Winter woods

Oxshott to Ashtead walk

26-Nov-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk178 walkicon

Late autumn colours

Oxshott to Ashtead walk

26-Nov-16 • Saturdaywalker on Flickr

swcwalks swcwalk178 walkicon

Oxshott to Ashtead walk

The River Mole and the heaths, commons and woods of metropolitan Surrey. Including Oxshott Heath, Esher Common, Prince’s Coverts, Ashtead and Epsom Commons.


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.

Updated: Tue, 29-Jan-19

Date # Post
Wed, 07-Nov-18 7

Wednesday Walk - Surrey Heaths, Commons and Woods: Oxshott to Ashtead

Length: 19.5 km/12.1 mi
Ascent/Descent: 194/195m
Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ½ hours
Toughness: 4 out of 10
Take the 10.03 Guildford train from Waterloo (stops Vauxhall, CJ, Earlsfield, W’don, Surbiton etc.), arrives Oxshott 10.37.
Return trains: 6 per hour (irregularly, 42 mins journey time).
Buy an Effingham Junction return (but don’t use a Network Railcard, as the price is below the £13 threshold).
This walk links together several diverse heaths, woods and commons in metropolitan Surrey. It begins by heading North through Oxshott Heath and cuts West across Esher Common and round Black Pond to the A 307 (Portsmouth Road). The route descends through Winterbottom Wood to take in a section of the River Mole, heading North, then climbs up to the Ledges with views down to the river. You cross the A 307 again and continue through Esher Common from a high vantage point, now heading first East, then South-East on farm lanes and well-marked bridleways through Arbrook Common to the little-known Crown Property of Prince’s Coverts. You emerge to the South of the Estate by the Star Inn for lunch.
In the afternoon you take a convoluted route around Ashtead Common and Epsom Common, with options for taking a more direct route to Ashtead station.
Lunch: The Star (12.5 km/7.8 mi, food all day).
Tea: a pub, a coffee shop and a bakery in Ashtead.
For walk directions, map, height profile and gpx/kml files click here. T=swc.178
Just a hardy bunch of 7 walkers out for this today, as the weather turned out as forecast: heavily overcast with periods of drizzle then rain. It was dry initially and again in the last hour or so, but inbetween all kinds of gear had to be put on. That didn't distract from what is a very good autumn walk, with plenty of varied woods en route (all with good colour displays), amongst the sandy paths, heathland and ponds. The ground was muddy in places but not much. The Star Inn was busy but with some tables available and friendly and efficient, and we got to Ashtead station just before 16.00 hours. 3 went to the platform, the other 4 to The Woodman.
The directions could do with some more compass bearings at critical junctions (there are always more paths in the woods than a map suggests) and some of the waymarkers etc were not there anymore, adding to doubts about the onwards route in places. All good stuff, apart from the obvious downsides: the closeness to the A3 and the noise it generates, and some stretches along an HV pylon line.
Sat, 26-Nov-16 20

Saturday Second Walk - Heaths, commons and woods of metropolitan Surrey

SWC Walk 178 - Oxshott to Ashtead
Length: 15.3km (9.5 miles) or 19.6km (12.2 miles)
Toughness: 3 out of 10

10.03 train from Waterloo (10.12 Clapham Junction, 10.19 Wimbledon) to Oxshott, arriving 10.37.

Buy a day return to Effingham Junction, which will also cover your return from Ashtead

For walk directions click here.

This walk just beyond the south west edges of London has not had an SWC outing for more than two years, or a Saturday outing for three years. On the latter occasion the walk creator famously got lost on the morning section. Others of us reached the lunch pub without trouble, however, so the directions do work (or did in 2013) if you pay close attention to them.

This is a very woody walk and so will be a good opportunity to catch the last of the autumn colour (of which there still seems to be quite a bit despite last Sunday's gales). Another plus point is that you are on sandy soils, which should be less muddy than usual (though I wouldn't turn up in open-toed sandals even so).

The full walk is 12.2 miles but you can cut out a loop on Epsom Common at the end for the 9.5 mile version. There is a further 2 mile shortcut possible at point 11 in the directions, though this misses a nice river section.

Both lunch and tea pubs still seem to be active, if their websites are anything to judge by. Benya's Coffee Shop in Ashtead is now Shakespeare & Co (Isn't that a famous bookshop in Paris? - Ed) and according to my good friend Dr Google is open until 9pm.

Trains back from Ashtead are very frequent 08, 14, 27, 37, 44 and 57 past the hour
20 on this walk, delighted by unexpected sun for the first two hours after which it was cloudy. The mix of woods and heaths and ponds on this walk looked especially pretty at this time of year, with autumn colours still good gold on birch trees, yellow green on understorey hazel, and brown on oak.

The lunch pub, The Star, was very busy. It is 8 miles into the walk and it is probably just as well we arrived there a bit later when they were starting to get a few free tables. Nine of us lunched there that I know about whether any faster walkers were turned away earlier, I do not know. The pub is deservedly popular as the menu is extensive and the service very cheerful.

After lunch we walked through Ashtead Forest magnificent oak colours and then Epsom Common as stipulated: there was a fine red dusk sky here. We then went off piste in search of a pub on Epsom Common of which we had nice memories. That was either closed or being refurbished, but we found another also very busy: pubs in these parts are doing good business, evidently which served us wine, beer, teas or pudding according to choice. We then got the 18.40 something train from Epsom station.
Sun, 04-May-14 12 Oxshott to Ashtead
Sat, 19-Oct-13 23 Oxshott to Ashtead