Wey walks: Pyrford Lock to Papercourt

River Wey Navigations, Dapdune Wharf, Wharf Road, Guildford, GU1 4RR

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Newark Mill in 1953 © Hilda Weekes

Newark Mill in 1953

The tumbling bay at Papercourt Lock © NT

The tumbling bay at Papercourt Lock

Newark Priory from the towpath © NT

Newark Priory from the towpath

The summerhouse at Pyrford Place © National Trust

The summerhouse at Pyrford Place

Pigeon House Cottage, 1908 © Mr Shoesmith

Pigeon House Cottage, 1908

Route overview

This walk reveals the striking rural character of the Wey Navigations and the two small and attractive villages of Ripley and Pyrford. Some unexpected historical highlights will become clear along the way.


Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Map of walk three along the Wey Navigations, Pyrford Lock to Papercourt Lock
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: Car park at Ripley Green, grid ref: TQ0532156894

  1. On Ripley Green, follow the track between the play area and the cricket pitch and take the path on the right of the smaller car park by the seat. Take the left fork past the seat, walking diagonally across the common. Go straight through the woods, across two footbridges and continue to meet the lane. Turn left, follow the lane through the gate and over the bridge by Ockham Mill, bearing right through the gate onto the cart track to the Wey Navigations.

  2. Continue over the river footbridge and turn left onto the towpath. Continue to Walsham Gates. Beyond the cottage, turn left over the weir. Turn right onto the towpath and continue to Newark Lock. Cross the lock to reach Newark Lane. The site of Newark Mill is opposite.

    Show/HideNewark Mill

    The first-recorded mill here dates to 1677. It was closed down in 1943 following damage by enemy bombing, and in 1966 it burnt down.

    Newark Mill in 1953 © Hilda Weekes
  3. Turn left to cross the bridge and right onto the towpath. Follow this to Papercourt Lock. Have a look at the lock, and then go back to the stile on your right. Cross the stile and follow the treeline towards the footbridge in the middle of the field. Cross the footbridge and head for the corner of the caravan park. Take the footpath next to the caravan park, which leads to Papercourt Lane. Turn left and left again onto Newark Lane by the Seven Stars pub and return to Newark Bridge.

    Show/HidePapercourt Lock

    Papercourt is our prettiest lock. Although we dont know why, the lock was moved in 1787 to a new position.

    The tumbling bay at Papercourt Lock © NT
  4. Continue over the bridge, passing the eel trap and Newark Priory on your right, and across the abbey stream. Where the road bears sharp right, take the path ahead and up the short incline to Pyrford Church.

    Show/HideNewark Priory

    The priory dates to 1180. The ruins are visible, but the priory is on private land with no public access.

    Newark Priory from the towpath © NT
  5. Follow the path across the road into the cemetery and over two stiles into the field beyond. Head for the corner of the field, cross the stile and follow the track. Ignore the footpath signed to the right and walk ahead across the stile. Follow the hedgeline on the right and take the next footpath signed to the right, which leads through a cul-de-sac.

  6. Cross Pyrford Road and go down the drive towards Pyrford Place. As the drive bears right, continue ahead on the footpath to the Navigations. Cross Pigeon House Bridge. Turn left for half a mile (0.8km) to Pyrford Lock and the Anchor pub.

    Show/HidePyrford Place

    Elizabeth I and the poet John Donne both stayed at Pyrford Place. The original house was pulled down replaced by a brick farmhouse. This building burnt down in the late 20th century and was rebuilt as the buildings visible today.

    The summerhouse at Pyrford Place © National Trust
  7. Retrace your steps to Pigeon House Bridge and the site of the old wharf for Ockham Mill. Continue on the towpath for a further 100m and turn left on the footpath. Retrace your steps to Ripley via Ockham Mill.

    Show/HidePigeon House

    During towpath repairs in 2000, Pigeon House Cottage was uncovered in the trees. The cottage was a warehouse for the wharf, also providing accommodation for the wharfinger.

    Pigeon House Cottage, 1908 © Mr Shoesmith

End: Car park at Ripley Green, grid ref: TQ0532156894

In partnership with

Cotswold Outdoor logo © Cotswold Outdoor
  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 7 miles (11.2km)
  • Time: 3 hours to 4 hours
  • OS Map: Explorer 145
  • Terrain:

    Flat and easy walking, much of it along the towpath. After heavy rain the towpath can be muddy so wear appropriate footwear. Dogs on leads are welcome along the entire towpath.

  • How to get here:

    Start at Ripley Green, off the High Street, Ripley.

    By foot: Access from the B2215, Ripley High Street.

    By bus: Routes 515, 462/463.

    By car: Ripley is off the A3, on the B2215. There's parking in the village.

    By train: The nearest station is Woking, about 5.5 miles (9km) from Ripley. For details see the National Rail website or call 08457 484950.

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