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The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath

There are currently 1 comments and 1 photos online for this walk.

The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath
Author: Claire, Published: 30 Dec 2015 Walk rating : Rating:star1 The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath Pub Walkstar1 The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath Pub Walkstar1 The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath Pub Walkstar1 The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath Pub Walkstar0 The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath Pub Walk
Surrey, Cobham
Walk Type: Footpaths and byways
The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath Pub Walk boot The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath Pub Walk
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A 4 mile pub walk from The Old Plough in Stoke D’Abernon, near Cobham in Surrey. The Old Plough is a 300 year old building, once a court house, which today is home to a smart community pub where eaters and drinkers alike (along with their canine companions) are looked after with friendly and professional service. The walking route heads out on the footpaths alongside Knowle Hill Park and Littleheath Common Ponds to explore the nearby Oxshott Heath, a beautiful woodland, heath and common which is popular with families, dog walkers and horse riders.

The walk has a few gentle slopes, with just one short steeper section within Oxshott Heath. The paths are unmade and can be muddy and slippery in winter and after periods of rain, so good boots are a must. You will need to negotiate a few kissing gates, some steps plus two stiles (both of which have very large gaps alongside for dogs to pass through). The majority of the paths are enclosed, but you may be sharing one field with horses. You will need to cross the railway at an unsignalled crossing so take particular care at this point. Approximate time 2 hours.

The Old Plough is located on the corner of Station Road and Stoke Road (the A245) in Stoke D’Abernon, just south of Cobham in Surrey. If you are coming by train, the pub is just a short stroll from Cobham and Stoke D’Abernon rail station on the Waterloo line. If you are coming by car, Stoke D’Abernon is easily accessed via the M25 and A3. The pub has its own small car park at the rear (accessed via Station Road) and there is also roadside parking available on Station Road after 9.30am. Approximate post code KT11 3BN.

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Walk Sections

Start to Littleheath Common Ponds
Start to Littleheath Common Ponds

Start point: 51.3207 lat, -0.3865 long
End point: 51.3268 lat, -0.3762 long

The walk begins on Station Road, directly outside The Old Plough. The Old Plough is a 300 year old listed building which at one time was a court house. It once achieved literary fame, accommodating Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Adventure of the Speckled Band’. Standing with your back to the pub, turn left for a few paces to reach the T-junction with Stoke Road (the A245). Turn left along the pavement and, when you reach the pedestrian crossing with traffic lights, swap to the right-hand pavement to continue along Stoke Road.

Cross over the side road, Aspen Close, and immediately afterwards turn right through the staggered barrier to join the public footpath signed to Blundel Lane. Follow this tree-lined footpath all the way to the kissing gate at the end. Pass through this and continue ahead on the path with the fenced open fields of Knowle Hill Park on your left.

When the open fields on the left end, keep straight ahead into a small section of woodland to reach a stile. Cross this and follow the path along the right-hand edge of this rough pasture (which may be holding horses). The path leads you back into the woodland edge, across a second stile and continues ahead with a wire fence running on your right. Further along you will pass the first access path for Littleheath Common Ponds on your left. The main route does not visit this site, but you can take a small detour should you wish to explore the ponds. Take care with children and dogs as the ponds are very deep.

Littleheath Common Ponds to Oxshott Heath Parking Area
Littleheath Common Ponds to Oxshott Heath Parking Area

Start point: 51.3268 lat, -0.3762 long
End point: 51.3326 lat, -0.3704 long

Continue ahead on the main path (with the wire fence still running on your right) and the path will lead you to the gate alongside the railway. NOTE: This is an official railway footpath crossing point, but there are no signals so please take good care to look and listen for trains before you proceed. Cross the railway via the two swing gates and then keep left on the footpath signed to Blundel Lane.

You will emerge out to a road junction at the edge of Stoke D’Abernon. Standing with your back to the footpath from which you emerged, turn left along the tarmac footway and then continue straight ahead on the side branch of Blundel Lane, heading for the level crossing signs.

Follow Blundel Lane over the level crossing and the road becomes Littleheath Lane. Soon afterwards, just before the road swings sharp left, cross over the road to reach the parking area for Oxshott Heath. You will find an information board and bench here.

Oxshott Heath Parking Area to War Memorial
Oxshott Heath Parking Area to War Memorial

Start point: 51.3326 lat, -0.3704 long
End point: 51.338 lat, -0.3643 long

Standing with your back to the bench and information board, take the footpath at about 4 o’clock (this footpath runs parallel to the public bridleway signed with the blue arrow – if you are on the correct footpath the bridleway should be running parallel on your left).

Further along you will come to a crossroads with an ornate footbridge across the railway on your right. Do NOT cross the bridge, simply keep straight ahead on the main footpath with the railway running on your right. The woodland path leads you past the car park for Oxshott Station on your right and then out to a grass clearing. Keep straight ahead to reach the information board at the edge of this clearing.

Continue ahead (passing the information board on your left) and a few metres later you will see a pair of cottages on the right and a fingerpost marking a junction of paths. Take the left-hand fork here (about 11 o’clock), an un-signed permissive path which leads you steadily uphill through the heath. A short flight of five steps leads you to a T-junction. Turn left, go through the staggered barrier and then bear left to reach the large war memorial.

This makes a great place to pause and take in the views. Oxshott Heath is an area of approximately 200 acres. The soil of siliceous sand has never been suitable for crops but coarse grass, heather and pine thrive and together with a wide variety of deciduous trees and undergrowth make for a rich habitat. The sandpit (just north of this point) was originally formed by the commercial demand for building sand in the latter part of the 19th century, but was used again in World War II as a source of sand for sandbags. It is now beloved by dogs and cyclists alike. The war memorial was, after some controversy, erected here at the top of the south slope by Sir Robert McAlpine, then a resident of nearby Fairmile Court. It affords one of the best views in Surrey on a clear day. If you wish to extend the walk, you can explore more of the heath and then simply return to the war memorial when you are ready to continue.

War Memorial to Level Crossing
War Memorial to Level Crossing

Start point: 51.338 lat, -0.3643 long
End point: 51.3314 lat, -0.3707 long

Standing with your back to the war memorial, facing the grass clearing below, take the level path at about 2 o’clock. A few metres along, keep left at the fork by a bench. Follow this path along the edge of the hillside ridge. There are several more benches along this stretch should you wish to pause and enjoy the surroundings.

Keep straight ahead on the path marked with a white arrow (Trail 2000), which leads you down a set of sandy steps to reach a junction with the next fingerpost. Turn right (signed to Fairmile) and, just before you enter the trees, turn left onto the path which leads you across the centre of the open heath.

The path re-enters woodland and you will come to a T-junction with another path, at a Trail 2000 waymarker post. Turn right along this path and, at the next waymarker post, keep straight ahead. You will come to a bench sitting in front of a row of houses. Turn left and follow the path steadily downhill with the houses running on your right. You will emerge back to the road at Brown’s Corner. Keep straight ahead and follow the pavement back over the level crossing.

Level Crossing to End
Level Crossing to End

Start point: 51.3314 lat, -0.3707 long
End point: 51.3208 lat, -0.3867 long

From this point you will be retracing your steps back to The Old Plough. To do this, keep ahead along Blundel Lane. Just before the road swings left towards the T-junction, keep straight ahead on the tarmac footpath and, a few paces along, turn right onto the signed public footpath. Follow the path between fences, take the railway crossing with care and then keep straight ahead on the woodland footpath (with the wire fence running on your left).

Stay with this path for some distance, crossing the two stiles alongside the area of horse paddocks. Keep directly ahead along the fenced path alongside Knowle Hill Park (on your right). At the end, go through the kissing gate ahead and follow the tree-lined path out to the road. Turn left along the pavement, swap to the right-hand pavement at the pedestrian crossing and you will come to The Old Plough on your right for some well-earned refreshments.

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

1 comments for "The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath"

Lovely walk - will no doubt visit again.

By RichardJ on 02 Jan 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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1 gallery images for "The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath"

5350_0Richard1451489278 The Old Plough and Oxshott Heath Pub Walk Image by: RichardJ
Uploaded: 30 Dec 2015
The ornate concrete rail bridge that can be found at Oxshott Heath.


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