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Walking in Surrey

Although a vast commuter suburb to London with a dense population and many large sprawling towns relative to it's size, Surrey has managed to retain some areas of natural beauty which provide relaxation and enjoyment for tired inhabitants. Perhaps the most important of these areas is the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which provides many of the best walking locations in the county.

From west to east the sandy heaths, beech clad hills and rolling chalkland of the North Downs provide open space and very pleasant walking. Indeed, the most important routes in Surrey are the North Downs Way from Farnham to the Kent border and, on the southern parallel Greensand Ridge, the Greensand Way, from Haselmere to Limpsfield. The Vanguard Way also travels across Surrey during it's journey from London to the south coast.

There are a number of beauty spots in Surrey which can become quite busy near car parks or visitor centres, but which provide good starting points for walks. Box Hill (NT) on the North Downs is an outstanding area of woodland and chalk downland providing some beautiful walking with spectacular views towards the South Downs.

Further south at Leith Hill (NT) on the Greensand Ridge, the highest point in south east England, there are more secluded walks amongst woodland containing ancient stands of hazel and oak. There are magnificent views from the summit and the area is famous for its colourful display of rhododendrons between May and June, a good time to plan a walk here. Another good location is Hindhead Commons and the stunning scenery of the Devil's Punchbowl.

Sutton Abinger

A tiny hamlet nestling beside a stream below Abinger Common in the Surrey Hills, Sutton Abinger’s charms lie not in the settlement itself, but in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Just one mile east is Goddards, regarded as one of the architect Edwin Lutyens’ most important houses and designed by him in 1898. The garden was designed by Gertrude Jekyll. Not far away to the south east is Leith Hill, the highest point in Surrey.

A Walk from Sutton Abinger [TQ 105459] OS Maps: Explorerâ„¢ 187

Sutton Abinger, Volunteer Inn This must rank amongst the best walks in Surrey for the scenery it contains. From Sutton Abinger the route makes its way through lovely fields with far reaching views before meeting with the 16th century Paddington Farm and passing Paddington Mill with its pretty pond. The way continues through National Trust woodland before swinging west and dropping down into the appealing village of Abinger Hammer where the Tilling Bourne cuts through its superb green. After leaving the village behind, the way climbs easily out of the valley and crosses more fields with outstanding panoramic views before rejoining Sutton Abinger. About 4 miles.
Best Pub for this walk
Volunteer, Water Lane, Sutton Abinger Tel: 01306 730798 (Good Pub Guide)
This is a picturesque pub in an attractive setting above a clear stream. There are three low ceilinged olde-worlde rooms, a homely medley of furnishings and a roaring log fire in winter. Outside there is a sunny patio area and a nice hillside garden. The menu offers a good choice of enjoyable meals.

Surry Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Mole Gap Trail

Mole Gap Trail LeafletThis is a 6-mile linear walk following the River Mole between Leatherhead and Dorking. Use the train for a wonderful day out in some of the most beautiful countryside in the Surrey Hills AONB. Take the train from Dorking to Leatherhead and walk back to Dorking.

The Mole Gap Trail offers the opportunity to visit two historical market towns and the outstanding countryside of the Mole Gap including England’s largest vineyard. The Trail is waymarked with silver arrows and is marked on the Ordnance Survey Explorer map (sheet 146). The walk should take about 3 hours plus any time for refreshments.

Within ten minutes of leaving Leatherhead you will have escaped from the crowds and be relaxing beside the delightful River Mole. Consider stocking up on supplies in Leatherhead for a snack or picnic beside the river, or aim to reach Westhumble in time for a pub lunch. Near here the route crosses the North Downs Way National Trail. Alternatively, a little further on a visit to Denbies Wine Estate means you can enjoy a delicious lunch in the tropical conservatory followed by a wine tour and tasting.

The River Mole has carved its route through the chalk of the North Downs to provide a beautiful riverside setting. Also along the walk you will find some of the best ancient yew and box woodlands in Europe. You will pass through the historic parkland of Norbury Park where the peace and tranquillity has inspired famous writers and artists through the centuries.

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