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Pathways through Headley Heath, Surrey
Pathways through Headley Heath | © National Trust Images/Gary Cosham
Surrey

Headley Heath Second World War walking trail

Take this fascinating walk over the heath to learn more about its military past and how it has shaped the landscape today. Headley Heath in the 1940s would have looked very different. Almost devoid of the thick shrubs and oak trees, the heath would have been pockmarked with training trenches, bomb craters and fox holes. Nor could we casually stroll past Bellasis House, where secrets and espionage were whispered and enacted on a daily basis.

Live munitions in the area

Live munitions have been located on the heath in recent years, so in the unlikely event that you encounter any suspected munitions during your visit, please contact the emergency services, who will arrange for expert personnel to attend.

Total steps: 8

Total steps: 8

Start point

Headley Heath main car park, KT18 6NN

Step 1

Leave the car park heading away from the road and across the open area. In front of you will be a gate, turn right as you reach it and pass through the next gate ahead on your left, with a yellow post. Continue along the Lizard Trail (marked yellow) until you reach a post marked '2', with a bench to your left. Take the path between the bench and the post, heading straight on. After about 30m turn left off of the trail, after a few metres you will see several depressions in the landscape – the remains of a zigzag trench.

Step 2

Return to the path and continue in the direction you were travelling. Follow this path down a short slope and up again, reaching a bridleway. Turn right before taking a left turn onto a path immediately in front of the second large, standalone oak tree. After you cross a larger path, and to your front right you will see two large depressions in the landscape, followed by a raised section of earth. These are the remains of a trench system. Nearby is the area referred to as the Pyramids.

Step 3

Continue past the trench system, joining the path ahead of you, turn right and follow this to a convergence of several paths, continue along the bridleway to your front (marked by a blue post). As the bridleway descends, look to your left after about 50m.

Step 4

Ahead on the trail there is a steep ascent to High Ashurst, so if you don't want to attempt this, you can use the small car park near to Bellasis House (Step 6) to visit this section of the trail. Continue your descent along the bridleway and pause as you reach the wooded area on the left side of the trail. This area has been terraced and is believed to be further evidence of the training activities conducted on the heath.

Step 5

Continue to follow the bridleway, passing the steps on your left and round the corner ahead of you. Continue to follow this path as it ascends, taking the path on your right and towards the top of the ascent. This will emerge by the Coach House building of High Ashurst. Please keep to the footpath through here. Today, High Ashurst is home to Surrey Outdoor Learning and Development, but the site has seen several uses within its history.

Step 6

Continue to the left, and away from the Coach House building. As you follow this route you will pass the main entrance to High Ashurst and a smaller lodge house, before reaching Bellasis House on your right.

Step 7

Continue to the car park and go through the gate here to follow the bridleway. After a short incline, you will be presented with several paths – continue along the bridleway to your right. Continue on this large path, ignoring the bridleway as it veers to the right of this path, until you reach a convergence of six paths. Follow the bridleway to your right. You will then reach a crossroads, turn left and continue until you reach the next junction. The path to the left is formed on a section of Military Road, constructed during the Second World War.

Step 8

Continue to follow the bridleway until reaching Brimmer Pond on your left. Continue along this route until returning to the main car park.

End point

Headley Heath main car park, KT18 6NN

Trail map

Route map of the Headley Heath Second World War walking trail
Headley Heath Second World War History Trail route | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Headley Common Road, Headley Heath, Surrey, KT18 6NN

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