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People walking on the old A3 at Hindhead, Surrey
Walkers on the old A3 at Hindhead Commons, Surrey | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Roam 639 walk at Hindhead Commons and the Devil's Punch Bowl

A great but demanding walk that takes in the base of the Punchbowl, Gibbet Hill and The Temple of the Four Winds. The trail has been created as a permanent reminder to those of us who are able to enjoy physical exercise of how fortunate we are. The trail is named for Richard Overall, a local man who died from muscular dystrophy, and two local young brothers, Alfie and Arthur Marchant, whose lives were also affected by this condition. The '639' in the name represents the number of muscles in the human body and the length of the walk.

Shortening the route

At the end of step 4 you will be about halfway through the walk. Should you wish to end your walk at this point, once you're through the gate go straight ahead towards the trig-point to find the Devil's Punch Bowl car park away to your left.

Total steps: 9

Total steps: 9

Start point

Devil's Punch Bowl car park, GU26 6AB

Step 1

From the car park head north towards the viewpoint overlooking the Devil's Punch Bowl. Turn left and follow the footpath through the trees. The path, identified by white Roam 639 discs, skirts the south-west edge of the Devil's Punch Bowl.

Step 2

After 10 minutes you'll reach a major junction with an electricity substation diagonally on the left. At this junction turn right, entering Highcombe Edge via the gateway or cattle grid.

Step 3

After 15 minutes you will reach a split in the path; take the smaller right-hand path and pass by the Robertson Memorial. Continue past the obelisk and rejoin the main gravel-surfaced path on a gentle downward incline arriving, after 30 minutes, at a major intersection.

Step 4

Turn hard right and continue downhill; after 328yd (300m), you'll arrive at a junction and turn left following the path downhill with Keepers Cottage on the right. Keep on the track crossing the ford and then proceed uphill on a muddy path passing through a gateway and then bearing immediately right. Follow this roughish track uphill to an intersection; bear right going slightly downhill. Follow the track through open ground to reach, after 45 minutes, a gateway and cattle grid. Bear slightly right, keeping on the gravel roadway passing Gnome Cottage on the left walking uphill to another junction. Turn left carrying on uphill (ignoring a residence on the right) to arrive at a tarmac roadway. Keep going uphill for a further 32yd (30m) to a junction on the right. Go right onto the muddy pathway and in 27yd (25m) pass through a gate taking you into the Devil's Punch Bowl. Follow this sandy path for about 437yd (400m), ignoring any paths off to the left or right, to arrive at a Y-junction; take the signposted left fork slightly uphill. Continue on this undulating path, eventually crossing a spring and coming into some open ground. Here bear half right (taking the middle of the three options) and commence a climb on a relatively narrow pathway which, after 218yd (200m), opens out into a challenging climb up the face of the Punch Bowl. At the top bear right, contouring around to arrive, after 75 minutes, at a gate.

Step 5

Once through the gate and after a few metres turn sharply to the left, eventually crossing the grass track (the route of the old A3) to meet the paved road; bear left walk up to Gibbet Hill. On the way you will pass the Sailor's Stone on the left. After 15 minutes, bear right through the gateway and onto the wide grassy path that leads to the trig point on Gibbet Hill.

Step 6

From the trig point bear right, down a narrow and steepish muddy path to a major junction. Go straight ahead uphill following this wide tree-lined track to arrive, after 25 minutes, at The Temple of the Four Winds.

Step 7

Now turn right and after 27yd (25m) bear right, heading a downhill on a muddy track lined with beech trees. Continue on this track to reach a T-Junction with a small lake on the right.

Step 8

Turn right and go straight ahead to reach a gateway and then into some open ground. Follow the grassy path uphill bearing left at the Y-junction and after 32yd (30m) bear left following the path downhill to reach, after 45 minutes, a galvanised gate.

Step 9

Once through the gateway turn right and proceed uphill on an unpaved roadway. At the top of the climb ignore the first gateway on the right walking a further 32yd (30m) where the sign directs you through a galvanised gate onto Hindhead Common. Follow the rough track (The Greensand Way) uphill, following the signs at the junctions, with the route eventually breaking away, half right, from the more obvious trail. Take a rocky path through a gulley that emerges onto a gravel-covered track which you follow to the gateway. Once through the gate proceed to the paved road; here turn left following the paved road for 328yd (300m) to arrive at the sculpture at the south side of the Devil's Punch Bowl car park.

End point

Devils Punch Bowl car park, GU26 6AB

Trail map

Map for the Roam 639 walking trail at Hindhead Commons
Map for the Roam 639 walking trail at Hindhead Commons | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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