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Close up of a bee orchid in a summer meadow
View over Denbies Hillside | © National Trust/Laurence Perry

Denbies Hillside nature walk

Enjoy this invigorating walk across Denbies Hillside, which takes you along part of the North Downs Way National Trail, across grassy chalk downland and down through dappled woods. Look out for the Belted Galloway cattle quietly grazing, the British bee orchids amongst the grassland, and other plentiful wildlife along the way.

Total steps: 6

Total steps: 6

Start point

Denbies Hillside car park, grid ref: TQ141503

Step 1

Leave the car park and walk south through the marked opening into Steers Field. This field opens to impressive views across to Leith Hill, with Dorking to your left and Holmbury Hill to your right.

Step 2

Following the orange waymarkers for the Denbies Hillside nature trail, go through the gates into the woodland.

Two Belted Galloway cattle, which are black with a white central band, grazing in winter at Denbies Hillside, Surrey, on a high plateau, with views of misty hills in the background
Belted Galloways grazing at Denbies Hillside | © National Trust Images/Juliet D'Costa

Step 3

At the bottom of the wooded slope, turn right onto a section of the Carriage Road. Walk along the road fringed with various trees including yew, horse chestnut and laburnum. At the T-junction at the end, turn left and retrace your steps towards Dorking.

Step 4

If you a fancy a rest then turn left at the post and into the small wood, where you can enjoy the cool shade and listen to the birds up in the canopy. Return to post 4 and continue along the Carriage Road. At the bend where the road swings left towards the railway line, turn right.

Step 5

You're now following the Denbies nature walk. The path goes up the hillside and through a kissing gate into the Big Field. Here you'll find a mixture of scrub – including dogwood, hawthorn, elder and dog rose – which provides an excellent location for nesting birds. Continue the steady climb up along the south-facing scarp slope. This path is known as Fox Lane, after the Fox Inn, now a private residence. Make sure to stop every now and then to admire the views.

An image of the underneath of a kestrel showing its white, black and brown plumage as is flies high above in blue skies
Look out for kestrels | © National Trust Images/Nick Upton

Step 6

At the top of the field, pass through the kissing gate back into woodland. Continue to walk uphill through beech, yew, hazel coppice and wild alder. At the top of the ridge, turn right to join the North Downs Way. You'll soon come out of the wood, through a gate and you're back in Steers field at the top of Denbies Hillside.

End point

Denbies Hillside car park, grid ref: TQ141503

Trail map

Denbies Hillside nature walk map
Denbies Hillside nature walk map | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

Ranmore Common Road, near Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6SR

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We’ve partnered with Cotswold Outdoor to help everyone make the most of their time outdoors in the places we care for.

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