Surrey walk around Pirbright
- Credit: Gordon Jackson
Enjoy a 4 mile (6.5km) walk around this little known area of Surrey
• Start: Bus shelter by White Hart pub
• Nearest Railway Station: Brookwood Station is about one mile away.
• Grid ref: SU 945 558 Postcode for Sat Nav: GU24 0LP
• Length of walk: 4 miles (6.5km) / 2 hours
• Food and Drink: Three great pubs in Pirbirght: The White Hart Pub is a restaurant type pub with good vegan menu. The Cricketers Inn and the Royal Oak are good traditional pubs, welcoming walkers, dogs, and children.
• While you are there: Visit Brookwood Cemetery, Glades House, Cemetery Pales, Woking GU24 0BL
• Free guided walk: Check the Surrey Hills Society website for their free guided walks– see surreyhillssociety.org for details.
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1 Start from the bus shelter on the southern corner of Pirbright Green, next to the White Hart pub. Cross the main road and follow the road (signed as leading to Church Lane) heading away from the green, also signed for church. At the junction, keep left onto Church Lane until you reach St Michael and All Angels Church on your right.
2 Go past the church and turn right onto the footpath over a stream. Follow this footath for some distance until you reach School Lane.
3 Turn left along the pavement. After 150 metres, turn left opposite Causeway Farm, along West Heath. Pass Thompsons Close and continue ahead to reach Church Lane.
4 Turn left along the road for a short distance, passing The Old School House. Turn right along the footpath between fields. Cross a bridge, and go through a kissing gate. Walk across the field diagonally, up Hazelacre Hill, passing a group of trees on your right. Go through a kissing gate and keep going to a kissing gate in the corner of the field, which goes into woods.
5 Follow the path ahead along an old fence line to reach a track. Bear left at the track and keep left along the road to pass the entrance for Pirbright Lodge on the left. Continue for 500 metres, passing the pond by the Manor House on your left.
6 Just past Millcroft on your right, bear right through a kissing gate. Go across the fields (following the fence on the right) and through two kissing gates to join an enclosed path. At the end of this path, cross the main road to the left of the mini-roundabout, turn right along the pavement on Guildford Road (B3032).
7 Pass Burner’s Farm on your left and continue to reach Rowe Lane, on the left.
8 Bear left into Rowe Lane and follow this as it swings right (ignoring the footpath into Whites Lane on the left). After 100 metres turn left at a kissing gate to go up onto the footpath. Keep ahead to a T junction with a tarmac track. Turn left along the track then keep ahead at the signed crossroads on the tarmac track which becomes a path into woods. Some way in, cross the footbridge (via stiles at each end) then turn left.
9 Keep ahead on the path with a stream on the left. At the end of the holly bushes, swing right then left, to join the path beside Pirbright Common on the right. At the junction, pass to the left of the house. Keep ahead past Hogley’s Farm and a house on your left. Keep ahead on a woodland path, and then an access track for 100 metres, to reach Whites Lane on the left (opposite Sandyburn).
10 Turn left into Whites Lane. Pass between houses then keep ahead on the path to reach a farm access track. Turn left along the track and, after 50 metres turn right onto a signed footpath (just before the property, White’s Farm).
11 Go through a gate, turn left across the field to reach a gate and footbridge near the field corner. Cross the footbridge, bear right through the woods and follow the long path ahead to pass through the woodland. Eventually, the path swings left to join a tarmac drive. Follow the drive, through a gate, and continue to reach the road (with the Cricketers Inn pub on the left and Pirbright Green opposite).
12 Cross the road to enter the side road opposite. Turn left onto the tarmac path across the green, passing a pond on the left and Lord Pirbright’s Hall on the right. Beyond Lord Pirbright’s Hall, bear left along the main road to reach the bus stop where the walk began.
• Pirbright’s name is derived from the Old English pyrige (pear tree) and fryth (wood).
• Pirbright was part of the Royal hunting forest of Windsor until 1694.
• St Michael and All Angels Church was rebuilt in 1784 and is one of the few examples of a Georgian church to be found in Surrey.
• Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904) is buried in the Pirbright churchyard. In 1869 he went to Africa as a journalist for the New York Herald to look for Livingstone. He found him near Lake Tanganyika and spoke those immortal words “Dr Livingstone I presume?” He lived the final years of his life at Furze Hill, Pirbright.
• Much of the parish lies on poor, sandy soil. By 1911, the war office had acquired three-quarters of the land for military training purposes, and laid out extensive rifle ranges.
• Burner’s Heath is named after the family who used to live in Burner’s Farmhouse, and is now managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust.
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