Walking Routes in Surrey

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The North Downs

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 Surrey Walks
Route NamePhotoDistanceDescription
Ashtead Common National Nature Reserve3 miles (5 km)This 500 acre ancient wooded common is also a National Nature Reserve. There are miles of quiet woodland cycling and walking paths taking you to woodland, scrub grassland, a meadow, ponds and streams. There are also two ancient Scheduled Monuments - a Roman villa and a triangular earthwork.
The route below begins and ends at the conveniently located Ashtead Railway Station at the southern end of the common. The adjacent Epsom Common is a great option if you would like to continue your outing. Horton Country Park is nearby while the Thames Down Link also runs past the site.
Basingstoke Canal Walk33 miles (53 km)Follow the Basingstoke canal from Up Nately to Woodham, on this delightful waterside walk. The walk passes Fleet and Woking and includes regular views of the lovely Hampshire and Surrey countryside.
Bedfont Lakes Country Park2 miles (3 km)This water-focused nature reserve, has 180 acres of rolling meadows, woodlands and lakes. Over 300 plants and 140 bird species have been recorded in the park. The park offers a wide range of activities including, walking, picnics, a trim trail, orienteering and fishing. Bedfont Lakes is located near Ashford train station.
Blackwater Valley Footpath23 miles (37 km)This is a nice easy waterside walk along the Blackwater River from Aldershot to Swallowfield.
The walk starts at the delightful Rowhill Nature Reserve in Aldershot and heads along the river to Farnborough, passing Gold Valley Lakes and Willow Park on the way. From Farnborough you continue through Frimley Hatches Nature Reserve and Blackwater to the splendid Tri Lakes Country Park near Yately. The final section takes you on to Swallowfield via Eversley.
With lakes, wetlands, rivers, canals and ponds there is a huge variety of water loving wildlife to look out for on this super walk through the beautiful Blackwater Valley.
Box Hill Country Park2 miles (4 km)This park is run by the National Trust and has a number of splendid walking trails to enjoy. There are panoramic views of the western Weald and a riverside stroll along the River Mole. There are also excellent facilities with the Box Tree cafe and shop which sells local produce. Box Hill is located ust north of Dorking in Surrey.
Brighton Way54 miles (87 km)A super route though the South Downs from Horley to Brighton. The trail passes Crawley, Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill before finishing on the south coast. The walk has several train stations dotted along the route so you can easily do this one in manageable sections. Highlights include the Ardingly Nature Reserve and reservoir near Balcombe. The walk also climbs Ditchling Beacon where there are fabulous views of the South Downs.
Claremont Park2 miles (4 km)This is a walk through Claremont Park and the beautiful Claremont Landscape Garden in Esher. The park boasts a wonderful large lake, wide lawns and an unusual turfed amphitheatre.
If you would like to continue your exercise why not visit the nearby Esher Common with its footpaths, woodland, ponds and cycle track.
Colne Valley Way11 miles (17 km)Travel through the Colne Valley on this walk from Staines to Uxbridge.
The walk starts by the River Thames in Staines and begins with a lovely section around King George VI and Wraysbury Reservoirs that takes you to Colnbrook. You continue north with a waterside section along the River Colne with views of Little Britain lake. The walk finishes at Uxbridge in the London Borough of Hillingdon.
Devil's Punch Bowl5 miles (8 km)This walk in the Surrey Hills AONB takes you through Hindhead Common, up Gibbet Hill and to the Devil's Punch Bowl - a large natural amphitheatre and beauty spot. The area is National Trust owned so there is a car park, cafe and well marked footpaths.
You start at the car park and head through the the Devil's Punch Bowl which has become a natural nature reserve, filled with heathland, streams and woodland. You then climb Gibbet Hill - the second highest hill in Surrey at 272 metres (892 ft). From here there are magnificent views over the Devil's Punchbowl, Thursley, Hankley Common, Crooksbury Hill, the South Downs, Godalming and Guildford. The hills of Haslemere and Blackdown can also be seen, while on a clear day the iconic buildings of London are also visible. You then follow more woodland tracks across the common before returning to the start point.
The area is good for walkers but also popular with mountain bikers as there are many wide downhill tracks to enjoy.
If you would like to extend your walk you could head to the nearby Leith Hill-the highest point in the South East with fabulous views over London and the English Channel. The Greensand Way also runs through the area so you could pick this up to continue your walk.
The delightful Frensham Country Park is also just a few miles away.
Thursley National Nature Reserve is located a couple of miles to the north and has miles of footpaths through heathland and woodland with a huge variety of wildlife.
Downs Link36 miles (58 km)This is a terrific walking or cycling path running from St Martha's Hill to Shoreham-by-Sea and linking the North and South Downs National Trails.
You start on St Martha's Hill will terrific views of the Surrey countryside before heading south to Cranleigh along the Wey and Arun Canal. The path continues to Rudgwick and then onto the delightful Southwater Country Park. The next stage takes you to Henfield and then onto Bramber with its ruined castle. The final stage runs along the River Adur taking you to Shoreham-by-Sea.
Epsom Common2 miles (4 km)Follow this cycle and walking track around this large open space in Surrey. There are peaceful woodland trails, several ponds, fields with grazing cows and a wide variety of wildlife (the site is also a local nature reserve).
If you would like to continue your exercise why not visit the nearby Horton Country Park or follow the Thames Down Link which passes through the common. The adjacent Ashtead Common National Nature Reserve also has miles of cycling and walking paths to enjoy.
Esher Common4 miles (6 km)Enjoy a cycle or walk around this large open space in Surrey. There are miles of peaceful woodland footpaths and a nice off road cycle track. The route will take you to two large ponds and the nearby Fairmile common. The common is a local nature reserve so look out for a variety of wildlife.
If you would like to continue your exercise why not visit the nearby Claremont Park with its beautiful landscaped gardens and the adjacent West End Common.
Fox Way39 miles (63 km)This circular walk takes you on a tour of the countryside, woodland and canals surrounding Guildford in Surrey. You will pass through the stunning North Downs and Surrey Hills AONBs, visting a series of pretty villages, historical sites and sites of scientific interest.
The walk starts and ends at the village of Ripley and first visits The Silent Pool. This interesting site is run by the Surrey Wildlife Trust as part of the Albury Estate. It's peaceful, eerie charm is popular with walkers and passers by as it's linked to a folklore tale that says King John abducted a woodcutter’s daughter who drowned in the pool. According to local legend, the maiden can be seen at midnight.
The path then heads on through the village of Shere to Blackheath Common. With 250 acres of attractive heathland it is popular with local cyclists and walkers.
The walk then visits the interesting towns of Godalming and Puttenham and the village of Jacobs Well with several delightful waterside sections along the River Wey to enjoy.
Frensham Country Park5 miles (8.5 km)This park is run by the National Trust and contains two delightful ponds which attract a variety of rare birds such as the reed bunting, sedge warbler, great crested grebe, nightjars and woodlarks. There are a number of peaceful footpaths taking you around the ponds and through the heathland which includes a mixture of purple heathers, bright yellow gorse and rich green bracken. The park also contains bridleways which can be used by cyclists.
If you'd like to continue your outing you could head to the nearby Devil's Punch Bowl and Gibbet Hill. Here you'll find miles of cycling and walking trails through a natural nature reserve, filled with heathland, streams and woodland. Thursley National Nature Reserve is located a few miles to the east and has miles of footpaths through heathland and woodland with a huge variety of wildlife.
Goldsworth Park Lake1 miles (1 km)Enjoy a short stroll around the lake in this pretty park in Woking. The lake has a well surfaced walking path around its perimeter and attracts a variety of birdlife - look out for coot, geese, great crested grebe and mandarin duck.
Horsell Common is only about a mile away and is a good option if you would like to continue your walk.
Greensand Way107 miles (173 km)The Greensand Way runs from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent following the ridge of greensand rock that crosses the two counties. The route takes in two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - the Surrey Hills and the Kent Downs - as well as numerous Sites of Special Scientific Interest. Highlights include
  • Gibbet hill - Located at Hindhead, Surrey it is the second highest point in Surrey after Leith Hill. It commands a panoramic view of the beautiful North Downs. The view to the north overlooks the Devil's Punch Bowl , Thursley, Hankley Common, Crooksbury Hill, and the Hog's Back towards Godalming and Guildford. To the east lies the Sussex Weald. To the south, the hills of Haslemere and Blackdown can be seen, with some sections of the South Downs.
  • Thursley National Nature Reserve has miles of footpaths through heathland and woodland with a huge variety of wildlife.
  • Leith Hill (video below) -the highest point in the South East with fabulous views of the Surrey countryside. It is located near Dorking and is also the highest point on the Greensand Ridge. On the summit of Leith Hill is an 18th century Gothic tower, with panoramic views northwards to London and the English Channel to the south.
  • Knole Park - Knole House in Sevenoaks is surrounded by a deer park, ancient woodland, dry heathland, acid grassland and wood pasture.
  • Igtham Mote - this medieval moated manor house in Sevenoaks is surrouned by woodland, gardens and parkland.
  • Chartwell House - the family home and garden of Sir Winston Churchill in Westerham, Kent
  • Linton Park - large 18th-century country house in Linton, Kent with beautiful gardens and views of the Weald. The estate is private property and is not open to the public, but the Greensand Way crosses the parkland east-west to the north of the house and a public footpath crosses the southern parkland close to the park lake.
  • Crossing the River Medway on The Twyford Bridge, Yalding, Kent
  • A series of magnificent houses, gardens and parks, which have been built along the ridge.
Horsell Common2 miles (4 km)This 880 acre common in Woking is a great place for a peaceful walk. There are miles of woodland walking paths, a number of Bronze Age barrows, wet areas, ponds and protected heathland. Look out for birdlife which includes nightjar, woodlark and Dartford warbler.
The common is famous for its sand pits which were used by H.G. Wells as the site of the first Martian landing in his novel The War of the Worlds.
Horton Country Park3 miles (5.5 km)This country park and nature reserve is located near Epsom in Surrey. Here you will find a rural landscape of fields, hedgerows, woods and ponds of great wildlife and historical value.  There are 400 acres of park to explore on a series of well laid out trails. The park is open to cycles with lovely flat paths like the one in the video below to enjoy.
If you would like to continue your exercise you could head to the nearby Epsom Common or Ashtead Common National Nature Reserve which have more cycling and walking paths. The Three Downs Link and the London Loop trails also run past the park.
Lakeside Nature Reserve1 miles (2 km)A short walk around the peaceful Lakeside Nature Reserve in Aldershot. The reserve is a complex of wet habitats including river, ponds, lakes, reed beds, orchid meadow and wet woodland. The site includes the Basingstoke Canal and Gold Valley Lakes - a popular place for fishing (see video below)
Leith Hill4 miles (6 km)Climb to the highest point in the South East on this challenging walk in the Surrey Hills AONB. Leith Hill is located near Dorking and is also the highest point on the Greensand Ridge. On the summit of Leith Hill is an 18th century Gothic tower, with panoramic views northwards to London and south to the English Channel. The area is run by the National Trust so the tower has been restored and contains a viewing point with a telescope and refreshments at the Tower servery. There are also self guided trails through woodland, farmland and parkland.
The walk begins at the car park on the western side of the hill and takes you to the high point on the Greensand Way long distance footpath. You then head towards Coldharbour and Whiteberry Hill, crossing Wotton Common, before returning to the car park.
Lightwater Country Park3 miles (5.5 km)This park is located in Camberley, Surrey, and comprises 145 acres of heathland habitat, woodland, shrubs and lowland bog. These habitats offer the opportunity to observe a wide variety of wildlife, birds, mammals, plants and insects. There are a number of fine walking trails in the park and an excellent visitor centre with a wealth of information.
London Loop149 miles (240 km)Also known as the London Outer Orbital Path, this walk takes you on a tour of the parks, woods and fields around the edge of Outer London. You start at Erith, on the River Thames and pass through Crayford, Orpington, Petts Wood, Coulsdon, Kingston upon Thames, Uxbridge, Elstree, Cockfosters, Chingford and Upminster Bridge before finishing back on the River Thames at Purfleet, opposite Erith.
The walk has been divided into 24 manageable sections as follows:
Erith
Old Bexley
Petts Wood
West Wickham Common Hamsey Green
Coulsdon South
Banstead Downs
Ewell
Kingston Bridge
Hatton Cross
Hayes
Uxbridge
Harefield
Moor Park
Hatch End
Elstree
Cockfosters
Enfield Lock
Chingford
Chigwell
Havering-atte-Bower
Harold Wood
Upminster Bridge
Rainham

The walk is waymarked with a disc featuring a kestrel
Mole Gap Trail6 miles (10 km)Follow the Mole Gap Trail from Leatherhead to Dorking on this pleasant short walk through the Surrey countryside.
The walk begins by Leatherhead railway station and heads south along the River Mole towards Dorking. You will pass the 18th century manor house and gardens at Norbury Park and Denbies Wine Estate - the largest vineyard in the UK. The trail then finishes in Dorking town centre.
Nonsuch Park3 miles (5.5 km)This large park between Cheam and Ewell Village is ideal for a peaceful afternoon stroll or safe family cycle. There are wide lawns, pretty gardens, woodland and Nonsuch Mansion where you can enjoy refreshments and learn about the history of the park and Palace.
The park is the site of Nonsuch Palace, a Tudor royal palace, built by Henry VIII in the 16th century. It stood from 1538 to 1682–3 and was one of his grandest building projects.
The London Loop runs through the park so you could pick up this trail if you wanted to continue your walk.
Pilgrims Way133 miles (214 km)Follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims who followed this ancient track from Winchester in Hampshire, to the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury in Kent.
Polesdon Lacey4 miles (6 km)A walk around the beautiful grounds of this Edwardian house at Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey. There are over 1400 acres of parkland and gardens to explore with magnificent views of the North Downs hills throughout.
Puttenham Common3 miles (5 km)Enjoy a peaceful walk through the woodland and heathland of Puttenham Common in the North Downs. There are several large ponds and wetland areas that attract a wide variety of wildlife including great crested grebes and grey herons. Look out for roe deer and green woodpecker in the woodland areas. This walk just takes you around Puttenham Common but you could easily extend your walk by heading west to the nearby Crooksbury Common where you can climb Crooksbury Hill for super views of the area. You could also pick up the Fox Way or North Downs Way which run past the common.
Puttenham Common lies a few miles west of Guildford. You could follow the North Downs Way from Guildford straight to the common.
Reigate and Banstead Millennium Trail18 miles (29 km)This splendid walk was devised by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council to celebrate the new millenium. It follows a series of footpaths, tracks and country lanes from Horley to Banstead via Reigate.
You start in the delightful Riverside Gardens in Horley and heads north towards Redhill and Reigate where you will pass the Grade I listed Reigate Priory set in 65 acres of open parkland.
The second section takes you through the beautiful North Downs from Reigate to Banstead, finishing on Banstead Common.
Serpent Trail64 miles (103 km)This walk runs from Haslemere to Petersfield through the beautiful Sussex greensand hills. The path takes its name both from its serpentine shape and from passing through the habitat of all three British species of snake.
The route crosses many heathland areas and heads along the greensand ridges in the western Weald, visiting Liphook, Milland, Fernhurst, Petworth, Fittleworth, Duncton, Heyshott, Midhurst, Stedham and Nyewood before reaching the serpent's tail at Petersfield in Hampshire.
The trail is waymarked with white plastic discs showing a snake in the approximate shape of the route on a purple triangle.
Route highlights include a climb to the highest point on the South Downs at Black Down in West Sussex.
St Swithun's Way34 miles (55 km)Follow the St Swithun's Way from Winchester to Farnham on this historical walk through the Hampshire and Surrey countryside. The trail gives the walker the opportunity to visit numerous churches with pilgrimage connections.
The walk begins at the splendid Winchester Cathedral and heads east, through the Itchen Valley towards New Alresford. This opening section includes a long waterside stretch along the River Itchen, passing through the pretty village of Itchen Abbas as you go.
The next section takes you from New Alresford to Alton along country lanes and through a couple of peaceful woodland stretches. You will also pass through the village of Chawton - home to Jane Austen
From Alton you head north-east, following the River Wey through Bentley, before finishing at Farnham in Surrey.
Sussex Border Path137 miles (220 km)A fabulous long distance walk following the Sussex county border from Thorney Island in West Sussex to Rye in East Sussex.
You begin on Thorney Island with a lovely section along the coast from Emsworth. The route then heads through the South Downs to South Harting and Liphook before continuing to Gospel Green, Rudgwick, Gatwick Airport, Horley and East Grinstead. You then head through the beautiful High Weald, passing Groombridge, Bewl Water and Northiam before finishing in Rye. The walk is well waymarked throughout.
Route highlights include a climb to the highest point on the South Downs at Black Down in West Sussex. You'll also visit the lovely Weir Wood Reservoir and the interesting Bodiam Castle.
Thames Down Link15 miles (24 km)This walk links the Thames Path and North Downs Way National Trails. It starts in Kingston upon Thames and heads south through Epsom Common, Horton Country Park and Mickelham Downs. The route finishes at Westumble near the pretty Box Hill Country Park in Surrey.
Thursley National Nature Reserve5 miles (7.5 km)This lovely nature reserve has miles of footpaths taking you to fine heathland, ponds, lakes and deciduous woodland. It's one of the finest areas in the country for wildlife with birds including woodlark, Dartford warbler, nightjar, stonechat, whinchat and curlew. Also look out for some very rare butterflies including silver-studded blue, white-letter hairstreak and purple emperor.  In the heathland area you may see reptiles such as the rare sand lizard and smooth snake.  Rare dragonfly and damselfly can be spotted around the pools and lakes. In the fen and open water area you can see various water loving birds such as  great crested grebe, mute swan, coot, water rail and little grebe. Finally in the woodland area you can see woodpeckers, woodcock, redstart, tawny owl, nightingale and hawfinch.
This circular walk starts at the car park and takes you across Thursley Common to Silkmill Pond and Warren Mere. You then head across Ockley Common and pass Pudmore Pond before returning to the car park.
If you would like to continue your walk you could head to the nearby Frensham Country Park where there are miles of cycling and walking trails.
The Devil's Punch Bowl and Gibbet Hill is also a great option with more cycling and walking trails through a natural nature reserve, filled with heathland, streams and woodland.
The Greensand Way long distance footpath also runs through the common so you could pick this up to continue your walk.
Valley Gardens3 miles (5.5 km)Explore these stunning, colourful gardens located in Windsor Great Park. There are 250 acres of landscaped gardens and woodlands to explore using a series of well defined walking trails.
One of the main highlights on the walk is the amazing Punch Bowl. This area of the gardens contains numerous multi-coloured azaleas, exploding into a riot of colour in the springtime. Other plants/trees include Magnolia, Mahonia, Pernettya, Rhododendron Species, Glenn Dale azaleas, hardy ferns, Ilex and Dwarf conifers. 
This walk starts at the eastern end of the gardens next to the car park. You then pass the 100 foot high totem pole and the Wick Pond as you head to High Flyer's Hill. You return passing the Polo grounds where you may be able to watch a match. You then pass the pretty Obelisk pond before returning to the start point.
If you would like to continue your walk you could head to the nearby Virginia Water Lake where you'll find a delightful lakeside trail.
Vanguard Way66 miles (106 km)This trail runs from the outskirts of London, through Ashdown Forest, Alfriston and Cuckmere Valley to the stunning East Sussex coast.
Route highlights include the lovely Ashdown Forest, the White Horse near Alfriston and the wonderful final coastal stretch that gives views of the Seven Sisters Cliffs and Tidemills beach. The path also passes through the beautiful Cuckmere Valley with splendid views of the Cuckmere River to enjoy.
Please click here for more information.
Virginia Water Lake4 miles (7 km)Enjoy a waterside walk around the beautiful Virginia Water in Windsor. The lake is located within the wonderful Windsor Great Park and is surrounded by woodland and gardens. A well defined walking path runs around the lake taking you to a number of interesting sites. You'll pass the 18th century ornamental cascade and the Leptis Magna Ruins - a Roman style temple built from columns and lintels brought from the ancient city of Leptis Magna in the early 19th Century. There is also a striking 100-foot high Totem Pole and the Virginia Water Pavilion built from wood from Windsor Great Forest.
Right next to the lake are the stunning Valley Gardens. Here you'll find 250 acres of landscaped gardens and woodlands to explore using a series of well defined walking trails. You could also head further into Windsor Great Park to extend your walk.
Wey South Path36 miles (58 km)Follow the Wey River and the Wey and Arun Canal on this wonderful waterside walk through Surrey and Sussex. The route starts off in Guildford and heads south to Rowly and then onto Billinghurst with a section through Sidney Wood on the way. The walk continues towards Pulborough before passing through the delightful Amberley Wild Brooks wetland with its variety of interesting wildlife. The route then comes to an end near Amberley in Sussex.
Much of the walk follows canal side towpaths with footpaths and minor roads making up the remaining sections.
Please click here for more information
Windsor Great Park8 miles (12.2 km)A circular cycle or walk around the beautiful Windsor Great Park in Surrey. The park includes 5,000 acres of parkland, which includes a Deer Park, lakes, avenues, gardens, woodland and open grassland. National Cycle Network route 4 runs right through the park while the Three Castles Walk runs along the Long Walk Avenue where there are fabulous views of Windsor Castle. Cyclists please note that cycles are not permitted in the Long Walk.
If you'd like to continue your exercise you could head to Virginia Water Lake. This large man made lake is located in the southern end of the park. It has a delightful walking trail running around its perimiter. Also of interest are the beautiful Valley Gardens. Located next to the lake they consist of 250 acres of landscaped gardens and woodlands and a series of well defined walking trails.
Woking to West Byfleet9 miles (14 km)This easy cycle or walk follows the Basingstoke canal and NCN route 221 from Brookwood, near Woking, to West Byfleet.
You start at Pirbright Bridge, Brookwood and head east along the towpath through Woking and then onto the finish point at West Byfleet. With pretty locks and woodland views, this tree lined path makes for a nice relaxing ride or stroll. Also there are train stations at either end of the route making it easily accessible.




 Surrey Walking Links
NameDescription
High Weald AONBLovely site with walking and cycling routes information

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