterproofs. 

After a couple of blind bends in the road, where we had to be very careful, we walked down to the 13th Century Eashing Bridges to find that the River Wey had broken its banks and flooded the road. We managed to get around the flooded area (just!) and across the bridges.

We crossed a footbridge over the A3 and then across fields until we saw Peper Harow House (built 1765), its 300 year old cricket pitch and its ice house. Shortly after, we saw the coffin rest at the entrance porch to St Nicolas Churchyard.

Coffin rest, St Nicolas Church

Old Granary, Peper Harow

We then went into a lovely large courtyard with a medieval granary on stilts in the centre. 

Nearby we saw a second Edward VIi post box in a wall. A quiet road led us to the village of Shackleford, followed by a long stretch over fields through gently rolling hills until we reached our lunch stop in Puttenham. Unfortunately, the dropout point at lunch did not work as the bus had either arrived early or not at all!

We visited the church of St John the Baptist, Puttenham, to view the Norman (Romanesque) Arches and a lancet window dating from the early 12th Century.

St John the Baptist Church, Puttenham

Lutyens’ bridge under old A3

Most of the afternoon was through woods along the North Downs Way. At one point we crossed under the modern A3 and then under a Lutyens bridge with big crosses on it. The bridge is on the old bypassed A3.

Shortly after that, we reached the Watts Gallery in Compton. Some walkers chose to catch the bus to Guildford from here and others to visit the Watts Gallery and then catch the later bus.

We took a short detour to visit the Watts Cemetery Chapel and cloisters. This is a serene spot on the side of a hill. The Chapel is Grade 1 listed and is an unusual mixture of British Art Nouveau (the evolution of the Arts & Crafts Movement), Romanesque Revival and Celtic Revival. The interior of the chapel is completely covered with extraordinary paintings and has been controversial, with many people loving it and others finding it soporific.

Watts Cemetry Chapel

The last 80 minutes of the walk were completed by 7 of us. Some of the party stayed for tea and cakes at Watts Gallery, then took the bus. For the walkers, there was a long section through attractive woods with a wide variety of trees, followed by a walk along the side of a green valley. We then walked into Guildford, arriving just before 5pm.

Terry (with thanks to Massimo and Mary-Jane for the photos)

Categories: Walks