By MICHELLE SCOTT
I have owned my dog Ziggy for over 11 years and we both love our daily walks in the amazing Surrey countryside on our doorstep.
We had only just moved to Horsley when we decided to get a puppy so I didn’t know the local area at all. I bought an OS Explorer Map and every day I would drive to a different car park shown on the map that was near some woods, a common or a river.
I wanted to share with you some of my favourite places for walking – many of which are already listed in the Horsley Hub under Out and About: Exploring the Outdoors: Walking and Trail Running.
We walk here from our house through Effingham Common as unfortunately there isn’t any public parking near to the woods. There is a large bridleway cutting through the middle of the woods called Old London Road which is buggy and bike friendly. There are lots of walks off to the side of the bridleway and 2 guided walks as well which are worth investigating. If you continue along Old London Road onto Dirtham Lane and then cross over the A246 there is another bridleway which will take you into the underused Oldlands Woods where there are many Lovelace Bridges to explore – and you can cross over the Dorking Arch to reach Dick Fock Common as well with more Lovelace Bridges to see.
Sheepleas works so well for dog walking as it is easy to get to and there are 3 large carparks at St Mary’s Church, Shere Road and Green Dene. I have pushed a buggy around here, although it can be quite hilly and some of the tracks can be quite stony. There are many different routes so you never get bored and again there is a self-guided trail you can follow. Liz Crooke has provided a great route in her blog on Sheepleas in the Horsley Hub January newsletter.
I use the free car park at Hundred Pound Bridge accessed from Downside Road by the Cricketers but you can also park in the pay and display car park close to Bookham train station. You can also walk/cycle/run to Bookham from the bridleway just past Effingham Junction train station.
This is a great walk for buggies and bikes as the trails are wide, flat and not very muddy:
There are maps in the information kiosks in the car parks with self-guided walks. We usually go on a loop from the Downside car park to the Merritts Cottage crossroads and then carry on past the Hollows and Eastern ponds and then take a right towards the Bookham car park and then right again back to the big Isle of Wight pond. We love going in the spring and seeing the swans building their nest and then later watching the cygnets and ducklings swimming in the pond from the bird hide at Upper Eastern pond.
This is a National Trust property which has a great well-maintained perimeter walk (approx. 5km) which is suitable for bikes and buggies. It does have cattle roaming freely in the central fields so you may need to put your dog on a lead if it is scared of livestock. It also has the benefit of a coffee shop!
Liz Crooke has described another great route through here, from the King William pub in West Horsley to the Queen’s Head pub in Clandon.
Next month Michelle will be sharing her favourite walks within 10-20 minutes of Horsley.