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Campaign to Encourage Visitors to the Surrey Hills To Go by Train

Published on: 25 Apr, 2024
Updated on: 26 Apr, 2024

A campaign has been launched to encourage visitors to the Surrey Hills National Landscape to travel by rail.

The ambition of Rail to Ramble is to create walking routes which give users the very best countryside experiences while leaving the car at home.

Attendees at Chilworth railway station at the unveiling of one of the new posters, on Tuesday, April 23.

Artist Diana Croft from Dorking has created railway posters which champions sustainable travel along the North Downs Line.

Funding for the campaign has come from Great Western Railway’s Customer and Community Improvement Fund, the Southeast Communities Rail Partnership, and the Surrey Hills National Landscape,

The Surrey Hills National Landscape says: “This railway line, connecting Reading to London Gatwick Airport, offers a beautiful train ride through the rolling Surrey Hills, with views of the chalk North Downs hillside, St Martha’s Hill and characterful towns and villages such as Shalford, Chilworth and Gomshall.

A poster was unveiled at Chilworth station on Tuesday morning this week (April 23).

The new poster that was unveiled at Chilworth railway station as part of the campaign to encourage visitors to the Surrey Hills National Landscape to travel by rail.

Attendees then experienced a delightful short walk to the nearby historic Chilworth Gunpowder Mills, along the Shalford to Chilworth Rail to Ramble route.

Here local historian and writer David Rose (who attend the event as part of his work at Voluntary Action South West Surrey) and Ken Bare, vice-chairman of the Surrey Hills Society, gave a short talk about the history of the gunpowder works.

The event culminated with refreshments at the Percy Arms, further underscoring the region’s rich local business offerings.

Eleanor Wills, Great Western Railways’s regional development manager (east), said: “The Customer and Community Improvement Fund is a fantastic opportunity for us to invest in projects that really make a difference to our customers and communities at a local level.

“These posters provide a perfect guide to the wealth of amazing walking routes within easy reach of the North Downs Line.”

Katie Stewart, executive director for environment, infrastructure and growth at Surrey County Council said: “Surrey County Council celebrates the recognition of the pivotal role that sustainable travel has in preserving the landscape of the Surrey Hills.

“This project demonstrates the importance of working together to ensure that visitors by train have a warm welcome on viewing the beautiful new posters and then can enjoy a great experience visiting the outstanding countryside and supporting our local businesses on the well maintained and waymarked trails.”

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Responses to Campaign to Encourage Visitors to the Surrey Hills To Go by Train

  1. Georgina Grant Reply

    April 25, 2024 at 5:40 pm

    The article does not mention that some trains do not stop at every station. I got caught out trying to get from Gatwick Airport to Shalford. The train stopped at Chilworth but not Shalford.

    This was very inconvenient because the plan was to get off at Shalford and catch a bus to my home village, which would have been easy. The bus service at Chilworth is only hourly and does not go to my village anyway.

    We need more joined up thinking about public transport.

  2. H Trevor Jones Reply

    April 26, 2024 at 12:33 pm

    Well done! Most commendable. Let’s hope it encourages even more use of the North Downs train service, leading to even more frequent trains.

    It’s also worth mentioning that bus/train combos are also possible, with a weekday hourly (2-hourly Sundays) No 32 bus route roughly follows the railway line.

    For example, get a bus to the pretty little village of Albury (which doesn’t have a station) for lunch, walk up the gentle slope to St.Martha’s for the view, then down the steep slope to Chilworth for the train home.

    Trevor Jones is the coordinator of the Guildford rail users (Gru) email group

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