5 stunning riverside walks in Surrey

Surrey, England, people cycling on towpath at River Wey Navigati

People cycling on towpath at River Wey Navigation - Credit: Getty Images

Make the most of the summer sunshine, the autumn colours or even a winter frost, with these stunning Surrey riverside walks

Brookwood and Basingstoke Canal Towpath 

For those who enjoy undemanding walking combined with the need for a little navigation, this stretch of the Brookwood and Basingstoke Canal towpath offers an easy, breezy not to mention picturesque option.  

The 5.5-mile circular walk begins at Brookwood Station, Woking, before following a length of the Basingstoke Canal, through the village of St John, cutting across the railway and Hook Heath golf course before going back on to the towpath for the last leg.  

Good to know: this is a popular venue for dog walkers and cyclists so parking (at the railway station) is busy. Also worth noting that there is one small stile to go over, which most dogs can pass through alongside. 

Address: Connaught Rd, Brookwood, Woking GU24 0ER 

Weybridge Locks and Levels 

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There is plenty of wonderful water ways and river life to enjoy on this ramble that starts at Weybridge Station. Enabling you to not only make the most of the Weybridge Locks and the River Wey, which run throughout the route, this stroll also provides a great opportunity to explore Weybridge itself, which is one of the county’s prettiest and most bustling of towns. You could even pop in to one of the local pubs or cafes - McLaren Fine Foods is one not to miss, as is the Queen’s Head and the Flintgate - for respite before continuing the circular route back to the station.  

Good to know: this route can get quite muddy so do take walking boots, and be careful with children and dogs on the narrower areas too. 

Address: Station Approach, Weybridge KT13 8UD 

Hogsmill River Trail 

Heading out to the north eastern end of the county is the Hogsmill River Trail. Starting from Bourne Hall in Ewell (good deal of paid-for parking available) near Epsom, this seven-mile walk not only features a river walk but also takes in a lake as well as a designated nature reserve. It crosses a variety of rural and town locations throughout which adds a mix of beautiful and interesting scenery. Should you complete the loop there is a café in Bourne Hall or plenty of opportunities along the way to pick up a snack. 

Good to know: the walk can be lengthened and shortened based on how you are feeling, with the second half of the route having narrow paths making it unsuitable for wheelchair users 

Address: Spring St, Ewell, Epsom KT17 1UF 

Pyrford and the Wey Navigation 

St Catherine's Lock, Godalming, part of the River Wey Navigation

St Catherine's Lock, Godalming, part of the River Wey Navigation - Credit: Reading Tom @Flickr

Back to the wonderful Wey, where you can watch the ripples of the water dance as you amble along this moderate four-mile looping route. Offering a lovely calming ambiance, this route also features some wonderful historic sites to take in too. These include: the ruins of Newark Priory and Pyrford’s Norman church, then go across farmlands before heading back via the Wey Navigation. The walk is mostly flat – although there is one very short but fairly steep climb to the church. There are two stiles (both in open fencing making them easy for dogs to pass under) and several gates including a kissing gate. 

Good to know: the paths are quite muddy, so take extra care when trekking after rainy days. There’s also lots of shade en route, perfect for stopping for a picnic. 

Address: Owlbrook Stables Ltd, Newark Ln, Ripley, Woking GU23 6DD 

Chilworth to Albury

Waterloo Pond near Chilworth, Surrey

Waterloo Pond near Chilworth - Credit: Leimenide @Flickr

Starting at Chilworth railway station (GU4 8NP) this linear walk is a wonderful walk to do with children. Although not strictly 'riverside' it does cross the Tillingbourne Stream, giving you the opportunity to fill them in on some of the area's impressive industrial history, featuring gunpowder factories and corn mills. The one-mile route, crosses wonderful wood and farmland, as well as Waterloo Pond. You can end with an ice cream from Albury Village Stores and then retrace your steps for an added amble.

Good to know: if you this walk as a loop the Percy Arms (opposite Chilworth station) makes a good place to have a spot of lunch or a well-earned drink.

Address: Chilworth, Guildford GU4 8QN

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