By MICHELLE SCOTT
Following on from my post last month on my favourite walks within 5-10 minutes of Horsley, this month I look at some of my favourite routes a little further afield, many of which are already listed in the Horsley Hub under Out and About: Exploring the Outdoors: Walking and Trail Running.
This can be accessed by either parking off the road at the top of Green Dene as the road bends round to the right (there is a right hand bend sign) or in the dedicated car park further along Coombe Lane but before the road joins Staple Lane. The car park is tucked back on itself on the left hand side as you approach up the hill from Horsley. This is another great walk for buggies and bikes and you can follow either the easy access trail or walk along the path in either direction until you reach the North Downs Way and then either walk to White Down or to Newlands Corner following the signs.
This has a large car park at the top of Staple Lane on the right hand side. You can walk along the North Downs Way to Silent Pool or Newlands Corner from the car park or you can take a track south from the car park which goes along the chalk escarpment of the North Downs. It can be very muddy in the winter though!
This has stunning views across to Shere and Albury. It is a very popular place and has a large car park and café which does great hot chocolate. There is a great walk from here to St Martha’s church along the North Downs Way or the disabled trail through the woods behind the car park is buggy and bike friendly.
This is a must in the spring to see the carpets of bluebells which grow here. There is a really lovely self-guided trail from the car park which takes you through the woods and then left down onto the North Downs Way which goes left along the chalk escarpment with great views over Gomshall, Abinger and Westcott.
This is another NT property but you access the numerous estate walks even if you are not a NT member but you will need to pay for the car park. You can buy a map of the estate walks from the shop and there are lots of very well signed trails for you to explore which can take you right up to the top of Ranmore Common. There are often sheep in the fields so you will need to take care when walking in or near these fields. It has the benefit of not one but 2 coffee shops!!!
This is another favourite of mine. You can park in the car park just off the Bocketts Farm roundabout on the A246 or in the Bocketts Farm car park itself (with easy access to the teashop there for a coffee afterwards!). There are numerous trails you can follow and if you are feeling adventurous you can link Norbury Park with Polesden Lacey (see the route of the Bookham 10km run). If you walk down from the car park and keep straight on at the first crossroads at the bottom of the hill and then take a left up the large chalk/gravel path as the land opens out you will come to Norbury Park Sawmill. If you turn right here along a bridleway this opens out to some stunning view of Mickleham and Box Hill.
There is a lovely walk from the main car park at the top of Ranmore Common called the Denbies Hillside Walk. You can pick up a map from the information kiosk in the car park. Rather than do the circular walk down to the bottom of the valley and back up again you can also just walk along the North Downs Way here either towards Box Hill or towards White Down. There are a couple of smaller NT free car parks on the right before the large car park which you can cut down onto the North Downs Way from as well.
There are lots of amazing walks here – some buggy friendly (The Natural Play Trail walk) and some not (the walk from the Stepping Stones up to the top of Box Hill). The NT have leaflets with maps of all the walks and the Natural Play Trail is always a big hit with my boys (although it can get pretty muddy in the winter!). There are stunning views from the top of Box Hill and the café does brilliant cakes (and much needed ice creams in the summer)!
This is another lovely place to walk, especially in the winter as the trails are quite sandy and not really ever too muddy. You can park in the main park off Portsmouth Road (on the left as you cross the A3 as you head away from Cobham towards Esher). Cross the main road and then walk into Esher Common. If you walk in a straight line you come to Black Pond which is a great place for dogs to swim. There are lots of different trails to explore although I normally do a loop past the pond and then cross the bridge over the A3 then take the next big left and then at the t-junction left again until you cross back over the A3 further down and then a left back to Black Pond along one of the sandy trails. You can walk from Esher Common into Oxshott Common which is also lovely and can be accessed via car parks off Sandy Lane or there is a car park on Littleheath Lane/Kimberley Ride in Oxshott. There is a signposted trail called Trail 2000 which is a circular walk.
There is also a lovely walk from the Esher Pond car park on Portsmouth Road into the woods that back onto the car park and you can then walk along the River Mole and head down a bridleway to Garson’s Farm and back along West Hill.