Wix Woods Walk at Hatchlands Park
Hatchlands Park, East Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7RTRoute details and mapDownload as a print friendly PDF
Hatchlands Park is one of the largest country estates in the green belt surrounding Greater London. This circular walk follows the edge of the park and then cuts across the centre of the estate through woodland and open parkland with distant views of the house and the wider Surrey countryside. Follow the blue arrows on our waymarker posts.
- Bus stop
Start: Hatchlands Park visitor reception, grid ref: TQ0662351842
Leave the car park, passing through the visitor reception, and turn right following the blue arrows for the Wix Woods Walk. Catch a glimpse of the house and garden through the hedges on your left as you climb the hill and continue into the first section of woodland.
Behind the hedges on your left you'll glimpse the house built by Admiral Boscawen in 1756 and the formal gardens landscaped by Repton with a small parterre by Gertrude Jekyll. It's also where you'll find the courtyard tea-room and shop. Drop in and see us when you've finished your walk.
As the woodland path opens out you have the option to temporarily leave the Wix Woods Walk to the right and take a loop through our centenary woodland. Alternatively, continue along the path, passing the centenary picnic area on your way to the gate at the end of this long, straight path.
In 1995 this field (direction 2) was planted with native species, including oak, ash and beech, to mark our centenary. This area is great for birdsong, wildflowers - including white helleborines in spring - and lovely autumn colour. It should provide a leaf canopy by 2095.
Turn left through the kissing gate as the woodland gives way to open parkland. Look left and you'll spot Rookery Pond shaded by trees, to your right Wix Hill Lodge. Continue to the crest of the hill to reach a viewpoint with a bench, then down the other side to Little Wix Wood.
For the best views on the whole estate look no further than the top of Wix Hill. Looking north across beautiful Surrey countryside towards London, on a clear day you can see the arch above Wembley Stadium.
Part way down the hill turn right through the gate into Little Wix Wood. Spectacular in bluebell season, the woodland path here loops to the bottom of the hill and a picnic area.
In April and May Little Wix Wood (direction 4) breaks out into a riot of colour with a carpet of bluebells that stretch from entrance to exit. With a shady canopy allowing for dappled sunshine and a picnic area next door, it's the perfect springtime spot.
At the bottom of the hill exit Little Wix Wood via the picnic area past the timber-framed barn. Head through the kissing gate and turn left along the grass path across the field to reach the field gate at the entrance to Great Wix Wood.
Featuring hand-crafted willow tunnels, domes, balance beams, sculptures and even a totem pole, kids can build dens and run off some energy. There's a bird-feeding station to attract the local wildlife plus handy picnic benches for mums and dads.
Continue through the field gate into Great Wix Wood. This long, wide path continues straight through beautiful woodland, passing the children's natural adventure area, to reach another field gate. Once through the second gate, follow the path as it opens back into open parkland.
Ideal after a walk around the park, find our homely tea-room on the site of the old kitchen. You can enjoy great food, indoors and out. Then head across the courtyard to pick up a souvenir from our shop.
Continue until you reach the point at which two tracks form a crossroads. At this point if you'd like to break for refreshments, head straight on towards the house for the courtyard tea-room and shop. To continue the walk, take the right-hand path towards the tarmac drive and then follow this drive across the parkland until you near Sheepwash Pond.
Surrounded by trees and reeds, this small, peaceful pond is another great picnic spot. A haven for wildlife, you can regularly see Canada geese, Egyptian geese, grey herons, terns and kingfishers here.
As you approach Sheepwash Pond, turn left and head across more parkland with Fullers Farm to your right.
The trail continues to complete the loop and bring you back to the visitor reception and car park.
End: Hatchlands Park visitor reception, grid ref: TQ0662351842
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- Trail: Walking
- Grade: Easy
- Distance: 1.8 miles (2.9 km)
- Time: 1 hour
- OS Map: Landranger 186 and 187; Explorer 145
Natural earth paths, hard surface paths, some open parkland uneven underfoot, with medium gradients. During periods of wet weather low-lying areas of the park, including the bluebell wood, will become muddy. Dogs are welcome on this route.
- How to get here:
By road: Entry from the A246 (Epsom Road) between Guildford and Leatherhead
By train: Clandon 2 miles (3.2km), Horsley 2.5 miles (4km)
By bus: 478/479, from Guildford Bus Station, Monday to Saturday, hourly, 15-minute journey
- Picnic area
- House, garden, museum
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