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|Inspiring Views Trail|
|Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 22 Sep 2016||Walk rating : Rating:|
|Surrey, Surrey Hills|
|A 5.5 mile circular walk within the Surrey Hills which celebrates the Inspiring Views art project, visiting a number of beautiful viewpoints and discovering the sculptural benches and poetry inspired by these. You will be taken on a peaceful journey through the densely wooded rolling hills, interspersed with breath-taking viewpoints and artwork. The Inspiring Views project, the brainchild of Surrey Hills Arts, aims to discover, reveal and interpret the views from the Surrey Hills. The artworks respond to the location and incorporate seating providing a reason to visit, pause and appreciate the outstanding view. A poet and sound artist have also created a response to the viewpoints to further enhance the visitor experience. |
The walk has several climbs and descents throughout, including a couple of fairly steep sections. The steepest climb and descent, over Pitch Hill, can easily be excluded if you prefer. The route follows paths and bridleways through woodland and open grassland, and many sections can be very muddy at times so good boots are a must (or wellingtons with grips in the winter months). You will need to negotiate a few steps plus a kissing gate and two stiles. Both stiles have gaps alongside for dogs and, if necessary, the stiles can be avoided be excluding the arm to the Alderbrook Viewpoint. There is no livestock on route. The final stretch, climbing back onto the Greensand Ridge, can get overgrown with bracken in the late summer. There is one short stretch along the edge of a golf course, so take care of any stray flying balls at this point. Allow 3 hours.
The walk starts and finishes from Car Park 5 (managed by the Friends of the Hurtwood), the Winterfold Donkins Car Park, which is accessed from Winterfold Heath Road. (NOTE: This road is incorrectly labled Greensand Lane on Google Maps). Exit the A25 (Dorking to Guildford Road) at Shere village and head south on Hound House Road. After about 2 miles, fork right onto the road signed to Winterfold. Take the next right (Winterfold Heath Road), a narrow lane which contains many of the car parks managed by the Friends of the Hurtwood. You will pass car parks 4, 12 and 13 – keep going until you reach Car Park 5 on the left-hand side. There is no postcode for the car park, the nearest post code is GU5 9EN (which will take you to just a couple of streets away).
|Start to Winterfold View|
Start point: 51.1736 lat, -0.4805 long
Standing at the back of Car Park 5, facing the beautiful view, turn left along the sandy path. Just a few metres along, you will see the first of the Inspiring Views sculptural benches on Winterfold Hill, just through the trees to your right. Fork right to reach this shelter and viewpoint and take time to pause and enjoy the surroundings.
|Winterfold View to Reynards View|
Start point: 51.173 lat, -0.48 long
When you have finished at Perspectives, retrace your steps back to the main path and turn right to continue your journey along this. Follow this main path ahead, ignoring any small side turns. The path is part of the Greensand Way and is waymarked with yellow and black GW arrows.
|Reynards View to Ewhurst Windmill|
Start point: 51.1699 lat, -0.4666 long
This bench is called Contour, created for the Inspiring Views project by sculptor Russell Jakubowski. For this design, Russell was inspired by the layers of marine sedimentation, contours of the land and the visible forms and cycles of nature on the Greensand Ridge. Russell carried out research into recycled plastic sheets as an environmental, robust alternative to wood. Sixty sheets of the wave like shapes have been bolted together to create the Contour bench, sitting at this breath-taking view point at Reynards Hill.
|Ewhurst Windmill to Pitch Hill|
Start point: 51.1729 lat, -0.4604 long
Just a few paces beyond the mill, you will come to a junction with a tarmac track. Turn right along this and, just before the entrance gate for Four Winds, fork left onto the narrow sunken path leading you downhill with a fence running on your right. NOTE: Take care as this stretch is fairly steep and rutted. At the bottom of the slope, pass through the gateway and continue on the short stretch of driveway to reach a junction with the road.
|Pitch Hill to Rapsley Farm|
Start point: 51.1699 lat, -0.4532 long
Your path down from Pitch Hill is the narrow one on your right, in between the trig point and donation box cairn. But first, it is worth walking ahead across the open plateau to reach the simple bench on your right to take in the expansive views. When you are ready to continue, head back to the trig point and take the path (now on your left) after the trig point but before the donation cairn.
|Rapsley Farm to Wooden Footbridge|
Start point: 51.163 lat, -0.4576 long
Just beyond the farm, ignore the footpath signed off to the right, instead continue ahead on the tarmac access drive. At the T-junction, turn right onto the tarmac drive heading for Wykehurst Farm. Continue as this becomes a stone track, passing a horse paddock on your right and then continuing into trees. At the end of this short stretch of trees, you will come to a choice of tracks and paths ahead.
|Wooden Footbridge to Alderbrook View|
Start point: 51.1574 lat, -0.4691 long
At the far side of the bridge, turn immediately left on a path which leads you through a stretch of coppiced trees and then bears right, emerging out to the edge of a golf course. NOTE: This next stretch of path does not cross any fairways or ranges, but all the same keep your eyes peeled for any stray flying golf balls.
|Alderbrook View to Colmans Farmhouse|
Start point: 51.1581 lat, -0.4822 long
This bench was commissioned by the Alderbrook Estate and is called Xylem Voices, created for the Inspiring Views project by sculptor Walter Bailey. Walter had already created one sculpture, called Xylem, for Inspiring Views (located on Gibbet Hill). This bench further develops the theme and inspiration of Xylem, which explores the structure of charcoal. This time a sextet of xylem vessels, carved in oak, appear to call out across the landscape, perhaps with the sound of the water rising up the xylem vessels of an oak. Mature oaks can drink over 1,000 litres of water per day, this must be a seriously symphonic sound.
|Colmans Farmhouse to End|
Start point: 51.167 lat, -0.4747 long
A few metres further ahead, you will come to a fork in the woodland bridleway. Keep left at this fork and follow this bridleway winding through the trees. Further along it follows a stretch of tall wire fencing on your left, the boundary for the grounds of Alderbrook Park.
Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.
Excellent directions until the last scramble to the top at car park 5! (Took the wrong path!)
|By jezcook on 2016-09-25 18:23:35|
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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Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
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Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!