Merstham to Tattenham Corner walk
Viewpoints on the North Downs to start, a pub lunch in Mogador, and a London panorama from the Epsom Downs to finish.
Main Walk: 17¼ km (10.7 miles). Four hours 10 minutes walking time. For the whole excursion including trains, sights and meals, allow at least 8 hours.
Main Walk, finishing at Epsom: 18¼ km (11.3 miles). Four hours 20 minutes walking time.
Short Walk, finishing at Tadworth: 11¾ km (7.3 miles). Two hours 50 minutes walking time.
Circular Walk, from Tattenham Corner: 15 km (9.3 miles). Three hours 25 minutes walking time.
Short Circular Walk, from Tadworth: 8 km (5.0 miles). One hour 45 minutes walking time.
Explorers 146 & (for the Epsom ending only) 161. Merstham, map reference TQ291533, is in Surrey, 3 km NE of Redhill.
4 out of 10 (3 for the Short and Circular Walks, 1 for the Short Circular Walk).
The Main Walk starts along the North Downs Way and soon reaches Gatton Park, which was landscaped by Lancelot “Capability” Brown. A choice of routes through this attractive parkland ends with a steady climb through woods to a popular viewpoint at Reigate Hill and the chance for a mid-morning snack.
The fine views continue as you progress along the North Downs ridge, where Reigate Fort is a reminder that this was once seen as a defensive line protecting the capital. A little further on the open expanse of Colley Hill would make a good picnic spot, before you cross the M25 to the suggested lunchtime pub in the isolated hamlet of Mogador.
In the afternoon the route goes across the large expanse of Banstead Heath (part of Banstead Commons) to Walton on the Hill. It continues towards Langley Vale and Walton Downs on arable farmland being transformed into a First World War Centenary Wood, with a dramatic finale across the famous Epsom Downs Racecourse on a public right of way. The suggested ending to Tattenham Corner includes a short loop behind the Grandstand with a panoramic view of the London skyline.
|Access to the Downs||
The public footpaths across the racecourse used to be kept open even on race days, but since 2016 they have been closed during major events (and for several hours before and after). Sadly, it is no longer possible to do the full walk on Derby Day.
The Circular Walk (see below) is best suited to Sundays; public access to Walton Downs is still permitted on weekday mornings when racehorses are being exercised, but walkers need to take extra care.
In 2019 the walk route was amended slightly to cut through a corner of Langley Vale Centenary Wood, and further extensions along its new Remembrance Trail might be added in future as this extensive memorial site is developed.
A shorter route to Reigate Hill gives late starters the chance to catch up with the main group. Several alternative endings are also described: a shorter ending to Tattenham Corner station (as in the original version of this walk), plus directions to two other stations in Epsom.
An alternative Circular Walk from Tattenham Corner omits the viewpoints on the North Downs but should be less affected by the motorway noise which can detract from the first half of the Main Walk. Finally, directions are also given to and from the nearest station to Walton on the Hill (Tadworth), enabling various Short Walks.
Merstham has up to four trains an hour, taking 30-35 minutes: a half-hourly Southern service from Victoria plus a half-hourly Thameslink service (both hourly on Sundays).
The suggested station to return from is Tattenham Corner, next to the racecourse, which has a half-hourly service to London Bridge. Tadworth station (for the Short Walks) is on the same line.
The most frequent return service is from the station in Epsom town centre, which has trains every 5-10 minutes to Victoria, Waterloo and London Bridge. Hidden away at the end of a long residential street, Epsom Downs station has a half-hourly service to Victoria via West Croydon.
All the stations on this walk are now on the Oyster network. Epsom Downs and the stations on the Tattenham Corner line are in TfL Zone 6. For no discernible reason Epsom was placed in Zone 9, while Merstham is outside the numbered Travelcard zones. Oyster PAYG is now the most convenient option for this walk, although the fares are higher than you might expect from some stations (especially to Merstham). If you choose to buy a Zones 1-6 Travelcard or have a Freedom Pass you will need an extension ticket if you travel out to Merstham or return from Epsom.
Walton on the Hill has a regular bus service (Metrobus 460) but there are no buses at Mogador, so you would need to call a taxi if you wanted to finish the walk after lunch there.
Car drivers could manage the Main Walk by parking in Coulsdon and travelling to the start from Coulsdon South station, returning from Tattenham Corner or Tadworth to Coulsdon Town. There are free car parks on the edge of Epsom Downs for the Circular Walk.
Take the train nearest to 10:15 from Victoria (or a Thameslink station) to Merstham for the Main Walk, or from London Bridge to Tattenham Corner for the Circular Walk.
The suggested lunchtime pub is The Sportsman (01737-246655) in Mogador, after 8 km (6¾ km on the Circular Walk, 4¼ km on the Short Circular Walk). It has a large beer garden and serves a good selection of freshly-cooked food, including burgers and pizzas.
The alternative places are 35 minutes further on, in Walton on the Hill. The Blue Ball (01737-819003) re-opened in May 2021 under new ownership, and the nearby Village Café (see below) does light lunches.
If you want to break for tea in Walton on the Hill, the Village Café (01737-814171; open to 5pm Mon–Fri, 4pm weekends) has a nice location overlooking Mere Pond and serves home-made cakes, pastries and cream teas. Stronger fare is available at the Blue Ball (see above) and The Bell (01737-812132; closed weekday afternoons), a quirky pub known locally as The Rat.
These are also possible choices at the end of a Short Walk, as there are few places near Tadworth station. If you get there in time there is a small new café opposite the ramp leading down to the station platform, The Coffee House (01737-277422; open to 4pm Mon–Fri, 3pm Sat, closed Sun). The old station building now houses Station Fish for takeaway fish & chips, and a Mediterranean Bar & Restaurant, The Bridge (01737-213919).
Towards the end of the Main Walk there are a couple of up-market places on Epsom Downs. The Rubbing House (01732-745050) claims to be “the only pub in the world on a racecourse”; the alternative is the Derby Arms (01732-722330), behind the Grandstand. These are at least 20-30 minutes from the walk's possible endings, however.
If you prefer to stop for refreshment nearer to Tattenham Corner station (or bypass the Grandstand with the shorter ending) there are several places nearby. The large Tattenham Corner Beefeater (01737-351454) has fine views over the racecourse, and there is also the Downs Lunch Box kiosk (open daily) or the Silver Spoon Diner (01737-668049; open to 5pm Mon–Sat, 4pm Sun) in the parade of shops beyond the station.
There are no refreshment places near Epsom Downs station but plenty of choice if you take the slightly longer ending to Epsom. A suggested place on the route into the town is The Amato (01372-721309), a “Grumpy Mole Restaurant” which serves afternoon tea from 3-5pm (Mon–Sat) as well as normal pub fare. There are many cafés, coffee shops and pubs in the town centre itself.
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Out (not a train station)
Back (not a train station)
National Rail: 03457 48 49 50 • Travelline (bus times): 0871 200 22 33 (12p/min) • TFL (London) : 0343 222 1234
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The directions for this walk are also in a PDF (link above) which you can download on to a Kindle, tablet, or smartphone.
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Walk Options ( Main | Circular )
Click on any option to show only the sections making up that route, or the heading above to show all sections.
- Main Walk (17¼ km)
Click on any section heading to switch between detailed directions and an outline, or the heading above to switch all sections.
If you are doing the Circular Walk (from Tattenham Corner), start at §D.
If you are doing the Short Circular Walk (from Tadworth), start at §E.
- Merstham to Gatton (1¾ km)
- Go up to the A23 and turn right. Keep ahead briefly into Quality Street and turn left onto the North Downs Way (NDW). Go past a cricket pitch and across a golf course. After crossing a driveway, bear left onto an enclosed path which eventually comes out onto Rocky Lane. Turn right and enter Gatton Park at North Lodge.
- Arriving from London, cross the footbridge and bear right across the station forecourt. Almost immediately turn left up Station Road and turn right at the top onto the A23. Cross over at the zebra crossing and continue along the main road, passing a tiny Village Garden? on the left. Where the main road swings right keep ahead briefly into Quality Street?.
- Unless you want to explore this cul-de-sac with its collection of attractive old houses (an unexpected survival in such urban surroundings), turn left after just 20m into Merstham Cricket Club's driveway, joining the North Downs Way?. At the club's car park bear right onto a path, passing the cricket pitch on your left.
- At the far end keep ahead up a gentle slope, heading W across Reigate Hill golf course. In 600m the path crosses a tarmac driveway. In a further 50m go through a kissing gate onto a potentially muddy enclosed path.
- In 300m the path leads into the driveway to a large house, which in turn meets a lane. Bear left onto this to come to a T-junction with Rocky Lane. Turn right, go past the entrance to Paddock House on your left and enter Gatton Park? at North Lodge.
At a junction take the rightmost exit. Go past a car park and school buildings to reach a three-way junction, with a choice of routes.
- The left fork leads to Nut Wood, which you can go through on the waymarked Gatton Trail (or other paths), before crossing a hollow to rejoin the NDW.
- The shorter alternative is to take the right fork and stay on the NDW.
- Go along the tree-lined driveway for 200m to reach a junction, with a modern chapel on the right and St Andrew's church (which is usually locked) up ahead. Turn right and continue past a car park and school buildings, with playing fields on the right. In 400m you reach a three-way junction with the Millennium Stones? in the field ahead on your right.
Main route (3 km)
- At the three-way junction take the left fork, leaving the NDW. This bridleway initially goes downhill, passing Hop Garden Pond, then curves left and climbs back uphill. At the top of the rise you are heading S, with fine views.
After the path bends to the right there is a fieldgate up ahead, but 40m before reaching it bear right uphill on a broad track and go through another fieldgate into Nut Wood.
The walk route originally went around the southern perimeter of this wood, but the suggested route now follows the black metal waymarkers of the Gatton Trail.
Inside the wood immediately turn sharp right, going past another gate onto a broad path climbing near the right-hand edge of the wood. In 150m there is a bench by a gap in the trees, with a fine view across Gatton Park.
You might just be able to see the top of Gatton House behind some tall trees.
- The path now swings round to the left towards the centre of the wood, still climbing. Eventually the path levels out and 400m from the viewpoint you go past a wooden barrier into a more open part of the wood.
- Turn right at a path crossing by a waymark post and follow the path through bracken, then back into a more densely wooded area. Stay on the main track as it goes across a hollow and back uphill, soon with more fine views across the park on the right.
- Halfway up the slope ignore an old stile leading onto the grassland and follow the main track up and round to the right. After climbing for a further 100m past this bend you come to a viewpoint by a path junction, where you turn sharp left to rejoin the NDW.
Shorter route (2 km)
- At the three-way junction take the right fork, staying on the NDW and passing an information panel about the sculpture and its poetry on your left. In 200m the lane bends right towards a road, but just before Lodge House turn left onto a broad track climbing steadily through a wood.
- Ignore a path off to the left after 100m, but in a further 300m fork left at a Y-junction, staying on the NDW (the right fork is a short cut). This leads to a viewpoint over Gatton Park in 300m where you bear right at a path junction, joining the main route coming up from the other side of the hill.
- The path away from the viewpoint curves round to the right to head NW. You soon comes to a small clearing where the short cut mentioned in [?] joins from the right. Bear left to meet Wray Lane.
- Carefully cross this one-way road (traffic comes quickly up the hill from the left) and go across the National Trust's Reigate Hill car park, with its popular viewpoint on the left. On the far side there is a kiosk for mid-morning refreshments.
For a shorter route which omits the loop through Nut Wood, follow the directions in [?].
- Cross the A217 on a footbridge and continue on a bridleway. This goes past Reigate Fort and eventually emerges on Colley Hill by the Inglis Folly. Take any route along its grassy slopes for the next 1 km. At the end rejoin the NDW for a short distance, then turn right onto a lane which crosses over the M25. Stay on this lane for 500m, then turn left into a cul-de-sac leading to The Sportsman.
- Cross the A217 on a white-painted footbridge to the left of the kiosk (by a “Horse Riders Dismount” sign) and continue on the tree-lined bridleway – or the broad grassy strip to its right, which has occasional distant views of the London skyline.
In 300m keep ahead at a path crossing to go past some cottages. Just before reaching some communications masts the entrance to Reigate Fort? is on your left.
- If you detour into the site, return the same way: this is the only access point.
- Further along the bridleway passes Memorial Glade? before finally emerging onto open ground by what looks like a small circular temple, the Inglis Folly?.
- There are magnificent views to the south for the next 1 km. The main path curves away to the right, but it is much more pleasant to make your way along the grassy slopes of Colley Hill – or put in some extra hill walking! Eventually the contours of the ground lead you back past a National Trust sign for Colley Hill to the main path.
- Go through a wooden gate and head W along a bridleway. Ignore a door with a footpath sign in the fence on your right, behind which is a large country house, the Old Pheasantry?. At the far end of the fence (by a white-painted Coal Tax post?) ignore another path to the right, alongside its garden.
Shortly afterwards fork right onto either of two paths branching off the main path; the second is a short straight wide path, easier to follow. Both paths lead to a tarmac lane where you turn right to head N. Ignore lanes and paths off to both sides and follow the lane across the M25, where there is a signposted bridleway off to the left.
- If you are not stopping at the pub in Mogador you can take this bridleway, which soon swings right to go alongside a golf course. In 500m, after passing more Coal Tax posts, keep ahead at a bridleway crossing. In a further 400m you come to an open part of Banstead Heath? and continue alongside the golf course for a further 500m. If you take this slightly shorter route, continue the directions at [?] in §G.
- For the main route ignore the bridleway and continue along the lane for a further 500m, past a few houses in a wooded area. Eventually it bends right at a junction marked by a Coal Tax post and a large pub sign. Turn left into this cul-de-sac to find The Sportsman pub on the right at the far end, on the edge of Banstead Heath?.
Continue the directions at §G.
- Leave the station and bear left up a grassy knoll, then down to cross the B290. Go alongside the racecourse fence and follow it briefly round to the right. Go down the slope to pick up a bridleway heading south through a wood and then past the backs of gardens to Motts Hill Lane. Go up to a corner of Banstead Heath and cut across it to the junction of the B2220 and the B290 (New Road).
- Leave the station past the ticket office and go straight ahead. Cross a street and go past low wooden barriers to the left of a small car park onto a patch of grassland. Veer left up this knoll towards a line of benches for a fine view of Epsom Downs Racecourse, with its Grandstand at the far end of the finishing straight.
- Keeping the course on your right, leave the knoll via another gap in the barriers. Turn right onto a short side street and go past a gate onto the B290 (Epsom Lane North). Cross the road carefully and turn left in front of the racecourse.
Take the broad grassy path alongside its fence (not the signposted public bridleway to its left, which soon rejoins the road). In 250m, at the end of a section of the course where some shorter races start, veer right and take any convenient path along the top of Walton Downs, parallel to the racecourse fence.
The earth tracks here are used before noon (Mon–Sat) for exercising racehorses. Do not walk along them and take care when crossing them; follow instructions from the Downskeepers if necessary.
- In 300m, just after another starting point on the course, turn left onto a clear grassy path going down the slope. At the bottom cross more exercise tracks with care and take a signposted bridleway into a wood. Follow the main path for 500m as it heads S near the left-hand edge of the wood, climbing gently for most of the way.
- At the far end of the wood the path drops down to a T-junction with another horse ride. Bear left and then keep right at more junctions to continue on an enclosed bridleway for nearly 1 km, climbing again between gardens on the left and a large field on the right.
- The bridleway eventually joins a driveway and comes out onto a lane. Turn right briefly onto this lane (signposted as a Restricted Byway) and follow it round a left-hand bend. Where it bends right bear left onto an enclosed footpath to the left of a driveway, climbing gently.
- At the top veer left past a white-painted Coal Tax post? and a vehicle barrier onto Banstead Heath?. You will be going straight across this wooded part of the heath for 500m, heading ESE. Start by crossing an unsurfaced lane onto a broad grassy path curving to the right and keep right where it forks to stay fairly close to the lane.
- In 100m you can see The Bell pub off to the right at a path crossing. Keep ahead here and at all subsequent path junctions. 150m after crossing a tarmac path you emerge from a corner of the wood at a road junction, with New Road on the far side of the B2220.
Continue the directions at §F.
- From the station head south on The Avenue. Shortly after this joins Station Approach Road turn half-right onto a footpath heading south-west. Cross over another branch of The Avenue onto Banstead Heath. Take a bridleway along the left-hand edge of the wood to the junction of the B2220 and the B290 (New Road).
- Arriving from London, go up a few steps from the middle of the platform to a road. Turn left and cross over at some point. Keep ahead at a road junction, then turn half-right at a footpath signpost onto an enclosed tarmac path going gently uphill.
- At the top turn right briefly onto a residential street. Cross over and almost immediately turn left through a wide gap between houses into a wooded part of Banstead Heath?.
- Keep left at all path junctions, initially on a tarmac path but soon branching off onto a signposted bridleway. Follow this along the left-hand edge of the wood for 250m to come to a road junction, with New Road on the far side of the B2220.
- Take the bridleway heading south-southeast, towards Castle House on the B2032. Shortly before this bridleway meets the main road turn left and cross it further along, onto an open plateau. Take the permissive ride heading east across it and continue through a wood towards a roundabout on the A217. Ignore this exit and take the bridleway heading south-west and then south near the eastern edge of Banstead Heath for 1¾ km, leading to The Sportsman.
- Cross the B2220 carefully and take the signposted bridleway to the right of New Road, into a less thickly wooded part of Banstead Heath. Just inside the wood fork left and follow this fairly straight bridleway through the heath for 500m, going straight ahead at path crossings and heading SSE.
- After passing some old pits on both sides you come to a potentially muddy area with several paths off and a white house visible 100m ahead, on the other side of a road. At this junction turn sharp left onto a path going up a slope, soon coming to low wooden barriers in front of the B2032 (Dorking Road).
Cross this busy road carefully and go past more barriers onto an open part of the heath. Turn half-left and take a broad grassy path signposted as a Permissive Ride, heading E. Follow this all the way across the plateau for 750m, passing some trees on the left after 200m and later another group on the right.
If you look back to the left at around this point you might be able to see the top of the black-painted and sailless Tadworth Windmill? in the treeline.
- On the far side of the plateau follow the horse ride into the trees, curving slightly to the right and gently descending. In 200m turn right at a T-junction with a bridleway and follow this downhill. At the bottom of the slope the bridleway bends left and merges with other rides heading towards the A217.
- Do not take this exit but veer right to continue on another bridleway going back into the trees, heading SW (if you were coming down the path from the road, you would be turning half-left). This soon curves gently to the left and climbs onto a more open part of the heath, later going alongside a tall hedge guarding a large house on the left.
- At the end of the hedge bear right through a wide gap in the trees into the corner of an open part of the heath, sloping down to the right. Bear left to head S on a broad grassy path at the top of this grassland. In 300m follow the main path as it turns slightly right, down towards the bottom corner.
- Go through a wide gap in the trees and bear left to continue along the edge of the heath, heading S again. In 750m keep ahead past wooden barriers onto a lane at the corner of the heath, with The Sportsman pub the first building on the left.
- Go onto Banstead Heath and take any convenient route heading north-west, gradually approaching Walton Heath golf course. Follow a path alongside the golf course to Dorking Road. Cross over and take a footpath forking right off a driveway through a lightly wooded part of the heath to Mere Pond.
- Turn right out of the pub to go onto Banstead Heath and aim for an isolated tree 75m away. For the most direct route do not take the grassy path indicated by a footpath signpost there, but go past it and veer left onto the next path. This heads NW across Chussex Plain towards a distant Coal Tax post on the boundary of a golf course, 600m away.
- The path gradually curves right to thread its way through some gorse. After dipping past the left-hand end of a belt of trees, keep ahead up the other side to reach the golf course by the corner of a wood.
- In the corner of the open heathland take the sandy bridleway running between the wood and Walton Heath golf course?, heading N and later NW. For the most direct route stay close to the course and avoid paths going too deeply into the wood. In 1 km you come to low wooden barriers in front of the B2032 (Dorking Road).
- Cross this busy road carefully onto the driveway to Walton House, then immediately fork right onto a footpath. Follow this broad path through a wooded part of Banstead Heath for 500m, ignoring crosspaths, until you emerge at a clearing.
- Head for the far left-hand corner of the clearing, passing the Blue Ball pub on your left. You meet the B2220 (Walton Street) by Deans Lane, with the Village Café off to the left in the parade of shops opposite Mere Pond.
If you are doing a Short Walk to Tadworth station, go to §L.
- Leave Mere Pond on a lane along the edge of a wood. At the end of the wood, turn left onto a footpath, then cross a stile on the right. This footpath goes past paddocks, across two lanes and eventually meets a bridleway. Turn right and follow this downhill for about 500m, then cut through Langley Vale Centenary Wood on the left to the bottom of the valley. Take a tarmac path curving up across Walton Downs to a footpath junction on the far side.
- Cross the main road carefully and take the lane to the right of Mere Pond. At the sign for Withybed Corner fork right and follow the lane through the wood, later passing some houses off to the left. In 300m you pass The Bell pub and in another 100m go past a vehicle barrier to leave the wood.
- Turn left onto a footpath signposted to Ebbisham Lane. In 100m go over a stile on the right to head NW down another footpath. After 150m go over a stile and cross Motts Hill Lane to continue in the same direction past some paddocks. In 200m cross Ebbisham Lane and go over another stile, slightly to your right.
- Continue along the left-hand side of a narrow field, with a row of trees on your left. At the far end of the field go over a stile and turn right onto a chalky track, heading NW.
Go gently downhill on this bridleway, at first with a wooden fence on your left and later a tall hedge. After going alongside the hedge for 150m there are new gates on both sides into the Woodland Trust's Langley Vale Wood?.
- If for any reason there is no access to this memorial site you can simply continue downhill on the public bridleway (the original walk route). At the bottom of the valley it swings round to the left by Nohome Farm and in a further 300m the main route rejoins from the left at a bridleway T-junction. If you do take this route, continue the directions at [?].
- For the suggested route go through the gate on the left into the memorial site and follow a mown grassy path along the field edge, with a tall hedge on your right. At the end of the hedge veer right onto a similar path going gently downhill, passing the first of several WW Ⅰ memorial sculptures (a wooden bench carved with soldiers' kit).
- In 500m you pass another memorial (for sailors) and the path turns left, dropping down through a plantation of young trees. At the bottom of the slope leave the memorial site through a gate and turn right onto a bridleway (Sheep Walk). In 100m this comes to a T-junction where you turn left, rejoining the original walk route.
- Almost immediately after the bridleway T-junction fork right onto another bridleway, climbing gently through the trees. This soon curves to the right and emerges onto open downland. Go across the earth track used for exercising racehorses and take the path up the slope ahead.
- The path curves gently round to the right as it climbs steadily out of the valley for 500m, at first across the downland and then between trees. Where the downs come into view again on the right there is a three-way footpath signpost.
If you are doing the Circular Walk's shorter ending, go to §K.
- Turn left onto the public footpath heading north between a wood and the houses of Langley Vale. Bear left across Epsom Downs Racecourse to the Rubbing House pub, near the finishing post to the left of the Grandstand.
- For the main route turn left onto a broad track, signposted as a public footpath. You pass an isolated house on the left and later the ends of three residential culs-de-sac. After going across a dip follow the footpath across another exercise track and a short stretch of open downland, then along the left-hand side of some scrubland.
- The path comes out onto the back straight of Epsom Downs Racecourse, directly opposite the Grandstand. Follow the path briefly round to the left and go through a gap in the rails to cross the racetrack at the designated crossing point.
- On the far side take the grassy path heading slightly to the left of the Grandstand, as indicated by a yellow footpath waymarker. This goes across a dip in the centre of the racecourse and leads to the Rubbing House pub in front of the finishing straight.
- Cross the racetrack and turn right, towards the Grandstand. Follow the path across the B290 (Ashley Road) and past the Derby Arms. After crossing the B289 continue alongside Grandstand Road. In 350m turn right to cross the road and follow a path through a small wood towards a roundabout on the B290. Follow this road round a right-hand bend and turn left, crossing Tattenham Crescent to reach the station.
- Cross the racetrack at the designated crossing point and turn right onto the tarmac path heading E, towards the back of the Grandstand. Follow the path round to the left and cross Ashley Road at the pedestrian lights in front of Derby Stables.
- Turn right and go along the broad tarmac path between the road and the stables towards another pub, the Derby Arms. Bear right across a patch of grass towards a roundabout and cross Downs Road carefully to its left. On the other side turn right onto a grassy path.
- Follow the path round to the left, skirting a golf green. As you continue past a long car park on Grandstand Road there are fine views off to the left across west London. At the end of the car park fork right to stay near the road, in 100m coming to a pair of small parking areas.
- Turn right to cross the road and follow a path from the back of the second parking area across a golf fairway. Continue through a wood, then bear left across another fairway. Shortly before reaching a roundabout, turn half-left at a path crossing.
- Cross Old London Road and keep ahead through a car park containing the Downs Lunch Box kiosk, then across Tattenham Crescent. Unless you want to visit the Tattenham Corner Beefeater ahead, veer right towards the B290.
To complete the walk, follow the B290 round a right-hand bend and across a stretch of track where the shortest races start, taking care as there is no pavement. On the other side veer left across a patch of grass to join the other arm of Tattenham Crescent. The station is set back on the other side of this road.
- The Silver Spoon Diner and other eateries can be found in the parade of shops up ahead.
The shortest route to the station is on the path inside the racecourse parallel to the finishing straight, but the route described below takes in a fine viewpoint.
- Keep ahead on the bridleway, which veers left to head north-east. Follow it all the way across Epsom Downs Racecourse and the B290, with the Tattenham Corner Beefeater off to the right on Tattenham Crescent. Continue briefly along the B290 and turn left into the other arm of Tattenham Crescent to reach the station.
- For the shorter ending keep ahead briefly on the bridleway. In 75m fork left at the next path junction, soon merging with a broad track from the left to head NE. You could remain on this long straight track, but at the end of the wood on your right it is nicer to take one of the mown grassy paths heading in much the same direction.
All routes eventually emerge onto the back straight of Epsom Downs Racecourse, with distant views of west London ahead. Go through a gap in the rails to cross the racetrack at the designated crossing point and follow a well-used path across the centre of the racecourse.
- On the far side a short detour off to the right would take you to a commemorative plaque? on the inside rail.
- For some refreshment places before heading to the station (behind the grassy knoll off to your right), cross the B290 carefully to the right of the roundabout ahead. The Downs Lunch Box kiosk is in the car park and the Tattenham Corner Beefeater off to the right, on the other side of Tattenham Crescent.
- Take a bridleway heading north-northeast across a wooded part of Banstead Heath to The Avenue. Cross over and continue on a footpath just off to the right, leading to Station Approach Road. Turn left and follow the road round to the right for the station entrance.
- Cross the main road carefully and briefly take the lane to the right of Mere Pond. At the sign for Withybed Corner bear right off the lane onto a signposted bridleway. Follow this broad straight ride through the wood for 400m, heading NNE.
- On the far side keep ahead across a small clearing and go out between houses to a residential street. Turn right briefly onto the street, cross over and turn half-left onto an enclosed tarmac path going gently downhill (with a partly-concealed footpath sign).
- At the bottom turn left onto a road and follow it round to the right at a junction, passing Station Fish and The Bridge restaurant in the old station building. Just around the corner The Coffee House is in the parade of shops on the right-hand side of the road, opposite the ramp leading down to Platform 1 (for trains to London).
Cross the racetrack and turn left (away from the Grandstand), soon crossing Langley Vale Road on a bridge. Continue in the same direction all the way down Chalk Lane. At the end of this long road turn right into an alleyway (Madans Walk). Continue across Avenue Road and through Rosebery Park into Epsom town centre. Keep ahead across a series of major road junctions with the A24, then turn left into Station Approach.
- Cross the racetrack at the designated crossing point and turn left onto the tarmac lane heading W, away from the Grandstand and passing a Holiday Inn on the left. After this crosses over Langley Vale Road turn half-right in front of the gate to The Paddock and follow a short enclosed path down a slope.
- At the end continue downhill on a long straight ‘access only’ road (Chalk Lane); there is no pavement but very little traffic. In 1 km you pass the imposing entrance to The Durdans Stables on the left and shortly afterwards the (possibly closed) Chalk Lane Hotel.
- Another road joins from the left and you then pass The Amato, a good place for refreshments before the town centre. Where Chalk Lane comes to a T-junction with a main road at a bend, turn right into a broad alleyway (Madans Walk), signposted as a footpath.
- Follow this footpath for 350m (crossing Avenue Road along the way), at which point you can veer right onto a parallel path inside Rosebery Park?. Go all the way through the park, passing a pond on your left. On the far side continue in the same direction on the B290 (Ashley Road) into the town centre.
- The B290 joins the busy A24 at traffic lights and in a further 200m you come to another set of lights at the junction with Epsom's High Street. On your left there are cafés and coffee shops in and around the Ashley Centre, plus several pubs in the market area around the prominent clock tower.
To complete the walk, go straight across the lights into Waterloo Road. In 100m turn left into Station Approach to find the station (and more coffee shops) on the right. Trains to Victoria leave from Platforms 1 or 3; trains to Waterloo from Platform 4.
- … In 700m turn half-left and cut across a corner of the golf course. Cross the B284 to the left of its junction with the B288 (Longdown Lane South). Head north alongside the B288 for 350m, then cross this road and go all the way down Bunbury Way to the station.
- Carry on alongside Grandstand Road, passing another pair of small parking areas after 250m. Shortly afterwards fork left onto a grassy path cutting across a couple of golf fairways to meet the B284 near its junction with the B288 (Longdown Lane South). Cross the main road carefully to the left of the junction.
- Continue on a horse ride alongside the B288, steadily downhill and heading N. In 350m there is a residential street off to the right (Bunbury Way), with a road sign to Epsom Downs station. Cross the B288 carefully and go all the way down this twisting residential street to the station, 500m away.
Note that there are no refreshment places near Epsom Downs station.
- Merstham Village Garden contains replica cast-iron rails and an information panel about the Croydon, Merstham and Godstone Railway, an extension to the “first public railway in the world” (but only for horse-drawn freight wagons), the Surrey Iron Railway. This section opened in 1805 and operated for about 30 years before being superseded by the main Brighton line.
- Quality Street was the name of a 1902 play by JM Barrie, and when its leading actors moved to the 15thC Old Forge at the end of this street it was renamed. The eponymous sweets were launched in the same year as the 1936 film of the play, and the street scene on the tin was probably inspired by this picturesque cul-de-sac.
- The North Downs Way runs for 246 km along the length of the North Downs (with two sections at its eastern end), from Farnham in Surrey to Dover in Kent.
- Gatton Park was built up by Sir Jeremiah Colman, of mustard fame. The house (barely visible from the right of way) is now part of the Royal Alexandra & Albert School.
- The Millennium Stones were created by Richard Kindersley to mark the double millennium from AD 1 to AD 2000. The ten stones are inscribed with extracts from poems (one for each 200-year segment) inviting the traveller to “stop, rest and reflect” at this point on the Pilgrims' Way.
- Reigate Fort was part of a chain of forts built to defend London at the end of the 19thC, but the idea was soon abandoned. It is now owned by the National Trust.
- Memorial Glade contains an information panel and two memorial oak wing tips marking the crash site of an American ‘Flying Fortress’ in 1945.
- The Inglis Folly was donated to the borough in 1909 by a Lt Col Inglis. It was originally a drinking fountain for horses.
- The Old Pheasantry country house is run by a Children's Trust to provide a holiday home for disadvantaged children and special needs pupils.
- These cast-iron Coal Tax posts were erected in the 1860s to mark a taxation boundary. A levy on coal had been brought in to help pay for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666, and with the growth of road and rail transport it was no longer practicable to collect it in the Port of London. There are several on the walk route.
- Banstead Heath is one of four open areas which make up the Banstead Commons. A wily developer tried to buy up the land for house building in the late 19thC and was only stopped after a 13-year legal battle; as a result the Banstead Commons Conservators were established to preserve the area.
- Tadworth Windmill is said to be the tallest surviving post mill in England. It was built in the 18thC, although there have been much older mills on this site. It lost its sails in 1921 and was further damaged in World War Ⅱ.
- Walton Heath golf course has been the venue for several major golf tournaments, including the 1981 Ryder Cup.
- Langley Vale Wood is one of four World War Ⅰ memorial sites which are being created to mark its centenary. The Woodland Trust purchased these 640 acres of arable farmland in 2014 and are planting 200,000 native trees; the site will eventually include a memorial area with open spaces and wildflower meadows.
- The commemorative plaque marks the spot where Emily Davison suffered a fatal injury when she threw herself under the King's horse in the 1913 Derby. It was erected in June 2013 to mark the centenary of this important event in the history of the suffragette movement.
- The 12 acres of land for Rosebery Park were donated to the council by Lord Rosebery, Prime Minister from 1894-95. He was a prominent figure in British horseracing and owned The Durdans, in Chalk Lane.
» Last updated: January 7, 2022