Whitehill to Mickleham walk
Whitehill in Surrey is part of the wider Box Hill estate. It comprises mainly woodland and commands beautiful views over the Surrey Hills.
Cockshot National Trust car park, RH5 6DG
Once you've parked up at Cockshot car park, walk along the back of the car park, close to the edge of the woods which will be on your right hand side.
After about 200 metres, ignore the fork in the path to the right, but continue along the valley.
The path enters the woods and rises quite steeply at first but then becomes more gentle. Continue along this path which is generally wooded. After about 500 metres, the path opens out to the left (marked 3 on the map) and there is a view over to Box Hill in the near distance.
After a further 600 metres, the path emerges into a clearing with a seat (marked 4 on the map). If you look straight ahead from here you can see Leith Hill and to your left, Box Hill. At the seat take the right hand path (up the hill) and follow it as it swings left and begins to fall gradually, still in woodland. You'll soon reach a wide trackway which is Stane Street - the former Roman Road which ran from Chichester to London. Please note that this section of the trackway is a byway, so motorised traffic is possible, but very unusual. Cross Stane Street and continue on the path down the hill. The path here is quite steep and has a good surface, but may be slippery after rain. As the path levels out, you swing left and there are fields to your left and a cottage on your right.
When you come to a stile swing slightly left onto a surfaced road and continue until you come to a gate on your right into the churchyard (marked 5 on the map). Go through the gate and walk straight on until you reach the gate onto the road - the pub (The Running Horses) is directly opposite. Have a good look at the wall that you are walking past as there are some interesting carvings on it. On leaving the pub, go back through the gate into the churchyard and walk along the stone wall. Turn left at the end of the wall just before the shed and then go along the path with a fence on your left, past a cottage. You'll then need to cross a tarmac road and turn right at a clapboard clad cottage. The path is quite narrow here with hedges on both sides for about 100 metres. After this turn right into the open field and walk up the left hand side of it to the top, where you take a narrow path continuing up the hill past a cottage.
Follow this path up the hill for about 50 metres and turn left when you reach the T-junction at the top. Continue along this path for about 400 metres (ignoring paths to the left and right) until just before a surfaced road (point 6 on the map) you turn hard right back on yourself onto a track which goes uphill. To the left of the section you have just walked there are views over Norbury Park and Denbies Hillside as well as some magnificent chimneys on the houses directly below you. The track goes uphill quite steeply to start with a through dense young woodland on both sides, after a short while the path opens out and the slope lessens. Look out along this section for two huge beech trees; towards the end of this section the path enters dense conifer woods. Some 600 metres after leaving the road you'll reach a cross track - take the left hand track which goes slightly downhill and in another 50 metres take another left hand turn, again heading down hill. You'll now be back on Stane Street for a short distance but it doesn't resemble a Roman Road as it twists and turns. On your right hand side are coppiced woodlands.
Just after the track begins to rise again, turn right back on yourself (marked 7 on the map). Head up a steep hill for a short section then the tack swings left. You are still in young woodland here, but not as dense as the previous section. As the woodland thins out towards the top of the path, swing left and you come out onto the open top of Whitehill - known as The Gallops. This is where horses for the Derby at nearby Epsom were exercised - they would often be stabled at The Running Horses pub. Note that along The Gallops the trees to the right are all quite young - this area was devastated in the 1987 storm.
Continue along the centre of The Gallops until you near the end (marked 8 on the map). At this point, move over to the right hand side and just before the end swing right into the woods and downhill. The path here goes downhill through young woodland - if you look carefully into the woodland you can see a lot of timber lying on the floor, a reminder of the 1987 storm. Near the bottom of the slop are some much older trees which survived the strong winds. At the bottom of the slope turn left and the car park is about 200 metres along the path.
Cockshot National Trust car park, RH5 6DG
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