Saturday, 2 May 2015

Walk from Godalming station to Winkworth Arboretum

Good morning, I hope you have your comfortable walking shoes on, a waterproof, a map, a drink and a snack and are ready for a stroll through Godalming up and down the hills to Winkworth Arboretum.  Luckily there is a cafe when you get there in case said snack has already been gobbled up on the train.

South West Trains have a number of walks from their stations and what follows is their recommendation. 

This walk from Godalming station, in Surrey, is superb, particularly in autumn
when the collection of more than 1,000 exotic trees and shrubs at Winkworth
Arboretum comes out in spectacular and vibrant splashes of gold, crimson and
orange in a hillside setting with sweeping views. Winkworth is the vision of Dr
Wilfrid Fox, an amateur gardener and botanist, who acquired the land in the late 1930s. He wanted to create a landscape that everybody could enjoy, and allowed public access from the outset. The arboretum, now managed by the National Trust, has two lakes, wildlife in abundance, and vegetation to provide colour and fragrance throughout the year. A public right of way goes through the property (follow the yellow arrows), but if you intend to leave the footpath and enjoy the legacy of Dr Fox's plantings, non-National Trust members will have to pay an admission charge.  Winkworth Arboretum Tearoom is an excellent lunch stop, serving home-made soups and bread, ploughman's and cream teas. The walk is mostly along bridleways and lanes returning along the River Wey towpath.

Leave Godalming station, turn right and follow Mill Lane to Station Road and turn right to the pedestrian lights. Cross to Holloway Hill Road opposite and climb steeply uphill. Take the second left on to Busbridge Lane and right at the recreation grounds and straight on to the junction of Home Farm Road and Quartermile Road. Then follow the signed bridleway across and slightly to your right.

When it forks left, follow it downhill, over the bridge and uphill. Continue along a tree-canopied track emerging at Clock Barn Farm House. Keep straight on, cross a road, pass a sign to "House in the Wood" and "Inwood Cottage" then a signpost in 50 yards. Take the bridleway left to reach Clock Barn Lane. Turn right along the road to the junction with Salt Lane and then turn left. After 50 yards take the public footpath on the left. Follow it, ignoring turns off, to pick up a dirt track ahead as it forks right uphill through the pines of Juniper Valley. Emerge at South Munstead Farm and keep straight on to reach a tarmac road. Turn right and emerge opposite the entrance to Winkworth Arboretum.

Follow the yellow arrows through the National Trust property, down Fiona Adam Steps and right to the wooden boathouse. There may be a diversion in place while the Trust carries out work but it will be posted. Pass the lake on your right and emerge from the woods. Go left to a tarmac road and follow this for about 350 yards. Turn left at Phillimore Cottage, over a stile and left by the field edge to the woods. The diversion, when in place, will take you to this point.

Entering the woods you pass a notice "Agricultural and sporting pursuits in progress". Keep to the footpath as you cross an eventing course, part of Stileman's Stud. Leave through a metal gate, turn left on the road (Alldens Hill) for 75 yards and pick up a bridleway on the right. Follow this, ignoring ways off, to pass between substantial houses on a public footpath. Cross Munstead Heath Road and then continue on a track by Lane Cottage and downhill for half a mile reaching Catteshall Manor on your left.

Go right and then left at the T-junction by the Old Cider House. Before Lawnwood Cottages, go right to Catteshall Road, and continue over the mill bridge. A second bridge in about 150 yards spans the River Wey and Catteshall Lock. Go left on the towpath to Godalming, which is visible in the distance.
Cross the town bridge, walking up High Street to the Market Hall at the top, passing 16th- and 17th- century timbered buildings. Follow the black-and-gold signs back to the train station.

Hopefully you haven't got lost!

Like me, you will now need a cuppa and a snooze!

Bye for now. xx

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