Main Walk: 14¾ km (9.2 miles). Four hours 15 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 9 hours.
Main Walk, finishing in Dorking: 16¼ km (10.1 miles). Four hours 35 minutes walking time.
Short Walk (to Dorking), omitting Headley Heath: 12¼ km (7.6 miles). Three hours 25 minutes walking time.
Short Circular Walk, omitting Headley Heath: 10¾ km (6.7 miles). Three hours 5 minutes walking time.
Explorer 146. Box Hill & Westhumble station is in Surrey, 2 km N of Dorking.
7 out of 10 (5 for the Short Walks).
Although they share the same station, this short but strenuous North Downs walk takes in a different area from the Westhumble Circular walk (2–14b). It traverses a series of hills in a clockwise loop north and east of Box Hill & Westhumble station: Norbury Park, Mickleham Downs, Headley Heath and finally Box Hill itself. There are many fine viewpoints and in several places you can see your earlier route from a new perspective. The area is deservedly popular and the famous sites are likely to be crowded on fine weekends, but there are 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) and Dr Marie Stopes, the family planning pioneer.
Box Hill (named for its abundant box trees) 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. This unfertilized land is rich in wildflowers and supports many butterflies: 40 of the 58 British species have been found on Box Hill.
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 the town has the advantage of more pubs and restaurants, and more frequent trains back to London from its two main stations. You could also head there directly without climbing Box Hill, although this would miss out one of the walk's highlights.
The Short Walk replaces the afternoon loop through Headley Heath with a choice of two direct routes through Box Hill Country Park, partly overlapping (in reverse) the Box Hill to Leatherhead walk (1–49). It rejoins the Main Walk at the summit of Box Hill and so the Dorking ending is available on this variation too.
The directions also mention several short cuts which cut out some of the ascents, as well as detours to points of interest. The longest detour (towards the end of the Circular Walk) is to the famous Stepping Stones across the River Mole.
Box Hill & Westhumble is served by trains to Dorking (Main) from both Waterloo and Victoria, taking around 50 minutes. In May 2019 the off-peak service improved to three trains per hour, two from Waterloo and one from Victoria (but the other way round on Sundays).
A return to Dorking Stations is valid for travel back from Dorking Deepdene via Redhill and East Croydon as well as on the direct line via Box Hill & Westhumble (and is no more expensive than a Box Hill return from most stations). The cheapest ticket from London is a “Southern Only” return to Dorking, although this would restrict you to the direct line from Victoria.
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, where 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 free car park at Ryka's Café near the Burford Bridge roundabout, which you pass on the return route to this station.
Take the train nearest to 10:20 from Waterloo or Victoria to Box Hill & Westhumble.
The suggested lunchtime pub is the King WilliamⅣ (01372-372590) in Mickleham, just 4½ 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.
There is a popular 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 ample seating both inside and outdoors.
On the route back to Box Hill & Westhumble the sound of motorbikes at the foot of Box Hill will guide you to Ryka's Café (01306-884454; open to 5pm Mon–Fri, 6pm weekends), which serves a wide range of food and drink. At the station itself the Old Booking Hall houses Pilgrim Cycles (01306-886958; open to 5pm Tue–Sat; 4pm Sun; closed Mon), a bicycle shop with a convenient café to serve passengers waiting for the infrequent trains; it may stay open later than its posted times 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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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
Click the heading below to show/hide the walk route for the selected option(s).
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.
- Main Walk (14¾ km)
Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.
- Box Hill & Westhumble Station to Norbury Park (2¼ km)
- Main route
- Alternative route
- Norbury Park to Mickleham (2¼ km)
- Detour to Centenary Copse (+200m)
- Detour to the Running Horses (+500m)
- Mickleham to Mickleham Downs (1¼ km)
- Mickleham Downs to Headley Heath (2 km)
- Across Headley Heath (2 km)
- Headley Heath to Boxhurst (2½ km)
- Boxhurst to the Visitor Centre (¾ km)
- Mickleham Downs to Box Hill Country Park (¾ km)
- Across the Country Park to the Visitor Centre (2½ or 2¾ km)
- Route via the Tower (2½ km)
- Route via Juniper Top (2¾ km)
- The Visitor Centre to Box Hill & Westhumble Station (1¾ km)
- Detour to the Stepping Stones (+1½ km)
- The Visitor Centre to Boxhurst (1 km)
- Boxhurst to Dorking Stations (2¼ km)
- To Dorking (Main) Station
- To Dorking Deepdene Station
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.
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 175m 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 is more interesting but is on a slightly awkward path with a steep drop down to the right.
Keep ahead on the narrow path for 600m. You go past several very large old yew trees, although nowhere along the path is actually identified as Druids Grove. The turning for the viewpoint is not signposted and you need to look out for a flight of steps on the left, almost doubling back. Go up this steep zig-zag path to the viewpoint.
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 boundary 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.
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 WilliamⅣ on a path leading up to Mickleham Downs.
From the viewpoint1 across the Mole valley, turn round and bear right towards the 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 Wood Products (a sawmill and carpentry workshop) 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, passing a security gate leading into the grounds. In a further 175m turn right off the main track, staying on the public bridleway alongside the boundary fence.
In 200m you come to another entrance to the grounds and keep right, ignoring a driveway going down to the left. At the next path junction there is a sign pointing right (to Centenary Copse, a viewpoint which you could visit) but fork left to stay on the main route.
To visit the viewpoint, fork right as indicated. In 60m fork left onto a short path leading to the viewpoint, a small terrace with a new wooden bench. 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 its junction with Old London Road. 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.
On the other side of the A24, head S along Old London Road 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 (as indicated by a bridleway signpost on the other side of the carriageway). 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 WilliamⅣ pub.
This is the continuation of the walk route, even if you are not visiting the pub.
Continue uphill on the path by the pub and turn left onto a broad path with views across the valley. Turn right onto a footpath which climbs gradually uphill to a long open area known as The Gallops at the top of Mickleham Downs.
Turn right out of the 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 and flint 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, The Gallops5.
If you are doing the Short Walk, go to §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 open area.
If you miss this narrow path you could turn right 60m ahead onto a signposted bridleway, following the Box Hill waymarker; this is slightly shorter but drops down very 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.
Headley Lane is popular with cyclists so take great care as you cross it. 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.
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 there may be temporary fences and gates (not mentioned here) to control the Belted Galloway cattle which sometimes graze the heath.
Go downhill on the broad stony track into Headley Heath. 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 main 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.
Follow the main path for nearly 1 km, later through a more wooded area, 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, after which the path narrows and winds downhill.
In 125m go past a wooden horse barrier and straight across a staggered path junction, joining a bridleway coming in from the left at a hairpin bend. The stony track goes down across a small dip and curves to the right up 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.
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 a belt of trees.
In 200m the path starts to descend and shortly afterwards merges with the North Downs Way6 (NDW) above a steeply wooded disused quarry, the site of the old Brockham Lime Works7. After going steeply downhill for 200m turn right up a flight of steps with a wooden handrail, still on the NDW. At the top the path forks.
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 main route fork left and follow this track gently downhill, with 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, eventually leaving it through a wooden gate.
Just before the track comes to a metal fieldgate in front of a property called “Boxhurst”, veer left as indicated onto a narrow fenced path going downhill alongside a large field. Where the path leads into a lane keep ahead for 40m to a junction with a track heading sharply back to the right.
If you want to finish the walk in Dorking without climbing Box Hill, go to §12.
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 a path alongside Zig Zag Road to the Visitor Centre.
Turn sharp right onto the track to start going back uphill. In 100m you re-enter the Country Park, keeping left to go towards a wooden gate. Pass through this and fork right on the other side. Follow the path uphill and go through a small wooden gate to continue between hedges. At a gap in the hedge on the right, the most direct route to the popular viewpoint is to turn right as indicated onto a broad grassy path going very steeply uphill.
For an easier climb you could continue on the path for about 200m, eventually turning sharp right at a path junction (almost doubling back) to reach the viewpoint.
[•] At the top of the steep slope make your way to the Salomons Memorial8 viewpoint.
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.
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, entering Box Hill Country 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 onto a grassy path into the trees.
Follow this winding path 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 Walk 1–49 (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 Headley Lane is popular with cyclists so take great care as you cross it. Go through Whitehill car park into Box Hill Country Park.
Take any route through the 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 and cross Zig Zag Road 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 the Country Park. The first climbs steeply up the side of the valley and goes 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 Walk 1–49.
Take the main track along Juniper Bottom from the back of the car park. In 250m ignore a footpath pointing right (with a stile on the left), but 50m further on veer right onto an unsigned path leading steeply up the right-hand side of an open area, with a flight of steps cut into the grassy bank for part of the way. At the top go through a gate into a more wooded area.
After a short final climb turn right at a T-junction and follow the path round to the left. Immediately after a path joins from the right, fork right at a Y-junction. In 100m you come to a round flint tower, Broadwood's Folly9.
Turn left at the tower to go gently uphill on a track, heading SE. Soon there are views on the right across a valley to the Burford Spur (the route down to Box Hill & Westhumble station). 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.
Take the main track from the back of the car park but in just 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, keep right. In the top right-hand corner go through a wooden kissing gate to the left of a fieldgate onto a track. Follow the 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, finally leaving the Walk 1–49 route. Go straight across a bridleway at the junction, following a signpost to Car Parks/Cafe. 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 along the path until it bends right in front of a large clearing, Donkey Green. You could follow the path through the car park to the café, but the suggested route is to keep ahead across Donkey Green. On the far side cross Zig Zag Road to come to the Salomons Memorial8 viewpoint.
If you want to finish the walk in Dorking, go to §11.
Go past the old fort behind the Servery and through a belt of trees. Turn right onto the clifftop path and go all the way down the Burford Spur. Keep left to come out onto Old London Road and turn left, passing the Burford Bridge Hotel. Cross the River Mole and go through an underpass beneath the A24. 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 Fort10 behind it. Go past its right-hand side and then veer left through a gap in the stone wall. Go over the grass rampart and through a belt of trees to a T-junction with a chalky path at the top of a steep wooded cliff.
Turn right onto this path, heading N with views across the Mole Valley to Denbies Vineyard and the wooded Ranmore Common. As you go down the Burford Spur the downland opens out and the descent becomes steeper. The most direct route is to keep left, aiming to come out onto Old London Road not too far from the prominent roundabout on the A24, but for a less precipitous descent you could carry straight on and then double back to meet the road a little further along.
Next to the large car park on the other side of Old London Road, Ryka's Café is a possible refreshment stop. To continue the walk head S along the road, passing the up-market Burford Bridge Hotel just before the large roundabout. Keep ahead briefly alongside the A24, crossing the River Mole. Unless you want to take a detour to see (and perhaps cross) the famous Stepping Stones11, follow the path down a slope and go through a subway under the main road.
At the top of the subway ramp turn sharp left down a path into Burford Meadow and take the grassy path towards Box Hill. The path curves round to the right, following the course of the river just off to your left. In 600m, at the far end of the meadow, there is a footbridge across the river. The stepping stones are 150m further on and there are paths to them on both sides of the river.
One of the possible return routes is along the main road to the right, so if it is not safe to walk across the stones (or you prefer not to risk it) it is advisable to stay on the right-hand bank. The main path ahead leads directly to the A24, but there is a fork off to the left which leads to the stones. Alternatively, cross the river on the footbridge and take the path on the other bank.
From the stones the shortest continuation is to follow the main path away from the river to the A24, where turning right and going along the footway for 400m would bring you back to the subway. However, you might prefer to avoid the road noise by returning to the footbridge (perhaps on the other riverside path after walking across the stones) and simply retracing your steps through Burford Meadow.
On the other side of the subway turn left to go up to a road junction and turn right into Westhumble Street, signposted to (Box Hill &) Westhumble station. You soon pass the Stepping Stones pub, another possible refreshment stop. The station is a further 300m along this narrow street, but there is a path in the belt of trees on the right for most of the way. Bear left into the station car park, with Pilgrim Cycles (and its café) in the old station building on the left. Cross the footbridge to Platform 1 for trains to London.
Go past the old fort behind the Servery and through a belt of trees. Turn left onto the clifftop path and follow it round to the left. After briefly joining the NDW fork right onto a footpath sloping down the hillside to Boxhurst.
Turn left onto this path, heading S. Shortly after passing a headstone for Major Peter Labellière12, ignore a fork to the left leading back to the Visitor Centre. The path curves round to the left13 and in 150m the North Downs Way (NDW) joins from a long flight of steps on the right. After a gap on the right with a view of Dorking, fork right off the NDW onto a footpath sloping down the hillside towards Boxhurst.
If you would like to revisit the viewpoint, keep ahead here; from the viewpoint you can drop straight down the hill to join this path.
Near the bottom of the hill, go through a small wooden gate. At the next gate you leave the Country Park and continue along a track for 100m to join a lane.
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 Dorking's two main stations.
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, where you are close to the town's two main stations.
If you want to visit the Lincoln Arms Hotel (between the two stations) keep ahead on the road and turn sharp right at the top for the pub. Then either go along Dorking station's approach road or head south on the A24 for Dorking Deepdene.
For direct trains to London turn right and go through a small car park to reach the entrance to Dorking station. Trains to London can depart from any of the three platforms, so you might have to go under the subway to Platform 2 or 3.
For trains to Redhill or Guildford keep ahead past the entrance to a vehicle workshop and then 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 (where you change for London), go up the path and steps here to Platform 1; for trains to Guildford, go under the railway bridge for the entrance to Platform 2. There is no footbridge between the two platforms.
- From the Norbury Park viewpoint the village below is Mickleham, with Mickleham Downs beyond it. The prominent mansion away to 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- The Salomons Memorial 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.
- 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. There used to be a holm-oak growing out of it (the stump is still visible inside).
- 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.
- The Stepping Stones were probably installed by a 19thC landowner to facilitate access to his orchard on the level ground at the foot of Box Hill. The current stones were laid in 1946, the originals having been destroyed in World WarⅡ as an anti-invasion measure.
- 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.
- 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: May 24, 2019