A walk crossing the borders of Bagshot, Windlesham and Lightwater

This is a walk of about 41/2 miles (7 km). The route as described is entirely on public rights of way. There are no hills, though there is a pronounced slope right at the end. The paths are often muddy in places. The route crosses a golf course and a main road twice. Allow 11/2 - 2 hours.

Google street view has become available since I  originally prepared this description and I have linked to a number of images from that source - click on the little camera logos Google street view at this location to have the view open in a separate window.

The thumbnail images on this page depict the objects, etc, described in text 
(for exampe this picture is a kissing gate). Therefore no further ALT text will be provided. Start at Bagshot railway station car park At the roundabout at its entrance turn up Lory Ridge Google street view at this  location then in a hundred yards take the footpath on the right to cross the railway on the iron foot bridge Google street view at this  location. At the other side, proceed along the road until it turns right then go through the new kissing gate on the left to climb up to the A322 road. Cross with care and then through the kissing gate on the other side to enter Windlesham Golf Club's course Google street view at this  location. The A322 marks the first of the borders we cross - from Bagshot into Windlesham parish.
The path across the first part of the golf course is not clear on the ground, but at the time of writing was marked well enough with way markers and caution signs.  From the kissing gate it starts off a little to the right of the obvious 'straight ahead'.  Take care, the path crosses several fairways and passes just to the right of greens that are themselves to the right of the club house.  
Immediately past the club house the route drops down to join a gravel path passing the end of a substantial hedge on your right.

Follow this gravel path ahead. In a short distance it deviates a little to the left, but do not take the footpath off to the left.  

While the made up path runs to the right of a further hedge, the golf club have signed a route to the left of the hedge for a short distance to keep walkers away from a fairway.  Since the fairway is played in the same direction as we are walking any activity by golfers should be quite obvious.
Continue with the path, and past a lake on your left. The white building seen on high ground to your left prior to the lake is Hall Grove School.  
Just past the lake you cross a level bridge and come upon another pair of fairways.  Cross these keeping in the same direction as you have been walking, though it will feel that you are walking diagonally across the fairways to the left.
You are aiming for a foot bridge with railed sides (not the plank bridge further to its left). Cross the bridge and go though another kissing gate and up a slope with a fence on your left.

Thirty years ago when we moved to Bagshot this slope was a wooded copse with derelect ornamental gardens beyond, but this has all been cleared to provide grazing fields.
Keep going with the fence on your left to a crossing of paths and a somewhat incongruous 4-way finger board sign post and continue forward (and slightly right) along what increasingly becomes a lane to the right of the farm buildings and to the left of a bungalow. You will come out on a road near a junction Google street view at this  location.
Turn right, go a few yards along New Road, and then take the bridleway on the left Google street view at this  location. Follow this as it curves its way round to the left.  Do not take the footpath signposted on the right. After an overhanging avenue of holly bushes and a few wiggles you come to some stables on your left and join with the drive to them.  Go right along the drive to reach a road just down from Windlesham church.
Turn right along the road Google street view at this  location, past Vicarage/Rectory Lane to a footpath sign and yet another kissing gate on your right.

Through the gate and along the edge of the field with the fence on your left, then right across the far end to exit via a stile in the opposite corner to that in which you entered. Turn right along the farm drive to meet with Vicarage Lane and turn left (at the time of writing the finger board here had been turned round to point the wrong way).  A few yards along the metalled road brings you to a farm gate.  Through here and forward along the clear farm track.  
As you walk along this track you will see ahead the footbridge across the motorway (yes, that's what you can hear).  

To your right you should be able to see the skelital communications tower that is on Old Dean Common, and to its right you may be able to make out the spire of St Anne's church, Bagshot.  On a hill well to the left of the communications tower you will also be able to make out the shape of a water tower.
Cross the motorway on the footbridge - this is our second border, we are now entering Lightwater parish. On the far side turn sharp left to follow a footpath alongside the motorway boundary fence.  This is a wooden railing fence but is not close boarded, so keep any children or dogs under supervision. This path continues to the remains of an old iron  kissing gate and then swings away from the motorway.
It passes to the left of a private dwelling, following the property boundary. Eventually a slight shift to the right brings you onto the road leading away from the property. Continue along this drive.
You are now approaching the buildings of Old House Farm.  When the drive you are on meets a further private road turn right and proceed along this past the old house and several associated buildings. Continue in this direction, the route ceases to be metalled and we proceed on the bridle path.

Some small lakes will be seen on your left.  Continue on the bridle path, now a little sunken and often muddy.

A crossing of paths signals a welcome end to this stretch and we turn left to cross to the other side of the line of elongated lakes and then right before crossing the stream that follows.

We walk along here with the lake on our right and the stream (actually the Windle Brook) on our left.  Eventually a deviation to the left takes us across the stream, then right and we continue to follow the stream (now on our right) until we reach the motorway boundary fence.

Turn leftt along a distinct track and stay with this as it turns half left and heads towards the high hedge surrounding South Farm (a further private dwelling) at the corner of which you will see a footpath finger board pointing at right angles to the right.
As you approach the hedge at South Farm, instead of following the finger board off to the right, continue in the direction you were going passing to the left of the South Farm dwelling and pick up the drive leaving from it.  Follow this drive until you come out into a detached part of Guildford Road now renamed South Farm Road and then left to the main A322 Google street view at this  location.   Cross the south-bound carriageway of the A322 with the utmost care then make your way towards the motorway roundabout where a series of traffic-light controlled pedestrain crossings Google street view at this  location take you the rest of the way to the Bagshot side of the motorway.   At the other side of the motorway continue forward until a substantial brick wall appears on your left, then continue to a gap in the wall that allows you to into Whitmoor Road Google street view at this  location. Turn right. Proceed along Whitmoor Road and then Guildford Road to the railway viaduct.
Immediately after the viaduct turn right into Wardle Close Google street view at this  location. then right along a footpath Google street view at this  location. running beside the railway embankment and gently rising to the level of the track. At the top, turn right and the station and its car park are ahead.
Safety and other considerations: Advert is here
This walk crosses a golf course.  Take care and have regard for the cautions provided by the club.
The walk also crosses the busy A322 road twice and has some short stretches along roads.  Remember the 'highway code'.  Take care crossing roads, and if there is no footpath then walk on the right facing on-coming traffic.
Please remember the 'country code'.  Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.  Keep dogs on a lead and under control, especially on farm land and near roads
Paths may be muddy and slippery. There may be overhanging branches, brambles, etc. You should take care and wear suitable footware and clothing. 
Always keep track of where you are so that you could retrace your steps if you miss the intended route or it is blocked. Walking alone is inadvisable.
This is a walk that the author has done many times.  The description given here is provided in good faith but no assurances as to its accuracy or suitability for you are given.  Review the complete description of the walk, and these safety notes, before deciding whether to embark upon it.

Reference to Ordance Survey map Explorer 160 will reveal a mirad of other footpaths and bridle paths in this area affording lots of potential variations.
Part of the walk is across land administered by trustees who allow permissive access off the footpath subject to the conditions displayed on notice boards.

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Saturday May 18, 2024