Bookham Commons activity trail

Walking trail

Bookham Commons is a widely varied landscape, ranging from shady woodlands, to open grassland plains, to marshy ponds and wetlands. This provides a wonderful set of habitats for lots of wildlife. See how much you can spot as you wander along the paths.

Map

Map for trail

Start:

Tunnel car park, KT23 3LT, Grid Reference TQ130557

1

Start at the Tunnel car park, so called because the Guildford to London railway runs under a bridge by the car park. At the fork take the right hand surfaced path. You will pass by lots of brambles, rowan trees and elders which produce luscious berries in autumn time.

Elderberries line the paths at bookham Commons

2

The path will cross a small stream and you will reach a T junction. Turn left here signposted to the bird hide. After 20 yards you will find the path to the bird hide overlooking the Upper Eastern Pond. When you have finished with the pond continue along the path through the oak woodland. Keep an eye out for roe deer among the trees and also for buzzards flying overhead. You will pass more ponds on your left hand side which were created as fish ponds for the monks of Chertsey Abbey.

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Teal duck on Bookham Commons Surrey

3

The path comes to a junction of many paths by Merrits Cottage. Take the surfaced path on your right which follows a course between Hill House Wood and the Central Wood. Listen carefully to the birdsong. Some birds, such as robins, blackbirds and tits are vocal with song and calls throughout the year. The peak time is spring though, when birds sing more loudly to attract mates. Lots of birdsong means the wood is dense enough for birds to feel safe to build nests and raise young. In autumn time you may see fungi here such as fly agaric, chicken of the woods and wood blewit.

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First, collect your sticks...

4

After 300-400 yards, the path comes to an open glade. The surfaced path turns to the right, but you should take the left hand path and follow it to the Hundred Pound Bridge. We often harvest oak from this part of the wood for use on other parts of our estate. Some of our 'king' oak and holly trees dates back 500 years when the Commons provided wood for housing and shipbuilding. Records indicate that oak was taken from here for use in the building of Henry VIII's palace at Nonsuch in Cheam.

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Looking up at the oak trees on Bookham Commons

5

The Hundred Pound Bridge is a great place to play pooh sticks! Take a breather here before heading down the surfaced path, or if you wish to be more adventurous you can take the bridle path, a little further to the right. The bridle path goes through the Western plain and the area was once open grassland, grazed by cattle. Today this is a prime hunting ground for goshawks and sparrow hawks, so bring your binoculars!

Fox on Bookham Commons Surrey

6

The surfaced path will come back to the junction at Merritts Cottage. (If you've followed the bridle path, you'll come to a path and turn left.) From Merritts Cottage head straight down back down the surfaced track to the Tunnel Car Park/Bookham Station. On your left hand side is an open area of sandy soil supporting different plants, such as heather, gorse, and purple moor-grass. On your right hand side you will see the path to the Natural Play area - click on the button to learn more.

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Test your skills on the natural play area at Bookham Commons

7

The path will continue through woodland and you will come out by the car park. Well done! You have completed the trail and hopefully discovered lots of new things about Bookham Commons. Come back soon!

Winter sunshine Bookham Commons Surrey

End:

Tunnel car park, KT23 3LT, Grid Reference TQ130557

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Bookham Commons activity trail

Terrain

Flat terrain and most of the walk is along surfaced paths. The ground can be muddy after wet weather.

Bookham Commons activity trail

How to get here

Address
Tunnel car park, Church Road, Great Bookham, Surrey, KT23 3LT
By road
Exit M25 at J9 (Leatherhead) and take A246, Leatherhead to Guildford road, to Great Bookham. In Great Bookham, head north up the High Street, over the crossroads and then up Church Road to the Commons
Parking: National Trust car park at the end of Church Road and Bookham Street.
Bookham Commons activity trail

Facilities and access

  • Car parks at Church Road, Cobham Road and by the Hundred Pound Bridge
  • No toilets