Greensand Way 3 : Gomshall to Dorking walk

Greensand Way Stage 3 : The Surrey Hills : Holmbury Hill and Leith Hill

Status Draft - under construction!
Length 14.9 miles / 21.4 km ( 11.5 miles / 18.5 km if you catch the bus to Ewhurst)
Toughness 5 out of 10 (16000 ft / 500 m of ascent). A long gentle climb, then undulating, then gently downhill after Leith Hill. (4/10 if starting from Ewhurst, and you miss the long climb))
Walk Notes

This is the third stage of the Greensand Way - and a highlight of the walk. It traverses Holmbury Hill and then Leith Hill - the highest in the southeast at just under 1,000 feet. Both have good views to the south. Then its through woodland to Dorking.

This walk starts in Gomshall, and head south for 4km on a long gentle ascent to join the GW on the crest of the greensand ridge. There are rare buses from Guildford via Gomshall to this point.

Then its along the GW, over Holmbury Hill at 261m, to the Kings Head in Pitland Street, for lunch. There is another pub 500m north in Holmbury St Mary.

After lunch, it on to the summit of Leith Hill. At 294m, it is a Marilyn. Its summit is a nice open area, though the views are partially blocked by trees. There is an NT tower (a folly), the viewing gallery of which is over 1,000 feet. It has a small kiosk selling tea and biscuits. This is the recommended spot for a picnic lunch

Then its a woodland trail north. The last few km are through surburban Dorking, and along its High Street

Walk Options

Starting at the Duke of Kent School (just north of Ewhurst)

The main walk starts in Gomshall, 4km north of the GW. On Mon-Sat only, you can catch a #23 bus from Gomshall south towards Ewhurst (the bus starts in Guildford Friary bus station). Get off at the "Duke of Kent" school (marked on OS maps), where the GW crosses the road at the crest of the hill. This leaves about 100m (ascent) to the ridge. It saves 4km walking, and about 200m of ascent.

  • Take the train from London to Gomshall changing at either Dorking or Guildford. Buy a return to Gomshall. If comimg from Waterloo, make sure you ticket is valid by all routes.
  • (Optional) From Gomshall (Monday to Saturday only), catch the #23 bus to the Duke of Kent School (between Peaslake and Ewhurst - see map).
  • Dorking main station has trains to Victoria and Waterloo which take about 1 hour

Suggested Train: whichever connects to the bus


The Kings Head, Holmbury. 01306 730282. Under new management. 7km from the start

NT kiosk at Leith Hill, or take a picnic


Many places in Dorking high street, or the Lincoln Arms Hotel pub by Dorking station

Greensand Way

This walk is one of 11 stages of the Greensand Way - a regional long distance path in the Southeast of England

  • Surrey Council have several leaflets of the Surrey (west) part of the route with OS mapping and directions (but not accomodation or public transport information) available from their website
  • Kent Council have an online book with instructions and map extracts of their (east) half of the route. [Dec-20] The route and directions are dated and differ from the ground in places.
  • The original guidebook to the walk is long out of print and hard to get. It did have OS mapping (with the contours removed!). In any case, the route has had many small changes in the meantime.

Updated Mar-19. Bus times change frequently - you must check using Traveline Southeast

Duke of Kent School (on the Greensand Way)

#25, 2 hourly, Mon-Fri only, to Gomshall (station) and Guildford. Check time of the last bus!

The Greensand Way crosses a minor road about 1km north of the small village of Ewhurst. The bus stop is by the Duke of Kent School (marked on OS maps). The bus goes north to Gomshall (2 hourly trains, pub nearby) and Guildford (frequent trains). This bus starts in Ewhurst (stop is opposite the Bulls Head pub). If you choose this option, it better to start the walk here.

Ewhurst Village

#23 as above.

#53, hourly, daily, via Cranleigh, last bus about 6pm - check!

Ewhurst village is 2km steeply downhill from the Greensand Way. It has better bus connections, and a pub (The Bulls Head), but it's closed mid afternoon. The #53 bus stops outside the pub, and goes to Cranleigh, Shalford (2 hourly trains), and Guildford (very frequent trains)

As a last resort, Cranleigh (3km walk from Ewhurst) has regular buses, even in the evenings, and Gomshall (station) is 5km walk north of the Greensand Way.

The Bulls Head, 01483 277447, closes 3pm to 6pm except Sunday

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By Train

Out (not a train station)

Back (not a train station)

By Car

Start GU5 9NX Map Directions Return to the start:

Finish RH4 1TF Map Directions Travel to the start:

Map Walk This walk requires an OS map and a compass or GPS for navigation. You can print out OS maps using the link above.

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


Feb-17 Andrew

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