Book 1 Walks 42 and 49: Surrey Peaks Challenge -- Holmwood to Box Hill t=1.42
Distance: 17.8 miles (28.7 km) for the full challenge; shorter options available – Holmwood to Gomshall as written (10.4 miles/16.7 km) or Holmwood to Box Hill (without going up Box Hill (about 10.8 miles/17.0km)
Ascent: 914 meters for full challenge (coincidently, just reaching Munro status)
Difficulty: 12 out of 10 for full challenge; 6 out of 10 for walk to Gomshall and 8 out of 10 for walk to Box Hill without ascending the Hill
Train: Take the 9:28 AM Horsham-bound train from London Bridge arriving in Holmwood at 10:31. Given the length of the full challenge, some planning to do the full route, may wish to start an hour earlier by taking the 8:28 AM train. Return trains from Box Hill & Westhumble are at 35 and 39 past the hour until 23:35 (plenty of time to finish the full route!) and from Gomshall at 17:21; 17:31; 19:21; 19:39 and 20:37. Unless walking to Gomshall, buy a day return to Holmwood. If walking to Gomshall, buy a “any permitted” day return to Gomshall.
I have been keen to post this walk combination for years and had originally planned to post it prior to the 2020 Scottish trip that did not take place. It takes in several “local” peaks to make a “Surrey Challenge” and with 914 meters of total ascent is the perfect warm-up walk for those heading to Braemar in May. The walk route is bookended with two Book 1 favorites – Walk 42 (Holmwood to Gomshall) and Walk 49 (Box Hill Circular option). There is a map-led middle section across the valley and up to the North Downs Way along the escarpment and across Ranmore Common before descending to Denbies where the route of Walk 49 can be picked-up. A temporary GPX file (in bright light blue) has been added to Walk 42 showing the route. You can find more information about the two component walks here and here.
The recommended lunch stop is the Wooton Hatch pub in Wooton (about 7 miles/11 km into the walk). Tea, afternoon and/or evening refreshments can be enjoyed at the café at Denbies or the Stepping Stones pub near Box Hill station or at the Abinger Hammer Tea Rooms or Compasses Inn in Gomshall.
Enjoy the walk!