THE DABBLING DUCK & PLUCKY PHEASANT CAFÉ/RESTAURANTS CIRCULAR WALK
- Approx. distance – 6 miles (approximate time 2 hours 15 mins)
- Walk type – easy/moderate
- One steep climb with some easier 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.
- 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.
- The walk can start and finish at either the carpark in Shere – PART 1 (GU5 9HF), or Newlands Corner carpark – PART 2 (GU4 8SE) and refreshments of course, are available at both! If you prefer to get the ‘uphill’ bit over with first, start at PART 1
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
The Dabbling Duck to the Plucky Pheasant (approximately one hour 15 mins)
- Leave the carpark in Shere at the entrance and head away from the road through the metal barrier into a narrow track which is often muddy. Gradual at first, follow this track up hill for approximately 30 minutes under the A25 and through Netley Plantation. Avoiding a right junction, keep heading straight up through the trees until you will eventually see some short wooden posts on your left
- Just past these, turn left at a ‘Netley Plantation’ sign, and continue walking past some stables and housing, following the road to the right at a house called ‘Hollister’
- Keep on this road (North Downs Way) signed to ‘West Hanger & Combe Bottom’ avoiding two left forks.
- When you arrive at a road, turn right and then immediately cross over to carry on the NDW past a circular pit.
- After a short while you will reach another road. Go straight over this and through West Hanger carpark and then through the metal barrier, continuing on the NDW.
- Keep on this path for the next 20 minutes, avoiding any left turnoffs (including one to Silent Pool) and you will eventually arrive at the A25. At this point, you can continue up the pavement to your right to THE PLUCKY PHEASANT for some well earned refreshments, or you can cross the road (taking great care) and continue on to PART TWO of the walk
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.
- 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 earned refreshments.
The Plucky Pheasant to The Dabbling Duck (approximately one hour)
- If you have stopped at The Plucky Pheasant for refreshments, taking care, cross over the A25 onto Newlands Corner and walk 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 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
- Carry on the path with the house to your immediate left, and continue a short way along to a wooden sign post. Turn left here and make your way up through the field on a grassy track where you will then enter a wooded area. Follow this path which will bring you to a steep slope down to a road – Water Lane.
- Turn left here briefly, before turning right up a track past some cottages and garages and then through a metal gate.
- Keep straight on, going slightly uphill and then through another wooded area until you reach a house ‘Timber Croft’ Go past this house and through a green metal gate.
- After a short while when the path forks, make sure you follow the right hand track, and carry on passing through the driveway of the previous SVEZ waterworks (There are lots of Warning and Danger signs here so please take care)
- Safely though, you will soon reach a wooden stile and carry on walking straight down through the Albury Millennium Avenue until you pass through two metal kissing gates and arrive at the A248 to Albury.
- Cross over the road and either continue on your walk to The Dabbling Duck, or you can follow the Optional Deviation below
OPTIONAL DEVIATION TO SEE SILENT POOL, VISIT ALBURY VINEYARD, SILENT POOL GIN DISTILLERY, MANDIRAS KITCHEN AND NORBURY BLUE CHEESE
- Turn left on the path up to the A25 and, taking great care as it’s a busy fast road cross over both sections of this dual carriageway, and then turn left onto the footpath
- Follow the footpath until you reach the carpark, turn right and walk up past the wooden notice boards. Albury Vineyard can be found straight ahead through the woodland and then onto the actual Silent Pool. Sherbourne Pond and the other businesses can be reached by following the road to the right.
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.
CONTINUING YOUR WALK TO THE DABBLING DUCK
- Having crossed over the A248, follow the path opposite which leads to a wooden kissing gate. (On your right is the gothic Apostolic Church which is not open to the public)
- Go through this meadow, following the sketchy path up to a new hedgerow fence on your right.
- Follow this though another metal kissing gate, up through a wooded area called Silver Wood and through yet another metal kissing gate
NB There are often BELTED Galloway Cows in this field, so make sure to put any dogs on leads
- Keeping to the right, follow the fence line straight on, over a narrow driveway and through another metal kissing gate.
- Follow this path down to a narrow road and turn right onto it down to the river Tillingbourne.
- Crossing the ford, turn immediately left, through Vicky’s Gate (a wooden kissing gate) and follow the river up stream to another wooden kissing gate.
- Through this, follow a wider track through a wooden gate and you will arrive in Lower Street, Shere
- Walk down Lower Street, past the well cared for allotment gardens until you arrive in the village centre.
- Having admired this picturesque setting and possibly fed the ducks, turn left, over the bridge and THE DABBLING DUCK is a few metres up on the left hand side
- Having enjoyed some well earned refreshments, turn left out of the café and walk up Middle Street.
- Turn left at this junction, briefly into Upper Street before turning right into the carpark