Studying the map, looking for local walks we came across an interesting trail that encircles Guildford. Walking the Fox Way, which is a 37miles /63km circular trail around Guildford – devised by Richard Fox and Win King – provided us with trails to walk for four days.
We set a goal to walk the entire trail without using a car or public transport, starting from our home in Guildford. It would have been possible to walk the trail as several linear walks, but using other trails – such as the North Downs Way – we created four, very long circular walks from hour house. And there was no need to use any transport. After careful planning we found the most suitable trails to access the Fox Way. The distance for each circular section was between a respectful 18km and 32km.
As we live only minutes from Whitmoor Common, the most practical choice was to join the Fox Way long distance trail right there. We walked the first section of the trail anticlockwise, so we followed the infrequent circular, yellow signs of the fox head with a crown for several kilometres. That day we left the Fox Way near Wanborough after walking a gentle 10km on it, and through woods and meadows we headed back to Guildford.
We re-joined the Fox Way about 10km from our house; first we walked along the River Wey tow path and then joined the North Downs Way to take us close to the point where we left off. We walked through a forest, where bluebells carpeted the floor and at Putthenham we found the familiar fox head with a crown and followed it across lush meadows. From Shackleford we walked through Shackleford Heath and then at Eashing we joined the River Wey by a 13th century stone bridge. And then continued to Godalming. Shortly after Godalming we left the Fox Way and we walked back to Guildford following the River Wey navigation.
Once again we followed the River Wey and only left the path near Bramley. We made our way to Wonersh, where we rejoined and followed the marked Fox Way long distance trail through dense forest. Most probably that was the hilliest part of the entire Fox Way. We walked through Blackheath Common before arriving at the charming Shere village. Shortly after, from Silent Pool there was a steep climb followed by a long gentle descent through Clandon Downs to West Clandon. We left the Fox Way there and walked across fields and Merrow Common to get back to Guildford.
We joined the Fox Way in West Clandon about 8km from hour home, and followed the familiar trail markings to Ripley. There we joined the River Wey once again. From the path we enjoyed views towards the imposing ruins of the 12th century Newark Priory. The ruins are on private land but can be seen from the tow path. We walked along the River Wey many times but had never explored this section before.
Walking the Fox Way long distance trail was a good way to see Guildford and the surrounding countryside. We can highly recommend it to anyone, because it really takes you through some of the most beautiful parts of the local area.