st martha's hill downs link

That the hamlet got anything can be credited to one Lord Thurlow. Not that there was much to see from the Downs Link, which had been routed away from the station on a side path, but a gap in the fence providing a fleeting glimpse of what once was, perhaps in better condition than it ever was under British Rail; vintage enamal advertisements placed on the platforms under immaculate woodwork. The Downs Link footpath and bridleway links the North Downs Way at St Martha’s Hill, Surrey with the South Downs Way near Steyning, West Sussex and on via the Coastal Link to Shoreham-by-Sea. The Downs Link follows two historic railway lines through the beautiful and ancient wooded countryside of Surrey to the golden coastline of West Sussex. Whether it was the weather or not, I couldn’t tell, but the Downs Link was now deserted. A twin arch bridge spanned the old tracked, with the first arch originally going over the Wey and Arun canal. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. Almost all the trail follows the former trackbed of a railway closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching cuts so it’s pretty flat. The Downslink Ultra is a 38-mile point to point race from St Martha’s Hill, Surrey to Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex using the Downslink footpath and bridleway. There was an abundance of primroses lining the banks of the path in abundance and a short way out of the village I settled on a log and enjoyed my lunch. Whilst the station buildings had long gone, a former waiting shelter sat on one of the platforms next to a mock-up of a signal, permanently locked in the stop position. The route is a straightforward "double" that can be completed in a day, following the Down's Link route from St Martha's Hill, near Guildford, to Shoreham. Well it was as good a reason as any to head to St Matha’s Hill, the start of the trail, on a rather soggy Saturday in April. Last Updated: 4 January 2019. Downs Link - Via St Martha's Hill. The notion of starting a walking trail at the top of a hill is – on paper – an appealing one view. It’s hard sometimes to walk down a long closed railway line and not thing about the steam trains and carriages that once came this way. As I approached the village of Rudgwick fellow walkers also began to appear again; usually togged up to the nines in waterproofs and wellies whilst a large dog ran around, enthusiastically jumping in puddles. The small village of Rudgwick would be the last place where I knew I’d be able to get a bus; an hourly service connecting to either Guildford or Horsham. The vast majority of the route follows a disused railway trail, and is suitable for almost all bikes & riders. For most of its length it follows former railway lines and is popular with cyclists wanting to stay off-road on a well-surfaced track. I found only one place; a covered walkway outside of the Co-operative supermarket from which it was impossible to see if the bus was coming or not. Well why not? I walked on, passed a mysterious building with a “CLOSED” sign above the front door. Surrounded mostly by trees, the old railway line felt rather gloom in the rain, with only the odd bridge breaking it all up. The course is fully marked. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Almost all the trail follows the former trackbed of a railway closed in the 1960s as part of the Beeching cuts so it’s pretty flat. the “Downs Link” that runs all the way from St Martha’s to the South Downs Way and ultimately to the sea. Turn right on this path and follow the path down the hillside into the Tillingbourne Valley. The route was opened in 1984 to link the North Downs Way and the South Downs Way. Not that I was particularly surprised. As you walk along, you can take … “I remember standing on this platform to get home from school. Now the church sits alone, accessible only by foot. You will find a car park about 1.2 km along this road. To provide you with the best experience, cookies are used on this site. “It would have taken a lot of this traffic off the road, for a start,” she carried on, pointing to the car-filled road nearby, where the local traffic was barely moving. It was underground. Quite why Downs Link starts at the top of St Martha’s Hill isn’t particularly clear. If I stopped, I’d end up having to spend two more days walking the trail. But the first four miles instead meander around lanes and tracks, starting from St Martha’s Hill. It also passes the Surrey heathland of Blackheath, with its impressive War Memorial atop Rosemary Hill. It is named after the original Norman Parish Church built on this site. Practical Information for visiting with a group, Surrey's Heritage and Houses with a group, Places to eat and stay in Surrey with a group, Get Active sports and countryside in Surrey, Surrey's Arts/Culture/ Museums with a group. The northern entrance at Baynards has been mostly buried under soil and undergrowth, meaning the Downs Link heads off instead along a selection of increasingly muddy paths in a wood above the tunnel, crossing the border into West Sussex in the process. The Downslink footpath and bridleway links the North Downs Way at St Martha's Hill, Surrey with the South Downs Way near Steyning, West Sussex. However, the route was designed to link the North Downs Way with the South Downs Way, and this is where it meets its northern brother. A network of concrete culverts did, at least, keep the worst of the water off the footpath but such had been the downpour, that they were struggling to cope with the demand. I peered over the sides of the railway bridge – built up high to stop people from dropping things on the tracks – but there were no trains. My boots squelched and sploshed in the puddles, whilst every now and then the path descended into a muddy morass. 4 The track soon crosses a bridge over the Tillingbourne stream. From there, the path led to sparse woodland on Rosemary Hill, before heading to the more dense trees of Wonersh Common. That didn’t stop the station also serving as a post office though, but even if the Cranleigh line had remained open, it’s hard to imagine the station would have survived with its splattering of houses and a closed pub. The path then descends to the road and runs next to the road for a while, passing White Lane Farm. It’s a shame.”. I’d been keeping my eye open for a bench – there’d been plenty earlier in the day, but no sooner had I wanted to sit on one and they’d all disappeared. From here, I descended the other side of St Martha's Hill, leaving the North Downs Way where it intersects with the Downs Link (a 50km path joining the North and South Downs). There is now a cafe a few yards from the walk at Rudgwick. Once the church had been an important staging post on a busy route, but when the era of the motorcar arrived, the roads remained at the foot of the hill. Again, now a private house, Baynard’s is the only station on the route to have remained pretty much intact. Not that Downs Link actually starts at the church. The resulting car growth over the decades was paying its toll on the area, and a report in 1994 for Surrey County Council concluded that partly re-opening the line down from Guildford, through Bramley and Wonersh and on to the town of Cranleigh, would take 500 car users off the road each day. Ever after seeking innovative solutions, part of the closed tunnel had been used by the local council as a rubbish tip. To build your own Itinerary, click to add an item to your Itinerary basket. You are here: Things to Do > Downs Link off road trail. Paths along old railway lines tend to share similar features. Oh and the fact that no sooner had I got up there, than I had to go right back down again. 22.St Martha’s Church. Turn right here, just before another bridge, on a clear path. I knew I’d made a mistake not putting my waterproof trousers on. I’d like to say it was planned, but that would imply too much credit on my part. I’d got to the top of St Martha’s Hill having set off from Chilworth station in the valley below,, and now I was heading back to it. Please consider supporting what I do by buying me a coffee (n.b. Unlike its neighbour, Cranleigh had little to commemorate the railway. Bramley and Wonersh may have lost its service, but parts of the station still remained, lovingly restored by local groups. St Martha's Hill is a landmark in St Martha in Surrey, England between the town of Guildford and village of Chilworth.It is the 18th highest hill in the county and on the Greensand Ridge, in this case at the closest point to the North Downs, commencing to the immediate north at the Guildown-Merrow Down in the parishes of Guildford and Merrow. The path continues past the famous beauty sport of Newlands Corner and then continues through Woodland to Hackhurst Downs where there is a path into the pretty village of Gomshall. Grid Ref: TQ 032 484 to TQ 031 420 St Martha’s Hill – Bramley – Run Common – 10.5km (6.5 miles) St Martha’s Hill. The Downs Link connects with other long-distance routes, such as the North Downs Way, South Downs Way, Wey South Path, Greensand Way, Sussex Border Path and National Cycle Network routes 2 and 22. Use this tool to build your own journey or choose from an exciting range of specially selected tours. “Aye,” she nodded, looking at the platform a little wistfully. The 37-mile (59-kilometer) route begins on St Martha’s Hill, near Guildford, and travels south to finish in the historic seaside town of Shoreham-by-Sea. Things began to change again as housing re-appeared and the Downs Link made its way into the heart of Cranleigh. From St Martha's Hill the sandy path descends and crosses the Downs Link, a path linking the North Downs Way with the South Downs Way. The southern end of the tunnel was more noticeable; a bricked up tunnel mouth with a solitary door set in the middle to keep people away from the colony of bats who had taken up residence after the railway tracks were lifted. And with that she bade me farewell, leaving me on the platform wondering about what once was. From Guildford follow the A281 to shalford, then along the A248. There’d been light rain for at least an hour, and it was slowly but surely getting worse. Now I seemed to have the Downs Link to myself as the path headed straight along. Whilst the tree lined path of the old train line kept sight of the road to a minimum, the noise of cars rushing on their way meant you always knew it was there. Why not just fill it with local waste? Relatively straight, relatively flat. Post code for start point: St Marthas, Guildford  GU4 8PZ. Beginning of cycle ride along the Downs Link to Shoreham: psburgess: 16/05/2020: NDW Westhumble to Guildford: jedthehumanoid: 24/01/2020: Day 1 walking the North Downs Way: fosal29: 29/04/2019: Boxing Day walk with John & Simon: ornithopod: 26/12/2018 These days the tunnel is left in peace, and the entrances all blocked off. St Martha’s Priory (another ecclesiastical clue) was derelict for many years but has now been converted into a prestigious house. For 37 miles it steams down the south of England, from St Martha's Hill near Guildford, to Shoreham-by-Sea on the south coast. Routes on this trail. Suggested joining points:  Guildford, Bramley or Cranleigh. Thankfully the path led to a distinctly easier section of tarmac, through the village of Stonebridge before finally the Downs Link arrived at the main event – the trackbed of the Cranleigh railway line. In 10m, ignore the wide path on the right and continue for another 50m. The distance shouldn’t have been a problem but the muddy paths had made going slower than I’d expected, and the damp weather had left me with stiff and aching legs. A large, modern white sign – the kind you expect on a road as you ever a town – made sure walkers knew there were in Cranleigh. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. The signals and railway paraphernalia may have gone, and the undergrowth may be creeping in from the sides now that no railway workers were there to crop it back, but the clues were always there. However there are others where closure would prove to be a big mistake. That and the fact that St Martha’s Hill is a bit of a local landmark, thanks to its isolated church, parts of which date from the 12th century. All morning I’d been overtaken by fluorescent lycra-clad cylists, joggers and even the odd walker. The 37 mile (59km) shared route for walkers, horse riders and cyclists linking the North Downs Way with the South Downs Way. Linking the North Downs Way at St. Martha's Hill in Surrey with the South Down's Way near Steyning, the Downs Link route itself follows the course of two dismantled railway lines - the Cranleigh Line & the Steyning Line - both of which were closed in the 1960's as a result of the Beeching Axe. Alternatively, the more accessible option (DLA) bypasses this in favour of a more relaxed walk, free from obstacles and sharp climbs. But putting footpaths through them means maintaining the infrastructure to a higher standard, plus lighting to install, health and safety hazards to assess. No one would know. There may even have been an element of smug self-satisfaction involved. I had fond memories, especially of the South Downs, and I was intrigued to see how the landscape would change as I travelled between the two. My original plan had been to walk on another six miles to Christ’s Hospital – a total of nineteen miles or so – but even by the time I’d got to Cranleigh it was obvious I’d never make it. British Rail looked in to a few years later, and the Railway Development Society did the same. I’d just been attracted by the fact that it linked the North Downs Way and South Downs Ways, two trails I’d walked already. 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