Box Hill's Natural Play Trail

Visitor Centre, The Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7LB

Route details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Welcome to the start of Natural Play on Box Hill © Sarah Russell

Welcome to the start of Natural Play on Box Hill

Having fun den building in the woods © National Trust/Julie Tucker

Having fun den building in the woods

Be brave and balance on a fallen tree © John Millar

Be brave and balance on a fallen tree

Route overview

This is a two-mile level walk and your chance to play in the woods. The trail takes anything from an hour to a whole day. There are lots of trees and structures to climb on; these might be muddy and slippery.

Route details

See this step-by-step route marked on a map

Box Hill's natural play trail
  • Directions
  • Route
  • Bus stop
  • Parking
  • Toilet
  • Viewpoint

Start: National Trust visitor centre at the top of Box Hill, grid ref: TQ178513

  1. Start your adventure at the visitor centre at the top of Box Hill. Carefully cross the road and hop along the stepping stones to the Natural Play Trail archway. Walk under the arch or scramble through the tunnel. Walk, crawl, hop, skip and jump along the path to the next feature.

    Show/HideNatural Play Trail

    This is where the fun begins.

    Welcome to the start of Natural Play on Box Hill © Sarah Russell
  2. Venture through the tree archway and come back onto the main footpath. Take a left on the path which heads away from the main car park. Follow the path as it goes round the edge of the Donkey Green. The big beech trees have brilliant knobbly roots to climb around.

  3. Stay on the path as it curves to the left and heads into the woods. The path almost immediately forks; you need to take the right hand fork. Continue along this path, keeping a look out to your right. After a while, veer off the path to reach a hidden playful place. You can then loop back towards the path. At the big yew tree you can rejoin the path by turning right onto it.

  4. You'll reach a five-way crossroad. The play trail continues by following the second path on your left. Before doing this, there are lots of loose branches lying around - perfect for making a den. Lots of the Yew trees here are great for climbing on too. Follow the second path on your left from the crossroads. On your right, you can have a closer look at the roots of a fallen tree or climb all the way along it. Carry on along the path.

    Show/HideDen making

    Use your imagination to build a den with whatever materials you can find.

    Having fun den building in the woods © National Trust/Julie Tucker
  5. The path forks, take the left hand fork. Shortly the path splits again, take the right hand path and carry on along it. Look out for a play feature on your right.

  6. Cross the woods using the log bridge shortcut on your left, if you don't want to do that, you can carry on along the path. Take the left turn and then left again at the T-junction. You are close to Broadwood's tower now where there are some lovely views. As you walk along the path, keep an eye out for a log bridge on your right. You can be adventurous here and cross this to the more playful pathway. If you've got a buggy with you, you might prefer to stay on the main path.

    Show/HideBalancing skills

    How far can you walk along a fallen tree?

    Be brave and balance on a fallen tree © John Millar
  7. Rejoin the main pathway by crossing the second bridge and turning right. Continue along the track, ignoring any paths turning off it. There are lots of places to stop for a sit down and a rest. Watch out for the magical picnic table on your left. Carry on along this main pathway. Look for a secret play place hidden between the trees.

  8. Come back to the path which will bring you back to the Donkey Green, with lots of open space to continue playing.

End: National Trust visitor centre at the top of Box Hill

  • Trail: Walking
  • Grade: Easy
  • Distance: 2 miles (3.2km)
  • Time: As long as you like - from one hour to a whole day
  • OS Map: Landranger 187
  • Terrain:

    Level terrain that can get muddy. The play trail has lots of trees and other things to climb on. These may be muddy and slippery.

  • How to get here:

    By foot: 1 mile (1.6km) of North Downs Way from Stepping Stones to South Scarp; 1 mile (1.6km) of Thames Down link footpath at Mickleham Downs; 1 mile (1.6km) from Dorking station (½ (0.8km) mile from Boxhill station). Many rights of way lead to Box Hill summit

    By bus: Sunray Travel 516 Leatherhead station to Dorking to Box Hill east car park (not Sundays or Bank Hols); Arriva 465 Kingston to Dorking to foot of Box Hill, 1½ miles (2.4km) to summit

    By train: Box Hill and Westhumble 1.5 miles (2.4km)

    By car: 1 mile (1.6km) north of Dorking, 2½ (4km) miles south of Leatherhead on A24

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