Chipstead to Kingswood walk

Ancient woodland, open downs and farmland in London's Green Belt.

CIMG6935 Spring in Banstead Wood


Spring in Banstead Wood

31-May-13 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG6763 White horse, Mugswell


White horse, Mugswell

26-May-13 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk177, swcwalks, walkicon 5894274480388758274 P

CIMG6883 Shabden Park


Shabden Park

27-May-13 • Sean O'Neill

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CIMG6929 Copper beech, Banstead Wood


Copper beech, Banstead Wood

31-May-13 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk177, swcwalks, walkicon 5894273828087482690 P

CIMG0997 Autumn colours, Banstead Wood


Autumn colours, Banstead Wood

01-Nov-15 • Sean O'Neill

swcwalk177, swcwalks, walkicon 6212296583883887394 P

Ragwort This field had been cleared or ragwort, with great effort, a couple of years ago.


This field had been cleared or ragwort, with great effort, a couple of years ago.

24-Jul-11 • mickmassie on Flickr

bansteaddowns lnhsecologyentomology swcwalks swcwalk177 6050179823 G-T

Defoliated Ragwort Adjacent field, completely defoliated.

Defoliated Ragwort

Adjacent field, completely defoliated.

24-Jul-11 • mickmassie on Flickr

bansteaddowns lnhsecologyentomology swcwalks swcwalk177 6050182785 T

Chipstead to Kingswood

Main Walk: 15¼ km (9.5 miles). Three hours 50 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 7½ hours.

Circular Walk, returning to Chipstead: 13½ km (8.4 miles). Three hours 20 minutes walking time.

Short Walk, omitting loop to Mugswell: 11 km (6.8 miles). Two hours 45 minutes walking time.

Short Circular Walk, omitting Mugswell:  9¼ km (5.7 miles). Two hours 15 minutes walking time.

OS Map

Explorer 146. Chipstead, map reference TQ276583, is in Surrey, 6 km S of Sutton.


5 out of 10 (4 for the Circular Walk, 3 for the Short Walks).


Just outside the London boundary, this undulating walk takes in a varied landscape of ancient woodland, open downs and farmland. You will have plenty of company in the popular recreational areas of Banstead Wood and Chipstead Downs, but few dog-walkers venture across the railway into the network of footpaths, horse rides and quiet lanes which make up the walk's middle section.

Near the start the main route follows a substantial part of the Banstead Woods Nature Trail, with panels along the trail highlighting the diversity of species. This ancient woodland was an important source of compass timber until the mid-19thC: large curved or crooked pieces of oak artificially shaped to make specialised sections for the wooden naval ships of that era. More recently the trunks of felled trees have been utilised by a local tree artist to create a series of sculptures illustrating the CS Lewis Narnia books. On the other side of the railway a stretch along an open valley in Shabden Park and across a golf course takes you to an out-of-the-way pub for lunch.

The return route starts along a remote area of quiet country lanes and narrow paths (which can be overgrown in summer), followed by a woodland path through the Shabden Park's Long Plantation. After going back across the railway the final section is around the southern edge of Banstead Wood and across farmland, with the unexpected sight of an abandoned head office building on the way to Kingswood station.

Walk Options

After going back across Outwood Lane and the railway tracks you could complete a Circular Walk by heading north along Chipstead Downs.

The walk route also crosses over itself in the Long Plantation, so you could omit the outer loop to Mugswell on both the Main and Circular Walks. These Short Walks are probably more suitable as half-day (morning or afternoon) walks, since their only refreshment places are near the finish.

The walk directions also point out where you could curtail the walk before reaching the railway crossing, but these very short variations would cut out the attractive loop around Shabden Park and are not recommended.

On all the walk options you could save 2 km near the start with a more direct route through Banstead Wood. This morning short cut would be worth considering if you missed a train and wanted to catch up a group which started half an hour earlier.

Additional Notes

In §H you might have to negotiate a short but awkward stretch along a narrow and fairly busy country lane. There is a permissive horse ride alongside the lane but it is overgrown and potentially impassable; it is not a public right of way so there is no legal obligation to maintain it. Although it appears to be all-but-abandoned, this slightly longer alternative route is still worth checking and using if possible.

Two significant changes were made in 2019: the set of options was simplified and the direction of the loops around Shabden Park and Mugswell reversed, partly for aesthetic reasons and also to make the walk slightly more balanced. If following the route on a map you could of course choose to do these loops in either direction.


Chipstead and Kingswood are adjacent stations on the Tattenham Corner line, which has a half-hourly service from London Bridge with journey times of around 45 minutes (1 hour on Sundays). All the stations on this branch line are in TfL Zone 6.

There are no bus routes in the area but the nature of the route means that you are never too far from one of these stations if you want to abandon the walk.

The small car park “for railway users only” at Chipstead station costs £6.90 Mon–Fri but is free after 5pm and at weekends (2022). Car drivers might prefer to start from the large free car park off Holly Lane, near where the walk route enters Banstead Wood.

Suggested Train

Take the train nearest to 10:00 from London Bridge to Chipstead.

Train Times
  • ?
  • ?

The suggested lunch stop is the Well House Inn (01737-830640) in Mugswell, after 8¼ km on the longer walks. This refurbished 16thC country pub and restaurant has a pleasant back garden on a grassy slope and serves lunch until around 2.30pm Mon–Sat, all day Sun. The only alternative would be to have a late lunch at one of the tea stops (see below), and these are also the only choices on the short walks which bypass Mugswell.


There are tea places near both stations but the cafés and coffee shops all close fairly early. If you do reach Kingswood in time the suggested place is the Waterhouse Café (01737-350444; open to 3pm Mon–Sat, 2pm Sun) on Waterhouse Lane. The alternative is the Kingswood Arms (01737-354053), a country pub/restaurant with a large garden and patio area; it is directly opposite the station entrance and is normally open all day.

If you are returning to Chipstead there are a couple of small places in Station Parade: The Grape Variety wine bar (01737-559556; Wed–Sat only) and a coffee shop, FILTR (open daily to 3pm). The alternative is to stop 1 km (15-20 minutes) before the station at the Ramblers Rest (01737-552661) pub on Outwood Lane.

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By Train

Out (not a train station)

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start CR3 3TD Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish KT20 6EN Map Directions Travel to the start:


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


Aug-22 Sean

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.

Chipstead to Kingswood

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

Walk Map: Chipstead to Kingswood Walk Map


Walk Options ( Short )

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

  1. Main Walk (15¼ km)
  1. Circular Walk, returning to Chipstead (13½ km)
  2. Short Walk, omitting loop to Mugswell (11 km)
  3. Short Circular Walk, omitting Mugswell (9¼ km)

Walk Directions

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

  1. Chipstead Station to “The Wardrobe” in Banstead Wood (1 km)
    • Go down Station Approach and turn left at the bottom onto the B2032 (Outwood Lane). Shortly after the junction with the B2219, take a permissive path on the right. Veer left in front of the corner of Holly Lane car park and follow the path into Banstead Wood. Take the main track uphill for 200m and fork right at post 2. Follow the path for 250m to The Wardrobe sculpture.
    1. Arriving from London, cross the footbridge and bear left out of the station. Go downhill past a parade of shops on Station Approach and turn left at the bottom onto the B2032 (Outwood Lane), going past a mini-roundabout at its junction with the B2219.
    2. Immediately after a side street on the left, cross Outwood Lane carefully and go through a wooden side gate onto a permissive path. Shortly before reaching a corner of Holly Lane car park veer left through a wooden gate onto a path slanting uphill past a hollow containing a series of information panels about Chipstead Downs SSSI?.
    3. Keep ahead at a path crossing (signposted to Perrotts Farm), going through a short yew avenue into Banstead Wood. At the next path junction fork right onto a broad path going uphill past the first of the Narnia sculptures?, Aslan the Lion.

      Banstead Wood has many paths and to help with navigation both the main route and short cut follow part of a Nature Trail, marked with numbered posts starting here at ① (though a few are missing).

    4. After climbing for 200m turn right at a junction ② in front of a plantation of larch. The path swings left to head W. In 250m there are two more sculptures: The Wardrobe is on the left-hand side of the path but The White Witch is less obvious, about 50m away in the trees back on your right.
  2. “The Wardrobe” to Stagbury Downs (2¾ • ¾ km)
    • Banstead Wood For the main route continue to head west through the wood, later veering right and left at Park Farm and going past an orchard. After crossing a driveway follow the path round to the left to head south, eventually coming to a major path junction near Perrotts Farm. Head south-east and turn left on reaching a pond. At the next path junction turn right and follow the trail out of the wood onto a grassy path across Stagbury Downs to post 15.
      • For a short cut, turn left uphill at The Wardrobe, following the Nature Trail in the reverse direction. In 400m turn left at a path crossing. Continue across the wood's perimeter path onto a grassy path across Stagbury Downs to post 15.

      The main route continues to follow the Nature Trail on its loop around Banstead Wood. For a more direct route, follow the directions in [?].

    1. Main route (2¾ km)

      1. Banstead Wood
      2. Continue along the main path for a further 250m, still following the Nature Trail and soon passing a hornbeam coppice stool ③.
      3. Stay on the main path as it veers right and then left through a slight dip, passing a large old hornbeam ④.
      4. Ignore a wide track off to a yard on the right but shortly afterwards turn right as indicated at a path crossing. Follow the path round to the left in front of an orchard ⑤.
      5. Later you pass a line of horse chestnuts ⑥ and some beeches ⑦ felled by the 1987 Great Storm.
      6. The path crosses a driveway flanked by horse barriers and gradually curves round to the left to head S, passing a large beech ⑧.
      7. Continue past areas with invasive (but colourful) rhododendron ⑨ and a Scots pine ⑩ with an owl nesting box.
      8. Eventually the path merges with a wider path from the left by an ash ⑪, then in 200m another path joins from the left. In a further 100m you come to a major path junction.
      9. Keep ahead on a broad path heading SE, passing a rowan ⑫ and a large sweet chestnut coppice stool ⑬, to reach a fenced pond on the left by a sessile oak ⑭.
      10. Turn left at the pond onto a side path heading roughly NE for 200m. At the first path junction turn right.
      11. In 125m go straight across the wood's wide perimeter path and through a belt of trees, including an ancient sweet chestnut with a latticed bark pattern.
      12. Bear left into a semi-open area, Stagbury Downs?. Continue on a broad grassy path between shrubs and small trees.
      13. In 300m bear right at a path junction, joining the short cut from the left and leaving the Nature Trail at ⑮.
    2. Short cut (¾ km)

      1. Immediately after The Wardrobe turn left onto a path going steadily uphill, heading S and following (in reverse) the end of the Nature Trail.
      2. Follow the main path for 400m, with a few small turns to the right. About 75m after passing a collapsed stub oak coppice stool? ⑯ on the left-hand side of the path, turn left at a path crossing.
      3. In 150m go straight across across the wood's wide perimeter path onto a grassy path through a semi-open area, Stagbury Downs?.
      4. In 200m keep ahead at a path junction, joining the main route from the right and leaving the Nature Trail at ⑮.
  3. Stagbury Downs to Shabden Park (½ km)
    • Go out into the top of a field and turn right to go around its edge. Leave in the bottom corner and go through a belt of trees. Turn left onto a footpath going down through the trees, across the railway and onto Outwood Lane. Cross the road and go into Shabden Park.
    1. Go through a wide gap in the trees to emerge into the top of a field, with a fine view across Chipstead valley. Do not take the broad grassy path ahead down the slope, but turn right to go along the top of the field and then down its right-hand side.
    2. Leave through a gap in the bottom corner on a path which merges with another from the left. In 25m you come to a staggered path junction with public footpaths off to both sides.
      • If you want to curtail the walk and head directly for Kingswood, take the long straight fenced footpath off to the right. In 200m you can pick up the directions at [?] in §J, where the Main Walk joins from a path slanting up the semi-open area of downland on the left.
    3. To continue the walk, turn left onto the other footpath. This immediately swings right and goes downhill through the trees, later merging with another path from the right. Just before reaching a wooden gate in front of a railway crossing, there is a side path leading back onto Chipstead Downs.
      • If you want to curtail the walk and head straight back to Chipstead, turn left onto this side path and continue the directions at §L.
    4. To continue the walk, cross the railway tracks and go down a fenced path between houses. Veer left across a side road and the B2032 (Outwood Lane again), aiming to the left of the Old School House? garden opposite. Go through a wooden gate into the bottom corner of a large field, where there is an information panel about Shabden Park?.
  4. Shabden Park to the Long Plantation (1¾ km)
    • Take the footpath going diagonally up across the field. On the far side turn half-right to head south along the side of the valley for 1 km. Before reaching a road (White Hill) veer right onto a footpath going across the valley and up to a path crossing in the Long Plantation.
    1. Take the left-hand of the two signposted footpaths, a grassy path going diagonally up across the field. At the top ignore a path into the trees and veer right to go along its top edge. In the next corner go through a gate onto a farm track, heading S with a belt of trees on the left and views across a large open field in the valley on the right.
    2. In 200m the track veers left and right. In a further 300m ignore an opening into the field behind the trees on the left, but 200m later (where the track swings sharply left uphill) go through a small wooden gate next to a metal fieldgate onto a broad grassy path along the side of the valley.
    3. The right of way goes up to the field corner where a signposted permissive footpath points downhill, but most walkers veer right down a faint grassy path to cut off this corner. At the bottom the path merges with a public footpath (on the RBBC's Shabden & Upper Gatton Walk?) and continues up the other side of the valley.
    4. Follow the grassy path to the left of a line of small trees, alongside a copse and up to the wood at the top of the valley. Go through a wooden kissing gate into the Long Plantation and follow the main path through the trees, ignoring some side paths off to the right. In 100m you come to a footpath crossing, shortly before wooden barriers across a horse ride.
    5. If you are doing a Short Walk (omitting Mugswell), turn right at the footpath crossing and continue the directions at §I.

  5. The Long Plantation to Eyhurst Park (1¼ km)
    • Keep ahead at the path crossing and follow the footpath across Surrey Downs golf course to a T-junction with a bridleway. Turn left to go past the clubhouse and some converted farm buildings. Pass to the right of a pond and follow the long straight drive out to the B2032. Turn left onto the road.
    1. For the full walk keep ahead at both the footpath crossing and the horse ride. Follow the path up to the right and out of the woodland onto a broad grassy strip along the edge of Surrey Downs golf course. At the end of the line of trees on your left keep ahead across a fairway, looking out for golfers driving across your path from a nearby tee on the right.
    2. Leave the golf course on a short grassy track between fences. At a T-junction with a bridleway by Ganton House turn left onto the house's driveway. Ignore turnings into the golf club's car park on the right to continue on a tarmac drive lined with shaped holly trees, passing some converted farm buildings.
    3. Keep to the right of a pond and continue on a long straight driveway sandwiched between the grounds of the Eyhurst Park development and the golf course. At the far end ignore a footpath opposite and turn left onto the broad grass verge of the B2032 (Outwood Lane again). On the left you soon pass a lodge at the gated entrance to Eyhurst Park.
      • If you want to abandon the walk, continuing along this road for 1 km would bring you to Kingswood station.
  6. Eyhurst Park to the Well House Inn (1 km)
    • Turn left onto a footpath heading south between houses and continuing across Kingswood golf course. On the far side go through a belt of trees and down the side of a valley to the Well House Inn on Chipstead Lane.
    1. Between the lodge's garden and Warren Cottages turn left past metal barriers onto a signposted footpath, joining the RBBC's Millennium Trail?. In 100m the path comes out onto Kingswood golf course.

      A line of marker posts every 50-100m indicates the onward route, and also the direction from which golfers are playing before you cross each fairway.

    2. Go straight ahead across three fairways and into a plantation of young trees. The right of way turns slightly left here (a marker post might be missing) and after crossing another fairway continues alongside some mature trees with a driving range off to the right.
    3. Keep ahead through a belt of trees and across two more fairways. On the far side an inconspicuous gap in the trees leads you onto a short woodland path through Smugglers Pit Plantation to the top corner of a large field.
    4. Go down the left-hand edge of this rough grassland to a stile at the bottom, leading directly onto Chipstead Lane. Cross this road carefully to the Well House Inn? opposite, the suggested lunch stop.
  7. The Well House Inn to Southerns Lane (1¼ km)
    • Take the continuation of the footpath up the other side of the valley to the hamlet of Mugswell. Turn left onto a lane and then left again into Rectory Lane. Follow this quiet lane for 500m to a crossroads with Southerns Lane. Turn left onto a footpath heading north past Southerns Farm, then turn right onto this lane.
    1. Take the continuation of the footpath you arrived on, a tree-lined path climbing away from the road at the side of the pub. At the top of the valley the narrow path continues beside paddocks, along the edge of a small field and past a few houses onto a lane in the hamlet of Mugswell.
    2. Turn left onto the lane (leaving the two RBBC walks) and follow it round a right-hand bend. At a junction fork left into Rectory Road and follow this narrow lane for 600m, ignoring a couple of footpaths and Pigeonhouse Lane at the bottom of a shallow valley. You eventually reach a crossroads with a footpath signpost opposite.
      • If the field opposite is too muddy you could turn left onto Southerns Lane and follow it down the hill, continuing the directions at §H.
    3. For the suggested route go over the stile by the signpost and turn left as indicated. Follow the footpath across two paddocks to the right of Southerns Farm, going through a wooden gate in the fence between them.
    4. In the corner bear left onto a grassy strip, then go over a couple of stiles onto a rather gloomy path leading back to Southerns Lane. Turn right onto this quiet lane, soon passing the attractive Bakehouse Cottage on your right.
  8. Southerns Lane to the Long Plantation (¾ • 1 km)
    • Follow Southerns Lane downhill. The simplest route is to turn right at the bottom onto Chipstead Lane, go along it for 150m and take the second of two footpaths on the left slanting up across a field into the Long Plantation.
      • If it is not too overgrown you can avoid the awkward stretch along Chipstead Lane by taking a permissive horse ride alongside it for 400m, where it crosses the road and continues into the Long Plantation.
      Shortly after the two routes merge fork right to stay on the footpath, soon crossing over your outward route.
    1. Follow Southerns Lane downhill, making a couple of slight turns to the left. At the second of these bends (200m beyond Bakehouse Cottage) there is a footpath signpost pointing to a large field on the right. This is not the walk route, but in front of the fieldgate there is a permissive horse ride going down through the belt of trees alongside the lane.

      If it is not too overgrown this alternative route in [?] avoids a short but awkward stretch on the much busier Chipstead Lane at the bottom of the valley. If it does become impassable there are a couple of places where you can revert to the main route.

    2. Main route (¾ km)

      1. Stay on Southerns Lane to come to a T-junction at the bottom of the hill. Ignore the signposted bridleway opposite and turn right onto Chipstead Lane, taking great care as there is no pavement.
      2. You have to walk along this fairly busy road with fast traffic for 150m. The turning off it is the second of two footpaths close together on the left: not the prominently signposted one pointing towards some derelict farm buildings after 125m.
      3. Ignore this ‘wrong’ footpath and continue along the road for 25m, then turn left through a narrow gap in the hedge at a much less conspicuous footpath signpost. Follow a short fenced path out into a large field.
      4. Carry on in the same direction, slanting uphill. On the far side go over a stile into the Long Plantation. The footpath soon merges with a permissive horse ride coming up from the right (the alternative route).
      5. In 50m fork right to stay on the public footpath, ignoring a blue waymarker pointing left for the horse ride. In a further 50m keep ahead at a path crossing, going over your outward route.
    3. Alternative route (1 km)

      1. Take the horse ride down to the bottom of the hill, where Southerns Lane comes to a T-junction with Chipstead Lane. Follow the ride round to the right (or go out onto Chipstead Lane and switch to the main route at [?·b] above).
      2. Go along the horse ride, parallel with Chipstead Lane. In 125m ignore a way out to the road opposite the ‘wrong’ footpath signpost to carry on along the ride (or go out onto the road and switch to the main route at [?·c] above).
      3. In a further 275m the horse ride swings left and drops down to the road. The traffic is quite fast so cross over with great care to enter the southern end of the Long Plantation, with an information panel about Shabden Park.
      4. Take the track to the left of the information panel (the continuation of the horse ride), which soon curves up to the right. It merges with another track coming up from the road and shortly afterwards a public footpath joins from the left (the main route).
  9. The Long Plantation to the Railway Crossing (1½ km)
    • Follow the footpath through the Long Plantation for 1 km, then along the top of a field and gradually downhill to the bottom left-hand corner of Shabden Park. Retrace your outward route across Outwood Lane, up the footpath between houses and back across the railway.
    1. Follow the footpath for around 1 km as it heads N through this long strip of woodland, ignoring a few link paths to the parallel horse ride on the left.
    2. The path eventually veers right down a short slope to the edge of the wood. Follow a narrow fenced path as it briefly zig-zags along the side of the valley and into a belt of trees.
    3. Go through a gate and keep ahead along the left-hand side of a large field, gently downhill to the bottom corner. Leave through the gate where you entered Shabden Park on the outward route.
    4. Veer left to retrace your steps across the B2032 and go up the signposted footpath to the left of Rosemere Cottage. On the other side of the railway the main path climbs gently through a strip of woodland, with a side path branching up to the right.
    5. If you are doing a Circular Walk back to Chipstead, go to §L.

  10. The Railway Crossing to Perrotts Farm (1½ km)
    • Stay on the main path and later fork left where it splits. Continue in the same direction on a grassy path slanting uphill across a semi-open area, eventually rejoining the footpath at the top of Fames Rough. In 250m turn left and go around the edge of Banstead Wood, initially through woodland and then along a field edge to Perrotts Farm. Turn left to head west on the farm drive, a public bridleway.
    1. To head for Kingswood continue along the main path. In 75m fork left where it splits, leaving your outward route. Keep ahead at the next path crossing, going through a wooden kissing gate into a field.
      • If this gate is locked there is a public footpath 75m off to the right, running alongside the top of the field. If you have to take this alternative route, resume the directions at [?].
    2. For the main route simply follow a chalky path slanting up this patch of downland, dotted with shrubs and small trees. In the top corner go through another kissing gate and climb a short slope to merge with a footpath from the right.
    3. Continue along a clear woodland path above Fames Rough, now heading WNW on the Banstead Countryside Walk? (BCW). In 250m you come to a T-junction with a three-way signpost and turn left, still following the BCW.
    4. Continue on the woodland path for 400m, along the way leaving the BCW which drops down a side path into Fames Rough. The path eventually goes up a short slope to emerge into the corner of a large field.
    5. Keep ahead near the right-hand field edge, alongside Banstead Wood. Up ahead you can see the buildings of Perrotts Farm and just before reaching them, veer left on a grassy path to pass to the left of a barn. Go through a wooden kissing gate and turn left onto the farm drive, a public bridleway.
  11. Perrotts Farm to Kingswood Station (2 km)
    • In 600m turn left at a junction of tracks onto a bridleway initially heading south, then west alongside a sports ground. Turn left onto a footpath going past a large abandoned office building (Kingswood House). Before reaching the railway turn right to go through woodland and continue along residential streets into Kingswood.
    1. Follow the farm drive for 600m, initially heading W and later curving left and right as it winds its way downhill. At the bottom of the slope a bridleway joins from the left. Almost immediately afterwards turn left through a metal gate onto another signposted bridleway.
    2. Go up the right-hand edge of a field and follow the path round to the right at the top. Go through more gates as you head W along another field edge and then a fenced path, soon with a sports ground behind trees on your left. Ignore a track on the right and continue to a surfaced area by a couple of cottages.
    3. Turn left off the track onto a signposted footpath, which goes through a belt of trees and comes out into a semi-open area between the sports ground and a large car park. Carry straight on, either along a path or the edge of the sports ground.

      At the time of writing the official right of way was not clear but occasional marker posts suggest that it runs a little way to the left of the large abandoned office building up ahead.

    4. Towards the far end of Kingswood House? cross a tarmac path and take the signposted footpath going downhill through trees. In 100m turn right at a three-way footpath junction and follow this path through woodland and then alongside another car park.
    5. Continue along a residential street and keep ahead where it joins St Monica's Road. At the end the road swings left and comes to a crossroads, with the mock-Tudor Kingswood Arms on your right and the Waterhouse Café 50m further along Waterhouse Lane. The station is on your left; trains to London leave from Platform 1, on the near side.
  12. The Railway Crossing to Chipstead Station (1¾ km)
    • Turn right up a side path to come out onto Chipstead Downs. Follow a grassy path across the downland for 400m and through a gate, with a choice of paths ahead. Turning right leads down to the Ramblers Rest, from where the simplest continuation is a path along the bottom of the downs close to Outwood Lane.
      • If you are not visiting the pub you can follow a higher path across the downland; this leads to the Holly Lane car park where you go back down to Outwood Lane.
      Retrace your outward route along the road and back up Station Approach.
    1. To return to Chipstead turn right up this short side path and go through a wooden kissing gate onto Chipstead Downs. Keep ahead briefly on a grassy path with a fence on your right, then in 25m fork left onto a path gradually diverging from the fence.
    2. In 400m several paths merge and you go through a wooden kissing gate into the next meadow.

      The main route goes down to the bottom of the valley, but if you are not stopping at the Ramblers Rest (the only pub before the station) you can take the more scenic alternative route in [?].

    3. Main route

      1. To go via the pub turn right onto a grassy path going downhill, with a belt of trees on your right. The path becomes a rough track which leads to a wooden gate into the Ramblers Rest car park. Bear right to come to its back entrance.

        After visiting the pub any northwards route along the side of the downs will lead to the car park on Holly Lane or back onto Outwood Lane; for example, another grassy path leading away from the pub's car park intercepts the alternative route after 250m, in front of a hedge.

      2. For a straightforward route take the raised tarmac path running alongside Outwood Lane, with the road (later screened by a hedge) on your right. The path gradually curves round to the right and in 600m there is a gate leading out onto the road by a mini-roundabout.
      3. Unless you want to return to the car park by staying on the downs, go through the gate and continue along the pavement on the right-hand side of Outwood Lane, eventually passing the gate onto Chipstead Downs near the start of the walk.
      4. Go past the mini-roundabout with the B2219 and turn right up Station Approach, with The Grape Variety (a wine bar) and FILTR (a coffee shop) in the parade of shops. At the top veer left to come to the station; trains to London leave from Platform 1, on the near side.
    4. Alternative route

      1. To bypass the pub take the left-hand of the two grassy paths ahead. Unless you want to switch to the lower route, keep left where the path splits. The higher path briefly goes through a copse and then slants up to continue alongside the bottom edge of Banstead Wood.
      2. Eventually you come to the surfaced path sloping down to the right in front of the hollow with the information panels, near the start of the walk. Bear right onto this path and retrace your outward route down to Outwood Lane. Cross the road carefully and turn left.
      Walk Notes
    1. Chipstead Downs is an important area of chalk downland which (with Banstead Wood) has been designated as a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The information panels at Holly Lane car park describe its natural history and the impact of human settlement.
    2. The three Narnia sculptures depicting The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe were carved from standing deadwood by a local artist, Ella Fielding from The Tree Pirates. A fourth sculpture (Lucy Pevensie waiting by a lamppost) has not survived.
    3. Stagbury Downs was originally wooded but the area was cleared to grow crops in WW Ⅰ. It has been replanted with trees so that it can revert to woodland.
    4. A stub coppice is halfway between a coppice (cut at ground level) and a pollard (cut above head height). A strip of oak trees down the centre of Banstead Wood was cut like this to produce compass timber, artificially bending and staking the new shoots at 45°, 90° & 135° angles to make strong joining pieces for wooden ships.
    5. The 17thC Old School House was acquired by a trust foundation to teach six poor boys and girls of the parish. It continued as a school until 1874 and the charitable trust still provides assistance to local parents.
    6. Shabden Park Estate is managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust. In the 1960s and 70s its rich wildflower grassland was severely damaged by intensive agriculture, but these farming methods were stopped in the 1980s and it is gradually returning to a wildlife-friendly habitat.
    7. The Shabden & Upper Gatton Walk is one of six circular walks linked to a 28 km Millennium Trail between Banstead Downs and Horley, all created by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council to mark the new century.
    8. The Well House Inn claims to have in its garden the medieval St Margaret's Well, from which the village name Mugswell is derived.
    9. The Banstead Countryside Walk skirts around Banstead Wood on a 5-mile circular route through the downs and farmland. It is an initiative of the Downlands Countryside Management Project.
    10. Kingswood House was the head office of Legal & General until the financial services company relocated back to the City of London in 2017. There is a proposal to redevelop the building as a Continuing Care Retirement Community.

» Last updated: August 13, 2022

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