Surrey walk around Gomshall
- Credit: Christine Howard
Head to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty for this easy walk of one-and-a-half hours around the pretty village of Gomshall, taking in some quintessential English countryside along the way
• Start: Gomshall Railway Station
• Grid ref: TQ089 479 (Postcode for satnav: GU5 9NX)
• Length of walk: Allow about one-and-a-half hours for this easy walk that will be suitable for most.
• Food and drink: Tillings Tea Room, near to Gomshall Station, Gomshall Mill and The Compasses Inn are all good options.
• While you are there: Visit the nearby village of Shere for more picture-perfect quaint buildings, pubs and tea rooms.
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1. The walk starts from Gomshall station. Take the road back towards the A25 and turn right at the T-junction. Walk through the village, passing the historic Gomshall Mill, and cross over at the pedestrian lights.
2. Keep right until you reach the petrol station. Turn left into Queen Street and continue up the road, over the Tillingbourne River. Be careful as the road becomes very narrow for a section with no footpath.
3. At the top of the hill at the T-junction, turn left into High View and follow the path to the bottom of the hill.
4. At the bottom, turn right under the railway bridge onto Tower Hill. Follow this road until it bends right. Straight ahead is a footpath, marked Shere Millennium Trail, which you follow.
5. At the T-junction at the top of the hill (turn right for a few yards to see the lovely view of the North Downs Way but then go back), turn left and stay on the bridle path. After 100 yards, it turns right. Eventually, you come out onto the top of a hill. Continue along with lovely views over to the left.
6. Look for two stout wooden posts marking a diagonal path across the field on your left. Cross the field, where you will enjoy stunning views of the North Downs. Continue on this path through the next field. The path will also start to ascend.
7. At the top of the field, you meet another path. Turn left and immediately meet another path on your right, but keep straight on, on the main path. You will pass a large house on your right.
8. After about 250 yards, you will come to a tarmac road on the right. Turn left onto the public footpath marked by posts saying Wonham Way. Walk down the hill. The path widens out and, eventually at some houses, veers to the left around a property called Southbrook Copse, then right at Southbrook House, following a wide track.
9. At the bottom of the hill, you meet Path 22, but ignore this and stay on the main track, which will cross back over the Tillingbourne River to the A25 again.
10. Turn left under the railway and cross the A25 back to Gomshall station.
• Back in Saxon times, the Manor of ‘Gumesele’ was a feudal landholding that originally included what is now the present-day village of Gomshall.
• Gomshall was once the site of an historic tannery, dating back to the 16th century, which exported leather all over the world. It only ceased trading in 1988.
• Tanyard Hall, which now houses the Parish Council offices, is one of the few remaining buildings from the days of the tannery. King John House, on the corner of Queen Street, is another.
• The Tillingbourne River is spring-fed from the nearby Leith Hill and was once one of the most industrialised valleys in the country. During Tudor times, it boasted flour, paper-making and gunpowder among its many industries.
• A new project is now under way to bring the stories of this time back to life (see far right for more details).