|Statistics and Files|
|Start: Silent Pool||Distance: 5.0 miles (8.0 km)||Climbing: 207 metres|
|Grid Ref: TQ 05979 48436||Time: 3 hours||Rating: Moderate|
|GPX Route File||Google Earth File||About Shere|
|Start: Silent Pool||Distance: 5.0 miles (8.0 km)|
|Climbing: 207 metres||Grid Ref: TQ 05979 48436|
|Time: 3 hours||Rating: Moderate|
|GPX Route File||Google Earth File|
The Walk: The wooded slopes of the North Downs stretch eastwards from the market town of Farnham to the channel, terminating at the White Cliffs of Dover. These chalk downs are classified as an area of outstanding natural beauty and are often regarded as 'London's Countryside'. They are easy to reach from the capital city.
Set in a hollow at the foot of the North Downs is Silent Pool where the walk begins. Mystery and legend surround the still, clear waters of Silent Pool. One story tells how one day when out hunting, King John surprised a young girl bathing naked in the pool. She tried to conceal herself by diving deeper until she drowned. Her brother also drowned attempting to rescue her, and now they are said to haunt the pool by night. In contrast to this sad tale, the poet, Alfred Lord Tennyson, regarded Silent Pool as a source of inspiration for his writing.
After leaving the mysterious pool, the route connects with the North Downs Way, a footpath which travels the whole length of the downs. The walk takes in a short section of this route through woodland before dropping down to the village of Gomshall, noted for its tannery and for Gomshall Mill with its shops, pub and restaurant. The walk returns to Silent Pool via the lovely village of Shere.
Shere is said to be one of Surrey's prettiest villages. Upper Street and Lower Street are lined by attractive cottages, timber-framed and flint and brick, many of them built during the 17th century. The 12th century church of St James stands near the village square and fits perfectly into the delightful village scene. Its central tower is topped by a shingled spire. The sparkling waters of Tilling Bourne flow through the centre of the village.
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