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Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk

There are currently 2 comments and 3 photos online for this walk.

Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk
Author: Explore Surrey, Published: 20 Mar 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walkstar1 Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walkstar1 Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walkstar0 Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walkstar0 Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk
Surrey, Leatherhead
Walk Type: Woodland
Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk
Length: 3 miles,  Difficulty: boot Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk
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A 3 mile (5km) circular walk to the north of Leatherhead. This route has been specially devised and signposted by the Lower Mole Countryside Management Project and Mole Valley District Council to provide an easy-to-navigate route into the countryside. The majority of the walk is in woodland but there are contrasting open areas too. Its character will vary with the seasons, so it is worth repeating at different times of the year. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council.

The walk is almost entirely flat and there are no stiles, gates or steps to negotiate. Conditions underfoot on the woodland paths will vary according to weather and season so stout boots are required and wellingtons are recommended in the winter months. The route is waymarked via a series of timber finger posts with distinctive green arrows. There are several busy roads in the area and special care is needed when crossing them. The route crosses a golf course so please show respect for the golfers by allowing them to play their shots before you cross and watch closely for any stray flying golf balls. Allow 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on the conditions underfoot.

Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Information is included for your interest, but please respect people’s privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

The walk starts from the Tesco supermarket on the B2430 Kingston Road, just north of Leatherhead (close to Junction 9 of the M25). There is a car park at Tesco. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit Approximate post code KT22 0EF.

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Walk Sections

Start to Rowhurst Forge
Start to Rowhurst Forge

Start point: 51.3115 lat, -0.3351 long
End point: 51.314 lat, -0.3393 long

The walk starts on the entrance road for the Tesco supermarket. Take the footpath along the left-hand edge of the access road leading into Tesco. Tesco’s petrol station is ahead on your right and the Rye Brook is running on your left. Follow the path ahead through a wide staggered barrier and over a timber footbridge into woodland, Teazle Wood.

Beyond the footbridge you will see the first wooden fingerpost which includes the green arrow symbol with the letters LCW (for Leatherhead Common Walk). You will be following these waymarks for the entirety of the walk. Keep right on the footpath signed to Oaklawn Road. Continue ahead along the main path, ignoring any smaller paths off to the left.

Teazle Wood is a splendid wood with a great variety of native trees. Taller trees include English oak and ash. Also present is turkey oak, an introduced species which grows vigorously in Great Britain. Look out for spurge laurel, a rare native evergreen. Beneath these are smaller trees of hawthorn, hazel, holly, elder, dog rose and field maple. In spring a spectacular display of bluebell carpets the woodland floor.

Further along on the right you will come to Rowhurst Forge, the home of the Fire and Iron Gallery where fine quality metal work is produced. Just visible beyond the forge is a mid-fifteenth century building, thought to have been used as a hunting lodge for Hampton Court Palace.

Rowhurst Forge to Oaklawn Road
Rowhurst Forge to Oaklawn Road

Start point: 51.314 lat, -0.3393 long
End point: 51.3148 lat, -0.3464 long

Continue on the main woodland path which winds its way between mature oak trees before reaching the M25. Here, stay on the path which turns left to follow the edge of the motorway cutting.

Further along on the left is Dorincourt, a training centre for disabled people. Their buildings are now hidden from view by new woodland. The Lower Mole Countryside Management Project has restored a former open area to the new woodland you can now see.

You will emerge from the woodland to a T-junction with Oaklawn Road, alongside the entrance for Dornicourt.

Oaklawn Road to Pachesham Park
Oaklawn Road to Pachesham Park

Start point: 51.3148 lat, -0.3464 long
End point: 51.3179 lat, -0.3375 long

Turn right along the pavement to cross the bridge over the motorway. At the end of the bridge, continue along the narrow grass verge (taking extreme care of traffic) for just 50m. Note: you can swap to the left-hand pavement instead if you wish, but you will need to cross back again in a moment. Where the right-hand metal crash barrier ends, you will see a footpath sign.

Turn right here on the bridleway signed to Oxshott Road. After just five paces, turn left onto a signed permissive path (this path is available for public use with the permission of the landowner and runs parallel to the road for 150m). The path turns right into the woodland (opposite Tyrwhitt House on the left). Continue along this path for about 150m before crossing a small stream (using the small sleeper bridge if necessary) and then crossing a larger stream via another sleeper bridge.

The path now swings left with the motorway running over to the right. Continue until you reach a T-junction marked with a fingerpost (near some mobile phone masts). Turn left to join the straight path signed to Oxshott Road. Pass alongside the gate and go up the short concrete slope to reach the road. Turn right along the pavement for just 50m then cross over the road with care to join the tarmac entrance drive for Pachesham Park (signed as a footpath to Kingston Road).

Pachesham Park to Ashtead Common
Pachesham Park to Ashtead Common

Start point: 51.3179 lat, -0.3375 long
End point: 51.3203 lat, -0.3297 long

Follow the road through the stone entrance gateway and, soon afterwards, the road crosses the first fairway of the golf course. Take particular care here, allowing golfers to play their shots before you proceed and keeping your eyes peeled for stray golf balls. Follow the road past some houses on the right then go through the pair of gates ahead. Keep ahead on the path which leads you across the next fairway.

At the far side, pass through the break in the belt of trees and carry on in the same direction across the practice area. A path ahead through a small belt of woodland leads you out to the A243 Kingston Road. Great care is needed here on this fast and busy road. Cross the road to reach the pavement/cycle path opposite and turn left along this. After 200m you will come to a pair of gates on the right, marking a path into Ashtead Common.

Ashtead Common to Underpass
Ashtead Common to Underpass

Start point: 51.3203 lat, -0.3297 long
End point: 51.3157 lat, -0.3297 long

Turn right here, to join the footpath heading directly into Ashtead Common. Keep straight ahead at the first crossroads and then follow the LCW waymarks and green arrows to guide you along the paths through several more junctions.

Ashtead Common is a relic wood pasture owned and managed by the City of London Corporation. Wood pasture had a dual purpose of supplying wood from the branches of trees, as well as grazing and shelter for domestic animals. The branches were cut on a rotational basis above the browse line of cattle created pollards. These ancient oak pollards are characteristic of this type of woodland. Some may be 500 years old and they support lichens, mosses, liverworts and specialised invertebrates of dead or dying wood. They also provide homes for birds, such as woodpeckers, owls and nuthatches and oak loving butterflies such as purple emperor and purple hairstreak.

After 600m you will come to a crossroads of public footpaths marked with a fingerpost of four yellow arrows. Turn sharp right here, heading towards Kingston Road (still marked with the LCW arrow). After 450m, pass through the staggered barrier (made of hedge material) with a City of London board on the left marking the perimeter of the common and Merton Wood. There are views to the south here across the fields on the left.

Keep straight ahead at the crossroads on the woodland footpath signed to Leatherhead. Follow the path winding ahead for 350m and you will emerge to a T-junction with a stone track. Turn left and then immediately right to join the tarmac path which leads you through the underpass beneath a roundabout.

Underpass to End
Underpass to End

Start point: 51.3157 lat, -0.3297 long
End point: 51.3116 lat, -0.3345 long

Keep ahead on this tarmac path which leads you through a second underpass and then along a footbridge across the M25. You will emerge to the end of a residential road. Follow this heading downhill, passing houses on the left and the back entrance for B&Q on the right. As you reach the roundabout, go straight ahead into the entrance drive for Tesco, where the walk began.

Remember...the best way of following our walking guides is to use the iFootpath App (iOS and Android) where you will have all the information in the palm of your hand and see your exact location on the live map as you travel. You can also add comments, photos, ratings and track your own routes.

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

2 comments for "Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk"

The first half of walk is not very relaxing as roaring of M25 drowned out conversation. Crossing roads and traversing golf course !!! 2nd half on Ashtead Common much better.

By nickyhamilto on 02 Oct 2016

Agree with previous reviews about the noise from the roads, but think the walk deserves 3 stars for being very well sign-posted and easy to follow. Can also imagine that in the springtime, the bluebells are vry beautiful. It did only take us just over an hour in quite sticky mud, so the estimate given of 1.5-2 hrs is genrous.

By howes62 on 09 Jan 2017

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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3 gallery images for "Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk"

4197_0Richard1426873726 Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk Image by: RichardJ
Uploaded: 20 Mar 2015
We walked past the forge on a weekday and could see people hard at work shaping metal.
4197_1Richard1426873727 Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk Image by: RichardJ
Uploaded: 20 Mar 2015
This is a picture of one of the pollarded oak trees mentioned on the walk. There were several all together.
4197_1howes621483995769 Explore Surrey: Leatherhead Common Walk Image by: howes62
Uploaded: 09 Jan 2017
General view of rather wet undergrowth


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