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|Explore Surrey: Prospects of Polesden|
|Author: Explore Surrey, Published: 16 Feb 2015||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 5 mile (8km) undulating walk from Ranmore Common in the Surrey Hills, through part of the National Trust estate of Polesden Lacey. There are good views of the Mole Gap, London and, on a clear day, the South Downs. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council. |
The walk includes several steady but very long climbs and descents throughout. The tracks can be very muddy and slippery so stout boots or wellingtons with good grip are recommended. There are two gates along the route, but no stiles. You can take an optional detour to enter the grounds or house of Polesden Lacey, but admission fees apply for this (free for National Trust members). Allow 2.5 hours, with extra time for stops or detours.
There are no pubs or shops along the route. There are toilets and a tearoom within the grounds of Polesden Lacey (admission fees would apply for this). Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate. The Polesden Lacey Estate and parts of Ranmore Common and Denbies Hillside are owned by the National Trust. This walk follows public rights of way over private and National Trust land. Please respect National Trust bylaws, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.
The walk starts and finishes at the National Trust Denbies Hillside pay and display car park on Ranmore Common Road, about one mile north-west of Dorking. The fee is £4 per day (correct Feb 2015) or free for National Trust members. There is also a bus stop (Church Bus Stop on Ranmore Common Road) just to the east of the car park. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info. Nearest post code RH5 6SP (this will take you to a point about half a mile from the car park). Grid ref: TQ 142503
|Start to Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel|
Start point: 51.2412 lat, -0.3654 long
From the Denbies Hillside car park, cross over Ranmore Common Road with care and then turn left along the wide grass verge. You will pass the red Charlotte Cottage to the left and then Rose Tree Cottage and the tile-clad Fox Cottages on the right. Immediately after Fox Cottages, turn right alongside a vehicle barrier onto the track into woodland (signed Youth Hostel).
|Tanners Hatch Youth Hostel to Valley Bottom|
Start point: 51.2519 lat, -0.3678 long
Take a moment here to admire the youth hostel cottage and the valley beyond. Tanners Hatch is an old estate cottage that was restored and renovated by members of the Youth Hostels Association during the Second World War. Across the valley the long wall of Sheridan’s Walk can be glimpsed through the trees. The playwright and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan bought the Polesden Lacey Estate in 1797. He described the old house as a ruin and had ambitious plans to rebuild it, but did not achieve this. The only visible legacy of his ownership is this long terraced walk, which is still one of the most impressive features of the garden.
|Valley Bottom to Stone Bridge|
Start point: 51.2533 lat, -0.3618 long
Stay on the main track as it swings left heading uphill between lines of coppiced hedgerows. After 100m fork left (signed to Connicut Lane) and the path leads you under an ornamental stone bridge.
|Stone Bridge to Polesden Road|
Start point: 51.2554 lat, -0.3633 long
Beyond the bridge, continue on the main track still climbing (note: this stretch can be very muddy). Some way along, the view opens up back across the fields on the right to the Mole Gap.
|Polesden Road to Entrance Drive|
Start point: 51.2658 lat, -0.3681 long
Cross over the road with care, go through the hedge gap opposite and then turn immediately left to follow the footpath running parallel with the road on the left.
|Entrance Drive to Thatched Bridge|
Start point: 51.2636 lat, -0.3717 long
To continue the walk, ignore the fork for the entrance drive on the left, simply keep ahead on the track signed to several cottages and farms. After 140m, at a signed junction of paths, stay on the main track which swings left heading steadily uphill. Stay on the track to pass Home Farm House and then continue downhill to join a cutting which leads you under a thatched bridge.
|Thatched Bridge to Crossroads|
Start point: 51.2584 lat, -0.3771 long
Pass under the second bridge and, where the tarmac track turns left, keep ahead along a track lined with yew trees (signed as a public bridleway). After 300m you will come to a staggered T-junction. Turn right heading uphill on the tarmac track, noting the views of the Mole Valley.
|Crossroads to North Downs Way|
Start point: 51.2473 lat, -0.3801 long
Keep straight ahead on the main track and then ignore the next path signed left. About 50m later, fork right to join a bridleway marked with a blue arrow (not the blue NT arrow). Keep straight ahead across a stone vehicle track and continue along the bridleway through woods for 450m to reach a junction with the road.
|North Downs Way to End|
Start point: 51.2387 lat, -0.3782 long
Keep ahead on this path, passing through a wooden staggered barrier, along the edge of Ranmore Common woodland. After 700m, at a staggered crossroads, go ahead through a kissing gate into Steer’s Field. Take the left-hand of the two paths ahead, heading for Ranmore Common’s St Barnabas Church spire, noting the view of Westcott to the right and Dorking ahead.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author exploresurrey and may not be reproduced without permission.
Actually you CAN use Polesdon Lacey tearooms and toilets WITHOUT paying admission charges. They are outside the ticket barrier - shops too :-)
|By soph1961 on 27 Nov 2016|
The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.
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