Blackheath Walk

Circular Walk from Blackheath via Winterfold, Pitch Hill and Farley Green (distance 9 miles)

The walk goes over heathlands and through forest. The trees give shelter in the winter and shade in the summer. It is dry walking on parts of the Greensand Way and there is only one stile. The views from Pitch Hill are unsurpassable and the garden at The Windmill pub is delightful.

Getting to the Start

Train or bus to Chilworth Station. Arriva buses from Guildford to Dorking or Cranleigh. Go over level crossing up Sampleoak Lane 3⁄4 mile. Turn left at crossroads and up to carpark at Blackheath.

The Walk

1. Leave the carpark on the right-hand (SE) path with a pine wood on your right. Keep ahead at a cross track and merge with a major track coming in from the right. Continue SE through woods, ignoring crossing paths, for 1⁄4 mile to chestnut fencing and, with fencing on the right, follow track round and past two houses on the right. At this point the track becomes a metalled lane. Follow the lane to a road junction with a fingerpost and bear left for 50 yards, then right, up a narrow path (bridleway) which goes climbing between steep banks. This climb can be very muddy, but note that a parallel path runs along the top of the left-hand bank. After the path becomes level, ignore a wide crossing path and continue ahead on a broad sandy track for 200 yards to a junction with a gate on the right. Here a bridleway bears left, leading into a carpark. There is the site of a Roman Temple at the far end of the carpark on the left. On entering the carpark turn right to the Farley Green – Shamley Green road and cross at the fingerposts.

2. Continue SE on the right-hand track. In 300 yards bear right away from fence and in another 300 yards turn left on to a main E–W track. Pass Mayor House Farm and in 200 yards start descent and continue downhill to a sunken track, which is a public byway. Cross this and turn right immediately on a footpath to walk (S), parallel to a byway, for  1⁄2 mile where you cross a dilapidated stile. Turn left through woodland to a road. Cross the road into the drive to Winterfold Cottage. Keep left at the front gate to the house and follow a hedge for 70 yards to the third waymarker on the left, opposite an old garden gate in the hedge. Here bear left, climbing through trees, and crossing a wide access track, and
continue ahead slightly right (SE) for 350 yards to a road which traverses the top of Winterfold Hill, opposite Jelley’s Hollow.

3. Cross the road and turn left up a path signposted Greensand Way (GW), parallel with the road, for 300 yards to a crossing path. Turn right and, ignoring the left-hand fork, follow the path which winds along the top of Reynards Hill (800ft). This is part of the Hurtwood Control woods, with views to the south over The Weald to the South Downs. From viewpoint with benches, the path bears left to rejoin the road by a small parking area (carpark 4 ).

4. Turn right, cross over the Shere – Cranleigh road and go up a track for 300 yards to pass a windmill on the hilltop before dropping down by a fence on your right to the Ewhurst Road. Turn right downhill for 300 yards to The Windmill pub for refreshments. There are excellent views from the pub garden to the S and SW. The distance so far is 41⁄2  miles. To enjoy the extensive views from the summit of Pitch Hill, 843 ft (4a on map), take one of the paths just below the pub, on the opposite side of the road, that climb steeply to the top. Retrace your steps.

5. From the north side of the pub go up the road for a few yards and turn left down a private road (with pub on the left at first) for 600 yards to join another road. Turn right uphill to the top and turn left at a road junction. Take the right hand of two paths (a bridleway) and continue downhill, ignoring side paths. After 500 yards the path goes through a gate and widens before being joined by a broad track from the left. Keep ahead downhill for 300 yards and pass another track coming in from the left. Continue ahead over a crossing footpath to a junction of forestry roads at the bottom and go ahead, passing a pond on the left. Cross a bridleway, through a gate and keep ahead up a slope for 1⁄4 mile to reach a metalled drive, just short of a road on the right.

6. Turn left along the drive for 300 yards past Dewdney then a further 200 yards past Lansdowne, then bear left between holly bushes down a narrow path to a bridleway at the bottom. Turn right by a stream and after 1⁄4 mile you reach a track with a house on the left. Keep ahead, ignoring a right fork, to pass a house on the right and shortly to meet a metalled lane. Here, turn left for 200 yards to a T-junction, then right into Farley Green village.

7. About 30 yards before the telephone kiosk, bear left along a sandy track on the left side of the green, then turn left along a road. At Westerlea Farm on the left, turn right on to the right hand of two tracks, both marked as a bridleway. In 600 yards, on approaching Lipscombe Cottage and its garage on the left, bear right up a sandy bridleway and through a gateway on to Blackheath. Keep left at a fork, passing a seat on the right. In 150 yards bear slightly left, taking the centre one of three tracks ahead [W] keeping a marker post on your right. Branch right at the next marker post, numbered 232, keeping this on your left, along a path somewhat obscured by forestry operations. In 100 yards, cross a wider track to go straight ahead still following path 232 - marker post lying in brush at time of writing. After a further 450 yards you join a broad track, which has been used for logging, and at the next junction keep ahead. Pass a sign on your right, “Blackheath Common”, and continue along a sandy track for 1⁄2 mile to return to the carpark at Blackheath.

Based on a walk by the late George Hyde, from Twenty-Five Favourite Walks in West Surrey & Sussex, compiled by the Godalming & Haslemere Group of the Ramblers AssociationView from Pitch Hill (Photo by Mark Beaumont)