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|Explore Surrey: Walk the Chalk|
|Author: Explore Surrey, Published: 23 Mar 2015||Walk rating : Rating:|
|A 7.5 mile (12km) linear walk from Dorking to Gomshall railway stations, via some of the finest chalk grassland in Surrey. The scenery is spectacular and the area is rich in wildlife. The return leg can be completed by a simple train or bus journey (although the services are quite infrequent, so plan your timings before you set out). This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council. |
The walk includes several long-steady and shorter-steep climbs and descents throughout. The paths through woodland and chalk grassland are generally firm but can get very muddy after rain and in the winter months, so good stout boots are required all year and wellingtons with grips are recommended in winter. You will need to negotiate some steps and kissing gates, but there are no stiles on route. At certain times of the year sheep and cattle are used to graze some sections of the chalk grassland as part of the conservation, so take particular care with dogs. The route is waymarked with a green/white arrow symbol with a pedestrian in the centre. Allow 3.5 hours.
Refreshments are only available at the start and end of the walk. The Lincoln Arms is situated alongside Dorking Station at the start of the walk. The last half mile of the walk leads you through Gomshall where you will find a number of pubs, restaurants and shops. Ordnance Survey Maps: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate and Explorer 145 Guildford and Farnham. This walk follows public rights of way that cross public, private and National Trust land. Information is included for your interest, but please respect National Trust bylaws, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.
The walk starts at Dorking railway station and finishes at Gomshall railway station. The return leg can be completed by a single 7 minute train journey, although this service is fairly infrequent (every 2 hours on the day we travelled) so check times before you set out. The return train will take you to Dorking Deepdene Station which is just next door to Dorking Station. Alternatively, there is a bus service from Gomshall to Dorking which takes approximately 20 minutes. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info. If you are coming by car, Dorking Station has a large pay and display car park with a daily fee of £6.10 Mon-Fri, £3.40 Sat and £2 Sun and Bank Holidays (correct March 2015). Approximate post code RH4 1TF.
|Start to Denbies Hillside|
Start point: 51.2404 lat, -0.3247 long
The walk starts from the edge of the pay and display car park at Dorking Station, opposite the Lincoln Arms pub. Walk down the subway and follow this to the far end, then take the steps which swing right back to the pavement alongside the dual carriageway. Turn left along the pavement, heading towards the traffic lights. At the traffic lights, turn left along Ashcombe Road (A2003) passing Ashcombe School on the left.
|Denbies Hillside to Landbarn T Junction|
Start point: 51.2381 lat, -0.3415 long
Turn left here, following the path past the National Trust sign. Follow the main path (ignoring any forks left and right) and you will emerge to a T-junction with a larger track. Turn left along this track. Ignore any paths off to the left and right and carry on along the track for the next two miles, climbing steadily for the first half and then descending steadily for the second half.
|Landbarn T Junction to North Downs Way|
Start point: 51.236 lat, -0.3783 long
Turn right along the track and pass through the gate. NOTE: this area – and several others from this point on – may be used for conservation grazing so take care with dogs. Follow the track ahead, following the fence line on the left. Continue ahead on this track for a mile, ignoring any paths signed off left and right.
|North Downs Way to Beggars Lane|
Start point: 51.2322 lat, -0.3954 long
Turn left along the North Downs Way (waymarked with the acorn symbol which denotes a National Trail). Follow this path passing several more pillboxes along the way. The views are outstanding and viewpoints along the North Downs were strategically important during the Second World War, which is why so many pillboxes were built here.
|Beggars Lane to Churchfield Track|
Start point: 51.2275 lat, -0.4307 long
Go straight ahead, continuing on the North Downs Way. Just a little way along, take the first kissing gate on the left, signed as a public footpath. You are now leaving the North Downs Way and entering Hackhurst Downs. Hackhurst Downs supports the largest remaining juniper population on the North Downs. Thirteen different invertebrate species rely on these ancient trees for their survival.
|Churchfield Track to End|
Start point: 51.2223 lat, -0.4451 long
Go straight ahead at this crossroads, using the two kissing gates. Further along, the path leads you between steep banks down to a T-junction with a road, Colekitchen Lane. Turn left along the lane (an ancient sunken lane) taking care of any traffic. If the lane is quiet enough, take a moment to look at the banks which are home to large badger setts.
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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|Image by: dveal |
Uploaded: 01 May 2016
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