- Trails /
- Surrey /
Passing motorists, with their eyes transfixed on the twisting A286, see very little of the small hamlet of Grayswood as they speed on their way to and from Haslemere and beyond. Many of its houses lay hidden down small lanes behind the beautifully kept green. The cricket pitch is magnificent and has an ancient spreading oak growing well within its southern boundary while on the northern border is one of the nicest village halls I have ever seen. Across the busy main road is the startling little parish church that was built in 1901 by a Swedish architect, and its Scandinavian ancestry shows.
The stroll passes this pleasant setting as we set out along a quiet road that brings us to open fields with pastoral views. As the route circles Frillinghurst Wood we cross more fields and enter quiet woodland to reach High Prestwick Farm. From here our return brings us across an elevated meadow where the views towards Hindhead are quite outstanding.
1. From the Wheatsheaf walk downhill along the A286 to reach the village green where you should now turn right and continue along Lower Road. Ignore turnings to your right. At a T-junction with Clammer Hill, go ahead along a rough track opposite.
2. When the track finally ends by a gate, keep ahead on a narrower path and cross a field. Soon you pass through a narrow strip of woodland and continue over a second field. Go over a third field and at the far side, with the roof of Imbhams Farm visible to your right, turn left along the field edge on a wide grassy track with a hedgerow on the right.
3. At the end of the field keep ahead on a grassy track and at a fork go left. As you meet a wider track bear left along it to reach a field. Follow the left-hand edge and when opposite a barn look out for a half-hidden stile on your left. Cross this and almost immediately the path goes downhill and crosses a tributary of the river Arun. Continue up the other side to meet a stile at a field edge. Cross the stile and turn left to meet another in 30 yards which you cross and enter woodland.
4. After 40 yards turn right on an uphill path through trees to meet a T-junction. Turn right here and very soon by a gate go left on a narrow footpath. Cross a stile and continue along the left-hand side of a field that offers panoramic views over the adjoining countryside. After going over a hillock look out for a stile hidden in the field edge to your left. Cross this and maintain direction on a narrow woodland path that eventually brings you to a field edge. Press on up the right-hand side of the field and go through a gate beside a scenic summerhouse. Keep ahead and pass between the barn and farm cottages of High Prestwick Farm to reach a road.
5. Turn left here and within yards of passing pretty Damson Cottage go left on a narrow public footpath. Persevere along this scrappy little path and it will bring you to open fields where you maintain direction to the top of an incline. The scenery is superb here as you gaze over the valley towards Hindhead. Go through a field gate where you will be confronted by three others. Pass through the gate to your right and continue diagonally right across the centre of the field towards houses, aiming for a stile in the far edge which you cross. Go ahead over a tarmac track and proceed along a path opposite where you pass stables. After passing the side of a large garden you will meet up with the track walked earlier. Turn right here and retrace your steps back to the Wheatsheaf and the end of the stroll.
Grayswood sits astride the A286 just 1 mile north-east of Haslemere. Parking is available in the pub car park or along Lower Road by the cricket green.