Riverside Nature Reserve
- Free parking (1.9m height restriction) (reopen after COVID-19 restrictions)
- Interesting boardwalks
- Meadows beside the River Wey
- Beautiful lake
- 3km circular walk with options to extend along the river
Where you’ll find it…
Find the free car park on Bowers Lane, Guildford, nearest postcode GU4 7ND. Grid reference TQ 01139 52612.
What you’ll find there…
Green Flag Award-winning meadows close to Guildford, in walking distance of Guildford Spectrum and Stoke Park. Right beside the River Wey, with lots of possibilities for longer walks. At the far end you’ll find pretty Stoke Lock, where you can cross a footbridge to pickup the towpath that’ll take you all the way to Dapdune Wharf and into Guildford.
Don’t be put off by the pylon and the narrow entrance at the Bowers Lane car park, this place is well worth exploring. There’s an enormous lake, picnic tables and beautifully carved benches. There are boardwalk routes to explore, with an observation hide tucked away in the reeds. And the River Wey has endless interest. Along this stretch you’ll find ancient, gnarled willow trees, in need of support to keep them upright. The branches of these trees were once harvested (pollarded) for ‘powder wood’, sent to the gunpower mills at nearby Chilworth in the First World war, over a 100 years ago!
Plenty of wildlife makes its home here too, including the cutest of all mammals, the harvest mouse. The only British mammal with a prehensile tail, meaning it can grasp plant stems as it moves through long vegetation.
Dog owners may find it useful to know that Riverside is sometimes grazed in the summer.