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Denbies Hillside nature walk


Enjoy an exhilarating walk across Denbies Hillside, named after John Denby, a 17th-century farmer, and discover our wildlife along the way.

Bring your binoculars and spot our wildlife

The walk takes you along part of the North Downs Way National trail, across grassy chalk downland and down through dappled woods. Look out for our Belted Galloway cattle quietly grazing, and the British Bee orchid amongst the grassland.

Denbies Hillside countryside, Surrey
Escape and walk along rolling chalk downland National Trust


Map route for Denbies Hillside nature walk
© Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey


Denbies Hillside car park, grid ref: TQ141503


Leave the car park and walk south through the marked opening into Steers Field. The long grass in this field is much loved by butterflies and grasshoppers.

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Following the orange waymarkers turn left and on through the gates into the woodland. Here you'll see a number of evergreen trees yew, box and juniper. These native trees thrive on the chalk soils. Look out for the giant redwood to your left as you descend the hill. The redwood, which is native to California, was planted during Victorian times.

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At the bottom of the wooded slope, turn right onto the Carriage Road. Walk along the road fringed with various trees including yew, horse chestnut and laburnum. In the valley, on your left, is the Gatwick to Reading railway line which was opened in 1849. If you're lucky you may see a steam train passing by.

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Ready for a rest? Then turn left at the post and venture into the small wood. Enjoy the cool shade and listen to the birds up in the canopy. Return to post 4 and continue on the Carriage Road. At the bend where the road swings left towards the railway line turn right.


Enter the Big Field where you'll find a mixture of scrub including dogwood, hawthorn and dog rose - an excellent place for nesting birds. Continue the steady climb up along the south facing scarp slope. This path is known as Fox Lane and leads up to a now private residence, once the Fox Inn.

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At the top of the field, pass through the gate and join the North Downs Way, the long distance national trail which takes you to Dover in the east or Farnham in the west if you have the time. When you see the Ranmore church spire you've not got far to go. Walk back across the picnic field to the car park.

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Denbies Hillside car park, grid ref: TQ141503

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Denbies Hillside nature walk


Moderate terrain with a fairly steep ascent back to the car park. Well maintained, but naturally uneven paths which may become muddy and slippery after wet weather.

Dogs are welcome. Please keep them on leads when livestock are grazing.

Denbies Hillside nature walk

Contact us

Denbies Hillside nature walk

How to get here

Ranmore Common Road, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6SR
By train

Dorking West station 1.5 miles (2.4km) walk to Denbies Hillside or Dorking Town station.

By road

Exit M25 at J9 (Leatherhead) and take the A24 south towards Dorking. Turn west at the traffic lights, near Dorking railway station, along the A2003 Ashcombe Road. At the mini roundabout continue ahead and then turn right up onto Ranmore Common Road. Carry on up the hill until the road levels out. The National Trust car park will be on your left.

By foot

Comprehensive network of rights of way including the Greensand Way and the North Downs Way National trails. You can also walk from Dorking West railway station and Westcott village.

By bus

Carlone 533 to Ranmore Common (Fridays only); Arriva 21, 22 and 32 to Westcott village and walk.

By bicycle

Join the Surrey Cycleway at Westhumble railway station, near Dorking, to Ranmore Common. See Sustrans for more information.

Denbies Hillside nature walk

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome, please keep them on leads when livestock are grazing