A winter wander around Witley and Milford Commons

Walking trail

Follow the pink trail markers to enjoy the calm and tranquillity of Witley and Milford Commons. This gentle stroll along dry sandy paths wends its way through a variety of different habitats across the two commons. There are lots of things to see and do as you stroll. This route goes clockwise from the Webb Road car park, although you can also have fun following the markers in the opposite direction!

Map

Follow the paths to explore Witley and Milford Commons

Start:

Grid reference SU934406. Post code GU8 5QA

1

From the car park, walk back towards the road and take the path to your right signposted Witley Outdoor Learning Centre. The path goes through woodland of Scots Pine. At the forked junction, take the path bearing off to the left through the woods signposted to the Witley Centre. You will come to an open area, walk around to the left hand side and then straight ahead following the pink signs.

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Follow the pink trail markers around the commons

2

At the Witley Centre the path turns to the right and continues through mixed woodland. Follow the path marked by the pink signs and at the T-junction turn to your left. You will notice that the woodland on your right thins out. There is a lot of young birch here with some conifers.

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Coppicing chestnut was important in time gone by

3

As you turn left you will see how the environment changes. The area to your right is now full of young birch and conifers. This is part of the heathland and the ground is rather boggy. At the T junction turn left, leaving the Nature Trail going off to the right. At about 120 yards you turn right. You are at the edge of the woodland here with more birch and young oak. The ground to your left slopes upwards and is full of bracken and trees and is a great place for hide and seek. Listen out for woodland birds, such nuthatch, woodpeckers or tiny firecrest.

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Look carefully to find the ancient pond

4

At the next junction follow the trail marker up the slope. You then turn right along a bridlepath with conifers and heather on your left hand side. At the bottom area there is an area of grasses and a junction where you again turn left to climb up to the ridge. Here you are at one of the highest points of the common and you have a great view across the heathland. Follow the path to the right along the ridge.

Savour the view of the heathland from the ridge

5

The path descends slightly. Around here you will find some large dead trees which are wonderful for climbing over, and it's also a great place for fungi. Carry on along the path, crossing a bridle path and then going through quite thick woodland with lots of hazel and birch and oak. At the Junction the path goes to the right.

Fungi on Witley Common Surrey

6

The path comes to a wide open area. On your right side is a fenced off area. This is the parade ground used by soldiers in both WW1 and WW2. You can see how it is very flat and the soil is compacted. All those marching boots ! Take a minute to imagine what it was like and create a picture in your mind. From here the path goes back into woodland away from the parade ground. It dinks to the left and then right and then left again to come out on a long straight bridle path - possibly an old military track.

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The parade ground at Witley Common

7

This is lovely straight stretch of lane to stroll along. You will come to a cross roads with Webb Street. To continue the hike turn left and then right to enter Milford Common. The land here is flatter with some open areas. Keep a look out for the trees covered in wonderful lichen. You may also see the red berries on hawthorns and wild roses are a valuable food source for birds in winter

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Lichen is a special type of fungus

8

You will come to a junction with a bridle path. Take the path bearing right at 2 o’clock going up a small slope through woodland. At the top is a lovely view across Milford Common. Turn right at the cross roads down the slope. On your left hand side is a mass of gorse which flowers through most of the year.

Explore our trails

9

At the bottom of the slope is a cross roads with a lovely sandstone memorial commemorating the Canadian soldiers who were based here in WW1 and WW2. You carry on straight ahead from here and continue to follow the pink markers. The path wends its way through bushy areas and open spaces. You will bear to the left across a large open area, before passing again through open woodland.

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Heather at Witley

10

As you come out of the woodland follow the markers taking a sharp right and then left to go past the baseball ground on your right hand side. Follow the path here back to the car park.

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Catkins are early harbingers of spring

End:

Grid reference SU934406. Post code GU8 5QA

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A winter wander around Witley and Milford Commons

Terrain

A walk along marked paths with mostly sandy soil, although can be muddy in places. A moderate ascent to the hgih point of the commons.

A winter wander around Witley and Milford Commons

Contact us

A winter wander around Witley and Milford Commons

How to get here

Address
NT Witley car park, Haslemere Road, Witley, Surrey, GU8 5QA
By road

Seven miles south of Guildford between London and Portsmouth; off the A3 and A286 roads. Follow the brown National Trust signposts

By bus

Stagecoach in Hants and Surrey 70 Guildford-Midhurst, 71 Guildford-Haslemere; alight Petworth Road, Witley. Visit www.surreycc.gov.uk for further information on buses.

A winter wander around Witley and Milford Commons

Facilities and access

  • Car parking
  • No toilets