Robust Rambles

Dymchurch to Didcot Robust Ramble

Section 32 Out

The Sands to Farnham

Walk Details
Map OS Explorer 145 Guildford & Farnham
Distance/Time 4 miles/ 2 hours
Start The Barley Mow, The Sands
Comment It was intended to head north from this point but so much land is still restricted by military use that the idea was abandoned. This westward section reaches the attractive town of Farnham. Inevitably the town's development affects the surrounding countryside, but this provides constant contrast. This section has excellent woodland stretches and quiet corners, then skirts a quarry and a busy road to suddenly emerge almost in the town centre. Most of the paths are bridleways which may be muddy but are easy to follow and have no stiles.
Walk Instructions

With the front of the Barley Mow pub on your left walk forward a few paces then turn sharp left up the side of the pub on a no through road called Smugglers Way. In 200 metres, opposite the white gate to The Halt house, turn right off the road on a bridleway through holly bushes.

Immediately reach a T-junction. Turn right, away from the road, and follow a clear path up, then down, along the edge of the wood (ignore a path off left on the way down). At a second junction of tracks, bear right down to a road.

Turn left on the road with care. Walk uphill then down for ¼ mile to a T-junction. Turn right on this busy road with great care for 100 metres (best to cross over as soon as possible). Just past a side road on the left (Compton Way), turn left off the road through posts onto a bridleway.

Keep along this pleasant path ignoring a footpath off left. Drop gently downhill into Runfold Wood. Pass the North Downs Way going off right and keep on for 50 metres to a footpath going off left up steps in the bank. Turn left on this path and follow it along the edge of the wood.

Exit the wood into a field and keep forward in the same direction. Notice a quarry over on your right. A footpath should go off right but has been diverted due to the excavations. Keep on along the field to reach a wooden kissing gate at the far end not far from a road.

Do not go through gate but turn right on the diverted path going off between fences. Soon the fence on your right ends, but continue on by the fence on your left. The side of the quarry is just over on your right. Follow the fence right down to the bottom of the field then around to the far corner (ignore metal fieldgates).

Leave the field once again on a path between fences. This drops down alongside the quarry lorry loading area. At the end cross a muddy access road and continue down then up steps to join a grassy enclosed path going away from the quarry and soon exiting via a metal kissing gate onto a road by the Princess Royal pub.

Turn left on the pavement above the road and head towards a junction with a main road. Just before the junction, turn left down Rock House Lane. Where this reaches the entrance to Rock House, turn left down the drive to Moor Park Farm.

Pass through the converted farm buildings to reach a T-junction by horse paddocks. Turn right on a broad track for 100 metres. At a junction, turn left, down the entrance to High Mill House. Pass by the mill cottages and the mill race and, through a gate, continue on with a ditch on your right. At the bottom cross a long footbridge and bear right into a wood. Ignore a kissing gate and path off left and keep on uphill through the wood (back on the North Downs Way).

At a Y-fork bear right to follow a fence along the bottom edge of the wood. At the next junction keep forward to pass under a railway. Soon reach a junction of ways and turn left to walk along a vehicle track with a river on your right.

In a little way, by a beech hedge, ignore a cross path and keep on along the main track. Pass a petrol station on your right. The track becomes a narrow road and heads down towards a busy dual carriageway. Just before this, turn left on a narrow side road and follow this for some way to emerge onto a main road. Go forward a few paces to a crossroads.

Here turn right across the main road (use the pedestrian crossing), and go down by the Emmanuel Church to cross the river and head up into the town centre of Farnham. Keep straight up the road to the crossroads with the main shopping street at The Borough.

Turn left along the main street to a junction with the wide Castle Street going off right. The Queen’ s Head is just beyond and the end of the section.