Tandridge Border Path
The Tandridge Border Path is a 79km (50 mile) walk around the boundary of Tandridge District Council in east Surrey. The path follows old and established footpaths and other rights of way as close as is possible to the District Council Boundary, allowing the walker to venture through historic and picturesque villages and to explore and experience the beautiful and contrasting countryside that lies within Tandridge. Interesting and intriguing landscapes, historical sites and buildings are passed on the way, all of which have helped shape the history of Tandridge.
The official guide breaks the route down into six stages, which reflect those originally walked during the final planning stage of the route. Because the route is circular it is possible to start at any convenient point or, like most long distance paths, to walk each stage at a different time. There are several short ascents along the way and stiles to cross on every stage. In extreme wet weather one or two sections of the path can suffer from mud and occasionally flooding, but generally the going is fairly easy. The six stages of the route as described in the guide are as follows:
Stage 1 Tatsfield to Staffhurst Wood (11.2km) The path descends south from the heights of the 'London Alps', into the historic and fertile Vale of Holmesdale stretching between the North Downs across Surrey and well into Kent. After crossing the M25 the path attains quiet again, ascending the Greensand ridge to cross Limpsfield Chart before descending into the Weald to finish this stage at Staffhurst Wood, renowned for its bluebells in the due season.
Stage 2 Staffhurst Wood to Dormans Station (16km) From Staffhurst Wood the path continues south close to the border with Kent. On the way it crosses the Eden Valley, which can be difficult after periods of heavy and prolonged rain, and skirts Starborough Castle before ascending to the Iron Age fort of Dry Hill with its sweeping views. Later the Path swings west along the southern boundary with Sussex. It passes the beautiful Old Surrey Hall and, although there is no indication on the ground, it crosses the Greenwich Meridian just metres before Cooks Pond railway viaduct to finish at Dormans Station.
Stage 3 Dormans Station to Burstow (12km) From dormans Station the path continues west along the southern border into Felbridge where it passes under the Evelyn Chestnuts before skirting Hedgecourt Lake, once a great mill pond, with its abundant birdlife. Swinging north across open land and woodland, the Path reaches the ancient hamlet of Burstow with its unusual Norman church with a detached wooded tower.
Stage 4 Burstow to South Nutfield (10.5km) This stage heads north shadowing the M23, although the motorway is not wholly intrusive and the path, for the most part, crosses fields and open spaces, including Outwood Common. Close by, although not visible from the path is the oldest working windmill in England. There are views ahead of the Greensand Ridge and the North Downs before finishing at South Nutfield.
Stage 5 South Nutfield to Whyteleafe (15.2km) From South Nutfield village the Path continues on its way north to cross the Greensand Ridge and Nutfield Marsh with Canal Cottage still waiting for the canal that never came. It then negotiates the M25/M23 junction to ascend the escarpment of the North Downs with a wide vista back over the Vale of Holmesdale and the Weald. Places of interest before reaching Whyteleafe include Chaldon Church, Coulsdon Commons and Kenley Aerodrome, used in both World Wars and the Battle of Britain.
Stage 6 Whyteleafe to Tatsfield (14.5km) Leaving Whyteleafe the Path travels eastwards, ascending over Riddlesdown, soon to become rural again, although at times there are extensive views of London to the north. There is woodland and open land and, past the ancient church of Chelsham, a flavour of the North Downs as they were before development reached them hereabouts, emphasised sometimes by the lonely cry of sheep. The final stretch climbs the 'London Alps' again to Tatsfield where there is a pub close by to celebrate the end.
© Copyright 2000 - 2013 Walking Pages Ltd. and its associates. All rights reserved