Box Hill's Natural Play Trail
There are walkers that want a casual stroll. And then there are those that want a challenge. Whatever the case, Box Hill is a great place to start.
First of all, there’s Box Hill's Natural Play Trail. This is a two-mile level walk that's perfect for families. The trail can take anything from an hour to the whole day if the little ones want to play among the trees, hop along the stepping-stones, and scramble through tunnels. Explore the knobbly roots of the huge beech trees, make a den with the loose branches and even scramble over a log bridge. The trail is well-signposted and makes for a great day out.
Box Hill, Lodge Hill and Juniper Hill Circular
If you fancy more of a challenge, then why not have a go at the Box Hill, Lodge Hill and Juniper Hill circular? This is an eight-mile loop trail located near Mole Valley that’ll take about 5 hours to complete. It’s rated ‘difficult’, making it great for seasoned walkers or anyone hoping to improve their fitness goals. And when it comes to things to do in Surrey, it’s certainly a highlight.
This hike starts and ends at the Box Hill Visitor’s Centre making it a satisfying circular walk. Follow the signs saying Box Hill Hike to avoid getting lost. The first part of the walk leads from Broadwood’s Tower to Mickleham Church. The tower was built in the early 19th century and offers spectacular views of the valley. Eventually, the red signs will lead you down some steep steps into the valley. From there, take the path to the left and keep walking until you reach the road. Once you cross the road, get ready for a climb. This is the steepest and hardest part of the walk. At the top of the steps, you’ll be rewarded by beautiful woodlands which are a joy to walk through.
Once you exit the woods, you’ll follow the path along some fields before reaching Mickleham Church. Keep walking and you’ll spot a playing area for kids which doubles up as a pleasant picnic spot. Or you can check out the nearby King William IV pub which serves up delicious food. When you reach this pub, you’re past the halfway point.
When you reach the pub, turn right and head up the steps (don’t go down or you’ll lose the trail!) which lead to another section of woodland. Walking all the way to the end of the path and turning right will take you to the Mickleham Gallops, a wide area of grassland that’s hard to miss. The Gallops are the site of an old Roman road and served as a landing site for Churchill’s plane during WW2, when he visited War Cabinet member Lord Beaverbrook.
The next part of this walk is Cherkley Wood to Headley Heath. At the end of the Gallops, head through the woods and downhill towards the road. You’ll then enter the rolling and flower-laden hills of Headley Heath, through gate 26, and from here you’ll follow the track. This is one of the most picturesque parts of the walk (especially in summer) and a great place for some photos. You’ll eventually reach a little road near the village of Pebble Coombe. When the road divides, take the right fork. There aren’t many signs here but if you follow a narrow path past a holiday park, you’re on the right track.
The path will then lead you to Box Hill viewpoint, where you started. Take some time here to admire the views and reward yourself with a drink and an ice cream. There’s usually a van parked there in the summer months. Nice walks in Surrey don’t get much better than this, so set aside enough time to take the route at your own pace.
If you’re not much of a hiker but still want to get out and about by foot, don’t worry. There’s also Leith Hill which offers a wide array of footpaths, woodland walks and breath-taking views. Perfect for a short stroll or a longer hike, you can enjoy areas of beauty such as the Rhododendron Wood or Duke’s Warren. Walks here can be as challenging or as long as you please; it’s all about relaxing and taking in the scenery.
Surrey Hills walks are a great way to unwind after a stressful week. So grab your walking boots, camera, friends or dog, and enjoy a trip to remember.