North Downs Walks
Please use the links below to view full route information including descriptions, elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.
You can also view an overview map of all the routes in the using the North Downs Walk Map
|Albury Park||2 miles (4 km)||Explore the Albury Estate on this pleasant walk in Surrey. There's 150 acres of parkland with lots of walking trails to try. Features include peaceful woodland, pretty lakes and the River Tillingbourne. There is also the Grade II listed Albury country house and the Saxon Old St Peter and St Paul's Church to see.|
The walk starts from the Grade I listed church and follows footpaths through woodland and parkland to the nearby village of Shere. Here you will find a Norman church, old village houses and a tea room for refreshments. The walk then follows the Fox Way and other footpaths to return you to Albury.
If you'd like to extend your walk then you could continue along the Fox Way to the nearby Blackheath Common. The tranquil Silent Pool is also nearby.
|Blackheath Common||2 miles (4 km)||This large area of heathland and woodland near Albury is very popular with walkers and cyclists. There's 250 acres to explore on a myriad of footpaths and bridleways. The area consists of lowland heathland, woodland and acid grassland. |
You can park at the Blackheath car park on Blackheath Lane to start your outing. Chilworth railway station is also just to the north of the common. This is another good start point if you are coming by public transport. The paths then take you across the common and through Blackheath Forest. There's some nice sandy paths and lots of pretty heather to look out for in the late summer.
It's easy to extend your walking in this lovely area. You can follow the Downs Link to St Martha's Hill. It's a couple of miles to the north of the common with the path passing Chilworth Manor on the way. From the 574 feet (175 m) hill summit there are great views over the North Downs.
Other footpaths head north east from the common taking you to Albury Park. The 150 acre estate includes parkland, woodland and pretty lakes.
|Blue Bell Hill||2 miles (3 km)||Visit the Blue Bell Hill viewpoint on this circular walk on the North Downs Way. From the hill there are great views over the River Medway and North Downs. The south west side of Blue Bell Hill is a Site of Special Scientific Interest with several rare plant species. The hill is also home to Kit's Coty chamber tomb, a Neolithic chambered long barrow which forms part of the Medway megaliths. The megaliths were constructed from local sarsen stone and soil between the 4th and 3rd millennia BCE.|
This walk starts from the car park on the hill which gives direct access to the footpaths. These take you across the hill and through woodland, scrub and chalk grassland with great views to enjoy. Flora and fauna is intersting with bulbous buttercup, salad burnet, hairy violet, bee orchid and wild strawberry. Look out for butterflies such as dingy skipper, grizzled skipper and chalk hill blue. It's a lovely place to spend a few hours with a picnic site where you can enjoy a snack and take in the views.
The hill is located just south of Chatham, Gillingham and Rochester in Kent.
|Camer Park||4 miles (6.5 km)||This is a short walk through Camer Country Park and into the surrounding countryside and woodland. The park is located close to Meopham train station and parking is also available at the western end of the park. In the park you will find 40 acres of ancient parkland, grassland and woods. There's also good facilities such as a cafe and refreshment kiosk. |
This walk starts at the car park and takes you through the park to the adjacent Henley Wood and then through some lovely countryside to the pretty village of Luddesdown.
The walk makes use of the Wealdway long distance footpath, so you could continue along this trail to extend your walk. Also just to the north is Shorne Woods Country Park where you'll find 288 acres of rolling woodlands, wetlands and meadows. The park is located close to Rochester and Chatham.
|Chantry Wood||2 miles (3.5 km)||Explore 200 acres of woodland and meadows on this circular walk in Chantry Wood in Guildford. There's miles of woodland trails to follow with the North Downs Way passing along the northern edge of the forest (you can see some of this section on the google street view link below). There's a fair amount of climbing on the trails with nice views over the surrounding area from the high points. Look out for carpets of pretty bluebells in the springtime and a variety of birdlife all year round.|
This walk starts at the car park at the eastern end of the woods and follows the North Downs Way across the northern edge before picking up other trails to return you to the start point.
Just to the east you will find St Martha's Hill. You can climb to the 574 feet (175 m) summit and enjoy wonderful views of the surrounding area.
Also nearby is Newlands Corner where there are woodland trails and open chalk downland with wonderful views over the Surrey Hills.
|Colley Hill||2 miles (3 km)||Climb to the 722 ft (220 m) summit of Colley Hill on this walk in the North Downs. Colley Hill is located just to the west of Reigate Hill. It's a satisfying climb with great views over Surrey to the South Downs. |
You start off at the Wray Lane car park near Gatton Park and follow the North Downs Way west to the hill summit. You'll pass Reigate Fort, woodlands and grassland with pretty wildflowers in the summer. As you climb you can enjoy great views of Box Hill and Leith Hill. You'll also pass the interesting Inglis Memorial.
If you'd like to extend your walk then the Reigate Hill and Gatton Park Walk also starts from the Wray Lane car park.
|Denbies Hillside||2 miles (3 km)||Explore this lovely area of the North Downs on this short circular walk. You can start the walk from the Denbies Hillside car park on Ranmore Common. There's waymarked trails, woodland paths and great views of Leith Hill and Dorking from the high points. There's also lots of interesting plants and wildlife to look out for. Several species of orchid grow on the hillside and there are a vairiety of butterflies to see in the summer months.|
The North Downs Way passes over the hills so you can continue along the trail to extend your walk. You could follow the trail a couple of miles to the north east and visit the lovely Box Hill Country Park.
You can also further explore Ranmore Common by heading north from the car park.
|Fox Way||39 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. You'll also pass the delightful Albury Park with its peaceful woodland, pretty lakes and Saxon Church.
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.
|Leybourne Lakes Country Park||4 miles (6 km)||Enjoy peaceful, waterside walking and cycling at Leybourne Lakes Country Park, near Maidstone in Kent. In the park you will find 230 acres of lakes and woodland providing a peaceful location for wildlife and birdwatching.|
The expansive park includes several lakes with the River Medway running along the eastern section of the park. You could extend your walk outside the park by picking up the Medway Valley Walk and heading along the riverside path. Following it south will take you into nearby Aylesford while heading north will take you past Burham Marshes to Wouldham.
|Medway Valley Walk||28 miles (45 km)||This is a lovely, easy riverside walk along the River Medway from Tonbridge to Rochester.|
You start at Tonbridge castle and head east towards Maidstone via Yalding and East Farleigh. The second section takes you onto Rochester via Allington.
The landscape is varied and includes woodland, orchards, meadows and farmland. You will also pass through a series of pretty riverside villages and towns which are steeped in history. For wildlife lovers look out for Kingfishers and listen out for the sweet song of the nightingale.
Route highlights include the pretty Leybourne Lakes Country Park around Aylesford and Snodland.
|Newlands Corner||2 miles (3.5 km)||This lovely beauty spot on the North Downs is great for walking with a number of footpaths to try. There's several nice woodland trails and open chalk downland with wonderful views over the Surrey Hills. This circular walk starts from the excellent Newlands Corner Visitor centre where you will find information, a cafe, picnic tables and a car park. It's located just a few miles east of Guildford town centre so is easily accessible. The walk follows the North Downs Way and other footpaths around the visitor centre. You'll visit Albury Downs and Walnut Tree Bottom with lots of opportunities to sit on one of the many benches and soak in the splendid views. |
It's a great area for flora and fauna. In the summer the grassland is covered with a variety of wildflowers. In the woodland area you may see roe deer, green woodpeckers, nuthatches and tawny owls.
If you would like to extend your walk then you could follow the North Downs Way to the nearby St Martha's Hill.
Also nearby is Chantry Wood where there are some more nice woodland trails and meadows to explore.
|Ranmore Common||4 miles (6 km)||This circular walk explores Ranmore Common in the North Downs. It is an excellent area for walking with miles of good footpaths taking you through woodland and open downland, with great views of the Surrey Hills.|
The walk starts from the Denbies Hillside car park and follows the North Downs Way across grassy chalk downland where you will see various types of orchids growing in the summer months. You then pick up bridleways through the common where you will find sheltered woodland trails and some climbs with great viewpoints. The bridleways are also great for cyclists.
If you would like to continue your walking in the area then you could head east along the North Downs Way to the nearby Box Hill Country Park. Here you will find more great walking trails with panoramic views of the western Weald and a riverside path along the River Mole.
On the edge of the common you will find the National Trust owned Denbies Hillside where there are waymarked trails with great views over the North Downs from the high points.
|Reigate Hill and Gatton Park||2 miles (3 km)||This circular walk explores Reigate Hill and Gatton Park in the North Downs. It's a great area for walking with the North Downs Way and other good footpaths to follow. The area of chalk download includes woodland trails and grassland with wildflowers. You can also enjoy lovely views over Gatton Park. It was landscaped in the mid-18th century by Lancelot Capability Brown and includes several ponds and a large, picturesque lake.|
You start off at the Wray Lane car park and follow woodland paths towards Gatton Park. There's a super viewpoint over the park and the Serpentine Lake, Japanese Garden, Rock Garden and Walled Garden. Shortly after you come to the fascinating stone circle. They were constructed to celebrate the turn of the millennium with each stone representing a 200 year time period and inscribed with quotes and poems of the era. The next section takes you through open parkland of Gatton Park before a final woodland section through Nut Wood returns you to the car park.
If you'd like to extend your walk you could climb Colley Hill which is about a mile to the west. You could also pick up the Reigate and Banstead Millennium Trail or continue along the North Downs Way.
|Silent Pool||1 miles (2 km)||This tranquil lake in the north downs has a circular walkway and surrounding woodland trails. There is parking just off the A25.|
The pool is a popular destination with an eerie stillness and folklore tales. It is said King John on his horse abducted a woodcutter's daughter who was forced into the deep water and drowned.
If you'd like to extend your walk you can follow the woodland trail north from the pool and link up with the North Downs Way. You could then continue to the nearby Newlands Corner. Albury Park is also nearby and is also great for walking.
The Fox Way long distance circular trail visits the Albury Estate and the Silent Pool. It will take you on a tour of the countryside, woodland and canals surrounding Guildford.
|St Martha's Hill||2 miles (3 km)||This circular walk visits the lovely St Martha's Hill in the North Downs, near Guildford. From the high points there are tremendous views of the Surrey Hills and Newlands Corner.|
The walk starts from the St Martha's Hill, Guildford Lane Car Park, just east of the hill. You then follow the North Downs Way to the high point and the 19th century church of St Martha's. The hill summit stands at 574 feet (175 m) and commands wonderful views of the surrounding area. There are also a number of nice woodland trails, attractive grassland and a number of interesting plants.
If you'd like to extend your walk then you could visit the nearby Newlands Corner for more great views and woodland footpaths.
Just to the west is Chantry Wood where there are some more nice woodland trails and meadows to explore.
Footpaths leading south from the hill will take you to Blackheath Common where there's nice footpaths and cycle trails to follow through the attractive heathland and woodland.
|Wye Downs||3 miles (5 km)||Explore this lovely area of chalk downland and woodland near Wye in Kent. Wye Downs is a nature reserve with several dramatic coombes formed in the ice age. This includes the Devil's Kneading Trough, a steep-sided valley with views of Romney Marsh., the Weald and the English Channel. The area is also home to interesting flora and fauna including several species of rare orchid. |
This circular walk starts at the Wye Downs car park off Coldharbour Lane. From here you can pick up the North Downs Way and other footpaths to explore the reserve. The paths first head north to the Wye Crown. This hill figure was carved in the chalk by students in 1902 to commemorate the coronation of Edward VII. The route then heads through the woodland of Pickersdane Scrubs before crossing Broad Downs and returning to the car park.
If you prefer you could visit the reserve by following the North Downs Way from the village of Wye. The village is very pretty and well worth exploring. It was voted the third best place to live in the UK in an annual broadsheet's review in 2013.
You can virtually explore Wye Downs using the google street view link below!