Lazy Llama Loop

Distance10K  OS Explorer145

Start at Guildford Railway Station. Take subway under busy road, rather than cross at lights, and exit right. Follow pavement curving left down to the River Wey. Now follow river to right, under road bridge, past large pedestrain bridge and pub until coming to car park besides river and Millmead Lock system.

Here the River splits. Cross over first footbridge then turn right and continue past Millmead Lock on left, with other part of river to right. After gazing at hypnoptic sluice gates cross very nice picnic area to point where river rejoins at more sluice gates. Follow on River Wey towpath until Footbridge.

Before bridge you join The North Downs Way. Once over bridge take first right, away from river, & cross Shalford Medows onto public park (with football pitch) cross to main road. Careful crossing, & take road opposite. Turn off road once you get to small carpark on right & start heading up into the hills!

Walking on wide car track with woods to right and horse fields to left. Your also starting your slow climb up to St Marthas. Views open up left across to Pewley Downs, and this is a natural drinks stop. After Road track ends and short, slightly sunken, muddy bit enter open section on sandy soil.

Sandy soil can hinder fast progress so take time for views back left and maybe a brief chat with the horses - if they are around. After open section enter woods. Track gets drawn into sunken muddy sections, but can find route slightly higher around in woods. If your lucky you may hear the cries of the 'Whitzibu'.

Before small 'carpark' & road, notice bridleway which can take you back up to Pewley Downs. Bit of tricky turning here. Turn left onto road then right up the slope alongside house. Larger carpark on left so may be joined on ascent by families. Steepish climb recently 'upgraded' for car access to funerals/weddings!?

Slight views on ascent - but makes up for it a top, so keep going. Hey - there's a Church! Its open if you want a look round. View is almost a 180ΒΊ panorama South. Benches to sit & take lunch. N.D.W continues straight (can walk to Dorking in a short day) but we leave it & take a plummet off the south face.

Can easily come a cropper down here - just about 'walkable' without resorting to scrambling down on backside (but never attempted in wet/icy conditions). Lose view quickly with woods either side & roots tripping you up. Seat halfway down - but no view. Final bit very tight until landing at Chilworth Manor.

You get spat out of drainage system onto footpath crossroads. Another seat here if legs are still shaking from descent. Nice position to watch the llamas in field opposite or gaze lovingly at Vineyard. Left would take you to the Tilling Bourne & gunpowder factories remains, but that's another walk.

From vineyard go right onto driveway and follow through open gates onto real road. No pavement & sharp corners. After right turn find path at next sharp left. Broken steps lead you up alongside field on right but left enclosed with hedges. After another road turn enter large working field.

Nice open views along this final section of countryside. Popular with dog walkers. On OS Map a 'Spring' is indicated near to farm building ruins but couldn't see anything. Slight up and down, and into slight sunken lane with a little mud. View right is where you have just been, views left and South of hills & Blackheath.

After Manor Farm dog leg, views open up in front of Guildford 'valley'. Only noticed recently, but you can see three of Guidford's major landmarks. Straight ahead, high up on the horizon is the Hogs Back. Nestled below, to the left is St Catherine's Abbey ruins, to the far right is Guildford Cathedral.

Leave field onto road which leads back to Shalford Park. Due to football pitches, there's a public toilet block here. Also is display board with history of Salford Park. Take express route back to Millmead Pinic area via bike track. I think this is a flood plane and was flooded in 2014, but so was most of Guildford.

Final climb of day is over River Wey footbridge. Nice viewpoint but is narrow & other people can't pass. Picnic area good opportunity to get boots clean, if want to ease yourself back into respectable consumer society. Guildford has quite large shopping area & a variety of eating & drinking outlets.

A good walk to set your sights on the varied possibilities of routes to the East of Guildford. To the North East you can get to Pewley & Merrow Downs. To the East, the North Downs Way takes you to Dorking & beyond. To the South is Tillbourne River & Blackheath Forrest. Get your map out and explore!

Lazy llamas at Chilworth Manor await your visit.
Where have all the ducks gone?
Bridge over the River Wey - from after you have crossed.
Views across to Pewley Downs
Open section on sandy soil with horses in fields (sometimes)
Keep following the signs.
A lonely chapel.. high on a hill.
Room for a small one?
Maybe the llamas started drinking a bit too early?
Views up, down and across.
Dog leg around Manor Farm.
Spot the ruins...
Start stamping your feet to get your boots clean.
Nice place to end walk.
Bushes get, quiet rightly, a hightop haircut... view on top of St Marthas.