Mud 'n' machine guns on the North Downs Way — The best of Barefoot Britain
Anna McNuff went running.
November 10, 2019
This cheeky half marathon route has all the fine ingredients for a great day out on the trails. Plenty of sloppy mud, hills, stellar views and a dollop of history along the way too.Begin the run outside Guildford Guildhall, beneath what is reportedly the most photographed clock in Britain. Make your way down the cobbled high street and dish out a ‘howdy do’ to the statue of George Abbot (once the Archbishop of Canterbury) as you pass him en route to pick up the North Downs Way.A scamper through the densely forested Chantry Wood, which looks rocking in the autumn time, is followed by a steep climb up to the church at St Martha’s Hill, with awesome views across the downs.As you push on towards Newland’s Corner, call in for a not-quite-halfway coffee break at the Barn Café before continuing along the North Downs ridge.This where things get really cool. As you run, keep your eyes peeled for old machine gun pillboxes, which were built as the last hilltop line of defence between the countryside and London during the Second World War. There’s something creepy about these now-overgrown concrete hideouts, set deep in the downs.
June 26, 2020