Box Hill butterfly walk long route

Walking trail

Box Hill offers a mix of chalk grassland paddocks rich in wildflowers, such as the rare native box, and sweeping areas of yew and broad-leaved woodland on steep slopes above Dorking. Please note Box Hill is receiving high visitor numbers at the moment. This is creating a hot spot which could put both local residents and visitors at risk, and put local emergency services under pressure. Please park responsibly, and if the area is busy on your arrival please help us keep everyone safe by coming back another time.

Enjoy the abundant wildlife and wildflowers

This is one of the richest areas for butterflies in Britain, with more than 40 species occurring annually, including silver-spotted skipper, chalkhill, Adonis and small blues, dark-green and silver-washed fritillaries and white admiral and purple emperor.

Male adonis blue butterfly


Map route for Box Hill butterfly walk (long route)


The Old Fort servery and shop, grid ref: TQ178513


With your back towards the food servery, turn left past the Learning Space and take the track, past the vehicle barrier, by the wood edge that leads down slope, past the Old Fort. Stay on this broad stoney track as it runs along the bottom of a steep grassy bank on your left, and above mixed woodland.

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A Marbled White butterfly at Stonehenge


Turn right down first set of steps, that run down through a belt of yew woodland, cross stile and continue down steps on to steep north-facing chalk grassland slope. Follow path into the bottom of the valley, to the right of the horseshoe bend in the road.

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 Dark green fritillary


Bear left and uphill along the sheep track just above the road bend, and follow this track as it ambles gently upslope. Follow it to the end, above the next horseshoe bend, coming out on to the road via a short set of steps.

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Grizzled Skipper Butterfly


Cross Zig-Zag Hill road, bearing slightly to the left and aiming for another short set of steps leading into another downland paddock. This paddock is worth exploring, but your exit path is in the top left-hand corner - the broad path leading through light woodland to The Tower.

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Chalkhill blue (male)


Near The Tower (a folly), turn right down a narrow path through woodland. Carry on down this path, bearing slightly left and avoiding turns to the right. Carry on down a set of steps near the bottom of the wooded slope, that leads into an area of open grassland in Juniper Bottom.

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Speckled wood butterfly


Turn right on to the vehicle track in Juniper Bottom. Follow this all the way along and up this narrow valley with steep wooded sides and flowery grassland glades. The path steadily climbs into woodland.

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White admiral butterfly


Near the woodland summit, at a glade where five paths meet, by a large yew tree, turn first right at this staggered cross rides. Follow this track, over a cross rides, back towards the car park, shop, toilets and servery. The last part of this path is part of the Children's Play Trail.

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Comma - Polygonia c-album


The Old Fort servery and shop, grid ref: TQ178513

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Box Hill butterfly walk long route


Steeply undulating but dry ground, with steep ascents and descents, through woodland and chalk downland. Some steps. Some steep downhill paths may be slippery after rain.

Dogs welcome under close control near sheep.

Box Hill butterfly walk long route

Contact us

Box Hill butterfly walk long route

How to get here

The Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7LB
By train

Dorking Station, 1 mile (1.6km); Box Hill & Westhumble Station, ½ mile (0.8km).

By road

1 mile (1.6km) north of Dorking, 2½ miles (4km) south of Leatherhead on A24. Postcode for Sat Nav: KT20 7LB.

By foot

1 mile (1.6km) of North Downs Way from Stepping Stones to South Scarp; 1 mile (1.6km) from Thames Down link footpath at Mickleham Downs; 1 mile (1.6km) from Dorking station (1½ mile (2.4km) 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.

Box Hill butterfly walk long route

Facilities and access

  • Dogs welcome, please keep them on leads near sheep