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Starting off

Starting off

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Autumn in the Woods 1

Autumn in the Woods 1

by moontiger

Autumn Colour

Autumn Colour

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DSCF0058

by Sean O'Neill

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DSCF0102(1)

by Sean O'Neill

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DSCF0103

by Sean O'Neill

SWC Walk 64 : Box Hill Circular

A fairly strenuous walk in a beautiful part of the North Downs

Box Hill Circular
Length

Main Walk: 15 km (9.3 miles). Four hours 20 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours.

Main Walk, finishing in Dorking: 16½ km (10.3 miles). Four hours 45 minutes walking time.

Short Walk (to Dorking), omitting Headley Heath: 12½ km (7.8 miles). Three hours 30 minutes walking time.

Short Circular Walk, omitting Headley Heath: 11 km (6.8 miles). Three hours 10 minutes walking time.

OS Map

Explorer 146. Box Hill & Westhumble station is in Surrey, 2 km N of Dorking.

Toughness

8 out of 10 (5 for the Short Walks).

Features

Although they share the same station, this short but strenuous walk takes in a different area from Book 2 Walk 14b (Westhumble Circular). It climbs up a series of hills in a clockwise loop north and east of Box Hill & Westhumble station: Norbury Park, Mickleham Downs, Headley Heath (on the Main Walk) and finally Box Hill itself.

There are many fine viewpoints on this circular walk and in several places you can see your earlier route from a new perspective. This part of the North Downs is deservedly popular and the famous sites are likely to be busy on fine weekends, but there are some quieter places in between.

Norbury Park Nature Reserve is described by Surrey Wildlife Trust as a ‘working landscape’ which includes a sawmill and three farms. The prominent house at its centre (in private ownership) was built in 1774 and has had several famous owners and tenants, including Leopold Salomons, who donated Box Hill to the National Trust in 1914, and Dr Marie Stopes, the family planning pioneer.

Box Hill and Headley Heath are both owned by the National Trust, which has introduced special breeds of sheep and cattle to restore more of the downland to its original ‘unimproved’ condition; unfertilized land is richer in wild flowers. This diversity also supports many butterflies: 40 of the 58 British species have been found on Box Hill.

Walk Options

From the summit of Box Hill you could take an alternative ending to Dorking. This misses out the fine stretch down the Burford Spur but from a practical point of view Dorking has the advantage of more pubs and restaurants, and more frequent trains back to London from its two stations.

The Short Walk cuts out the afternoon section to Headley Heath, replacing it with a choice of two direct routes through Box Hill Country Park. It rejoins the Main Walk at the summit of Box Hill and so both endings are available on this variation too.

The directions mention several short cuts which cut out some of its ascents. For example, you can avoid the final climb up Box Hill on the Main Walk and head directly for Dorking, although this would miss out one of the walk's highlights.

Transport

There is an hourly off-peak service between London Victoria and Box Hill & Westhumble (half-hourly on Sundays), taking about 50 minutes. There are more frequent trains back from Dorking Main station (particularly on Saturdays), so a more flexible ticket option is to buy a day return to Dorking and have the option of finishing the walk there.

From Mickleham you could take London bus 465 to Dorking or Leatherhead if you want to finish the walk after lunch. There are no other public transport options in the afternoon until you descend from Box Hill, when you are close to the rail stations.

If driving, there is a small free car park at Box Hill & Westhumble station. There is also a large car park just north of the Burford Bridge roundabout, which you pass on the return route to this station.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 10:30 from Victoria to Box Hill & Westhumble.

Train Times

Lunch

The suggested lunchtime pub is the King William IV (01372-372590) in Mickleham, just under 5 km into the walk. This free house – hidden away on a path leading up to Mickleham Downs – serves interesting local beers and good home-cooked food (to 2pm Mon–Sat, all afternoon Sundays). It has an attractive terraced garden, but limited space inside. The Running Horses (01372-372279) in Mickleham village is a good alternative. Both pubs are fairly expensive.

Tea

There is a café inside the National Trust Visitor Centre at the top of Box Hill, plus a Servery offering hot and cold drinks, cakes and ice-creams. There is plenty of outdoor seating and more tables inside. The NT website occasionally offers a “£1 voucher if arriving by public transport”, so you could try showing your train ticket.

At Box Hill & Westhumble station the Old Booking Hall contains Pilgrim Cycles (01306-886958), a bicycle shop with a convenient café to serve passengers waiting for the infrequent trains; its posted closing times are 5pm Tue–Sat & 4pm Sun (closed Mon) but it will readily stay open later if called in advance.

If you want stronger fare there are pubs near the end of both walk options which are open all day: the Stepping Stones (01306-889932) on Westhumble Street and the Lincoln Arms (01306-882820) in Dorking's Station Approach. You will find more refreshment places in and around the High Street if you go past its stations into the town centre.

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Trains

Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: RH5 6BT [Directions]

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Advice
Timetables

National Rail Enquires: 08457 48 49 50 • Travelline South East (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (10p/min from landlines) • Transport for London: 0343 222 1234

Version

Aug-16

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Walk Directions  

Box Hill Circular

Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).

Walk Map: Box Hill Circular Walk Map

Walk Options ( Main | Short )

Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.

  1. Main Walk (15 km)
  1. Main Walk, finishing in Dorking (16½ km)
  2. Main Walk, omitting Box Hill and finishing in Dorking (14¾ km)
  3. Short Walk, omitting Headley Heath and finishing in Dorking (12½ km)
  4. Short Circular Walk, omitting Headley Heath (11 km)

Walk Directions

Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.

  1. Box Hill & Westhumble Station to Norbury Park (2¼ km)
  2. Norbury Park Take the footpath heading north away from the station, then bear left across a large field to reach Norbury Park. In the woods, take a path uphill signposted to Druids Grove, either continuing along this or switching to a broad path above it. Pause at a fine viewpoint over the Mole Valley.

    From the station car park, go up the concrete steps to the right of the footbridge between the platforms. These lead to a road where you turn left, crossing over the railway. On the other side of the bridge, turn right onto a public footpath heading N, alongside the railway. In 75m the path enters a field, where there is an information panel about Norbury Park. Bear left here (leaving the public footpath) onto a faint grassy path which runs near the left-hand edge of the field.

    Norbury Park At the end of this large field, go through a gate and continue in the same direction through a wood. After a climb, fork left in front of a gate leading into a field. At the end of the field on your right the path goes up a small slope to join a broad path and you turn right onto it. In 60m, you come to a path on the left signposted to Druids Grove.

    If you want to take a short cut, omitting the climb to the top of Norbury Park, keep ahead on the main path. In 1 km, 75m after a footpath from Westhumble joins from the right, fork right past wooden barriers. Follow this path for another 750m, crossing over the railway and eventually merging with the bridleway coming down from the top of the hill. Continue the directions at [•] in the middle of the next section.

    For the recommended route, turn left and follow this narrow path as it winds gently uphill through the woods. For 200m it stays fairly close to the main path below and to your right, then veers left, climbing more steeply. In a further 125m there is a short flight of steps going up the slope on your left.

    You have a choice of routes to the viewpoint at the top of Norbury Park. The main route (via Druids Grove) is more interesting but this is on a slightly awkward path with a steep drop down to the right.

    1. Main route
    2. Keep ahead on the narrow path for 600m. You go past several small clearings with very large old yew trees, although none of these places are actually identified as Druids Grove. After the last of these, turn left up a zig-zag path of steps leading steeply up to the viewpoint.

    3. Alternative route
    4. For an easier route, climb the steps and turn right at the top onto a track. In 100m this merges with a bridleway coming in from the left. Continue northwards on the main path for about 400m, going straight on where the bridleway turns off to the left. You can see a wooden fence up ahead, and the continuation of the walk passes to its left, but first detour to the right at a sign leading to the viewpoint.

  3. Norbury Park to Mickleham (2½ km)
  4. Continue around the boundary of Norbury Park House to join a bridleway heading east. Follow this downhill and across the River Mole and the A24 into Mickleham. For lunch, choose between the Running Horses opposite the church, or the King William IV on a path leading up to Mickleham Downs.

    After taking in the view1 across the Mole valley, turn round and bear right towards the wooden boundary fence around Norbury Park House (which you will be going alongside for almost 1 km). The path soon joins a broad track, the alternative route in the previous section.

    In 250m you pass Norbury Park Sawmill behind a grey metal fence on the left. Keep right at the next path junction by an information panel about the park. The track starts to descend and in 100m bends left by a security gate leading into the grounds. In a further 175m turn right off the main track at a bridleway sign, still with the boundary fence on your right.

    In 200m you come to another entrance to the grounds and keep right, ignoring a driveway going down to the left. This soon comes to a sign pointing to a nearby viewpoint (which you can visit), but the main route follows the bridleway as it bears left, finally leaving the boundary fence.

    • Detour to Centenary Copse (+200m)
    • Follow the sign to the right. In 60m go through a gate on the left which leads to the viewpoint. Return the same way and turn right to go downhill on the bridleway.

    Follow the bridleway downhill through the trees. It emerges onto an open area by a communications mast, with fine views of Cherkley Court across the valley. Later the driveway you crossed earlier comes in from the left and you continue alongside it, on a wide patch of grass. Where the driveway swings off to the left, keep ahead on a path between hedges. In 100m a path merges from the right (the route of the short cut).

    [•] Continue down to a T-junction with a tarmac lane. Turn right onto the lane, which goes over the River Mole to reach the A24 opposite a junction with Old London Road (the B2209). Cross the busy dual carriageway with great care, to the left of this junction.

    If you are going to the alternative lunchtime pub (the Running Horses), or want to visit Mickleham church, follow the directions below.

    • Detour to the Running Horses (+500m)
    • On the other side of the A24, head S along Old London Road and follow it for 250m to reach the Running Horses2 pub.

      Afterwards, cross the road into the churchyard opposite. Behind St Michael's church3 and 40m beyond it, a footpath runs across the churchyard from a wooden gate on the right. Turn left onto this grassy path and follow it out of the churchyard. In 125m, keep ahead across Dell Close, then 100m later, turn right at a path junction.

      Continue the directions at [•] below.

    To continue the main route, turn left along the A24 for a short distance, heading E. At the end of a high brick wall in front of the first house on your right, turn right into a driveway (a right of way, as indicated by a signpost pointing across from the centre of the main road). In 40m, where the drive swings round to the left at Old House Cottage, keep ahead along a path. 30m later, follow it round to the left at a path junction.

    [•] Head E along the path, between hedges. In 100m, ignore one footpath off to the right before passing a recreation ground, then another just beyond it. Continue on a tarmac lane (School Lane) which curves round to the left, passes St Michael's School and comes to Byttom Hill. Turn right onto this unsurfaced lane, away from the A24, then in 40m turn right up a flight of steps to reach the entrance to the King William IV pub.

    This is the continuation of the walk route, even if you are not visiting the pub.

  5. Mickleham to Mickleham Downs (1¼ km)
  6. Mickleham Downs Continue uphill on the path by the King William IV and turn left onto a broad path with views across the valley. Turn right onto a footpath which climbs gradually uphill to the top of Mickleham Downs, where there is a long open area known as The Gallops.

    Mickleham Downs Turn right out of the King William IV pub to return to the narrow path. Go uphill for a short distance to a crosspaths and turn sharp left onto a broad level path flanked by low brick walls, heading N. In 200m, just before the path meets a lane, turn right onto a footpath, going through a gap to the right of a metal fieldgate.

    Stay on this path for 650m as it climbs gradually through the woods, later with a wire fence on your left. At the top of the hill you come to a maze of junctions. At the first path junction bear left, still alongside the wire fence and now heading E. In 40m keep ahead at the next junction, crossing the Thames Down Link4.

    With minor variations the Main Walk now follows the NT's waymarked “Box Hill Hike” all the way to the Visitor Centre at the top of Box Hill.

    In 200m turn right at a path crossing onto a broad chalky path. In 100m this swings round to the left and you emerge from the trees near the south-west end of a long open area known as The Gallops5.

    If you are doing the Short Walk, go to §8.

  7. Mickleham Downs to Headley Heath (2 km)
  8. Head north-east along the length of The Gallops, then veer right onto a path going down the side of White Hill to Cockshot Cottage. Cross Headley Lane and continue on a bridleway up the other side of the valley to Headley Heath.

    The Main Walk continues round to the left, but if you wish you can make a small detour to the other side of the clump of trees ahead, where there is an information panel about Archaeology on Mickleham Downs. Either way, walk – or run! – along The Gallops for 800m, heading NE. The next turning is easy to miss. For the best route down the steep wooded hillside on your right, look for an unmarked path into the trees just before the end of The Gallops.

    If you miss this narrow path you will come to a signposted path junction where you could turn right onto a bridleway; this is a more direct route but drops down steeply near the bottom of the hill.

    On the suggested route the narrow path soon broadens as it winds its way down the side of White Hill, less precipitously than the bridleway. At the bottom of the wood turn left onto a well-defined path near the edge of the wood, heading SE. In 200m continue through a small car park, meeting the bridleway from The Gallops at the far end.

    Cross Headley Lane carefully and take the bridleway to the left of Cockshot Cottage, which bends left and goes uphill between trees and a wire fence. 300m from the road, you can see a large buttress up on your right, supporting a tarmac drive. You pass a small pond on your left and come to a NT sign for Headley Heath. Ignore a path heading steeply down to the left and bear right, uphill. In 40m, just before coming to a tarmac lane, turn left through a wooden gate.

  9. Across Headley Heath (2 km)
  10. Headley Heath There are many possible routes across Headley Heath. The suggested route takes you up an open spur with fine views, then into a more wooded area. At a major path junction, turn half-right onto a narrow path which later joins a bridleway leading out of the heath in its south-west corner.

    Be aware that anywhere on the heath there may be temporary fences and gates (not mentioned here) to control the cattle which graze the heath.

    Headley Heath Go downhill on the wide track into Headley Heath6. In 150m you come to a junction where you have a choice of routes.

    The shortest route across Headley Heath is to fork right uphill and stay on the main track, which goes through a mostly wooded area. In 900m (having ignored several turnings off to the lane on your right), veer right where the path forks and keep right at the next junction to come to a small car park at a corner of the heath.

    For the recommended route, turn sharp left at the junction. Follow the track for 250m, at first downhill and then curving round to the right. Just before the path starts to climb a short way ahead, turn right to climb a flight of steps cut into the slope on your right. This leads to a broad grassy path up an open spur, with increasingly fine views of the heath and back across the valley.

    As the chalk spur levels out, ignore a minor fork to the right and later a path off to the left as you enter a more wooded area. Eventually – about 800m from the base of the spur – you come to a six-way path junction in a small clearing.

    Take the second path on the right, turning half-right from your previous direction to head SW. In 125m keep ahead at a path crossing. The path narrows and winds downhill, in a further 125m coming to wooden horse barriers and a path junction.

    Bear left to meet a bridleway at a hairpin bend, then veer right to go downhill on this broad chalky track, heading S. At the bottom of the dip the track bends right and climbs the other side. Soon after a track merges from the left, fork left at the next junction. In a further 150m you come to a small car park at a corner of the heath.

  11. Headley Heath to Boxhurst (2½ km)
  12. Head south down Headley Heath Approach and cross Box Hill Road onto a bridleway. This merges with the North Downs Way (NDW) above the old Brockham Lime Works. Follow the NDW downhill, then up a flight of steps on the right. At the top of these, the recommended route is to fork left off the NDW onto a track along the side of the downs, with fine views to the south. This gradually descends and joins a lane by a house, Boxhurst.

    Go through the car park and turn left onto a lane. Take the right fork (almost straight on) and follow this lane S past houses for 750m to Box Hill Road. Cross over and continue on the bridleway opposite. In 200m this starts to descend and shortly afterwards meets the North Downs Way7 (NDW) by an information panel about Brockham Lime Works8.

    Bear right onto the NDW, soon going more steeply downhill. In 200m, turn right up a flight of steps with a wooden handrail, still on the NDW. At the top you come to a small open area with two paths ahead.

    For a short cut on a more level route to the Box Hill viewpoint, fork right, slightly uphill. Follow the NDW signs for 1½ km, at first through woods and then on a path close to Zig Zag Road, to reach the viewpoint. Continue the directions at [•] in the next section.

    For the recommended route, fork left and follow this track gently downhill. There are extensive views to the south (the village below is Brockham).

    In 300m you go over a stile by a gate and along the southern edge of Box Hill Country Park for the next 800m. After leaving the park through a wooden gate the track comes to a metal fieldgate, but just before this you follow a footpath sign left onto a path which skirts around a house called “Boxhurst”. Where the path leads into a lane, continue S along it for 40m to a junction with an unsurfaced lane heading sharply back to the right.

    If you want to finish the walk in Dorking without climbing Box Hill, go to §12.

  13. Boxhurst to the Visitor Centre (¾ km)
  14. Turn sharp right to go back uphill around the other side of Boxhurst. This leads onto a path going steeply up the side of the downs to the famous viewpoint. Follow Zig Zag Road for a short distance to the Visitor Centre.

    Turn sharp right onto the unsurfaced lane to start going back uphill. In 100m you re-enter Box Hill Country Park, keeping left to go towards a wooden gate. Pass through this and fork right on the other side. Follow the path uphill, through another wooden gate and then between hedges. Where the hedge on the right ends, the most direct route is to turn right onto a broad grassy path going very steeply uphill towards the viewpoint.

    For an easier climb you could continue on the path alongside the hedge for about 200m, eventually turning sharp right at a path junction (almost doubling back) to reach the viewpoint.

    [•] At the top of the slope all paths lead to the famous viewpoint9.

    To reach the NT Visitor Centre, go back from the viewpoint and turn left onto the tarmac path behind it. This curves round to the right and goes alongside Zig Zag Road to reach a large picnic area in front of a cluster of buildings. There is a Servery for light refreshments up ahead but you may find that the NT Café (in the first building on the left, with the Gift Shop) has a shorter queue.

    To complete the Main Walk back to Box Hill & Westhumble station, go to §10. If you want to finish the walk in Dorking, you need to partly retrace your steps to Boxhurst; for this, go to §11.

  15. Mickleham Downs to Box Hill Country Park (¾ km)
  16. Head south-west away from the main length of The Gallops. Fork left onto a narrow path through the trees which leads to a footpath going steeply down White Hill. Cross Headley Lane into Whitehill car park.

    Head towards the other side of The Gallops, passing to the right of the clump of trees ahead, where there is an information panel about Archaeology on Mickleham Downs. Veer right, turning away from the main length of The Gallops, to join a broad grassy path heading SW near the left-hand side of this long open area. 100m from the clump of trees, fork left past a wooden post into the trees.

    Follow this winding path through the trees for 250m, still heading roughly SW. 25m after passing a prominent beech tree, keep left at a little triangle of paths to end up on a broad path heading SE. This soon turns right and comes out into the open, with a fine view across the valley on your left.

    You are now following the route of Book 1 Walk 49 (in reverse) down White Hill. The open spur on the other side of the valley is Juniper Top, one of the possible routes through Box Hill Country Park.

    Continue downhill on the path, heading SW again. In 150m the path bends left and goes steeply down a long flight of steps. At the bottom cross Headley Lane with care into Whitehill car park opposite.

  17. Across the Country Park to the Visitor Centre (2½ or 2¾ km)
  18. Box Hill Country Park Take any route through Box Hill Country Park. One possible route is to climb steeply up the side of Happy Valley to go past Broadwood's Folly; another way is via Juniper Top. At the top there are many woodland paths leading to the Visitor Centre. Just before reaching it, veer left across Donkey Green to the famous viewpoint.

    Be aware that there may be temporary fences and gates (not mentioned here) to control the sheep which graze the downs.

    You have a choice of routes through Box Hill Country Park. The first climbs steeply up the side of Happy Valley and takes you past a strange tower, Broadwood's Folly; the second is a steady climb up the open spur of Juniper Top, as in the latest version of Book 1 Walk 49.

      Box Hill Country Park
    1. Route via the Tower (2½ km)
    2. Go through the car park and continue on the main track along Juniper Bottom. In 250m ignore a footpath pointing right (with a stile on the left), but 50m further on bear right onto an unsigned grassy path leading up the right-hand side of an open area where the scrub has been cleared away. Halfway up there is a flight of steps cut into the side of the valley. At the top of these, continue uphill on the path into a more wooded area.

      At a T-junction, turn right and follow the path as it curves back round to the left. Keep ahead at the next path junction (where a path joins from the right), then fork right immediately afterwards. In a further 100m you come to the strange sight of a round flint Tower10 with a tree growing out of it.

      Turn left at the Tower to go gently uphill on a track, heading SE. Soon there are views on the right over a valley to the Burford Spur (the route down to Box Hill & Westhumble station), with Denbies Vineyard beyond. Ignore a fork to the right here and stay on the main path for 1 km as it heads through the trees, gradually curving to the right to head S. Eventually a path merges from the left, the route via Juniper Top.

    3. Route via Juniper Top (2¾ km)
    4. Go through the car park and continue briefly on the main track along Juniper Bottom. In 30m, by a NT donation cairn, bear left through a wooden gate to the left of a fieldgate. Go uphill on this path, which soon opens out into a broad grassy area with increasingly fine views behind you as you climb.

      Where the grassy path levels out at the top and splits into several branches, take the rightmost path to the top right-hand corner. Go through a wooden kissing gate to the left of a fieldgate onto a track. Follow this track S for 800m, ignoring several turnings to the left.

      Just before a major path junction up ahead, fork right by a small wooden post and then go straight across a broad track at this junction (finally leaving the Book 1 walk route). The path curves round to the right, heading W. In 150m keep ahead (slightly to the left) at a path junction, now heading SW. In 200m a broad path merges from the right, the route via the Tower.

    Continue on the path for a further 150m or so. Where it bends right, bear left to go across a large open area, known as Donkey Green. On the other side of the clearing cross Zig Zag Road to find the famous viewpoint9 a little way below the road.

    If you want to finish the walk in Dorking, go to §11.

  19. The Visitor Centre to Box Hill & Westhumble Station (1¾ km)
  20. Go past the old fort behind the Servery and through trees to meet a wide chalky path. Turn right and go all the way down the Burford Spur. Keep left near the bottom to come out onto Old London Road. Turn left to go past the Burford Bridge Hotel and across the River Mole. Go through an underpass beneath the A24 and turn right into Westhumble Street, passing the Stepping Stones pub on the way to Box Hill & Westhumble station.

    Go around the right-hand side of the Servery and through a small car park to the old Box Hill Fort11 behind it. Go past its right-hand side and veer left through a gap in the stone wall on the far side. Go over the grass rampart and through a belt of trees to a T-junction with a wide chalky path, with fine views over the Mole Valley12.

    Turn right onto this path, heading N. As you go downhill it curves round to the left and the descent gradually becomes steeper. Where the downland13 opens out and there is a choice of grassy paths down the hill, bear left: aim to meet the road at the bottom not too far from the prominent roundabout on the A24.

    Turn left to head S along Old London Road, passing the up-market Burford Bridge Hotel. Continue alongside the A24 at the roundabout, crossing the River Mole, and follow the path down a slope. Go through an underpass to the other side of the main road and turn left to go up to a road junction.

    Turn right into Westhumble Street, following the sign to (Box Hill &) Westhumble station. You soon pass the Stepping Stones pub, another possible refreshment stop. 300m past the pub, bear left into the station car park. Pilgrim Cycles (with its café) is on the near platform; you need to cross the footbridge to the far platform for trains to London.

  21. The Visitor Centre to Boxhurst (1 km)
  22. Go past the old fort behind the Servery and through trees to meet a wide chalky path. Turn left and follow the path round to the left, briefly joing the NDW. Fork right onto a footpath going down the side of the hill below the viewpoint to Boxhurst.

    Turn left onto this path, heading S. Shortly after passing a headstone for Major Peter Labellière14, ignore a fork to the left leading back to the Visitor Centre and keep ahead, gently downhill15. The path curves round to the left and in 150m the North Downs Way joins from a long flight of steps on the right. After a gap on the right with a view of Dorking, fork right on a path going downhill towards Boxhurst.

    If you would like to revisit the viewpoint, keep ahead here; from the viewpoint you can drop straight down the side of the hill to join this path.

    Continue downhill on the path, with a hedge on your right. Near the bottom of the hill, go through a wooden gate. Shortly afterwards, go over a stile to the right of the next gate to leave the Country Park. Continue along a track for 100m to join a lane.

  23. Boxhurst to Dorking Stations (2¼ km)
  24. Head south down Box Hill Road. At Box Hill Farm, turn right onto a footpath across fields. Cross the River Mole and follow the footpath round to the right. Keep ahead on Leslie Road and turn right onto Pixham Lane. At Pixham Mill, turn left and follow a footpath to the stations at Dorking.

    Head S down the lane (Box Hill Road). 100m after passing under the railway, where the lane turns sharply to the left and a broad track continues ahead, turn right up a few steps and go over a stile into a large field. Head SW along its right-hand edge and then in the same direction through a second field.

    At the end of the fields cross the River Mole on a footbridge and continue past a house, Castle Mill. Turn right and follow the footpath for 250m, ignoring another footpath off to the left along the way. Keep ahead on Leslie Road and turn right at its T-junction with Pixham Lane. Go under the railway bridge and continue along the road for 400m.

    50m after passing a sports ground, turn left (as indicated by a footpath signpost on the other side of the road) into the driveway of Pixham Mill and go past its right-hand side. At the back of the house veer left to cross Pipp Brook above a waterfall. Continue SW on the footpath alongside the stream for a further 300m, where it joins the access road for a car park. Follow this road under a railway bridge.

    For direct trains to London, go to §12a. For trains to Redhill or Guildford, go to §12b. If you want to visit the Lincoln Arms (between the two stations) keep ahead on the road and turn sharp right at the top for the pub; afterwards, either go along the station approach road or head south on the A24 for Dorking Deepdene.

    1. To Dorking Main Station
    2. On the other side of the bridge, turn right to go through a small car park. In 150m you come to the entrance to Dorking Main station.

    3. To Dorking Deepdene Station
    4. On the other side of the bridge, go past the entrance to a vehicle workshop and turn left through a rusty kissing gate onto a signposted footpath. This narrow path curves round to the right and in 200m comes out onto the A24 by one of the entrances to Dorking Deepdene station. For trains to Redhill, go up the path and steps here to the platform; for trains to Guildford, go under the railway bridge for a path leading up to the platform on the other side. There is no footbridge between the two platforms.

Walk Notes

  1. From the Norbury Park viewpoint, Mickleham is in the Mole valley below, with Mickleham Downs behind it. The prominent mansion away on the left is Cherkley Court, once the country estate of Lord Beaverbrook. The two open areas leading up Box Hill on the right are Juniper Top and the Burford Spur; Broadwood's Folly is just visible in the trees between them.
  2. The Running Horses pub was renamed after the two horses which tied in the “Dead Heat Derby” of 1828, Colonel and Cadland. They are pictured on opposite sides of the inn sign.
  3. St Michael, Mickleham dates from Saxon and Norman times but most of the original features were lost in an 1842 renovation. It has a “weeping chancel”, one which is out of alignment with the nave.
  4. The Thames Down Link is a walking route linking the North Downs Way with the Thames Path at Kingston. On Mickleham Downs it follows the old Roman Road from London to Chichester, one of many named Stane Street (Stone Street).
  5. As the name implies, The Gallops was used for leisure riding and for exercising horses racing at Epsom (which were stabled at the Running Horses pub in Mickleham).
  6. The National Trust are using Belted Galloways to graze Headley Heath, as these are more tolerant of dogs than the Highland cattle which were previously used for this task.
  7. The North Downs Way runs for 246 km along the length of the North Downs (with two sections at its eastern end), from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in Kent.
  8. Brockham Lime Works was a major industrial site in Victorian times. Chalk from the quarry was burnt in kilns to produce quicklime, used in the manufacture of mortar and fertiliser.
  9. The Box Hill viewpoint commemorates Leopold Salomons of Norbury Park, who bought Box Hill when it was offered for sale in 1912 and donated it to the National Trust two years later.
  10. Broadwood's Folly was built in the 19thC by the piano manufacturer Thomas Broadwood, who owned the prominent house in the valley below, Juniper Hall. The unusual tree growing inside is a holm-oak, Quercus ilex; this evergreen oak is not thought to have been planted deliberately but is not native to Britain.
  11. Box Hill Fort was one of a chain of mobilisation centres built to defend London at the end of the 19thC, but the idea was soon abandoned. It has now been colonized by several species of bats.
  12. At this point you are looking over the prominent river cliff known as The Whites, a sanctuary for the native box trees which give the hill its name.
  13. This part of Box Hill is called the Burford Spur. It is a prominent landmark.
  14. Major Peter Labellière was an eccentric local resident who insisted on being buried upside down, reasoning that “as the world is turned topsy-turvy” he would be the right way up in the end.
  15. The property on the left (not visible from this path) is Swiss Cottage, where the television pioneer John Logie Baird conducted some of his early experiments in 1930.

» Last updated: August 8, 2016

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