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Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton

There are currently 2 comments and 1 photos online for this walk.

Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton
Author: Explore Surrey, Published: 21 Jan 2016 Walk Rating:star1 Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton Walking Guide star1 Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton Walking Guide star1 Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton Walking Guide star1 Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton Walking Guide star0 Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton Walking Guide
Surrey, Reigate
Walk Type: Garden or park
Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton
Length: 2 miles,  Difficulty: boot Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton Walking Guide boot Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton Walking Guide
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A 3.5km (2 mile) circular easy-access walk around Gatton Park in Surrey, a beautiful area of parkland designed by Lancelot Capability Brown, giving you a glimpse into its diverse history. This walk is part of the Explore Surrey collection, published through a collaboration between iFootpath and Surrey County Council.

Gatton Park is very popular so arrive early on peak days otherwise you may find the car park full. The walk has several slopes throughout, including a couple of quite steep sections. Most of the route follows stone tracks but the sections of path through woodland can be muddy and slippery in places, particularly in wet weather. There are no stiles, steps or kissing gates on route, but you will need to negotiate some staggered barrier gaps alongside vehicle gates (which are approximately 1 metre wide but have tight corners). According to the National Trust, the wide gates alongside these staggered barriers are normally unlocked Easter to October. As such, it would be probably be possible to take a rugged pushchair or disability buggy around the route Easter to October, assuming you can handle the steep sections. Dogs are welcome in Gatton Park, please keep them on leads for the short sections where advised, as sheep are often grazing in the adjacent parkland. Approximate time 1 to 1.5 hours.

There are toilets and a popular cafe kiosk (the Urban Kitchen) in the car park at the start of the walk. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill and 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.

Gatton Park is located to the north of Reigate in Surrey, just south of Junction 8 on the M25. The walk starts and finishes from the free Wray Lane countryside car park. The nearest post code is RH2 0HX, but as the majority of Wray Lane is a one-way street please check your route rather than relying on Sat Nav. From Junction 8 of the M25, take the A217 south towards Reigate. Stay in the left-hand lane (signed to Merstham) and as you approach the junction, ignore the first left (Gatton Bottom) and instead take the next left (Wray Lane). You will find the car park almost immediately on your right. For help with planning your journey by public transport please visit http://journeys.travelsmartsurrey.info.

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Walk Sections

Start to Viewpoint
Start to Viewpoint

Start point: 51.2562 lat, -0.1913 long
End point: 51.2568 lat, -0.1879 long

From the car park, walk back towards the vehicle entrance and join the stone path just to the right of this which leads you to the crossing point on Wray Lane. Cross over and go ahead, passing the National Trust sign that marks the entrance to Gatton Park. This path is also part of the North Downs Way.

Follow the path as it swings right and you will come to a fork with a black metal post. (This is the first of many posts along this circular trail). Keep right, following the path downhill; the park’s original carriage drive. You will come to another fork at the second black metal post, keep left here and follow the driveway as it swings steadily left to reach the third black post at the edge of the fenced section of parkland.

Keep straight ahead, on the relatively level path with the fence running on your right. Soon you will come to a bench on the left, a great place to pause and admire the views across the parkland. Now is a good time to learn a little about the history of your surroundings. Gatton Park, an area of 600 acres, was landscaped in the mid-1700s. Historically, deer would have been enclosed in parklands, but over the centuries they evolved into formal landscapes designed to impress and display the wealth of the owner. The last private owner of the Gatton estate was Jeremiah Colman, most famous for Colman’s Mustard. In 1934 a fire gutted the main house and in 1948 the estate was sold to the Royal Alexandra and Albert School. Today, the furthest half of the estate is managed by the Gatton Trust (with public access on a few days per year) and this half is managed by the National Trust (with public access all year round).

Viewpoint to Stone Circle
Viewpoint to Stone Circle

Start point: 51.2568 lat, -0.1879 long
End point: 51.2604 lat, -0.1793 long

Continue along the path, with the fence still on your right. Where the fence ends, keep ahead as the path continues steadily downhill between trees. Further along, you will pass Black Post 4 on your left, standing beside a lone yew tree. Simply continue on the main carriage drive, still descending steadily. Towards the bottom, the path runs close to a road on your left, so keep children and dogs close.

At the bottom, the path leads you past the white stone Tower Lodge on your left. Built of Gatton Stone, this was once one of the main park entrances, but today has been converted into private cottages. Immediately after the lodge, you will see Black Post 5 marking a T-junction. Turn right to join the tarmac vehicle access lane. Soon you will come to another bench on the right should you wish to pause again and enjoy the views.

Follow the vehicle track through a gateway ahead and you will come to the Stone Circle within a pasture on your right. The Stone Circle was commissioned as part of the millennium celebrations of the year 2000. It comprises 10 standing stones, each carved from Caithness Stone and each one representing a 200-year time period within the 2000 years. The first stone is inscribed with words from St John’s Gospel and the subsequent nine stones are each inscribed with quotations contemporary with one 200-year period after this, including Shakespeare and TS Elliot.

Stone Circle to Nut Wood
Stone Circle to Nut Wood

Start point: 51.2604 lat, -0.1793 long
End point: 51.2538 lat, -0.1811 long

Continue along the driveway as it bears left, until you reach a fingerpost just before reaching a set of properties. Turn sharp right here, leaving the North Downs Way to join the signed bridleway and passing Black Post 6 on your left. Follow the bridleway leading you between fences with the Stone Circle now in the field on your right.

On the left, you will pass one of the lakes within the parkland, hop garden pond. Gatton Park was landscaped by the leading landscape architect of the time, Lancelot Capability Brown. The parkland is typical of his most impressive creations with uninterrupted grassland punctuated by clumps of trees planted on prominent mounds to exaggerate their size. From this lake, a series of linking ponds wind their way down the valley to the largest lake at the bottom. Hop garden pond feeds the engine pond via an underground culvert. The overflow from the engine pond passes over the cascade, through the Japanese garden and into the serpentine. The serpentine is a long winding canal which winds along the western edge of the park. This feature was one of Brown’s trademarks and would have been used for punting and as a place to stroll in the evening. The serpentine then falls into the main lake again through a culvert. The ponds all sit within the Gatton Trust section of the parkland and can be visited for a small fee on several open days each year or at the annual Countryside Fair.

Beyond the lake, the bridleway begins to climb steadily, leading you through the centre of the parkland. Views soon open up on your left, down across the parkland lakes and beyond to the continuation of the North Downs ridge. At the top of the slope, you will approach some houses and farm buildings, with a garden fence beginning on your left. A few metres along, keep right at the fork, passing alongside the wide vehicle gate. 20 paces later, you will see Black Post 7 on your left. Turn sharp right here to join the stone track leading steeply up into Nut Wood. (In fact, all the woodland paths in Nut Wood are open access so you are welcome to follow an alternative route if you prefer).

Nut Wood to End
Nut Wood to End

Start point: 51.2538 lat, -0.1811 long
End point: 51.2564 lat, -0.1913 long

Pass alongside the next wide gate and then stay ahead on the main track leading you steadily uphill. You will find another bench on your right where you will be rewarded with excellent views (perhaps the best so far) across the park and far beyond. Stay with the woodland path as it swings left and continues to climb.

Eventually the path begins to level off, bearing left to reach a wide wooden gate. Pass through the gap to the left of this and you will come to a T-junction with a bench on your right and Black Post 8 on your left. Turn right and follow the track climbing steadily once again to reach the highest point in the park.

Beyond the brow of the hill, follow the main track which leads you down to a vehicle gate ahead. Pass through the gap to the right of this and stay with the path as it swings right with a fence now running on your right. Here you will have your final view across the parkland. Keep ahead, climbing steadily, to reach Black Post 9 on your left. Bear right, staying with the fence line on your right and continue until you reach the next black post, this is Black Post 3 that you passed on your outward leg. From this point you will be retracing your steps back to the car park.

To do this, turn left at Black Post 3 and stay with the main path as it swings right (passing Black Post 2). Simply stay with this main path which will lead you back to the car park where the walk began. Before you leave, it is worth spending some time enjoying the amazing views to the south from the car park. You may like to get yourself some refreshments from the Urban Kitchen kiosk and spend some time on one of the many benches or deck chairs here.

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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network Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2016 by the author exploresurrey and may not be reproduced without permission.


2 comments for "Explore Surrey: Discover Gatton"

Since my earlier posting, I contacted National Trust to enquire about the vehicle gates. They kindly informed me that they would be locked between October and Easter to prevent horses churning up the footpath in the winter months but other than that they should be left unlocked.

ADMIN RESPONSE: Thank you for finding out this info Julie, it's really helpful. We have added it to the access paragraph in the walk introduction so that future walkers have the latest facts.

By Jules19 on 12 Dec 2016

Just completed this walk today on my Tramper (after the Colley Hill/Reigate Hill one as the parking at the start of this walk is impossible). All the 3 vehicle gates were fortunately unlocked or open as the narrow chicanes to the side of them would not have been negotiable. Good walk with an all terrain mobility scooter if you are prepared to take a chance with the gates.

By Jules19 on 11 Aug 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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AB 123 456

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Introduction to iFootpath

iFootpath provides a mechanism to capture and share details of walks, but it is worth explaining the essential structure of a walk as they are stored in the iFootpath database. The basic concept is that a walk consists of any number of sections that are joined end to end. For each section we might want to describe views or other points of interest about that part of the walk.

The database that underpins iFootpath provides the mechanisms to store the structure and details of each walk, descriptions, photographs and mapping data for the overall walk and each section of it. It is not mandatory to enter information into every single field in the forms we provide, although some basic details are essential to ensure the walk database stays manageable and searcheable.

Each walk entered can be shared with all other iFootpath users, but before a walk (and its sections) are shared there are three stages it must go through. The first stage is as a "Draft". When a walk is in draft it is only visible and editable by you, the author of that walk. Whilst it is in draft form you can add sections, photographs, further description and refine it as you see fit. You can do as little or as much as you like. However, it is worth remembering that if someone (you) wants to print it off and take it as a walking guide, then it is worth taking the time to detail each section reasonably concisely. Long descriptions are generally distracting when walking and a short, concise version is usually much easier to use.

When you are happy with the walk description and its sections you can set the status to "Ready". This does not yet make it visible to everyone. It does, however, lock the editing (although you can change it back to draft and continue editing) and alerts the systems administrators that it requires reviewing prior to being "Published". When set to "Ready" the walk will be reviewed to check it contains the basic data needed and to ensure the content is clean. We do not allow content to include obscenities, swearing or other offensive language or pictures. This review does not check the walk for accuracy; whilst we would love to test each and every walk through walking we simply do not have the time. If we do find something wrong with the walk we will contact you and ask that it is fixed prior to marking it as "Published".

Once the walk is published it is now visible to any user of iFootpath and is therefore in the public domain given that anyone can register and access iFootpath. You are therefore responsible that any photographs used in your walk description are not infringing copyright. See our terms and conditions for further information on what we do and do not allow.

Published walks are available to all users of iFootpath and are listed in the walk browser to read or print and will be listed in the iPhone/iPod Touch application for download.

Walks in iFootpath

A walk in iFootpath is an introduction to the overall walk, identification of where it is and starts, some overview notes and general commentary.

Title (required)

A walk title should provide a brief indication of where or what the walk is. Walk titles do not have to be unique.

Description (required)

This provides a text area where you can describe the walk. Explain what you love about the walk, what makes it different and what people will see. In addition try to answer all the questions you might ask before going on a route. What sort of paths does the walk use? Any steep accents/descents? Are there any stiles? Are people likely to come across horse/cows/sheep?

County (required)

The county in which the walk starts is essential to help finding the walk in the database. Some walks may straddle more than one county - we suggest you select the county in which the walk starts or is mostly within.

Area (optional)

This field can be used, if you wish, to further identify where the walk is. This is particularly useful for large counties.

Walk Type (required)

To help quickly finding the right type of walk this provides a basic walk classification or type. Some walks may span two of these types - please use the type that fits the majority of the walk.

Length (required)

The length (in miles) of a walk is an approximation of the overall distance walked, not a measure of the distance "as the crow flies". iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the GPX file that has been uploaded.

Grade (required)

The grade of a walk is an indicator of how difficult it is to walk. This does not take into account the walk length but does suggest how challenging the walk will be. An easy walk, graded as 1 (and shown as 1 walking boot) indicates a walk that is essentially flat, has no sharp hills to climb, has no stiles or other obstacles, is easy to navigate (probably along a well worn path) and is suitable for most levels of fitness. Do be aware that the level of stamina required will vary and you should only walk within your limits - the indication of walk length will help with this. A difficult walk, graded as 5 (and represented by 5 boots) indicates a walk that is strenuous and involves steep ascents and/or descents. It may be technically challenging involving difficult terrain or obstacles.

Please note that the grading for walks is subjective and open to interpretation and should only be used as a guide when selecting a walk.

Map Ref / Start Point (optional)

The walk start point is an Ordnance Survey map reference to pinpoint the start point of the walk. This should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Map Link (optional)

This optional field allows you to include a link to a web page containing a map showing the walk start. This is not the place to include any other links and the system will reject links to anything but Streetmap or Google Maps.

Start Point Co-ordinates (optional)

This pair of fields allows you to enter the longitude and latitude for the start point. iFootpath automatically completes this field based on the uploaded GPX file.

Key Image (required)

This is the main photograph used to illustrate the walk and can, if you wish, be the only photograph used of the walk. We recommend that you use a picture that characterises the walk, if possible, to show potential walkers what they might find or see. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

There are many image editing and manipulation applications available, so many that we cannot make particular recommendations although almost all are excellent. Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. This creates a file that is well under 2Mb in size, contains plenty of detail and displays well in almost any browser. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission. If you are concerned about image theft then we also suggest you include a small watermark in any corner of the image, but please remember that large watermarks that hide the image will not be popular with viewers!

Pdf file

Pdf file for walk

Icon (recommended)

The icon is a small image, 60 pixels square, used to provide a label for the walk when displayed in lists or in iFootpath Mobile. It is recommended that a small, square image for such use is created and uploaded. This should be in JPEG, GIF, BMP or PNG format and less than 100Kb in size. If you do not provide an icon the walk will be automatically given a generic system icon. If you do upload a photograph for the walk icon its size will be checked by the system and it will automatically be resized to 60 pixels square. However, please also note that if the image is not square in format it may be cropped and you will not get the result you might have expected. Just thought you should know!

Getting There (required)

This provides a text area to explain how to get to the start of the walk. It is good to include a post code.

Preview

This function allows you to see how your published walk would look, before you submit as 'Ready' for review.

Status

When a walk is created and saved in iFootpath its status is automatically set to 'Draft'. This implies that you are still working on it and may want to come back later to add walk sections, images or other information. When you are ready for the walk to be shared with other iFootpath registered users then the status should be changed to 'Ready'. This will automatically notify the system that you want to share the walk. The system will check to ensure you have completed the required information and alert a reviewer. The reviewer will read through to check the content is clean and consistent with our terms of use. This does not check the accuracy of the walk details or any other information. If there are issues with the contents you will be contacted by email. The walk status will also be reset to 'Draft' in this case. More likely, however, that everything is fine in which case its status will be set to 'Published' at which point it becomes available for viewing and downloading by any registered user of iFootpath. This includes download to iFootpath Mobile.

Filters

Filters allow you to narrow down your search for walks of interest. By County restricts the list of walks to those in the selected County. The Filters links at the top of the list page allow you to jump quickly to the filters or to clear them.

Keyword Search

The Keyword search facility will search through the walk descriptions and notes to find words or phrases you specify.

My GPX Files

This page gives you the list of GPX files that you have uploaded from iFootpath mobile (or from other sources). You are able to view, edit, delete or download these files. Once you are happy with your GPX file you can 'convert to walk' to create a draft walk based on this data. This walk will appear under 'Manage My Walks'.

Manage My Walks

The list of walks presented are those you have written and entered into iFootpath. From here you can filter the list if you have lots to narrow down your search, list all or just those with a particular status. If you select a 'Published' or 'Ready' walk you will see a read-only version of your walk, although if 'Ready' you can reset status to 'Draft' again for further editing.

Walk Sections in iFootpath

Each walk section represents a particular piece of a walking route. The start and end of each section are defined by waypoints. Each section joins onto the next to form the complete walk. There is no limit to the number of sections a walk can have, but on a long walk we recommend breaking the route down into manageable pieces that are delineated by particular landmarks, turnings or changes in obvious route. Each section has its own photograph and descriptive text which should hold a photograph that illustrates the section and any instructions or other notes you want to add that may be of use in helping navigation or pointing things out.

Section Title (required)

The section title is used to provide a short name for the section. It is useful in section titles to provide an indication of the start and end, so using names of landmarks, roads, etc is a useful aid. Sections will be named automatically as the name of the waypoint at the end of that section. It is recommended that you rename the sections as something more useful to walkers.

Section Description (required)

This field is used to provide as much information as you wish about the walk section. This should include notes on navigation, even if obvious, and any further information you care to share about views, historical notes, things to look for, etc.

Key Image (recommended)

A picture can save many words and will often be very useful in helping to navigate or spot things along the route. The picture must be in any of the main image formats (JPEG, GIF, BMP, PNG) and image files up to 2Mb in size are permitted. Once an image is uploaded it will be resized automatically and a smaller version saved that is optimised for viewing on both this website and iFootpath Mobile.

Our preferred way of saving images for iFootpath is to save or export them at a maximum size of 1024x1024 pixels as a JPEG file. Please be sure that you own the copyright to any images uploaded - you must have taken them yourself or have explicit permission.

Map Ref (optional)

This allows the OS Map reference for the start and end of the section to be entered. These should be in the format:

AB 123 456

Further details of this system can be seen on the Ordnance Survey website.

Start/End Point (optional)

This provides the facility to capture the co-ordinates for the start and end points of the walk section. iFootpath will automatically complete this field based on the GPX file used to create the walk.

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