Winter wander around Limpsfield Common
This is a lovely woodland walk for winter days along wide paths. It is particularly attractive when there has been a dusting of snow on the trees. Listen out for the birds - even in winter you can hear native woodland birds that are vocal among the trees. The sandy soil of Limpsfield Common is generally dryish over winter, although they may be muddy patches so bring your wellies!
Grub St car park RH8 0SL
Cross Grub Street into the golf club car park and you will see a path to your right through the holly trees. The path is marked as a bridleway. Follow this path with the golf course on your right hand side and houses to your left. Ignore the path that goes onto the golf course and carry on until the track meets with the golf course and you reach a junction where five paths meet.
Limpsfield Chart Golf Club
Limpsfield Chart Golf Club dates back to 1889 and is one of the oldest clubs in England laid out on land owned by the Lord of the Manor, Granville William Gresham Leveson Gower. The club became very popular with local wealthy gentlemen and ladies and golfing Londoners. At weekends horse-drawn carriages were lined up at Oxted station to convey golfers and their kit to the course. The club house dates back to this Victorian period. Playing was not allowed on Sundays until 1948.
You should be standing at a point where 5 paths meet. Turn immediately to your left and follow the path along the edge of the course with a hedge on your left.
As you walk along the hedge by the golf course keep a watch out for old beech trees which have been pollarded together to form a fence to keep out deer. You will also see that these beeches are planted on a small bank of soil marking an ancient boundary.
You will come the start of Ridlands Grove - a small woodland of broadleaf trees, including oaks and beeches. Look out to lovely views over the farmland to your left. In a few hundred yards you will come to a small red pillar box which is right by Peter Rabbit’s post office.
Family fun spot
In the woodland by the pillar box is a family fun spot, where you can climb on dead trees, build a den, hunt for bugs, make a trail, catch a falling leaf or explore within a tree. In late winter look around you on the ground and you may see small green shoots pushing up through the soil. These are the early signs of bluebells which flood this area in May. Make a note to come back and see them in their full glory!
From the post box carry on straight ahead keeping inside the wood, with a wire boundary fence on your left hand side. The path will gradually rise and bend to the right. Keep on straight ahead - ignore the small paths going off to the right. At the top of the rise, the path forks - keep to the right. You’ll see an information board a few hundred yards before you at Ridlands Lane car park. From the information board carry on straight ahead, taking the path that runs parallel to the road maintaining the same direction as before. You will walk through some open woodland and you will come to a T junction by a lovely tall beech tree. Turn left and you will see the end of the path by a road.
Wildlife explorer activity
As you stroll along look around you for signs of fungi and listen for some familiar birds. On the open farmland you may hear the sharp calls of magpies or jackdaws. Robins sing all through the year perching up in the trees. Blackbirds are often low down in the undergrowth turning over leaf litter and will issue a sharp alarm call when disturbed. Look for small birds flitting between trees these may be blue tits, great tits or coal tits. You may be lucky to see a family of long tail tits moving as a group.
You are at the junction of Ridlands Road and Kent Hatch Road. Over the road to your right you will see Chapel Road. Cross over to it and you will see a bridlepath signpost pointing through the trees. Follow this path through the small copse of trees and you will come out again at the golf course. Bear right along the track keeping the woodland on your right and the golf course on your left. The path wends its way through trees between two fairways and will come out at a road junction at Brick Kiln Lane.
What's a brick kiln?
Brick Kiln Lane was named after a brick works that was located here from the 1800s to the early 1900s. Clay was dug in the Weald just to the south in autumn and left to weather over the winter, rain and frost making it easier to work. Bricks were moulded in the spring and left to dry. Kiln-burning was done from mid-summer to late autumn using brushwood from the common. Many farmers became brick makers as it complemented their farming work.
Cross over brick Kiln Lane to Stoneswood Road. You will see the bridlepath sign over to your right pointing to a track through the trees. This is part of the Greensand Way. Take this path. You walk through open woodland and you will see that the path surface is stony indicating that this is an old trackway. Ignore the smaller paths off to the left and right and carry on as you descend into a small valley. At the bottom you will come to a spot where six paths meet together. Carry on up the hill and ignoring the bridlepath to your left and small paths off to the right. You will come out at a road.
Woody woodpeckers and their friends
Now you are away from the traffic listen out for some of our more unusual woodland birds. The drumming of a spotted woodpecker. The small treecreeper flitting between trees and then climbing up the trunk. The grey and black nuthatch which crawls down the tree trunk. In winter you may see flocks of visiting redwing or smaller bramblings moving through the trees.
As you cross over the road, your will see a bridlepath signpost. Just past here, there is a T junction and you turn right along a small path, parallel to the road on your right hand side. You will see the New Road car park to your right. Carry on straight ahead and when you reach the road, cross over and walk along the verge with some posts to your right. You will come to Kent Hatch Road near its junction with the A25. Cross over Kent Hatch Road and take the path round the back of the golf fairways. Continue past the No 1 tee, and you will see the car park ahead of you.
Grub St car park RH8 0SL
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