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

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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

William IV

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

26-Jul-07 • magyardave2002 on Flickr

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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

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

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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24-Aug-08 • stuleeds on Flickr

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River Mole, Juniper Top & White Hill

Length

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.

Toughness

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.

Features

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, as can be the descent to Mickleham. For the latter, a walking pole comes in handy.

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 Boxhill and Dorking.

Boxhill Circular highly recommended

After lunch in Mickleham, instead of walking to Leatherhead along a flat valley bottom, following the course of the River Mole, you could loop back to Box Hill station. The Stepping Stones pub is nearby for tea, with the Hill Option taking you to Denbies for tea. Both routes return on the other side of the Mole Valley through Norbury Park.

  • The easier route is the Valley Option, which is still very rural, and returns to Box Hill via woods then over fields to the railway station.
  • The harder route is the Hill Option which climbs the ridge on the other side of the valley, with fine views down into it, then continues to Denbies for tea.

Leatherhead to Boxhill reversing the walk

An easy start from Leatherhead, with 2 long climbs, and 2 very steep descents after lunch. There is 'Stepping Stones' pub near Boxill station for tea. Directions are at the end of this document. Obviously, take a train to Leatherhead for this option.

History

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.

Travel

Take the train nearest to 10.00am from Victoria Station to Box Hill & Westhumble (Southern Rail's Horsham service) Journey time 53 minutes. Buy a day return to Box Hill & Westhumble. South Western Railway also run an hourly service from Waterloo Station to Box Hill & Westhumble (Dorking service). Journey time 46 minutes.

There are six trains an hour (four on Sundays) back from Leatherhead to Victoria or Waterloo. Journey time about 45 minutes. From Box Hill there are usually two trains an hour.

TFL bus #465 (2 per hour, 1 per hour on Sunday) runs from Kingston (station) - Surbiton (station) - Chessington South (station) - (Zone 6 boundary) - Epsom - Leatherhead (station) - Mickleham (by the church and Running Horses lunch pub) - A24 (Boxhill station turnoff) - A24 (Stepping Stones footpath) - A24 (Denbies) - Dorking (station). You could use it to cut the walk short at the lunch pub. If you have a TFL all zone travelcard, you could use it to save the train fare to Boxhill (well outside zone 6) by taking the bus from Kingston, Surbiton or Chessington South stations which are inside the travelcard area. It accepts Contactless/Oyster.

By Car: There is limited free parking at Boxhill station. There is a car park and on street parking by the nearby A24 roundabout (RH5 6BX), or its easy to park at Mickleham (lunch pub) and start the walk from there.

Lunch

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 (unless you have booked ahead).

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.

Tea

The Swan Shopping Centre in the centre of Leatherhead has a branch of Costa Coffee. There is also a Starbucks coffee shop in the High Street. At the top of Bridge Street is Stories Cafe . Opposite the lower entrance to the Swan Shopping Centre is Lucio's Cafe and Delicatessan.

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

If finishing your walk back at Box Hill, you have the choice of the large Stepping Stones pub (100m downhill from the station), Pilgrims Cycles in the station forecourt, or Denbies Wine Estate restaurant.

Updates

No Major Changes. This edition January 2022.

[Pre 2011 Edition] Use the online version. In the morning, the original route in the pre 2011 editions of the TO Book took you down Juniper Bottom in a valley to White Hill car park. The preferred route now is down Juniper Top, which enjoys lovely open views.

Book

This walk was originally published in Time Out Country Walks near London volume 1. We now recommend using this online version as the book is dated.

The book contained 53 walks, 1 for every week of the year and 1 to spare. Here is our suggested schedule

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National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234

Version

Jan-22 Marcus

Copyright © Saturday Walkers Club. All Rights Reserved. No commercial use. No copying. No derivatives. Free with attribution for one time non-commercial use only. www.walkingclub.org.uk/site/license.shtml

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 in the book.

Main walk (Boxhill to Leatherhead)

  1. [1] Coming out of Box Hill & Westhumble Railweay 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, gently downhill, your direction 220°.
  4. In 165 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 45 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 gated entrance (or if closed, go through the high metal gate to the right of the main gates). In a further 15 metres cross – with care – both two-lane 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, by a National Trust sign for Box Hill and Stepping Stones, down into a car park area. At the other end of the car park, you fork right by a low concrete marker, towards ‘Stepping Stones’, to pass through low wooden traffic blocking posts, your direction 115°.
  8. Carry on, straight down. In 100 metres go over the River Mole on seventeen Stepping Stones . Carry straight on the other side of the river, on the main path, your direction 120°. (But 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, following the direction of a low concrete marker towards ‘footbridge’, to the immediate right of an Information Panel on the Stepping Stones. Having crossed the bridge, keep ahead on a clear path which joins up with the path coming in from the right 120 metres beyond the stepping stones (now on the eastern side of the River Mole).
  9. If you crossed the stepping stones, in 120 metres you ignore the fork on your left (the route from the bridge crossing). In a further 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 - your way having swung to the left - ignore the path ahead and take the long flight of steps to the left, steeply uphill, 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, turn right through a wooden swing gate (usually locked open), and keep ahead, your direction 120 degrees, with a fine view over Dorking and the Mole Valley below and to your right.
  11. Keep on the main path along the ridge, gently uphill, ignoring ways off. There are several bench seats on your left for those in need of a rest after the energy expended on the steep climb up Box Hill - and to enjoy the view. 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.
  12. 65 metres past this lookout point [!] you have a choice of onward route: the original TO Book Woodland Route, and the Hillside Contour Route.
  13. The Hillside Contour Route Do not turn left here but stay on the path. You soon come out into the open, with fine panoramic views over to your right. The path hugs the contour of the hill. In some 300 metres you enter woodland, where you keep ahead on a clear path. The path then drops down to the earth car road described in the TO Book Woodland Route. Turn left on this earth road and head uphill. In some 100 metres or so the Woodland Route joins from the left. Both routes continue as below.
  14. The TO Book Woodland Route fork left uphill by a multi-branch oak tree on your right-hand side, to follow the direction of a one-armed footpath sign on a bearing of 35°.
  15. 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.
  16. In 225 metres go through a wooden swing gate. In 110 metres go through another. Keep ahead as the path winds through woodland, ignoring ways off, following acorn signs. [!] 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. The Hillside Contour Route joins from the right.
  17. Both Routes Continue : Turn left uphill, your direction 70°.
  18. 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).
  19. Ignore all ways off and keep on the main path, initially to the edge of the wood then through the wood, gently downhill. In 400 metres cross a car-wide earth road and in a further 15 metres you come to a four-way path junction.
  20. The new, preferred route, detailed below, heads to Juniper Top . The original TO Book route took you down Juniper Bottom as follows: 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 gate on your right-hand side. Keep ahead, in 45 metres coming to the start of White Hill car park. Walk through it to Headly Road. Continue from point [5] below.
  21. 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, through woodland, and ignore all ways off.
  22. In 800 metres go through a wooden swing gate to the right of a wooden field gate and come out onto Juniper Top. Keep ahead through light scrub and in 100 metres bear left on a broad, grassy way, your bearing 300°.
  23. 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 swing gate to the left of a wooden field gate, with a three-way footpath sign 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].
  24. 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).
  25. Beyond these steep steps, continue ahead, still steeply uphill, and then in 60 metres the path bears right and becomes less steep. In 150 metres, the path forks, with a bench to your left and a footpath post on your right with a "Box Hill Hike" disc. Here [!] take the left fork (almost directly ahead) on a bearing of 45°, through woods. In 30 metres, with the remains of a metal fence post on your right, bear left , gently uphill. In 25 metres, by the remains of a fence’s metal corner post on your left, and with a footpath post with a "Box Hill Hike" disc on your right, keep ahead. In a further 15 metres, at a path T-junction, turn left, your direction 330° onto a path which soon heads steadily downhill through light woodland.
  26. In 200 metres you come to a car-wide bridleway crossing [6] with two footpath posts with marker discs directly ahead of you.
  27. Your way ahead depends on which pub in Mickleham you target for lunch.
  28. 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.
  29. 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, downhill, in the direction of the Box Hill Hike disc, due west. The path becomes steeper as you descend through woodland. In 150 metres go betweeen footpath posts and take the left-hand fork in the path, downhill, your direction 250°, now close to the left-hand edge of the wood. In 170 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, one of your lunch stop options. What used to be a convenience store to the left of the pub (for picnic provisions) is unfortunately no more. 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.
  30. Both routes continue
  31. 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.)
  32. Having crossed the A24 onto the tarmac lane mmediately cross the River Mole on a humpback bridge, your direction 345°, into Norbury Park [6A].
  33. Here you have a choice. Either continue with the main walk to Leatherhead, or take one of the two recommended Boxhill Circular Walk Options via Norbury Park - as described below after the main walk directions.
  34. The main walk to Leatherhead
  35. Keep ahead on the tarmac lane and ignore all ways off. In 400 metres you pass Norbury Park Farm on your right-hand side. In a further 50 metres fork left, your direction 300°, on an earth farm road.
  36. In 40 metres go through a wooden kissing gate to the left of a metal fieldgate and continue straight on. You pass stables on your left and some 215 metres from the last gate you have the River Mole on your right-hand side before it swings to the right. You will more or less follow the river all the way to Leatherhead. In more detail: The original TO Book route has you dropping down over grass [7] to walk beside the river before rejoining the farm road, but the simpler route is to stay on the farm road as it heads gently uphill.
  37. In some 180 metres, at the top of the farm road, with a cottage to your left, and a metal fieldgate ahead of you, with woodland behind, turn right onto a continuation of the farm road, gently uphill, your direction now due north.
  38. In 240 metres go through a wooden kissing gate to the right of a metal fieldgate (or go through the fieldgate when propped open) to continue on the farm road. The River Mole is down below you, some 40 metres to your right.
  39. In 85 metres, at the top of the incline, leave the woodland to your left and keep ahead along the right-hand edge of a grassy field , with treeline on your right and the river below you, your direction 15°. The railway line is some 75 metres over to your left. In 400 metres you exit this large field by a metal kissing gate, onto a path T-junction. Turn right , with the river on your right-hand side.
  40. In 30 metres you pass a River Mole Local Nature Reserve Notice Board, with a grassy picnic area with benches behind it and to its left. In 100 metres go under the concrete bridge carrying the A246 [8].
  41. In 95 metres ignore a path to the left. In a further 45 metres, go through a wooden kissing gate with a metal barrier on its right and with what appears to be an abandoned vineyard on your left-hand side. In 20 metres bear right with the path and in 30 metres you pass a metal bridge carrying pipes. Keep ahead on this path as it swings to the left, with a post and wire fence on your left and the river to your right.
  42. In 320 metres, 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.
  43. In 100 metres, 5 metres before a bridge over the river, by a three-armed footpath sign, and a 10 MPH sign, turn left signposted Town Bridge, through a wooden barrier and onto a stony and gravel path, alongside the River Mole on your right-hand side.
  44. In 20 metres you pass another River Mole Local Nature Reserve Notice Board and in 400 metres, another one. In 120 metres the path comes up to a road where you turn right to cross over the red brick Town Bridge , with its fourteen arches, 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 the centre of Leatherhead. At the top of Bridge Street you pass Stories Cafe on your right, a possible tea stop. Keep ahead (slightly right) into the pedestrianised High Street and in 45 metres turn left through the lower (main) entrance to the Swan Shopping Centre. Opposite this entrance on your right-hand side is Lucio's Cafe and Delicatessan. In 80 metres through the Centre you come to Costa Coffee, another possible tea stop, on your right-hand side (Starbucks is further up the High Street and nearer the upper entrance to the shopping centre).
  45. Coming out of Costa Coffee, exit the shopping centre northwards through the alleyway, keeping Sainsbury’s on your right-hand side. Just before the exit there are public WCs on your right-hand side. Leave the Centre by going up steps on to the main road (the A245).
  46. 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).
  47. 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 path, downhill. The path soon swings to the left, past a bench.
  48. In 65 metres take the second fork right ( a path T-junction) your direction 25°, now parallel with the main road below, and still within the public garden.
  49. In 80 metres exit the public garden through brick piers and down four steps, to come down to the main road, at a major road junction, which you cross with care to go straight on, your direction 290°, on Randalls Road.
  50. In 120 metres, just before a railway bridge, turn right to go to Leatherhead Railway 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 two attractive routes takes you back to Box Hill. One goes along the flat valley bottom along the edge of a wood before following fields parallel to the railway line and river, to come out at Box Hill & Westhumble Railway Station. About 200m past the railway station, and gently downhill, to its left, is the Stepping Stones pub, a post walk refreshment stop. The other route climbs up the ridge on the other side of the valley which has a lovely view of the valley below, before continuing on an attractive route to Debies for tea, before heading back to Box Hill & Westhumble Railway Station.

  1. After lunch, continue as above, and cross the A24 and then the River Mole, to point [6A].
  2. In 50 metres, turn left onto a bridleway.
  3. In 100 metres the path enters a wood; you come to a signpost, with a path off to your left. Here you have a choice.
  • The Valley Option
    1. Fork left through wooden barriers.
    2. In 400 metres the path crosses the railway and in another 400 metres a path merges from the right. Keep on the main path, ignoring a signpost 'Westhumble 1¼' and other ways off.
    3. In 1km, fork left downhill (where the right fork goes uphill).
    4. In 400 metres the path leaves the wood; continue along the right-hand field edge. In 600 metres a footpath merges from the left.
    5. Continue up to a road. Turn left, cross the railway bridge. The station entrance is on your right.
    6. For the pub, continue straight on for 200 metres down this road.
  • The Hill Option to Denbies
    1. Continue straight on uphill, eventually passing a mobile phone mast to reach a signpost by a wooden fence near the top of the hill.
    2. Detour left to a pretty viewpoint indicated by the signpost, "To Centeneray Copse and Viewpoint", a small terrace with a wooden bench 100 metres away, then return to this point.
    3. After the viewpoint, continue alongside a fence surrounding the grounds of Norbury Park House. In 60 metres you pass a security gate into the grounds and the bridleway turns half-left, downhill.
    4. In 200 metres you come to a T-junction and turn left , now uphill and still alongside the boundary fence. In a further 180 metres you pass another gate into the grounds and the bridleway turns slightly right. In the next 200 metres you keep left at a series of path junctions, eventualy passing Norbury Park Sawmills on the right, still alngside the fence.
    5. In 350 metres you reach a corner of the grounds. Here, if you wish, you can detour left to another viewing point across the valley to Mickleham and Box Hill. Another grassy path takes you back to rejoin the main bridleway 150 metres further on.
    6. In 450 metres, just after the path starts to curve downhill, [!] there is a broad path forking right (almost straight ahead) which you take. Follow this path, with the wood edge visible at times to your right.
    7. In 500 metres you come to a small car park and a road. Turn right on this and then in 10 metres [!] fork left over a stile into a field.
    8. In 160 metres, at the bottom of the field, pass through a kissing gate into a wood and take a path that slants left downhill.
    9. In 120 metres you emerge at the top of a field. Carry on downhill along its left-hand edge.
    10. In 330 metres exit the field through a gate in its bottom left-hand corner and turn left on a road.
    11. In 100 metres turn right up a side lane, passing a ruined chapel on your left. Follow this uphill. In 400 metres, after a long gentle climb, the lane swings left with a house soon visible uphill to the right.
    12. In 130 metres, where the lane turns right to become the driveway to the house, carry straight on up a broad path through woods (There are bluebell woods either side of this path in late April and early May).
    13. In a further 130 metres you come to a junction with a track. Keep straight on here, through a gate, into the Denbies Wine Estate . Carry on along the top edge of the vineyard.
    14. In 170 metres turn left downhill on a track leading to the central building complex of the vineyard.
    15. In 400 metres you pass these buildings on your left and in a further 120 metres turn left across a grassy area in front of the farm shop, to come to the front of the main building. The entrance is halfway along on the left. Pass through the shop to come to Denbies self-service Courtyard Restaurant.
    16. After tea, come out of the building and turn right. Cross in front of the farm shop and turn right on the track you came down on.
    17. Just beyond the end of the buildings, at a signposted path junction, take the footpath to the right through the vineyard, ignoring a track to the left.
    18. In 280 metres go through a wooden swing gate and in 15 metres cross a broad path - the North Downs Way. In a further 15 metres go through a wooden kissing gate and cross a narrow field. In 45 metres go through another wooden kissing gate and continue up a narropw path between garden fences.
    19. In 200 metres cross a suburban road and carry on up another narrow path betweeen garden fences.
    20. In 165 metres turn right on a road. In 250 metres cross a bridge over the railway. Box Hill & Westhumble Railway Station is on your right.

    Leatherhead to Boxhill (the walk in reverse)

    This is the main walk in reverse, with a gentle start and a hilly finish. Lunch is the same, but tea is at the Stepping Stones pub near Boxhill station, or at Denbies, or at Pilgrms Cycles.

    Travel : take the train nearest to 10-30am from Victoria to Leatherhead.

    1. Coming off platform 2 at Leatherhead Station, turn down steps out of the station and turn right down Station Approach, your direction 195°.
    2. In 70 metres, turn left along Randalls Road, your direction 90°. In 120 metres you cross, with care, the main road (Kingston Road) and go up four steps and enter a public garden (King George V Memorial Gardens), through brick piers. Head up on one of the tarmac paths to the top right-hand corner of this public garden, where in 130 metres, you turn left.
    3. Exit the public garden and keep ahead for 15 metres, with a car park on your left-hand side. At a road (Upper Fairfield Road), turn left, your direction 50°. In 70 metres, turn right down the narrow Middle Road, your direction 135°.
    4. In 100 metres cross the busy A 245 road slightly to your left to go down steps to enter the Swan Shopping Centre. Keep ahead for 35 metres, then bear left , keeping Sainsbury’s on your left-hand side, then ahead, passing on your right-hand side in 20 metres Costa Coffee, a possible Elevenses stop. Continue ahead through the Centre, your way ahead becoming Swan Mews, and in 50 metres you exit the upper entrance to the Centre to turn right onto the pedestrianised High Street.
    5. In 10 metres you pass what used to be Annies on your right (2022 - the website reports it as permanently closed ), and in 60 metres Starbucks on your left. Continue down the High Street for a further 90 metres, pass some public art and the NatWest bank on your left, to swing slightly left into Bridge Street, your direction 255°, passing Stories Cafe on your left (another possible Elevenses stop).
    6. Go down Bridge Street, passing the Running Horse pub on your right-hand side, to go over a mini-roundabout, then over Leatherhead’s red brick Town Bridge , with its fourteen arches. On the far side of the bridge, at a footpath sign to Norbury Park, turn left on a gravel path beside the River Mole, your direction 145°.
    7. In 120 metres you pass a River Mole Local Nature Reserve Notice Board on your left, and in 400 metres, still beside the river, you pass another similar notice board. In 20 metres, go through a wooden barrier and turn right, onto a surfaced way, by a three-armed footpath sign, ignoring a bridge over the river 5 metres to your left. In 100 metres you pass the entrance to Thorncroft Manor on your right-hand side. The way swings right then left and in 175 metres, by a four-armed footpath sign to Norbury Park, turn left, in 20 metres going through a metal kissing gate with a metal barrier to its right, your direction 160°.
    8. Proceed along a path by the left-hand edge of a large field (with unkept vines). In 320 metres, having converged again with the River Mole on your left, you pass on your left a metal bridge over the river carrying pipes. In 30 metres bear left with the path and in 20 metres go through a wooden kissing gate (with a metal barrier to its left-hand side).
    9. In 45 metres ignore a path to the right and keep ahead with the river on your left-hand side. 100 metres go under a concrete bridge carrying the A246 [8]. In 100 metres you pass another River Mole Local Nature Reserve Notice Board on your right, with a picnic area with benches to its right.
    10. In 30 metres you pass through a field boundary and turn left go through a metal kissing gate, to continue ahead, your direction 160°, now on a grassy path along the left-hand side of a large field with the river down to your left.
    11. In 400 metres the field ends and you continue ahead, now on an earthen farm road, gently downhill. The railway line at this point is some 75 metres over to your right. In 85 metres go through a wooden kissing gate with a metal fieldgate to its right-hand side (or go through the gate when propped open). The TO Book route now has you turning half-left to head down to the river, where you swing right to walk beside it on a grassy way, before rejoining the farm road later, at point [7], but the simpler route is to stay on the farm road as it heads gently downhill, with woodland on your right, your direction due south.
    12. In some 240 metres, at the end of this farm road, with a cottage ahead of you, and a metal fieldgate to your right, turn left with the farm road as it heads gently downhill, now in an easterly direction. In some 180 metres you pass point [7] on your left as the River Mole joins you from the left.
    13. Continue down this farm road, your general direction now 120°. You pass stables on your right and in 215 metres, go through a wooden kissing gate to the right of a metal fieldgate and in a further 40 metres, fork right onto a concrete-surfaced lane, passing in 50 metres Norbury Park Farm on your left-hand side, your direction 165°.
    14. Proceed down the lane, which eventually swings right then left, in 400 metres [6A] to cross a humpback bridge over the River Mole to cross, with care, both carriageways and the central reservation of the busy A24 road, slightly to its left. [!] Your way ahead depends on which pub in Mickleham you plan to take luncheon.
    15. To go to the King William IV pub (suitable for small groups): turn left down the A24 for 200 metres. Just before you come to Frascati Restaurant turn right up Bytton Hill for 70 metres until you come to the King William IV pub perched on a hill up on your right. Go up steps to the pub’s entrance.
    16. After lunch at the King William, coming out of the entrance, if you wish to visit the church in the village, opposite the Running Horses pub, turn right to continue up the footpath by the side of the pub, your direction 110°, and keep ahead, uphill, for 80 metres until you come to a main path crossing. Here turn right, on a bearing due south, now on a level path. In 200 metres ignore a path down to your right. In 70 metres swing right with the path, then left, and in 50 metres go through a gate to the right of a metal gate, your direction now 250°, to head down a tarmac road (Dell Close). In 100 metres you pass a village hall on your left-hand side and in a further 125 metres you reach the main road (Old London Road), where you turn left, to join the directions from the Running Horses.
    17. After lunch at the King William, if you wish to bypass the village and continue on the main walk, coming out of the pub, do not turn right but keep ahead on a woodland path which climbs steadily, then more steeply, uphill, in a south-easterly direction. In 440 metres, at the top of the incline, you come to a major path junction, where you turn right , along a car-wide bridleway, your direction south-west. In 350 metres you come down to a junction, with a National Trust Mickleham Downs sign on your left-hand side [6]. Here turn left to join the route from the Running Horses.
    18. To go to the Running Horses pub: having crossed over the A24, keep ahead, uphill, along the Old London Road, in 100 metres passing Box Hill School on your right-hand side. In a further 100 metres you come to The Running Horses pub on your right-hand side, with St. Michael & All Angels Church opposite.
    19. Coming out of the pub, cross over the road and enter the churchyard through a gate: the church’s entrance is opposite. Coming out of the church, take either path along its side, to exit the churchyard near its south-eastern corner (from the front of the church, its top right-hand corner) to go through a gate. Turn left up a gravel driveway and in 120 metres, cross a stile to the right of the driveway, to keep ahead, now uphill, along a path, your direction 70°. In 80 metres you pass a tennis court on your left-hand side, and in a further 110 metres, uphill, where the path forks, take the right-hand fork , by a footpath post, your direction east. The path becomes much steeper and in 150 metres you come to a car-wide bridleway crossing [6] .
    20. Cross straight over, with a Box Hill Estate Notice Board on your left, and in 200 metres, at a path junction and by a footpath post, turn right, gently downhill on a bearing due south. In 8 metres, by post No 6, keep ahead (slightly right). In 45 metres, with the remains of a fence’s metal cornerpost on your left, turn right , your bearing now 225°,through woods. In 45 metres you come out into the open onto a path, with a bench on your right-hand side, and with post No 5 on your left. Keep ahead, slightly right, down the path.
    21. In 150 metres the path descends to steps to go down, very steeply, White Hill . Follow the long flight of steps downhill, taking care in slippery conditions, until you come to the bottom, to cross Headley Road [5] and enter White Hill car park directly ahead.
    22. Walk through this small car parking area and 15 metres beyond it you pass a Box Hill Notice Board. In a further 30 metres you pass a National Trust Donation cairn on your left, with a three-way footpath sign and a wooden kissing gate, next to a metal fieldgate, on your left-hand side.
    23. [!] Here the Book’s directions (when reversed) take you up Juniper Bottom (Happy Valley) by keeping ahead along the track, for some 1.2 kilometres, gradually ascending through the valley. But a more enjoyable route with nice views (over your shoulder) is to go up Juniper Top directions as follows.
    24. Turn left off the track through the wooden kissing gate onto an earth and stony path, uphill, close to the field edge on your left. In 100 metres ignore a path to the left. The path now becomes a grassy path as you continue ahead, soon becoming a broad grassy way, your bearing 130°, and you start to ascend along the ridge of Juniper Top. Stop from time to time to enjoy the views behind you: there are two benches en route for those in need of a rest. After 500 metres of steady ascent, bear right to head for the wooden gate in the top right-hand corner of this field.
    25. Go through this wooden gate to the left of a metal fieldgate, and keep ahead along a gravel and earth track, gently uphill, your initial direction 145°, ignoring all ways off. In 800 metres [!] you bear left at a path junction and you come to a four-way path junction (with another four-way junction 15 metres below on your right). Here turn left, your direction 100°.
    26. Keep to this broad path, gently uphill, ignoring all ways off, through a wood (Ashurst Rough) then along its left-hand edge near residential property, for 400 metres, coming out onto road by a bridleway sign. Here turn left for 20 metres, then cross the road to enter the Smith and Western bar and grill’s car park [4] . Walk through the car park, with the bar on your left, and [!] take the footpath in the right-hand corner, passing a low pipe barrier, your direction 250°.
    27. Bear right down this path for 40 metres to reach a path crossing. Turn right, to go up four steps. In 30 metres go down five steps then up four steps on the other side, to a path junction by a footpath sign with a North Downs Way acorn sign. Turn left, your direction 245°. Ignore ways off as you follow acorn signs through woodland and in 230 metres go through a wooden swing gate. In 110 metres go through another. Keep ahead, following acorn signs, and ignore all ways off.
    28. In 225 metres bear left with the path (there is a car park and a road on your right-hand side), your direction 225°. In 110 metres, the path descends to a path T-junction with a multi-branch oak tree opposite [!]. Here fork right, your direction due west.
    29. In 65 metres you pass a trig station to your right and a stone memorial and lookout point [3] to Leopold Salomons of Norbury Park, who gave Box Hill to the nation in 1914. Keep ahead along this gravel ridge path, gently downhill, enjoying the fine views to your left over Dorking and the Mole Valley. In 225 metres at a path junction, [!] follow the acorn signs to the left, your direction 270°, to start the steep descent off Box Hill.
    30. Go down six flights of steps, steeply, taking care in slippery conditions, following acorn signs on the way down. Ignore a path off to the left at the bottom of the fifth flight.
    31. Near the bottom, at the end of the sixth flight, ignore a path to your left and bear right , your direction now 300°. In 70 metres go down a seventh (and final) flight of steps. In 60 metres you come to a path junction, where you take the left hand branch, straight ahead, to follow the path to the stepping stones. 120 metres you come to the banks of the River Mole, to the Stepping Stones . ([!] If the river is in spate and the stepping stones are under water, making it unsafe to cross them, return to the path junction 120 metres back and take the path on your right to the footbridge, along the bank of the river for 150 metres to turn left over the footbridge, then on its far side turn left again to follow the path through woodland to rejoin the main walk directions in the car park).
    32. If safe, cross the stepping stones and in 100 metres go through a car park to come out on to the A24 road.
    33. Cross both carriageways and the central reservation of this busy road with care, slightly to your left. Take the signposted North Downs Way ahead, a surfaced lane, in 15 metres going through a metal gate in the left-hand side of an estate gateway.
    34. Continue up this lane, gently uphill and in 150 metres go under a railway bridge and in 65 metres the surfaced lane becomes a car-wide track. Go through a wooden swing gate to the right of a wooden farm gate. Continue along the lane, still gently uphill, and in 300 metres [!] you come to a main path junction with a four-armed footpath sign on your right. For those going to tea at Denbies.
    35. Turn left, 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 tea, retrace your steps to the main path junction.
    36. Back at the path junction, turn right and in 15 metres go through a wooden kissing gate. Cross a narrow field and go through another wooden kissing gate in 50 metres. Keep ahead down a narrow path between a hedge and fence, and in 200 metres you cross an unmade road, to continue on a path immediately ahead, between fences, your direction 40°.
    37. In 165 metres you come out onto a main road (Chapel Lane), where you turn right. In 25 metres you pass Pilgrims Way on your right-hand side and soon after take the surfaced footpath on your right, which runs parallel to the main road, to rejoin the road in 115 metres.
    38. In 30 metres you pass an arch gateway on your left-hand side with its plaque dedicated to Fanny Burney, diarist and novelist, and the timber-framed Westhumble Chapel. In a further 25 metres, cross the road bridge and turn right to Box Hill & Westhumble Railway Station . Cross over the railway’s footbridge for trains back to London.
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