Walks from the Railway: Guildford to Portsmouth
John Owen Smith

Cover of Walks from the Railway: Guildford to Portsmouth ISBN 1-873855-55-9

Circular walks from stations, and linear walks to connect them

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St Hubert's Church, Idsworth and the railway
Back, LH column: Guildford Cathedral; Cross at Gibbet Hill, Hindhead; Memorial stone to Edward Thomas at Steep; the Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth
Back, RH column: River Wey near Guildford; Memorial stone bench to Octavia Hill at Hydon's Ball, Hambledon; scene on Weavers Down near Liphook; view across to Langstone from Hayling Island

Paperback - 84 pages, illustrated and containing historical notes.
John Owen Smith; ISBN: 978-1-873855-55-3 ; October 2008

See amendment for Walk 8 due to road improvements related to the Hindhead Tunnel

For Walk J ensure that the Hayling Island ferry is operating

Associated titles: Walks around Headley … and over the borders; Walks through History at the West of the Weald; The Hilltop Writers by WR Trotter; Shottermill by Greta A Turner; Heatherley by Flora Thompson; Peverel Papers by Flora Thompson

Map . Introduction . List of Walks . Guided Walks . About the Author . Further information . Download the walks

Inaugural Walk

In October 2008, the author and some colleagues walked the route of the book from Guildford to Hayling Island :—

Start Lunch End Distance
Thurs Guildford Godalming Chiddingfold 12.5 miles
Fri Chiddingfold Haslemere Liphook, Black Fox 11 miles
Sat Liphook, Black Fox Steep, The Harrow Buriton 11 miles
Sun Buriton Rowlands Castle Langstone, The Royak Oak 12.5 miles

See also report and picture in the Petersfield Post

General map of the walks


It is about 60 miles (or 95km) to walk from Guildford to Portsmouth Harbour, and it can be done. If, however, you would prefer to let the train take at least part of the strain, this book has divided the journey into manageable chunks which can be walked between railway stations. It also includes a circular walk or two from each of the stations on the way – and I couldn't resist the temptation of offering you a quick trip to the Isle of Wight too.

The routes are described travelling towards the coast. There is no reason, of course, why you should not choose to walk in the opposite direction. In either case, I recommend that you take the relevant Ordnance Survey maps with you as, from personal experience, it can sometimes be all too easy to find yourself on the wrong path and needing to find your way back to some identifiable point.

This is particularly true where a route uses permissive paths rather than public rights of way, as the former are not always shown as tracks on maps.

List of Walks

   Circular Walk 1 - Guildford & Compton - 7¾ miles/12.5km

   Circular Walk 2 - Guildford & Chilworth - 10 miles/16km

   Link Walk A - Guildford to Godalming - 5½ miles/8.5km

   Circular Walk 3 - Godalming & Peper Harow - 5 miles/8km

   Link Walk B - Godalming to Milford & Witley stations -
      3 miles/5km to Milford Stn; 6¾ miles/11km to Witley Stn

   Circular Walk 4 - Milford station & Hydon's Ball - 7 miles/11km

   Link Walk C - Between Walks 4 and 5 - ½ mile

   Circular Walk 5 - Witley station & Chiddingfold - 8 miles/12.5km

   Link Walk D - Witley station to Haslemere - 8½ miles/13.5km

   Circular Walk 6 - Haslemere & Hindhead - 6 miles/9.5km

   Circular Walk 7 - Haslemere & Blackdown - 8 miles/13km

   Link Walk E - Haslemere to Liphook - 5½ miles/8.5km

   Circular Walk 8 - Liphook & Bramshott - 8 miles/13km

Note that you need to deviate from the original published route when crossing the A3 at Bramshott Chase due to road improvements for the Hindhead Tunnel. Amended instructions at Point 7 of the walk are as follows:—

7. Turn right along the minor road, turning left by Knockhundred Cottage along a footpath with garden boundaries to the left. This becomes a track past houses (Chase Villas) before meeting a road. Turn left here to pass under the A3, then left and left again up a side road (to Chase Farm). Continue along this road to Point 8.

   Circular Walk 9 - Liphook & Griggs Green - 7½ miles/12km

   Link Walk F - Liphook to Liss - 6 miles/9.5km

   Circular Walk 10 - Liss & Hawkley - 9 miles/14.5km

   Link Walk G - Liss to Petersfield - 4½ miles/7km

   Circular Walk 11 - Petersfield & Steep - 6 miles/9.5km

   Circular Walk 12 - Petersfield, Butser & Buriton - 11 miles/17.5km

   Link Walk H - Petersfield to Rowlands Castle - 7 miles/11km

   Circular Walk 13 - Rowlands Castle & West Marden - 8¾ miles/14km

   Link Walk I - Rowlands Castle to Havant - 3¾ miles/6km

   Circular Walk 14 - Havant & Hayling Island - 8½ miles/13.5km

   Link Walk J - Havant to Portsmouth Harbour - 14 miles/22.5km

Note: For Walk J ensure that the Hayling Island ferry is operating

   Circular Walk 15 - Portsmouth Harbour & Southsea - 3 miles/5km
        Extension on the Isle of Wight: Ryde to Fishbourne - 3 miles/5km

   Circular Walk 16 - Portsmouth Harbour & Gosport - 5 miles/8km

Guided Walks

If you would be interested in having the author join your group to guide and interpret one of these walks, please contact me for details of costs.

About the Author

John Owen Smith was born in 1942 and trained as a Chemical Engineer at London University, but spent most of his working life designing commercial Information Systems for the paper-making industry. Following redundancy, he 'fell' into researching and recording the local history of east Hampshire, where he now lives. His output of historical community plays, lectures, articles and books includes:—

Please feel free to contact me if you would like to share information on the history of Headley. See address details on Home Page