Surrey walk around Cranleigh village

Some claim Cranleigh to be England's largest village (Photo: Matthew Williams)

Some claim Cranleigh to be England's largest village (Photo: Matthew Williams) - Credit: Archant

Take a leisurely stroll around Cranleigh and discover some of the pretty villages hidden gems

Need to know

• Start: Cranleigh Village Hall, Village Way, Cranleigh

• Grid ref: TQ056 391

• Sat Nav: GU6 8AF

• Length of walk: Allow about 1.5 hours for this easy walk.

• Food and Drink: Try Cromwell Coffee House, used by Oliver Cromwell’s troops during the Civil War. “140” gift and cloth shop has a wonderful café upstairs, serving local produce. For a restaurant type pub there is the “Richard Onslow” in the centre of town or for an old world, real ale pub, try the “Three Horseshoes” just further south on the High Street.

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• While you are there: Visit Cranleigh Arts Centre with its interesting arts café.


The route…

1. The walk starts from the village hall, which was opened in 1933. Walk to the right of the leisure centre to the area known as Snoxhall Sports fields. Here you will meet the Downs Link path ¬ formerly the old railway line, which closed in 1966 as part of Dr Beechings cuts.

2. Turn right here and follow the path, which runs behind the main High Street of Cranleigh, then past the old site of the station at Stocklund Square, which is now just a large car park.

3. Keep on this path until you meet with Elmbridge Road. Turn right and walk along the edge of the common towards a roundabout and views of the main common and cricket pitch.

4. Cross over Guildford Road at the roundabout and enjoy viewing the pretty row of cottages alongside the green. Continue walking straight ahead into what then becomes Horseshoe Lane.

5. Just after Edgefield Close on the right, take the path across the impressive Cranleigh School playing fields until you reach a T¬junction with another path.

6. Turn right again and head towards Glebelands School, passing by it on your right. Cross over Parsonage Road and take the path opposite, down passed Cranleigh Primary School. Eventually you arrive near St Nicolas Church and the main road through the centre of the town.

7. Cross at the crossing near Cranleigh Art Centre. Turn right again and walk along the footpath until you reach the village hall again.



• Some in Cranleigh still claim that it is the largest village in England.

• The village is not mentioned in the Domesday Book and was very small until the coming of the Wey and Arun canal in 1816 and then the railway in 1865.

• St Nicolas Church is said to contain a carved figure of a cat that became the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat, from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Lewis Carroll did visit the church when he lived in Guildford.

• David Mann’s department store opened in 1887 and is still in business

• Cranleigh School, an independent co-ed boarding school, is located on the outskirts of the village. It opened in 1865 and was originally known as “The Surrey County School”.

• The first cottage hospital in the country was started in Cranleigh in 1859. It has survived many attempts to close it, through fundraising by the local community.