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Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular

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Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular
Author: exploresurrey, Published: 06 Mar 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular Walking Guidestar1 Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular Walking Guidestar1 Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular Walking Guidestar1 Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular Walking Guidestar0 Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular Walking Guide
Surrey, Woldingham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular Walking Guide boot Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular Walking Guide boot Explore Surrey: Woldingham Circular Walking Guide
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An enjoyable 3.5 mile (5.5km) circular walk from Woldingham station. Woldingham sits in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is surrounded by steep hills and sweeping valleys. The walk follows quiet residential roads and passes through woodland and farmland. Look out for the old stone footpath markers at the ends of some of the paths. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council.

The walk has several long climbs and descents throughout. There are no gates or stiles on route but you will need to negotiate a couple of flights of steps. Most of the paths are firm, but some sections can become muddy after wet weather so stout shoes or boots are recommended. There are some stretches of road walking along quiet residential/access lanes so take care of any traffic at these points. Allow 1.5 hours.

There are toilets at the station, open when the ticket office is open. If you are looking for refreshments there are a couple of options. There is a tearoom in Knights Garden Centre, just a few minutes’ walk along Woldingham Road from Waypoint 5 and the village shops are a few minutes’ walk south of Waypoint 1 (along Station Road past the church). Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways that cross private land. Information is included for your interest, but please respect peoples’ privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

The walk starts and finishes at Woldingham Rail Station in Surrey. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info. If you are coming by car, there are a few places to park near Woldingham Rail Station. There is a pay and display car park at the station, a district council pay and display car park on Woldingham Road near the station, plus limited parking along Church Road adjacent to the railway. The rail station car park fee is £5 per day on Mon-Sat and £2 per day on Sundays and bank holidays (correct Mar 2015). Approximate post code CR3 7LT. Grid ref: TQ359563.

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Walk Sections

Start to Station Road
Start to Station Road

Start point: 51.2902 lat, -0.0516 long
End point: 51.2893 lat, -0.0404 long

Leave the front entrance of the ticket office into the station car park. Come out of the car park through the vehicle entrance and walk straight ahead, uphill, using the right-hand pavement of Station Road. Immediately after passing the electricity substation on the right, turn right up the tall flight of steps. At the top, bear left and follow the tarmac path (still climbing) to reach a junction with a road. (On the right you will see the first of many stone footpath markers along this route).

Turn left and continue through the residential estate. The estate was built on land bought by a Mr William Gilford after the railway was built in the late 19th century. The land was divided into lots of approximately one and a half acres each, and sold for housing. Gilford would only permit houses of more than £400 in value and stipulated that all buildings (except lodges) must stand at least 25 feet from the road, and could not be used for industry.

At the end of Park View Road, turn left for a short (but welcome!) downhill stretch to reach a T-junction with Station Road.

Station Road to Steps Junction
Station Road to Steps Junction

Start point: 51.2893 lat, -0.0404 long
End point: 51.2948 lat, -0.0451 long

Cross over the road with care and turn right along the pavement. Immediately after the property called Sunnyside on the left, turn left to join a narrow footpath which leads you downhill between gardens.

At the end you will come to a road and you will see a choice of two footpaths opposite, one at 10 o’clock and one at 1 o’clock. Take the left-hand path (at 10 o’clock) and follow this for 850m passing first between houses and then through a section of woodland.

This path is known as Madeira Walk. Further along, where you emerge from the trees, there are excellent views to the left (north-west) towards London. You are looking at the gentle dip slope of the North Downs, and across the Caterham Valley. The valley is one of a number of dry valleys which run north-south across the line of the North Downs, and are thought to have been cut by northflowing rivers after the last Ice Age. The open area near to the path is a remnant of chalk grassland, which has a rich variety of plants.

You will come to a small section of fencing at a signed junction of paths, with some shallow woodland steps visible ahead.

Steps Junction to Woldingham Garden Village
Steps Junction to Woldingham Garden Village

Start point: 51.2948 lat, -0.0451 long
End point: 51.296 lat, -0.0458 long

Bear slightly right here (at about 1 o’clock) to climb the shallow steps. Keep straight ahead on the path between fences and you will emerge to a crossroads with a narrow tarmac lane. Do NOT take the footpath which continues opposite, instead turn right along the residential road.

Woldingham Garden Village to High Shaw
Woldingham Garden Village to High Shaw

Start point: 51.296 lat, -0.0458 long
End point: 51.2964 lat, -0.0496 long

You are now in Woldingham Garden Village, which was originally built at the beginning of the First World War to house the Public Schools Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. As war casualties mounted, it was converted into a convalescent camp. There was a comprehensive programme of entertainment organised for the residents, and people from Woldingham village used to walk to the camp along Madeira Walk to attend. The founder of the Garden Village was Henry Fuller Morriss. He was a scrap merchant and was once the Mayor of Bermondsey. He bought the camp just after the war for about £10,000. Small properties were badly wanted as ‘Homes for Heroes’ and many of the buildings were converted into bungalows. A number of these are still standing today.

Follow the main tarmac road around the Garden Village (swinging left, then left again, then right, then left), ignoring any footpaths signed to the sides. After passing property No. 1, you will come to a T-junction with Hilltop Walk. Turn right and follow the road for just 90m to draw level with the property High Shaw on the left.

High Shaw to Woldingham Road
High Shaw to Woldingham Road

Start point: 51.2964 lat, -0.0496 long
End point: 51.296 lat, -0.0538 long

Turn right here to join the signed public bridleway which leads you downhill with a fence on the left. The bridleway becomes a tarmac access lane, continuing downhill between houses. At the bottom, you will emerge to a junction with a road, with the golf course visible ahead. Turn sharp left along Park Ley Road for just a short distance (40m), then fork right down the bridleway to reach a T-junction with Woldingham Road.

Woldingham Road to Railway Bridge
Woldingham Road to Railway Bridge

Start point: 51.296 lat, -0.0538 long
End point: 51.2922 lat, -0.0535 long

Turn left along the pavement for just a few paces then cross the road with care to turn right onto the bridleway signed to Gatwick and Redhill. You will emerge to a T-junction with the quiet tarmac access drive for Woldingham School. Turn left along this.

The valley you are now walking through is called Marden Park. The Marden Park estate was established in the middle of the 17th century, when a wealthy London banker and Lord Mayor of London called Sir Robert Clayton decided to build a luxurious country house for himself. He bought the desolate valley of Marden from Sir John Evelyn of Godstone, and Clayton’s heirs continued to live here for many years.

Follow the driveway as it swings right to reach a railway bridge. Take extreme care here to pass under the bridge and stay on the drive as it swings left.

Railway Bridge to Marden Park T-Junction
Railway Bridge to Marden Park T-Junction

Start point: 51.2922 lat, -0.0535 long
End point: 51.2851 lat, -0.0487 long

Continue along the driveway and you will pass the old lodge property on the left (with the station buildings visible behind this). Continue along the driveway and, further along (approximately 830m after the railway bridge), take the first bridleway signed on the left which leads you towards Marden Park Farm.

A wealthy stockbroker, Sir Walpole Lloyd Greenwell, bought the Marden Park estate from the Claytons in 1906. Sir Walpole and his son, Sir Bernard, kept what was considered to be the finest collection of racehorses in the county. Marden Park Farm was built for their stud of shire horses, which was thought to be the best in England. Tap the Listen button below (available via App only) to learn more. After the Second World War the estate was split up. Marden Park Farm is now private housing and business units, and Marden Park House is now Woldingham School.

You will come to a property called Shires ahead. Go through the gap just to the right of this property and follow the path alongside the hedge. Continue along the paved section between the converted stables and barns to reach a T-junction.

Marden Park T-Junction to End
Marden Park T-Junction to End

Start point: 51.2851 lat, -0.0487 long
End point: 51.2904 lat, -0.0516 long

Turn left and follow the main track passing between farm buildings and fenced fields. The lane swings right, leading you over railway bridge, and then swings left to continue running parallel to the rail line down to the left.

The railway line from Croydon through Oxted to East Grinstead was built by the London, Brighton and South Eastern Railway Company, and opened in 1884. Woldingham station was originally known as Marden Park, and was very simple with one small shelter.

At the end of Church Road you will come to Woldingham Station on the left, where the walk began.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2015 by the author exploresurrey and may not be reproduced without permission.


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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