Our hiking schedule took some hits this fall. First, we had to cancel our October hike in the New Forest due to the crazy hurricane winds that hit the UK that weekend and Andrew was sick. Then, I sprained my knee and its recovery has not gone as quickly as I would have liked. But, with Christmas falling on a Monday this year, we had a nice long weekend to enjoy. With my knee on the mend, it was the perfect time for a holiday hike.
The American Women’s Club’s hiking group went on what looked like a delightful and fairly easy hike in Surrey one day while I was working. Thankfully, members shared photos and details on Facebook and the organizer was willing to share her route from Guildford to Gomshall in Surrey. They passed through Shere for lunch, where the film The Holiday was filmed. A movie and a hike? It was the perfect long weekend plan.
Friday night, we made quinoa pizza and rented The Holiday from GooglePlay. It was cute and the Surrey locations they shot were even cuter. It definitely got us excited for the trek!
On Saturday morning, we took the train from London Waterloo out to Guildford. The station was packed with people heading home for the weekend, their bags filled with Christmas packages.
Even NetworkRail was in the spirit, ha!
The ride was only 35 minutes, we set off down the High Street. Guildford was very quaint.
We passed along the shops and then went to explore the ruins of Guildford Castle. The surviving walls date back to the 12th and 13th centuries! Now a park, it is very beautifully maintained.
After the castle, we began our ascent to the start of the trail up Pewley Hill. The road gave way to the beautiful, wide open, green downs. It was lovely.
Surrounded by rolling hills, we enjoyed the view as we walked along the trail. There were tons of dogs out, so that was fun!
The path wound its way along the hills, through fields and through wooded areas.
St-Martha’s-on-the-Hill was the most challenging part of the hike and also the most crowded. This large hill has a beautiful church at the top.
The old stone and views made for some great pictures.
At points which path to follow was not all that straightforward. Luckily, Andrew had downloaded OSMaps onto his phone. This app, which allows you to download maps offline, offers far more detail than GoogleMaps and had each path we encountered on there. We’ll definitely be using it again!
As we drew nearer to Shere, we started to pass homes and animals.
You can see why it has served as a movie location so many times!
We stopped for lunch at The White Horse, where they have dinner in the movie. It was a great pub and we had a delicious meal.
Of course, I had to get a white wine like Cameron Diaz!
The building was originally built in 1425 and has a checkered past – it was used to help the smuggling trade in the 1700s. It is a delightful pub and well worth a visit.
After lunch, we popped into the Shere Shop to finish our Christmas shopping. They had a great selection of gifts!
We continued on to Gomshall, passing St James Church.
It was a short walk from there to the site of the cottage in The Holiday. Not as cute without it.
We hopped the train from there back to Guildford, then onto Waterloo and home. Do note that you can’t buy train tickets at the Gomshall stop.
It was a lovely day and I am looking forward to a full recovery and getting back to our hikes!