Rail to Ramble: Chilworth to Gomshall

 the Surrey Hills Society launch the Rail to Ramble scheme at Chilworth Railway Station

On route - the Surrey Hills Society launch the Rail to Ramble scheme at Chilworth Railway Station - Credit: Ken Bare

The Surrey Hills Society's Chris Howard and Ken Bare have created a series of walks through the heart of the Surrey Hills connecting the stations along the North Downs Railway. This takes you from Chilworth to Gomshall

Compass Points: 

Start:  Chilworth Railways Station  

Postcode for Sat Nav: GU4 8QN 

Parking: limited on the road or in the Percy Arms (if you are staying for lunch) 

Toilets: At Percy Arms or Gomshall Mill or Compass Inn pubs at end of walk or public toilets in Shere. 

Grid ref: TQ031472 

Most Read

What3 words: ///like.caves.drops 

Length of walk:  5.7 miles (9.1kms) Allow 3 hours 

Public Transport: Great Western Railways North Downs line or Bus Stagecoach /Compass 32 

Food and Drink: Percy Arms pub Chilworth and Gomshall Mill or Compasses Inn at Gomshall. Alternatively, stop off at one of the pubs or cafes in Shere 

While you are there:  Enjoy a walk around the pretty village of Shere with its own local museum. Or, on your return to Chilworth explore the ruined gunpowder mills behind the pub. 

Free guided walk: Join Chris Howard on a free guided walk on 1st Sunday of the month – see surreyhillssociety.org for details 

OS Map Chilworth to Gomshall

Walking route from Chilworth to Gomshall - Credit: OS

The Walk

  1. Come out of Chilworth Railway Station towards the Percy Arms Pub. Turn right at the Dorking Road (A248) and follow the pavement along the roadside.   
  2. After 500m turn right at the Downs Link sign by the bus stop. At the white gates keep right, keeping on the Downs Link bridleway. At a junction of paths by Lingwood House take the bridleway at 11 o’clock. Continue on until brow of hill, then bear right. 
  3. At the road crossing turn right for 50m along the road, then left onto the bridleway, then veer right. Be careful as there are several paths here in close proximity. Go across a small car park and continue straight ahead (there are some houses to your right). The path opens out into a wooded clearing. There is a cricket pitch clearly visible over to your right. Turn left at post marked as bridleway. 
  4. Take the bridleway to the brow of the hill with excellent views over to Winterfold. At the sandy cross roads, with a wooden bench on your right, continue straight ahead on the bridleway.  Ignore all small paths off to the left and right.  
  5. At a four-way junction continue ahead past a finger post marked Fox Way veering slightly right to follow the fence line on your right. As you come to Candleford Cottage on your right, take the left turn, and then bear right on public footpath (ignoring bridleway on left). Cross the stile and continue on with the fence line on your left. At next junction continue straight over. After 150m you come to a tarmac track. Continue straight ahead past Remnants Cottage.  
  6. Pass Lipscombe Cottage turn sharp left and then almost immediately right, still on the Fox Way. Keep going forward, ignoring all small paths to the side, continuing through the pine wood. At next cross roads turn right towards open fields going down the hill (still on the Fox Way). Go through the metal gate and continue down the hill. At the bottom, bear left towards the houses and continue on until you meet the road.  
  7. Turn left for 30m and then right into Brook Lane. Follow this road going under a red brick railway bridge and past the William IV pub on your left.  
  8. At the T-junction with Park Road cross straight over the green triangular space and pick up the bridleway directly opposite. Bear right at the fork in the path after 20m. Continue on Fox Way (also now signposted as Shere Millennium Trail). At a major Y-junction of bridleways, veer left continuing downhill. Keep going down the hill to the stream.  
  9. Turn right through a kissing gate marked Shere Millennium Trail. Continue ahead alongside the stream and through a second kissing gate. At the next gate, continue on the tarmac lane into Shere village. At the village centre bridge, turn right then immediately left towards the church. 
  10. Pass the church on your left and at the junction with Church Hill take the footpath uphill ahead (Shere Millennium Trail). At the first junction, turn left and follow the path for 600m until reaching The Old Barn. Turn left and reach road at Monks House. 
  11. Go straight over towards bus shelter and post box, onto High View Road. Pass Tower Hill Road on your right, turning left into Goose Green. Pass a recreation ground on your left and at the bottom of the hill you reach Gomshall Mill Pub and Restaurant. 
  12. Cross over the road (A25) and turn right along the pavement. After 250m you reach the entrance to Gomshall Railway Station on your left. 
The millstones at Chilworth

The millstones at Chilworth - Credit: Ken Bare

Local Facts:  

The Rail to Ramble walk leaflets were launched this year, to encourage people to leave their cars at home and enjoy exploring the Surrey Hills by train. Created as a partnership project between Great Western Railway, The Southeast Communities Rail Partnership and the Surrey Hills AONB team, the routes were created by Chris Howard and Ken Bare, with support from other volunteers. The walks can be downloaded from surreyhills.org or picked up from various information points.  

  • Chilworth was the site of one of England’s Tudor gunpowder mills, which functioned here until after WW1.  
  • Gomshall was once home to a large tannery that exported leather all over the world. It closed during the 1980s. It has been redeveloped as housing, but the area’s history is reflected in its street names. The Parish Council offices are all that remains of the historic tannery site.  
  • Shere is one of the most popular Surrey Hills villages. It is an ancient settlement mentioned in the Domesday Book, with a 12th-century church of St James. It contains a tiny cell in which Christine Carpenter, an anchoress (religious recluse) lived in the 14th century.