Abinger Roughs nature walk

Walking trail

Abinger Roughs has been visited by humans since the Stone Age. Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist who walked on the Roughs in the 1870s. Discover more about the history and wildlife here.

The wildnerness garden known as Abinger Roughs


Abinger Roughs nature trail map


Abinger Roughs car park TQ110480


Start your walk by heading out of the car park through the gap in the fence opposite the notice board. Look out for the green nature trail marker post.

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Get up close to nature by following the trail at Abinger Roughs


Walk past the natural play area and then follow the path as it bends round to the right and begins to descend. The Scots Pine here is a native British tree which loves the sandy soil here. The bark turns from grey to orange as the tree ages. The oldest trees produces cones with seeds which are distributed by squirrels and birds.

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Some of our Scots pine grow really tall


Continue to walk down the slope and down to a small copse at a low point reached over a trackway. There is an old well here that was dug to provide water for cattle and horses. We have now fenced it off to prevent accidents. Look around here to spot an unusual grafting of an American ash tree onto an English ash. Follow the left hand path up the hill and then round to the left. You'll go through some holly and then come out into an open glade.

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Listen to the birdsong in our woodland


This open glade is a lovely spot for a picnic or a game of Frisbee or football. The grassland here supports lots of insects and butterflies. When you're ready to continue walk to the edge of the glade and a junction of paths. Take the second fork to the left along a glorious undulating path

Open glade on Abinger Roughs Surrey


This is one of the most wooded areas of the Roughs. Some of the oaks are over 300 years old. Ancient trees are particularly important for conservation. The hollow trunks create niche habitats, rich in decaying wood, loose bark and perfect for insects, lichen and fungi. Bats, owls and woodpeckers nest in the holes. Take a moment here to enjoy the views.

Abinger Roughs view towards the North Downs


Follow the way markers down the slope and back into the woodland. You'll soon come to a large area of rhododendrons. Charles Darwin often used to walk around the Roughs when he was staying with his friend Thomas Farrer at Abinger Hall.

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The rhododendrons at Abinger Roughs are a sign of spring


Continue along the path, keeping an eye out on your left for the twisted roots and branches of old beech trees. They were planted as hedging to protect against livestock. As you walk out of the woodland you will see the Wilberforce memorial and also an old barn on your left hand side. This is Leasers Barn which was used as a lambing shed for many years. From here, walk up the hill to return to the car park.

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Samuel Wilberforce was killed in a riding accident


Abinger Roughs car park TQ110480

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Abinger Roughs nature walk


Fairly flat terrain with well maintained, but naturally uneven paths which may become muddy in places after wet weather.

Abinger Roughs nature walk

Contact us

Abinger Roughs nature walk

How to get here

White Downs Lane, Abinger Hammer, RH5 6QS
By train

Gomshall or Dorking Deepdene stations; Dorking station.

By road

Head west from Dorking (A25) to Guildford. Just before Abinger Hammer, at The Crossways, head north up Whitedown Lane (opposite Rakes Lane) - the car park is on left.

By foot

Just before Abinger Hammer, at The Crossways, head north and walk up Whitedown Lane (20 minute walk).

By bus

Arriva 22 or 32, alight at bottom of Whitedown Lane (opposite Rakes Lane), then a 20 minute walk up the lane.

By bicycle

Head west from Dorking (A25) towards Guildford. Just before Abinger Hammer, at The Crossways, head north up Whitedown Lane (opposite Rakes Lane) - car park is on left. The National Cycle Network Route 22 passes through Abinger Roughs, for further information visit Sustrans.

Abinger Roughs nature walk

Facilities and access

  • Picnic areas
  • Benches along the trail
  • No toilets
  • Car parking