Each week we will be bringing you some hidden gems from around Guildford as part of our ‘Get Lost In…’ feature. Today’s post features Serra’s blog called ‘Passport, Camera- Words in my Mind’, this week entitled A green and blue walk to Godalming. Serra’s blog is a description of what it is like to be a foreign national living in Guildford and the different perspective that might give to one that has lived and grown up here in England.
My story begins this time with childish excitement as I couldn’t wait for days to try out my new walking-shoes, so when the weekend arrived, I was straight out of the door of my flat. I started walking from The White House pub at the bottom of town and at the beginning, I did not have the slightest idea of my destination. I simply decided to follow the River Wey, which turned out to be a wise decision as there is a tow path parallel to the river, and on the day, there were many other people enjoying it together with me.
This nice (mostly flat) part of the Wey Navigation ends in Godalming in the south, whilst extending to Weybridge in the north. So I decided to head south, where I would pass Millmead Lock, St Catherine’s Lock, Unstead Lock and Catteshall Lock on the river. But to begin with, I passed Millmead Lock in no time, whilst paying attention to the beautiful park around it. The grass was crowded with people and families, with kids running around or feeding the ducklings and couples enjoying the sun together. Note to self: come back here another day and relax lazily with a book.
The path itself was very fine, with the road not being too muddy or soft to walk on, so I made it to Unstead Lock quite quickly, counting at least six families cycling and around 20 other people passing by on the same path. I love the scene of the father leading the group, with the kids with brightly coloured helmets sandwiched in the middle and the mum trailing at the back checking that everyone is fine. Never skipping a thank you when you shift from the path to the grass to give them way.
After going through the vast fields, I then entered the familiar, quiet, green and blue path surrounded with trees and a lovely view, before coming to Trowers Footbridge and finally Farncombe Boat House. On the river I could see a lot of boats being rented by families, some parked up with barbecues smoking, some playing with their dogs on the bank.
I stopped and had a rest at Catteshall Lock in the end, where I could see the houses of Godalming aligned on the hills on both sides. I took the opportunity to take off my shoes and socks and let my feet rest on the grass, listening to the Wey passing the Lock before realising I had to head back.
I had an unfortunate moment where I was frightened by a large dog that had been let off his leash, but a gentleman managed to restrain him quite quickly. Normally at the Lock sites, there are many signs warning people to keep dogs under control, since the water flowing at high speed might be dangerous to them or for the kids walking with their parents close to the water. But I guess this was an exceptional event, so I got over it after a few minutes and kept walking towards my town again.
On the way back, I had a nice chat with a lady who was playing with her son and their dog and she told me it was quite necessary after a long cruise on the river. English people like greeting each other during their walks and I love this friendly habit very much. I am sure that all of my walks around Guildford will be just as pleasant as long as I have the determination to step out with the map and camera in my hand.