Feeling a little horse

Ashdown Forest. Forest Row Circular

14-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks walk32 freewalks


Its hard to miss a horse this close up, but not impossible, Ashdown Forest. Forest Row Circular

14-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks walk32 freewalks


Ashdown Forest. Forest Row Circular

14-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks walk32 freewalks

Cross leaf heath

Ashdown Forest, Forest Row Circular

14-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks walk32 freewalks

Blimey! Humans!

Ashdown Forest Forest Row Circular

14-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks walk32 freewalks

View 2

Ashdown Forest Forest Row Circular

14-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks walk32 freewalks


Ashdown Forest Forest Row Circular

14-Sep-07 • moontiger on Flickr

swcwalks walk32 freewalks

Holmwood to Reigate walk

An easy walk through Surrey's Low Weald and the Mole Valley.


This is a list of previous times this walk has been done by the club (since Jan 2010). For more recent events (since April 2015), full details are shown.

Date # Post
Sat, 07-Apr-18 14

Saturday walk - Holmwood to Reigate - a gentle walk with the North Downs as a backdrop

Length: 16.3km (10.1 miles) according to the home page, 15.3km (9.5 miles) according to the pdf
Toughness: 2 out of 10 - very gently undulating

9.31 train from Victoria (9.37 Clapham Junction, 9.59 Sutton) to Holmwood, arriving 10.32.

A day return to Holmwood ought to be accepted on the return journey: the stop before Holmwood is Dorking and return from Dorking via Redhill is perfectly legitimate.

For walk directions click here. For GPX click here.

There are places like the North Downs, the Weald, the Greensand Ridge, and there are bits in between. This walk takes you across one of the bits in between. The North Downs are a pleasant feature on the northern skyline but you never actually walk on them. The only real hill is a ridge to the south of Reigate at the end of the walk.

Hard though it is to believe after the endless grey and cold of March, this is the time when spring really starts to spring. I have no specific information on floral delights on this walk, but this is the kind of territory where flowers ought to be popping up on verges and butterflies flitting between them, if we ever get some suitable weather.

There is one pub for lunch. It has accommodated two parties of midweek walkers without griping in the past year and a quarter, but has not been tried on a Saturday for quite a while. It has a garden if the weather is nice. If it proves booked up, all I can suggest is a (map-led) migration 2-3km to the north to the villages of Brockham and Betchworth, both of which have pubs. You could then switch to the Dorking to Reigate walk (a very pretty walk in spring, but alas too short for most SWC-ers these days): actually, this makes an interesting way to extend the walk, if 10.1/9.5 miles is too short for you.

Once in Reigate there are lots of tea options. To those listed in the walk document, I might add the very nice cafe in the park that you cross as you come into town.

Allow 15 minutes at least to walk to the station from the town centre. Trains back are at 14 past the hour direct to Victoria (38 minutes) or 19 and 34 past to London Bridge, changing at Redhill (48 mins): these London Bridge trains stop at Coulsdon South. T=3.32
If the Plough at Leigh is fully booked there is the Seven Stars Inn at Dawes Green, Leigh, RH2 8NP 01306 611254 which is only a minor diversion and add adds about 1 km to the walk.
14 on this walk. Weather: Mainly cloudy but with some pale sun: some gloopy mud still but a definite drying trend. Later several people told me that they had decided not to do this walk "because it is boring just flat fields". Flat it is, certainly: fields, one would have to agree, featured strongly. But not without interest. In particular, doing it at this time of year revealed a succession of bluebell woods. Not out yet of course (we saw one or two very tentative flower shoots) but they would look spectacular in two or three weeks time. In the meantime there were quite a lot of wood anemones and primroses and celandines an daffodils to cheer us up on the way. One sharp eyed walker saw a stoat.

The pub accommodated the eight of us that wanted to eat there without a problem. An efficient place with quite a varied menu even a vegan option (though more by default than design). After more fields and the final wooded ridge, we arrived in Reigate ludicrously early at about 3.15pm. Here everyone flew off in opposite directions, some to the train, some to the tea room. But four of us went to the big glass walled cafe in Priory Park recommended, with a good choice of things to eat and sat outside to enjoy the warm hazy sun. Can't remember the last time we did that on a Saturday.
Wed, 21-Feb-18 14

Wednesday Walk - The Low Weald and the Mole Valley: Holmwood to Reigate

Length: 16.1 km (10.0 mi)
Ascent/Descent: 170 m
Net Walking Time: ca. 3 ½ hours
Toughness: 2 out of 10
Take the 10.31 Horsham train from Victoria (10.38 CJ, 10.59 Sutton), arriving Holmwood at 11.32.
Return trains: xx.14 (fast and direct, from 37 mins), xx.34 (chg Redhill, from 47 mins). Other trains connect at Redhill for London Bridge. Buy a Holmwood return.
This walk in the Low Weald of Surrey in the Mole Valley provides broad paths through gently undulating country with glimpses of the North Downs ridge to the north. In the morning the walk passes through Hammond's Copse Nature Reserve, an ancient semi-natural woodland, with a wide variety of bird-life. The lunch stop is in the attractive village of Leigh with its village green, pub and church. In the afternoon the walk crosses the Mole at Flanchford Bridge and then rises on the Greensand ridge near Reigate Priory to give extensive views of the North Downs and on a clear day the South Downs near Devil's Dyke.
For summary, walk directions, map, height profile and gpx/kml files click here.
Lunch: The Plough in Leigh (8.6 km/5.4 mi, food all day).
Tea: Café Rouge, TEA or The Tea House. T=swc.32
intending to go on this lovely walk and bringing dog.thanks
Alas, no dog. 13 walkers off the train in dry weather, plus one other met at lunch who had taken an earlier train to practise navigation skills pending an Ramblers Holidays Guide assessment. Good Luck! 14
Nice if not dramatic walk in some mildly rolling countryside with several interesting woods. Lunch at the Plough in Leigh consisted of pub classics of average quality. There we bumped into the walk author, accompanied by one of his grandchildren.
The terrain was not particualrly muddy for the time of year and the recent weather, and the route also has a fair smattering of tarmac and concrete stretches, so we weren't far off the expected pace and the pub lunchers arrived in Reigate just after 4.
Those 8 entered the Monty Bojangles Truffles Bar, and 4 of those then also frequented the next door The Bull's Head, but then made a hash of (not) getting the 17.14 train (the doors were locked by the time we got to the platform).

Did anyone lose a black woolen hat on the walk? If so, I've got it.
Wed, 06-Jan-16 11

Midweek day walk Holmwood to Reigate

Holmwood to Reigate

An easy walk through Surrey's Low Weald and the Mole Valley.

Book 3* Walk 32 * online only

Length : 16 km or 10 miles

Toughness : 2 out of 10

Getting there : Catch the 9:31 am train from London Victoria to Holmwood
Calling Stations

  • Clapham Junction: departs 9:38 am
  • Sutton: departs 9:59 am

Meeting point : Holmwood Station at 10:32

Tickets : Buy a cheap day return to Holmwood

Brief Description

A slightly earlier start today to make best use of the available daylight.

You may find full details of this walk here and a printable PDF here.

Suggested Lunch stop

The Plough at Leigh t: 01306 611348

Suggested Tea stops

Café Rouge t: 01737 223700
The Tea House t: 01737 226561 (apparently used to be called The Vintage Tea Rooms)


OS Explorer : 146

Return train times

Trains return from Reigate at the following times ...
London Victoria 16:14 | 16:36* | 17:14 | 17:34* * Change at Redhill
London Bridge 16:21 also change at Redhill

Thanks for putting this on, Arthur.Will the Network Card discount work on the 9.31?
The Network Railcard is no help on short midweek journeys because of the £13 minimum fare. An off peak London Holmwood day return is £13.20 so you'd only save 20p by taking the 10.31 train.
however, some of us can't get the other discounts..too early for me
The Pub's website says it is closed until 14 January http://www.theploughatleigh.com/

Sorry That is a different Plough in a Different Leigh
Intend coming but will have to travel illegally as the senior railcard and freedom pass doesn't kick in til 9.30am for those who have to use trains and not the tube!! The pub phone no is wrong in the walk notes but correct in the walk post and the pub is open for lunch. Have spoken to the landlord who will expect us around 1pm but no need to book tables.
5 bailed out at lunch time wimps. Actually very sensible wimps as it turns out I am sure someone else will report more fully on the quagmire.
I truly know what it is to be muddy
11 on this walk, if we include two who parked at the lunch pub and only did the second half of the morning. (Do we count such people?). Weather = grey and a bit chilly.

Can I confess, dear reader? I always expected a walk over lowland fields at this time of year to be a squelch fest, and so it proved. Large portions of the route were more of a paddle than a walk. Never have the words "cross the next field" induced such trepidation. The waterproofness of boots was tested to the limit and in several cases (including mine) found wanting.

Lunch in the friendly Plough was a delicious, dry interlude. After it, three of the "proper" walkers accepted a lift from the car drivers. Presumably three more had already gone on ahead, because three of us were left to plod onwards in the gloom. The quitters probably had a point, as the afternoon was if anything soggier than the morning. At one point the directions said "you may be able to see the River Mole to the right": we could: it was a vast Amazonian expanse of brown. The road bridge we crossed it on had half collapsed (not sure if this is recent damage, however).

We also walked into a pheasant shoot. A man was waving an orange flag but made no attempt to stop us, so we carried on, entering a field where a line of guns were facing us,weapons at the ready. The words "STOP DRIVE!!" were heard and we walked guiltily across the line of fire. A sentinel lady at the other side was very nice about it.

Two of our lot had tea in the park cafe in Reigate. My companion said "I have never managed to get into this cafe because it is normally full of mothers and toddlers." But not today. The staff were cleaning the floor but still served us tea and cake. We left, guiltily reflecting that we had not removed our boots....
Sounds as if some of us had a lucky escape. jfk
Wed, 03-Dec-14 Holmwood to Reigate
Sat, 04-Aug-12 Holmwood to Reigate
Sat, 26-Nov-11 Holmwood to Reigate
Wed, 02-Nov-11 Holmwood to Reigate
Sat, 30-Jan-10 Holmwood to Reigate
Sat, 11-Apr-09 Holmwood to Reigate
Sat, 30-Aug-08 Holmwood to Reigate
Sat, 02-Feb-08 Holmwood to Reigate
Sat, 29-Sep-07 Holmwood to Reigate