Great Walks in Surrey Hills, UK

Surrey Hills is home to many revitalising walks
Surrey Hills is home to many revitalising walks | © Peter Sterling / Alamy Stock Photo
Nicholas Grantham

Just south of London, Surrey Hills covers sections of the North Downs and Greensand Ridge, offering revitalising country trails for the capital’s energy-sapped workers. Many are just happy to escape the crowds, but with woodland walks, traditional country pubs and heritage properties, there’s much to love about the Surrey Hills walks. Here’s our pick of the best routes.

1. Hidden Hindhead Walking Trail

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Starting at the Devil’s Punch Bowl café – a great place to fuel up – the 3mi (5km) Hidden Hindhead trail scales Gibbet Hill, the second-highest peak in Surrey. Along the way, look out for the Celtic cross, a rather sombre reminder that three ne’er-do-wells were once hanged here for killing a sailor. You’ll also pass what’s left of the Temple of the Four Winds – an octagonal stone platform with stretching views across Surrey Hills.

2. Woldingham Walk

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Woldingham
© Sanchez / Alamy Stock Photo

Conveniently starting at Woldingham Railway Station – trains arrive from London Victoria – this scenic 5.5mi (9km) circuit cuts through chalk grassland, concealed valleys and serene woodland. Ramblers will also pass the diminutive St Agatha’s Church, which was first recorded in 1270. Here too lies an ancient yew, plus an ash tree thought to be more than 900 years old. At its full length, the Woldingham Walk should take a little over three hours. However, shortcuts will reduce the time it takes to get your hands on that post-walk pint.

3. Walk the Chalk

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Looking west from path, Ranmore Common, Surrey Hills AONB, North Downs, Dorking, England, Great Britain, United Kingdom, UK, Europe
© Ian Bottle / Alamy Stock Photo

Walk the Chalk stretches 7mi (11km) from Dorking to Gomshall railway stations. For those willing to tackle the slightly longer route, the rewards are just. The North Downs is home to some of Surrey’s most alluring views. Take the chance to rest at God’s Seat, a handily placed bench that doubles as a lookout. The area also has a rich wildlife habitat, home to circling buzzards, scampering dormice and chalkhill blue butterflies.

4. Outwood Common Walk

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The Outwood Cricket Club, home to googlies and LBWs for more than 120 years, is your starting point for this ramble through Redhill. Its 2.5mi (4km), flat route makes it ideal for beginners – the whole trip should take two hours at the most. Along the way, you’ll pass through woodland – stop to admire the oak and conifer trees – before crossing a wooden footbridge and walking across working farmland. You should also be on the hunt for the route’s concealed pond. If you find it, there’s a bench from which you can admire the waters.

5. Chilworth Heritage Trail

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View from St Marthas Hill near Guildford Surrey England UK
© Ian Bottle / Alamy Stock Photo

Around 300 years ago, the East India Company took quiet Chilworth and transformed it into the gunpowder-making capital of England. That chapter is now closed, but its relics remain. Explore the area’s industrial past by taking the 3mi (5km) Chilworth Heritage Trail. It takes you by historic mills, alongside a vineyard and to the views atop St Martha’s Hill. Look out for leaflets at the beginning of the trail to get a step-by-step guide to the area’s history.

6. Headley Heath Lizard Trail

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Headley Heath, Surrey, England, UK.
© Julia Gavin / Alamy Stock Photo

Take a walk through Headley Heath, a protected terrain home to some of Surrey Hills’ most enchanting wildlife. On its Lizard Trail, look out for the large, black-and-white-striped Belted Galloway cattle, which graze in the area. The 2mi (3km) long trek is also home to a delightful collection of flora. Depending on the time of year, you can see orchids, heather and foxgloves. You’ll also pass the Pyramids, named after the piles of ammunition stocked here by Canadian forces during the World War II.

Need somewhere to rest after a long day of walking? Book one of the best hotels and pubs surrounding the Surrey Hills – close to London’s Gatwick Airport – through Culture Trip.

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