Clandon Park

Distance19.2K  OS Explorer145

Feeling foolhardy? Don't mind risking life & limb (and maybe someone else's) This walk has quite dangerous crossing of A246, just after Clandon Golf Course - but rewards you with a nice isolated section up to Clandon Down. I am busy looking at alternative route, crossing A264 at Springford House or back at Merrow.

River Wey towpath out of Guildford offers easy walking, taking you past Daphne Wharf (with canal museum on opposite bank) through Woodbridge Meadows (bravely punching above its weight), across and under a few of Guildford's ring roads, leading you into nice secluded towpath sections. All with the Wey in close company.

Just past Stoke Lock you can detour into a Nature Reserve. Follow the raised platform till meeting the dragonfly bench then do right until joining path circling lake (could go right, around lake - or as here turn left). Exit just past end of lake, following electric pylons until briefly back into sudo-swamp & then back onto towpath.

Last section of River Wey towpath offers views across reeded river. Turn off river before Bowers Lock. Can turn off before actual road bridge, onto small lane with houses and allotments, then quick turn first left (Bowyers Lane) up to main road. The main roads are all busy but have ample pavement for walking.

Road walking takes you over M3, past a Leisure Park, over one road crossing then a left at petrol garage. This section just makes the seculsion, once found, feel even better. Enter small woods after houses end after garage turning, just follow well trodden path using car noises for guidance until coming out at railway bridge.

After crossing road and going under railway bridge start veering left before roundabout and join footpath (still on small road) round to left. With houses to left and woods on right continue until finding signposted entry into dense woods with well worn path, which leads you to the grand entrance into Clandon Park.

Clandon Park offers plenty of open space to let wind dry boots if woods were wet. After road walking & enclosed woods the open views left & front really shine. Might be a roped off walking area to help guide you across open field. Can get waterlogged at bottom of short up section but atop are more views of small wood upcoming.

You can also start spotting a strange large building in distance to the right. Always thought it was some sort of industrial farm building but turns out to be the actual Clandon Park Manor house, now enclosed in protective sheilding as it undergoes a rebuild by the National Trust after being gutted by fire in 2015.

Here you come across delightful large pond. Had my packed lunch here once but is actually a private fishing area so shouldn't count on it - especially during fishing season. After crossing small footbridge take footpath through rather grubby & enclosed lightly wooded area (or take car access route alongside) up to road track & viewpoint.

From road track find entrance to brief woods, then road crossing & hemmed-in bit till golf course. Never found correct path across golf course - always just followed driveway leading to exit at A246. Did try using footpath off right to avoid upcoming road crossing but due to nettles never got far (had shorts on) but may try in winter.

Danger! Road crossing. Two double laned, fast traffic roads to cross. Has small strip of land in-between directions, but second crossing is even more hairy. Haven't worked out if this ruins the walk, as having to deal with the crossing is always at the back of mind, or makes it, as you get a huge sense relief & solitude once crossed.

The adrenaline will help with the gradually climb up, hugging side of large working field. Views back north as you climb. Enter small woods then come out to last open area with large clear avenue to right (or left if looking at view). Enjoy last view before entering woods and joining well trodden bridleway at sharp left.

Now walking in light woodlands. Have seen deer a couple of times around here, once with a young deer actual on path in front, snacking away on the vegetation at the side of path. Beware of the few false trails leading off main path, which can lead you astray, but luckily you may reach this sharp left then right turning around field.

We are getting closer to Newlands Corner so expect some company - some on bikes (bicycles, not motorcycles). Still in woods but fences start appearing - noting some property. There is a slight climb up to meet the main road leading to Newlands.

Careful crossing - fast traffic & motorbikes. Newsland Corner is up the road & woods here suffer from trail overload. Time to trust in some Buddhist intuition - go with the flow - this way, that way, doesn't really matter as will get there in the end. Or listen for the next road traffic. Somehow reach 2nd road crossing, luckily found the main bridleway.

Bridleway is slightly downhill, popular with mountain bikes. Look for signposted footpath left. Short uphill bit till meeting another bridleway right, leading you out of woods onto road. No pavement but OK-ish. After crossing road, bridleway is on driveway then enclosed section, which adds drama to your approach onto Pewley Down.

Take the upper of the 2 exists off the Downs. Houses either side, until open grass give brief views north to London. Quite steep downhill into Guildford on pavement. Last views of whole of Guildford town in front of you as you descend. Walk has some wonderful sections, but the A246 crossing is just too hairy - a safer route must be found!

Bend just before Daphne Wharf.
Road bridges offers rain cover and free art show.
Stoke Lock.
Sudo swampland after lake.
Turn right at footbridge.
Back onto short road section.
Photo doesn't do it justice - nice wide open views, honestly!
Looking back to entrance - but views left and right are better.
Will the tree still be there next time I walk here?
View looking south and Clandon Downs - where we're heading.
Would be surprised to come across anyone after that crossing.
Last look back north - with clear avenue on left.
All the paths ending up looking the same, turn left here then right.
View over Dean Bottom.
Wonderful trees line upcoming section.
Leaving the best till last - plenty a view on top of Pewley Down.
End walk at Guildford Castle. To many shops after to list.