Headley Heath circuit
A moderate walk over some uneven terrain of open heathland, woodland and chalk downland.
Headley Heath main car park, grid ref: TQ193546
Starting at the notice board, walk south along the back of the car park (marked 1 on the map) and leave by the gate nearest the road. Outside the gate take the right-hand fork and walk past two ponds – first one is called Hopeful and the second (larger) Brimmer. The track goes through woodlands of mainly silver birch but there are some oaks also. Some clearance has been carried out to allow views to the right over the Heath.
After passing Brimmer Pond ignore the first three tracks coming in from the right, but at the first cross tracks (marked 2 on the map) turn right. The path falls slightly to the next junction where you take the track to the left. The track continues through woodlands and goes downhill. At the bottom of the dip take the left-hand fork and keep to that track, ignoring the tracks which cross it.
At point 3 follow the track as it swings left and drops sharply and then, as it rises, forks. Take the right-hand fork and note the Box Hill Hike sign pointing left – that is the way to Box Hill. After the fork the track swings right and continues almost level through open woodland for about 770yd (700m) when it starts to drop and at this point there is a gate on your left about 22yd (20m) to the side. Go through this gate and then turn right onto the hard-surfaced road. This road is through Bellasis and High Ashurst.
Continue along this road past the High Ashurst Education Centre and towards the Coach House until you reach the gates (point 4 on the map), where the bridleway swings right and goes downhill. Take the track and do not go through the gates. Shortly after this the track forks – the left fork would take you to Cockshot Cottages and Mickleham, so take the right fork through the bridleway gate and down the hill. NOTE - THIS SECTION IS VERY STEEP AND ROUGH SO CARE IS REQUIRED. At the bottom of the hill,on reaching the main track, turn left. Just after the Box Hill Hike goes right, turn left onto the steps up the steep hill. As you go up the steps there is a fine view over Headley Heath to your right. At the top of the steps there is a seat to the left to allow you to recover. Once you have done so, take the path which swings right then immediately take the left fork downhill towards the open area. There are woodlands to your left and an open area to you right – the track follows the fenceline and rises and falls. In the second dip take the left fork, staying close to the fence line. After leaving the fenceline the track rises, comes out into the open and then swings right – ignore the small path going straight on.
Shortly after this there is a cross track – go left following the blue bridleway signs and you soon come to the gate off Headley Heath (point 5 on the map). Continue on the track past a cottage and a farm on your left and you will reach the road. Cross the road into Tumber Street but take the path immediately on your right (half hidden) up through the woods. At the other end of the woods you reach a house called Tunbarr – turn right (take care – you are near the road here) and after 22yd (20m) turn left up a public footpath just before Ash House.
Continue along this footpath for about 550yd (500m) and you will come out opposite the Headley pub (number 6 on the map) – now called “The Headley Hills”, formerly The Cockhorse and The Cock. The pub is child and dog friendly. Leave the pub by going up the short lane to the church, take the footpath through the church yard and turn right as you come out into the fields at the rear. Note - if you carry straight on you can walk to either Walton on the Hill or the Epsom Racecourse. This part of the track is a straight line along a lane, through a field, across a lane, along a lane, through three fields (passing the Old Rectory), until the track reaches a “T” . Turn right past a little cottage and then you reach the road. On this section of the walk if you look to your left you will see a very fine stand of fir trees – very tall and straight and just right for making ship masts and spars. Also in front of you is the Old Manor House – quite a splendid building but beyond most people’s budget! On the other side of the Manor House there is a Lutyens house of which you can get good views on another walk. On reaching the road, turn left and take the right fork which is a small path between the road and the main track. This path leads to the road to the cricket club – follow this, go behind the club house, swing right and you will see the car park on the other side of the road.
Headley Heath main car park, grid ref: TQ193546
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