Historical journey through the Surrey Hills

Walk Event icon - Jewel Created with Sketch.
Lowland and Hill Walks
Dec 11

9 people attending

11 places left

Your price
Event booking closes on Dec 10 at 21:00:00
Event difficulty background shape EventDifficulty
Easy Moderate Very Hard
12 miles with some steep climbs

A vigorous circular walk with huge variety amongst Surrey’s woodlands, heath, hills and waterways.

The Surrey Hills isn’t the first place you might associate with heavy industry but hidden in the woods near the village of Chilworth (near Guildford) are the fascinating ruins of the gunpowder mill built over 300 years ago by the East India Company. The mill once thrived, employed 400 people, and was the sole legal producer of gunpowder in England to the monarchy. From there, we pass another piece of the industrial history of the area – the site of a former paper mill which among other things, made counterfeit French bank notes to undermine Napolean’s empire!

A fairly steep climb brings us to St Martha’s on the Hill – a picturesque church accessible only by foot, built in 1850 on the site of a Saxon church, and the only church in Surrey to be on the Pilgrim’s Way.  On a clear day it is said you can see eight counties. The site apparently contains several Megalithic and Neolithic artefacts, dating from as far back as 3500 BCE.

We pass through the Chantries – a lovely expanse of woodland with a mix of scots pines, larch, and various cedars. At one point we shall catch a glimpse of Guildford Cathedral in the distance before arriving at Shalford Mill. The mill sits on the Tillingbourne stream and was donated to the National Trust by the Ferguson Gang who reputably used it as their headquarters from 1932. The Gang were a group of well-educated, eccentric young women dedicated to preserving England’s heritage. 

From Shalford we follow the Wey Canal and Downs Link Path to Blackheath. Blackheath is an ancient area of heathland, home to rare species of nesting birds, butterflies, beetles, adders and some lizards. Parts are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest. From there we make our way back to the starting point.

IMPORTANT! - Participation Statement

You MUST complete a Participation Statementin addition to booking your event space before attending an OutdoorLads event. You only need to complete this Participation Statement once, not for each event you attend.

COVID-19 – IMPORTANT, Please read the following before you sign up to this event:

  • Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who lives or is in a support bubble with someone showing symptoms, is asked not to attend. This is in line with the government’s coronavirus advice.
  • You must also immediately self-isolate and not attend the event if you or someone in your household or support bubble shows coronavirus symptoms or tests positive. Read the NHS self-isolation guidance.
  • OutdoorLads strongly encourages all attendees to take a rapid lateral flow test immediately prior to attending an event. This will help to keep everyone safe. Order free Rapid Lateral Flow Tests.

All images were taken by the leader.