THE CHALLENGE – If you complete the walk in one day, and get your
‘Challenge card’ stamped in each café, you will be rewarded with a
FREE HOT DRINK at the final café on your walk 
(minimum spend £5 pp)

The Speckledy Hen is closed on Sundays so this reward is not available then.

3 cafes circular walk map

Download a printable copy of the walk here

Walk Information:

  • Approx. distance – 13.5 miles
  • Walk type – easy/intermediate
  • One steep climb to Newlands with some easier/intermediate ascents
  • Woodland, heathland, open fields, sandy tracks, some gentle ascents and descents throughout; some tracks can be muddy in the winter, so proper footwear is essential.
  • We recommend wearing long trousers even in the summer due to some narrow paths with stinging nettles.
  • Take care on bridleways with horses and children/some tracks may also be shared with cyclists; a few stiles and kissing gates; a couple of lanes to take care on.
  • During the spring the many woodlands/banks/hedgerows are awash with bluebells, primroses, celandines, cowslips and wood anemones.
  • The walk can start and finish at The Dabbling Duck, Middle Street, Shere GU5 9HF or could start/finish at either of the other cafes.
  • This walk could be done in parts, but you will need to use two cars at various points.
  • Shere car park - Off Upper Street, Shere, GU5 9HF
  • If you are considering the whole walk, why not have breakfast at the DD, a cuppa at the PP and walk on for lunch at the SH, then the final route will bring you back to the DD for tea.
  • Please note that The Speckledy Hen is CLOSED on SUNDAYS
DD = Dabbling Duck              PP = Plucky Pheasant            SH = Speckledy Hen

As with all footpaths, the written details are a guide and subject to change; it would always be advisable to a carry a map with you in case you need to refer to it, please use OS Explorer 145.

Produced and written by Julia Tilbury of, a community Nordic walking group enjoying the delights of the Surrey countryside and Surrey Hills; come and learn to Nordic walk and join us on regular weekly Nordic walks.

Part 1

Dabbling Duck to the Plucky Pheasant (approximately 4.15k / 2.6m)

  • With your back to the DD on Middle Street turn right and go over the Tillingbourne river turning right into Lower Street following this road past some pretty old cottages and allotment gardens.
  • When you reach the ford on your right, go across via the footbridge and make your way uphill on Rectory Lane. Just past the ‘Old Rectory’ turn left on a footpath with a white disc saying The Fox Way. Go straight over Chantry Lane through a metal kissing gate into a field keeping on the left (out of the way of the Belted Galloway cows).
  • Carry on straight ahead (this is part of The Albury Estate) going through another metal kissing gate into Silver Wood and then passing the gothic Apostolic church on your left (not open to the public)
  • Continue straight ahead until you reach yet another wooden kissing gate and a red post box on your right and cross over the A248 Sherbourne Rod (taking care of the traffic)
  • Follow the footpath close to the fence on your right gently uphill (through another kissing gate) until you reach a stile. Go through a small wooded area until you reach a concrete road.
  • Cross straight over onto a narrow footpath between two fence lines and continue on through the woods gently going uphill. The footpath will join an unmade track coming in from your right. Go left onto the track slightly uphill until you see a cottage ‘Timbercroft’ on your left.
  • Ignore the footpath on your right and follow the stony and uneven wide track passing a wooded area and between fields until you reach a T junction past Water Lane cottages.
  • Turn right onto the BOAT (byway open to traffic) and follow the flinty, uneven track uphill for some way (ignoring all right/left tracks) Eventually you will go around a sharp left hand bend (with a Second World War pill box on your right). Continue on the main track (ignoring any others) and you will reach the top of Newlands Corner where you will be delighted to take a moment to enjoy the views!
  • Across the A25 Shere Road, you will see the Plucky Pheasant where you can enjoy some refreshments; 
    BEWARE, this is a fast road and care should be taken when crossing.
(Newlands Corner - a 103-hectare nature reserve with wonderful far reaching views to the Surrey Hills and beyond the South Downs; it is owned by the Albury Estate managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust under an access agreement between the estate and Surrey County Council).

Alternative route via Silent Pool and the North Downs Way – CHALLENGING
  • Follow the first part of the initial directions until you reach the Sherbourne Road A248 and turn right alongside the road and behind the hedge line until you reach the junction with the A.25
  • Cross over the two sections of the A.25 taking great care as it’s a busy fast road and turn left onto the footpath
  • Follow the footpath until you reach the main entrance of Silent Pool Gin Distillery/ Albury Vineyard carpark. Head to the wooden notice boards on the right where the footpath up to the North Downs Way starts between them. (If you visit the distillery or vineyard don’t forget to return to here).
  • Follow the footpath through a wooded area, crossing over an unmade track that leads to the entrance of Albury Organic Vineyard and you will see a wooden platform on your right looking out over Sherbourne Pond, go straight ahead until you reach Silent Pool.
Silent Pool is fed by a spring and filtered through chalk; the blue-green colour is due to minerals within the many layers of chalk. There are many legends concerning the strangely still water and eerie stillness, but one that many talk of is a beautiful woodcutter's daughter was lost in the depths after being disturbed by a strange horseman whilst bathing, if you stare into the depths at midnight you can apparently see her.
  • Ignore the path that runs between the two pools and turn left up a small flight of wooden steps to reach a T-junction with a higher parallel footpath.
  • Turn right along this with the vineyard running on your left. You will now start to climb uphill gently to start with and then more steeply for some way until it reaches the North Downs Way (NB path can be very slippery as it is chalky).
  • Turn left at the top where you see a wooden footpath sign to join North Downs Way (NDW)and follow this wide level woodland path for one mile (ignoring any right/left tracks) until you emerge at the roadside, the A25.
  • Turn right alongside the road and you will shortly see the Plucky Pheasant where you can enjoy some well earnt refreshments.

Part 2

The Plucky Pheasant to The Speckledy Hen (approx. 8.75k/5.5m)

  • Taking care, cross back over the A25 onto Newlands Corner and start walking through the carpark until you come to the pedestrian crossing open viewpoint area of Newlands (views towards the Surrey Hills and South Downs).
  • Turn left onto the grassy area and start to head down the hill on the main grass/chalk footpath. A little further down you will pass the last wooden seat, on your right and slightly further down on the left is a small wooden sign post. The path turns slightly to the right and immediately just past the first clump of bushes on your left, there is a triangular area of grass.
  • Turn left immediately here and follow the footpath heading downhill at an angle away from the main track. Follow this to another small wooden footpath post (yellow arrow disc straight ahead) and a track coming in from the right and left.
  • Go straight over and follow the narrow footpath between some bushes going through a wooden gate (yellow arrow disc, straight ahead). This footpath goes into a chalky open field heading downhill to a farm and house - Newbarn. The footpath continues to the right past their back garden.
  • Continue a short way along and turn right at the cross roads onto the footpath going very gently uphill on the ‘Pilgrims Way’ with woods on your left and a field on your right until you reach Guildford Lane.
  • Cross straight over into the carpark and cross over the wooden planks to the left of the notice board, following the path gently uphill ignoring any other footpaths, eventually passing a Second World War pill box on your right.
  • Very soon after, follow the uneven footpath off to your left (by the Downs Link wooden sign post) going downhill away from St Martha’s, passing through a metal gate on your left. Keep following the footpath downhill more steeply between trees and hedges until the path starts to open up 
  • Just past a metal gate on your right, continue to your left (Downs Link) steadily going downhill. Keep on the steadily going downhill. Keep on the track as it levels out (ignoring the next Downs link sign) following it off to the left, crossing the river and then track as it levels out (ignoring the next Downs link sign) following it off to the left, crossing the river and then past thepast the two entrances to Chilworth Gunpowder Works on your right.
Chilworth Gunpowder works was established in 1625 by the East India Company and finally closed in 1920. It was worked by a number of private companies, and became an important supplier of gunpowder to the Government.
  • Ignore the stile and footpath sign to your left and carry straight on crossing over the main road A248 Dorking Road (taking care to avoid traffic).
  • Go past a few properties on right and left, over the concrete bridge and take the path slightly to the right with a wooden sign post with Downs Link on it (ignoring the other options).
  • Follow this narrow path where soon a ‘fork’ will give the option of taking a path or the bridleway. Take the path (which will end up merging with the bridle way) until you come to an unmade lane and a junction of footpaths.
You are now entering Blackheath and care will have to be taken to take the correct footpaths to avoid getting lost!
  • To ensure you are in the correct place to start, look over your right shoulder, the property here is called Lingwood House.
  • Looking ahead, ignore the unmade lane and take the 2nd footpath exit (slightly to the right) marked Downs Link going slightly uphill. Stay on this main but narrow footpath ignoring any footpath/tracks to right or left; shortly, glance across the heath slightly to your left and you will see a stone cross, the Blackheath War Memorial Cross.
Standing proud on Rosemary Hill with views towards St Martha’s, Newlands and the Plucky Pheasant where you came from, this memorial has a deep emotional resonance with villagers and those further afield. Whether on a national, civic or social level it acts as a constant reminder of the ultimate price of war.
  • You will come to a major crossroads of footpaths, take the left main and sandy one (blue arrow on short wooden post to your right) noticing you are now leaving the Downs Link signs, the memorial is to your right side now.
  • Follow this main and sandy track (ignoring a right track) and shortly after you will reach a multi footpath junction in front of you (blue arrow discs on a small wooden footpath sign) bear right to the small dead-end lane (Private Road) where you will also see a small blue topped post.
  • Turn right onto the lane and shortly on your left, you will see another short wooden blue topped post.
  • Turn left here off the lane. Ignore ALL footpaths/tracks right and left and continue straight ahead until you reach a major footpath junction, wide sandy footpaths coming in from rights and lefts and a pine tree in the middle.
  • Take the 3rd exit, straight ahead on a much narrower sandy path until you will reach a crossroads where you need to turn right onto a wide sandy track.
  • Shortly at another major junction with a wooden bench in the middle, go straight ahead and at the next major junction keep straight ahead.
  • At the next junction (with a tree stump in front of you) take the 2nd narrow uneven footpath (slightly off to the left) heading slightly downhill towards two staggered wooden frames on the left.
  • Go straight ahead on quite a narrow footpath and again straight ahead at the next crossroads until you’ll come to an unmade lane (looking for two smaller short post with blue ringed tops on your left of each side of the lane) You are now heading off the heath.
  • Go straight over the unmade lane onto a narrow and twisty path, eventually heading downhill on a rather lovely mossy gully to Littleford Lane.
  • Turn left on the lane and head downhill gently (please beware of traffic) passing two properties on your left.
  • When you reach the sign for ‘Darbyns Brook on your left, turn left up the driveway (past a multicoloured cow (part of the Surrey Hills Cow Parade 2016 on your left) and past a deer enclosure on your left.
  • Follow the footpath past the perimeter of the house, past their wooden gated entrance on the left until you reach two wooden garages, bear right going slightly uphill under a gulley of small trees/hedges until you reach the top.
  • Turn right onto Green Lane (this is a quiet lane, but care must be taken); continue gently uphill on the lane past various houses until you come to a small sign to ‘Blackmoor Lodge’ on your left (you will need to keep a lookout for this).
  • To the right of the driveway, take the small signed footpath and follow it steadily uphill.
  • At the top, briefly turn right on the main track and then immediately turn left by the 5 bar metal gate. Here the little used footpath is narrow between two fence lines sometimes with stinging nettles so take care.
  • At the bottom come over two stiles to enter into a field. Head diagonally across this until you reach a further double stile junction. Turn left over the second stile the other all the way down to Woodhill Lane (Beware of traffic).
  • Turn right on the lane passing several houses before arriving at Shamley Green. Turn right onto the green area and you will soon arrive at The Speckledy Hen for some well-deserved refreshments (N.B this is closed on Sundays).

Part 3

The Speckledy Hen to The Dabbling Duck (approximately 8.75k / 5.5m)

  • With your back to the café, turn left and cross the grassy area in front of you heading towards a seat on the other side of Woodhill Lane and onto another grassy area.
  • Keeping the pond to your right, carry on past some houses looking carefully for the metal footpath sign between two properties (Mellow House on the left and Summer Meadow on the right).
  • Turn left up the narrow unexciting footpath that runs between two fences at the back of the houses (can be very muddy in the winter) and carry on past a kissing gate (no need to go through it) before it thankfully emerges with fields to your right and holly bushes to your left.
  • When you reach another kissing gate, ignore the footpath to the right and go straight on. At the top of the footpath, with a wooden directional sign on your left and Phoenix Cottage on your right, go straight ahead onto a tarmac lane and keeping going until you pass a property called ‘Reel Hall’ on your left, just before you reach (once again) Woodhill Lane.
  • Taking care of traffic on this lane, turn left and quickly cross to your right where you will see a public bridleway sign on your right and a metal 5-bar gate to Heath Stud on your left.
  • Follow the bridleway (Dibdene Lane) gently uphill for some way, to a T-junction where you need to take the right bridleway still going uphill with paddocks on either side.
  • At the top with stables in front, turn right along the bridleway (avoiding the Private gateway) with a view over to St Martha’s Church
St Martha's Hill is a landmark between the town of Guildford and village of Chilworth, it is the 18th highest hill in the county with a church on top and on the Greensand Ridge.
  • Continue along the flat and sandy bridleway for a little while with Sandhurst Copse and Sheepwalk on your left until you eventually arrive at a disused sand extraction pit on your right, ignoring any rights or lefts off.
  • You will shortly see a double vehicle metal gate access point on your right opposite a wooden bridleway sign, take this right and cross straight over the lane – Farley Heath Road – onto an unmade and wide track with Mayorhouse Farm and Kilnhanger signs on wooden posts.
  • Follow this unmade track for a quite a while, past Kilnhanger, Mayor House Farm, Mayor House Farm Liveries, Mayor house Farm Cottage, ignoring all right/left tracks. After ‘Penthouse’ on your right, the lane curves to the left before dropping down to a sunken the BOATs (Byways Open To All Traffic) at the bottom.
  • Ignore this, go straight over and immediately on your left by an old wooden gate post, running alongside a field is the footpath, follow this which is now left of the field and running parallel but up above, the sunken byway.
  • The footpath will weave its way along for about 1.3 miles, more a less in a straight line but always above the byway below; Ignore any tracks off the left/right and carry on walking round a stile, walking to the left of a few fields. Ignore the first track off to your left down to the sunken path and keep on until you see an old metal gate that you can squeeze around and TURN RIGHT onto the by-way.
  • Carry on, passing a metal byway bar to the left, ignoring the footpath off to the left and stay on the by-way past Farley Hall and onto Farley Green.
  • Head across the green, passing the bus shelter/stop on your right on Shophouse Lane and the small village pond on your left until you reach the main road - Brook Hill.
  • Turn right and keep on the right, be careful on the corner, passing Edgeley Holiday Park entrance on your right where you will see a wooden public footpath sign post.
  • Follow this between two high fence lines until you reach the road once again (Brook Hill).
  • Bear right, passing a tarmac lane (with various house signs) and join a track past the 5-bar metal gate. Keep following this path (running above the road) until you get to a stile on your right and wooden footpath signs; ignore the stile and follow the footpath slightly off the to the left where you will reach a red telephone box at the bottom of Brook Hill.
  • Turn right, keeping on the right side of the lane for a short distance and then turn right into Brook Lane.
  • Keep on this lane which will bear left under a railway bridge, and then immediately turn left by the wooden footpath sign.
  • Follow this gently uphill ignoring any right/left tracks until you reach the brow of the hill and a T-junction on an unmade lane (Heath Lane).
  • Go straight over onto a narrower track which runs across Albury Heath (again ignoring any right/left tracks).
  • The footpath, now sandier, curves around to the right. Keep going (again ignoring right/left tracks) until one again you reach the unmade track of Heath Lane.
  • Turn left for a bit, and then turn right at the Park Road junction, walking alongside the road noticing the properties to your right with big ornate chimneys (mainly undertaken by the architect Augustus Pugin c1850, who is best known in Albury for his famous brick chimneys, originally 63 in number and all unique in design).
  • Continue along until the footpath ends on a grass verge at the roadside on a corner.
  • Cross over the road (taking care of traffic on the bend) towards the South Lodge sign and go through the wooden kissing gate slightly to your right.
  • Head down the delightful Shere Parish Millennium Trail (green disc on wooden post of kissing gate), a lovely wide fenced track between two fields of Albury Estate, noticing the grand horse/sweet chestnut trees and wonderful views up to the North Downs.
  • At the bottom, go through the wooden kissing gate onto the footpath and turn left towards the river Tillingbourne.
  • Just before you reach the river, turn right through ‘Vicky’s’ wooden kissing gate and walk alongside the river.
  • Go through another wooden kissing gate into old Lime Avenue, lime trees on both sides, until you reach wooden gate (often open) onto Lower Street with the ford to your left.
  • Go straight ahead with the allotment gardens on your left, then walking alongside the river.
  • At the bridge, turn left into Middle Street and you will soon reach The Dabbling Duck for some well earnt refreshments!


    Please note that The Speckledy Hen is shut on Sundays, so the challenge reward is not available then.