Saturday Walkers Club
William IV

William IV

Steep climb to lunch-time pub at Mickelham Surrey. D.Allen Vivitar 5199 5mp

26-Jul-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book1 boxhill swcwalks mickelham walk49

Book 1 Walk 49 Boxhill to Leatherhead

Book 1 Walk 49 Boxhill to Leatherhead

The William 1V Mickleham. (Alternative lunch stop but you have some steep steps to climb!). David A. Vivitar 5199 mp

23-Aug-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

book1 swcwalks walk49



24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

book1 boxhill swcwalks walk49



24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

book1 boxhill swcwalks walk49



24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

book1 boxhill swcwalks walk49



24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

book1 boxhill swcwalks walk49



24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

book1 boxhill swcwalks walk49

Box Hill to Leatherhead Walk

Short, 2 steep climbs and the view from Box Hill in the morning, and a gentle river valley after lunch

River Mole, Juniper Top & White Hill


11.5km (7.1 miles), 3 hours 30 minutes. For the whole outing, including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 6 hours 30 minutes.


7 out of 10.

OS Maps

Explorer 146 or Landranger 187. Box Hill & Westhumble Station, map reference TQ 167 518, is in Surrey, 5km south of Leatherhead.


This is a short but hilly walk that's close to London. A strenuous morning with Box Hill (views!) and White Hill before lunch in a pretty hamlet. After lunch, gentle fields, or a rural or hilly options.

The route starts by crossing the River Mole on stepping stones (or detouring if these are under water), before going steeply up steps on the North Downs Way to the top of Box Hill (NT, Visitor Centre, and lots of Box trees!), to enjoy views out over the valley. The route then follows Box and Yew woods before you drop down Juniper Top, which also enjoys fine views.

There is then a second very steep climb up White Hill onto Mickleham Downs and down to lunch in the pretty village of Mickleham at one of its two pubs. The 2 steep climbs can be slippery at times.

After lunch, the route has a very different character. It is flat, along the River Mole valley, through Norbury Park, into the centre of Leatherhead.

For a more rural feel, there are 2 highly recommended options below.

Walk Options

Shortening the walk

From Mickleham, the lunch stop, TFL bus #465 goes north to Leatherhead and Kingston, or south to Dorking (1/2 hourly, hourly on Sundays). It accepts Oyster Cards.

Boxhill Circular

Recommended. After lunch in Mickleham, instead of walking to Leatherhead along a flat valley bottom, you could loop back to Box Hill station. The Stepping Stones pub is nearby for tea. Both routes return on the other side of the Mole valley through Norbury park.

  • The easier route, still very rural, returns along the river and the rail line.
  • The harder route, climbs the ridge on other side of the valley, with fine views down into it.

Reversing the Walk

Directions for reversing the walk, an easy start, with the hills at the end, are in the 'Leatherhead to Boxhill' link above. This mean 2 long climbs, and 2 very steep descents. There is 'Stepping Stones' pub near Boxill station for tea.


Box Hill & Westhumble Station was built in 1867 in polychrome brick with stone dressings, as part of an agreement with the landowner that it should be ‘of an ornamental character’.

Box Hill derives its name from the box trees there; yew trees are also found on its chalky slopes, with beech and oak up on top where the ground is clay and flint. It is 172 metres above sea level, contains Bronze Age burial mounds. Daniel Defoe described scenes of drinking, dancing and debauchery on Box Hill; Jane Austen placed the picnic scene in Emma here; John Keats climbed Box Hill by moonlight whilst composing Endymion; and John Logie Baird conducted his TV experiments from the summit. The area was given to the nation by Leopold Salomons of Norbury Park in 1914 and is now in the care of the National Trust. Box trees used to be in demand for making woodcut blocks and mathematical rulers – boxwood is heavy and does not float in water.

St Michael & All Angels Church, Mickleham, has Saxon and Norman origins and was renovated by the Victorians. Its chancel is noticeably out of alignment with the nave – ‘a weeping chancel, to suggest the head of Christ leaning on the cross’.

The poet and novelist George Meredith lived at Flint Cottage in Mickleham.

The River Mole is thought to have got its name from a tendency to disappear underground in dry weather near Dorking. It rises near Crawley in Sussex, to join the Thames near Hampton Court.

Thorncroft Manor was completed in the 1770s when Capability Brown worked on the gardens, creating a bridge and island on the river. It was used by Canadian troops during World War II.


Take the train nearest to 10.15am from Victoria Station to Box Hill & Westhumble. Journey time 50 minutes. There are six trains an hour (four on Sundays) back from Leatherhead to Victoria or Waterloo. Journey time about 45 minutes. Buy a day return to Box Hill & Westhumble.


For those in need of an early cup of coffee or tea, you can stop at Denbies Wine Estate restaurant and visitor centre (tel. 01306-876616) within 1 km of the start of the walk.

For late starters the Smith and Western bar grill (tel. 01737-841666), close to the start, at the summit of Box Hill can be used as a lunch stop.

You have a choice of two recommended pubs in Mickleham for your lunch stop and both are very popular, so try to plan your arrival well before 1 pm.

The first is the Running Horses pub (tel. 01372-372279) on Old London Road, opposite the church. The pub serves an excellent choice of main meals and deep-filled sandwiches and has a log fire in winter. The pub’s management likes walkers to take off their walking boots, so please comply.

The second pub, the King William IV freehouse, (tel.01372-372590), is much smaller, perched on a hill above the A24. It also serves good food and good beer and being small (40 covers inside), is cosy. It has a covered outdoor area for summer dining. Groups of more than six should try the Running Horses first.


The Swan Shopping Centre in the centre of Leatherhead has a Costa Coffee shop. There is also a Starbucks coffee shop in the High Street. Near the upper entrance to the shopping centre is Annies Tea Room (tel. 01372-373399), open 8 am to 5pm, closes at 2pm on Sundays. At the top of Bridge Street is Soulinnis coffee shop and eatery (tel. 01372-386108) (closed on Sundays).

There are a number of pubs in Leatherhead, including a Wetherspoons, for those who prefer a stronger drink at walk end.


No Major Changes.

[Pre 2011 Edition] Use the online version - In the morning, instead of descending down Juniper Top to White Hill car park, the original route in pre 2011 edition, followed the more direct route, by descending Juniper Bottom, which lacked the views from Juniper Top.


Use this online version of the walk, as the current print edition is now dated.

Help Us!

After the walk, we would love to get your feedback


Upload your photos to the SWC Group on Flickr, and videos to Youtube. This walk's tags are:


Out: (not a train station)

Back: (not a train station)

By Car

Start: RH5 6BT Directions then return to your car by train:

Finish: KT22 7SQ Directions then travel to the start by train:


Start walking Large print Using GPS data

National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline SE (bus times): 0871 200 2233 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234



Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only.

Walk Directions  

The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.

The [numbers] refer to a sketch map which is only in the book.

  1. [1] Coming out of Box Hill & Westhumble Station, turn left up the concrete steps, your direction 345°. In 30 metres turn left over the bridge to cross the railway line, your direction 295°.
  2. Carry on uphill on this main road, Chapel Lane. In 25 metres you pass an arch gateway on your right-hand side with its plaque dedicated to Fanny Burney, diarist and novelist, and the timber-framed Westhumble Chapel. Carry on up the road and in a further 30 metres you fork left by Chaucer Cottage on a tarmac path which runs parallel to the road at its right-hand side.
  3. In 115 metres you rejoin the main road, passing Pilgrims Way on your left-hand side. [!] In a further 25 metres take a signposted although somewhat concealed public footpath left, between fences, your direction 220°.
  4. In 150 metres cross a tarmac lane by a house called Kearsney, to carry straight on, now on a narrow path between a hedge and fence.
  5. In 200 metres go through a wooden kissing gate and straight on, across a field. In 50 metres go through another wooden kissing gate. In 15 metres, by a four-armed footpath sign [2], with a large vineyard ahead of you, turn left on a car-wide way, signposted North Downs Way.
  6. For elevenses at Denbies, instead of turning left, cross over this path and in 15 metres go through a wooden swing gate to keep ahead along a path between vines, your direction 170°. In 280 metres, where this path meets a main access road, turn left to Denbies visitor centre and restaurant. After elevenses retrace your steps to the junction with the North Downs Way.
  7. Continue on the North Downs Way, gently downhill, ignoring paths off. In 300 metres go through a wooden swing gate to the left of a wooden farm gate. The track is now a tarmac lane. In 65 metres go under the railway bridge. In 150 metres go through a metal gate and in a further 15 metres cross – with care – both carriageways and the central reservation of the busy A24 road, slightly to the left, to pick up the continuation of the North Downs Way straight on, down into a car park area. At the other end of the car park, you fork right, marked towards ‘Stepping Stones’, your direction 115°.
  8. Carry on, straight down. In 100 metres go over the River Mole on these stepping stones. Carry straight on the other side of the river, on the main path, your direction 120 degrees. (If the river is running high, and there is a danger of its flooding and covering the stepping stones, retrace your steps to the car park. Here take the left-hand fork marked ‘footbridge’. Having crossed the bridge, turn right and follow the path by the river for 150 metres to return to the stepping stones – but now on the eastern side of the River Mole.)
  9. In 120 metres you ignore a fork to the left. In 60 metres you start going up steps following the North Downs Way acorn signs on footpath posts and keep on following the main path. In 70 metres ignore the path ahead and take the flight of steps to the left, your direction 50°.
  10. Follow the acorn signs as you continue steeply up another five flights of steps. At a T-junction, near the top of the hill, follow the acorn sign to the right, your direction 120 degrees, with a fine view over Dorking and the Mole Valley below.
  11. Keep on the main path along the ridge, gently uphill, ignoring ways off. In 225 metres you come to the stone memorial and lookout point [3] to Leopold Salomons of Norbury Park, who gave Box Hill to the nation in 1914. There is a trig station pillar just below the lookout which has fine views over Gatwick, Leith Hill and Hindhead. 65 metres past this lookout point, fork left uphill by a multi-branch oak tree on your right-hand side, your direction 35°.
  12. In 110 metres bear right with the path (there is a car park and a road on your left-hand side). Keep straight on, ignoring all ways off, following North Downs Way acorn posts.
  13. In 225 metres go through a wooden swing gate. In 110 metres go through another. Keep ahead, ignoring ways off, following acorn signs and in 230 metres turn right by a footpath post with acorn sign, your direction 150°, to go down four steps and up five steps on the other side. In 30 metres go down four steps to an earth car road crossing your path. Turn left uphill, your direction 70°.
  14. In 40 metres this brings you up to the Smith and Western bar and grill [4], a possible elevenses or early lunch stop. Walk through its car park and turn left onto a road. In 20 metres turn right at a signpost bridleway, your direction 325°, into Ashurst Rough (so marked on the OS map).
  15. Ignore all ways off and keep on the main path, initially to the edge of the wood then through the wood. In 400 metres cross a car-wide earth road and in a further 15 metres you come to a four-way path junction.
  16. ({website only} The main route below goes over Juniper Top with fine views. This was the original ‘Juniper Bottom' route. Go straight on at the path junction, and keep ahead, downhill, on an initial bearing of 320°, through Happy Valley - mossy woods and lichen-covered trees. You descend Juniper Bottom, ignoring all ways of, and after 1.4 km you pass a National Trust concrete cain on your right-hand side. Keep ahead, in 45 metres coming to the start of White Hill car park. Walk through it Headly Road. Continue from point [5] below.)  
  17. At this path junction turn right, your direction 20°, in 30 metres joining a path from your right by a footpath post. Keep ahead, now on a gravel and earth road, gently downhill, and ignore all ways off.
  18. In 800 metres go through a wooden gate to the right of a metal field gate and come out onto Juniper Top. Keep ahead and in 100 metres bear left on a broad, grassy path, your bearing 300°.
  19. Descend Juniper Top, enjoying fine views ahead. In some 500 metres the grassy path narrows to an earth and stony path and in a further 100 metres go through a wooden kissing gate to the right of a metal field gate, with a three-way footpath sign and a National Trust donation cairn to your right. Turn right to join a track, your bearing 330°, to pass in 30 metres a Box Hill Notice Board. In a further 15 metres go through White Hill car park to cross the Headley Road [5].
  20. Follow the public footpath sign directly ahead on the other side of the road to climb steeply up the steps of White Hill (so marked on the OS map).
  21. Beyond these steep steps, the path bears right and becomes less steep and in 150 metres comes to a fork, with a bench to your left and by footpath post No.5. Here keep ahead, slightly left, on a bearing of 45°, through woods. In 45 metres, at a T-junction, by the remains of a fence’s metal corner post, go left, following the ‘Long Walk’ arrow on a post, your direction 330°. In 40 metres, by post No. 6, bear left for 8 metres, then turn left by a footpath post to follow its Long Walk direction, your bearing again 330°, your path ahead soon going downhill.
  22. In 200 metres you come to a car-wide bridleway crossing [6] with a Box Hill Estate Notice Board on your right-hand side.
  23. Your way ahead depends on which pub in Mickleham you target for lunch.
  24. To go direct to the King William IV pub (by-passing Mickleham village and St Michael’s church): Turn right at the car-wide bridleway, your direction 20°, gently uphill on a chalky track, passing on your right a National Trust Mickleham Downs sign. In 100 metres a path joins from your left-hand side. In a further 130 metres, at a path crossing [!] take an indistinct path on your left downhill, your direction 300°. In 65 metres, the path swings left and a path joins from the right. The path descends more steeply now and in 200 metres it narrows and starts to descend steeply through brush. In a further 150 metres cross a main path junction and keeping ahead, descend steps, in 80 metres coming to the entrance to the King William IV pub on the hillside on your left-hand side. After lunch, turn left down steps to the un-made up road, Byttom Hill. Turn left, downhill, to the A24 road, where you turn left for 200 metres, to cross the A24 and re-join the route below.
  25. To go to the Running Horses pub and St Michael’s Church: At the car-wide bridleway crossing [6], cross over, to continue straight on down, following the Long Walk arrow, due west. In 150 metres at a fork, and by a footpath post, bear left, downhill, your direction 250°. In 110 metres you pass a tennis court on your right-hand side.  In 80 metres cross a stile to join a gravel driveway towards the church. In a further 120 metres you enter the churchyard and in 40 metres, at the other side of the churchyard, you turn left towards the front door of St Michael & All Angels Church. Opposite the church is the Running Horses pub. Next door is a convenience store if you wish to purchase refreshments for a picnic. Coming out of the pub after lunch, turn left onto the Old London Road, which you follow down, passing Box Hill School on your left-hand side, to come out to the A24 road.
  26. [Both routes continue] Cross both carriageways and the central reservation with care, slightly left, to pick up a tarmac lane bridleway ahead. [!] (Note: an alternative route to the King William IV pub is to turn right down the A24 for 200 metres, to turn right up Byttom Hill to the pub on your right-hand side.)
  27. Cross the River Mole on a humpback bridge, your direction 345°, into Norbury Park [6A].
  28. {website only} The 2 Boxhill via Mickleham Circular Options starts here.
  29. Ignore all ways off and in 400 metres you pass Norbury Park Farm on your right-hand side. In 50 metres fork left, your direction 300°, on an earth car road.
  30. In 40 metres go through a wooden kissing gate to the left of a metal fieldgate and continue straight on. In a further 215 metres, you are back alongside the River Mole on your right-hand side. You more or less follow the river all the way to Leatherhead. In more detail: When you see a cottage 90 metres ahead of you on your left-hand side, climb over a low wire fence on your right-hand side [7] and follow the river on your right-hand side for 40 metres until it bends off to the right. You can see, straight ahead of you, a fieldgate on a lane (which you would have come to if you had simply gone to the cottage and turned right, by a footpath sign). Head towards this fieldgate, your direction 330°.
  31. In 240 metres you go through a wooden kissing gate to the right-hand side of the fieldgate, to continue on the lane.
  32. In 95 metres carry straight on, along a path near the river, your direction 15°. In 400 metres you exit this large field by a kissing gate (with a fieldgate to its left-hand side). Ignore the path to the left and carry straight on, with the river on your right-hand side.
  33. In 30 metres you pass a River Mole Local Nature Reserve Notice Board and in 50 metres go over a metal pipe barrier and then onwards under the concrete bridge carrying the A246 [8].
  34. In 45 metres ignore a fork to the left. In a further 85 metres, go through a wooden kissing gate with a metal barrier on its right and with a vineyard on your left-hand side. In 20 metres bear right with the path and in 30 metres you pass a bridge carrying pipes. In a further 320 metres, you go through a metal kissing gate (with a metal barrier to its left-hand side). In 20 metres you come to an earth car road and by a four-armed footpath sign, you turn right on the road (now surfaced) signposted Gimcrack Hill, your direction 65°. In 175 metres you pass the entrance to Thorncroft Manor on your left and you are back alongside the River Mole.
  35. In 100 metres, 5 metres before a bridge, by a three-armed footpath sign, you go left, signposted Town Bridge, through a wooden barrier and onto a stony and gravel path, alongside the River Mole on your right-hand side.
  36. In 20 metres you pass another River Mole Local Nature Reserve Notice Board and in 400 metres, yet another. In 120 metres turn right over the town bridge, your direction 60°. Go over a mini roundabout and carry straight on up Bridge Street, passing the Running Horse pub on your left as you head into Leatherhead. At the top of Bridge Street you pass Soulinnis coffee shop and eatery on your right, a possible tea stop. Bear slightly right into the pedestrianised High Street and in 45 metres go through the lower (main) entrance to the Swan Shopping Centre on your left. In 80 metres you come to Costa Coffee shop, another possible tea stop, on your right-hand side (Starbucks and Annies are further up the High Street and nearer the upper entrance to the shopping centre).
  37. Coming out of Costa Coffee, exit the shopping centre northwards through the alleyway, keeping Sainsbury’s on your right-hand side. In 55 metres go up steps on to the main road (the A245).
  38. Cross this A road, slightly to the left , to pick up a narrow tarmac lane (Middle Road) and go straight on upwards between houses, your direction 330° (with house No. 4 immediately on your right-hand side).
  39. In 100 metres you come to a tarmac road T-junction where you go left, your direction 230°. In 70 metres, at the far end of the car park, turn right, your direction 300°, with a large building just ahead of you. In 15 metres you come to a public garden (King George V Memorial Gardens) where you take the right fork, a tarmac lane, downhill.
  40. In 65 metres take the second fork right, your direction 25°, now parallel with the main road below, and still within the public garden.
  41. In 80 metres exit the public garden through brick piers and down four steps, to come down to the main road which you cross with care to go straight on, your direction 290°, on Randalls Road.
  42. In 120 metres, just before a railway bridge, turn right to go to Leatherhead Station, your direction 15°. After a further 70 metres, go under the railway lines to reach platform 1 for trains to London (which go back to Victoria or Waterloo).

Boxhill Circular via Mickleham and Norbury Park Options

Instead of continuing north along the flat valley bottom and farmland to Leatherhead, these 2 more attractive routes takes you back to Box Hill station. One goes along the flat valley bottom parallel to the railway line and river. The other climbs up the ridge on the other side of the valley which has a lovely view of the valley below, before descending back down through a pretty wood to the train station. About 200m past Box Hill Station, and gently downhill, is the very pleasant Stepping Stone pub.

  1. Cross the A24 and River Mole, as above, to point [6A].
  2. In 50m, turn left onto a bridleway.
  3. In 100m the path enters a wood; you come to a signpost, with a path off to your left.
  4. Valley Option:
    Fork left through wooden barriers.
    In 400m the path crosses the railway and in another 400m a path merges from the right. Keep on the main path, ignoring a signpost 'Westhumble 1¼' and other ways off.
    In 1km, fork left downhill (where the right fork goes uphill).
    In 400m the path leaves the wood; continue along the right-hand field edge. In 600m a footpath merges from the left.
  5. Hill Option:
    Continue straight on uphill, eventually passing a mobile phone mast to reach a signpost by a wooden fence near the top of the hill.
    Detour left to a pretty viewpoint indicated by the signpost, then return to this point.
    Continue, now following the wooden fence, keeping it on your left, passing a lumber yard, and eventually reaching a viewpoint on the far side of Norbury Park House which the fence surrounds.
    After the viewpoint, continue along the path. At a sign for Druids Grove, turn left down a few steps. At the bottom, go right.
    Continue, joining a lower path, then, turn left at a junction, downhill.
    Continue, coming out into a field, keep to the right hand side of the field, until the corner.
  6. Continue up to a road. Turn left, cross the railway bridge. The station entrance is on your right.
  7. For the pub, continue straight on for 200 metres down this road.