A Post from the Pilgrims – Day 5 – Seale to White Downs

This might not work as the opening line again, but, you know what, the sun is shining again and as Rhona is setting a fast pace, we had a warm start.


We started from Seale at 8.40am, passed under 2 roads, one of which had 2 large wooden crosses to mark the Pilgrims Way.


We reached the River Wey and the Pixie Bridge by 12. Here, by the magic of the Long Distance Walker’s camera, Rhona was able to grow in stature (but not maturity!)






What is this??? The Pilgrims have been pondering about its use, please suggest or tell us what it is on the ‘Day 6’ comments box!


We climbed up to Guildford Cathedral where we were greeted by Fi’s other daughter, Emily bearing ice lollies! She came with us up to the Cathedral. John Mitchell, the Duty Chaplain met us and allowed us to have some quiet time in The Lady Chapel. A cuppa in the Refectory refreshed us for the afternoon.


We rejoined the North Downs Way and its beautiful sunken pathways – such a delight in the sunshine to have some dappled shade and soft paths.


Almost immediately met Joe Storrow, who accompanied us for most of the afternoon. A most interesting and welcome fellow walker who quickly became an honorary pilgrim. We found out that he had been stationed at Old Sarum in the RAF.


Whilst pausing on a steep climb for a breather, we met Maureen Harland with her daughter’s dog, Alfie. She had lived in Devizes Rd, Salisbury for 3 years – well, what a small world we all exclaimed!


Shortly after saying goodbye to Joe, there was Jonathan to meet us and walk the last 2 hours back to the car.


At the door of Guildford Cathedral – a high spot!

Fantastic views today up to the Hogs Back to the north and over The Weald to the south and from St Martha’s Church. There were only a few buzzards crying up above today, but we did see lots of damselflies on the River Wey Navigation.  Fi was excited to spot 3 Common Blue Butterflies on the grasslands. Can you spot one resting on a leaf on the right of the picture below? It doesn’t look very blue till it flies!



St Martha’s Church on St Martha’s Hill


We were grateful to Sally at Newlands Corner for refilling our water carriers – thank you for the refreshments.

Quiz question of the day: identify the item in the photo below and how it was used. Do add a comment to the blog with your answer.


But the biggest thanks go to Ali and John who have hosted us, fed us, provided many cuppas,  allowed us to have hot showers, washed our clothes, let us use their WiFi and been very supportive.

Love the Pilgrims



8 thoughts on “A Post from the Pilgrims – Day 5 – Seale to White Downs

  1. Hugely enjoying following the route through our as yet unfracked green and pleasant land.. The mystery building is, of course, a pill box of which large numbers were scattered to impede an invasion. All are variants of a set of basic designs issued by the War Office in 1940, Dermod

    • Thank you for answering the Pilgrims question! They are walking 15 miles today – though over 4 very large hills at Box Hill, hopefully they will take some more lovely photos on their journey. Thank you for supporting us.

      The Pilgrims

  2. Re the photo of unidentified building: it looks like one of those pillboxes that were built near strategic points for observing enemy aircraft etc. I thought they were mostly on the coast so can’t think why there would be one near Guildford but perhaps there was an airfield nearby which might have been a target?
    Keep going strong you wonderful walkers
    Love, Sally

  3. Glad you are all having a great pilgrimage. I believe the North Downs Way, if you’re on it, follows a ridge or series of ridges that would have been used as a defensive line if the Germans had landed, so that is why you can find those pillboxes that are normally found by the coasts or military installations.

  4. As I type it is raining very hard in Salisbury. Hope you manage to dodge the drops, and have somewhere dry for tonight. It’s great to be able to follow you, keep going xxx

  5. The building is a so-called “pillbox”:)
    We passed them today…the only pillbox we knew up to now was the one on Jackie Kennedy’s head. We keep reading your blog; we’ve found a B & B in Westcott near Dorking with a thrilling view over the North Downs.
    Take care, you brave pilgrims!!
    Angelika and Peter

    • It was lovely to meet you on our travels, and thank you for looking on our blog to see how we are getting on with the rest of our journey!

      Love the Pilgrims

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