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Autumnal view from Leith Hill, Surrey
Autumnal view from Leith Hill | © National Trust Images/John Miller

Leith Hill '50 things' trail

This family-friendly trail is in two parts – starting around the Rhododendron Wood, it then heads up Leith Hill, Surrey's second highest. With its hills and woodland, Leith Hill is a great place to learn more about nature and for children to tackle some challenges from '50 things to do before you’re 11¾'.

Two-part trail

This trail has two parts. The first section is around the Rhododendron Wood and suitable for young children. The second part takes you up Leith Hill itself and has a steep section. Bring binoculars for birdwatching and a magnifying glass to help with the bug hunting.

Total steps: 13

Total steps: 13

Start point

Rhododendron Wood National Trust car park, RH5 6LU. Grid ref: TQ131427.

Step 1

Start in the Rhododendron Walk car park, furthest from the road entrance. Walk away from the noticeboard towards to the area of grass, which has some picnic tables. This is the site for your first activity – no. 25 Join nature's band.

Step 2

Follow the path from the meadow down a slight slope. At the T-junction by the two seats turn left. Walk about 70m, at the next T-junction turn right. Follow the path down the slope, past Leith Hill Place, continuing on the path to the right, down the slope. Stop in the small wooded area for your second activity.

Step 3

Walk a little further forward along the path, turn left at the junction and you will see a giant redwood tree beside the fence. Stop here for activity number three.

Step 4

Carry on to the right of the redwood tree along the path, up a slight slope and over a footbridge. At the junction turn left down the path winding through the rhododendrons. At the bench turn right and head uphill along the path. Stop along this path for your next challenge.

Step 5

After cleaning your hands, continue along the path to the T-junction and turn right, heading back up the path to the car park. This is the end of part one. You may want to have a break and snack here before you head up the big hill!

Step 6

At the car park entrance turn right, along Tanhurst Lane. Following the orange markers walk carefully along the road for 70m. Cross the road and go up the steps by another orange marker. Cross the second road carefully, then take the path to the left by a further orange marker. Take care as you climb up a short steep section of the hill. You're now doing your fifth activity.

Step 7

Bear right. After a while the path evens out and the walking gets easier. After 300m you'll come to a horse barrier (poles across the path) and a T-junction. Go through the barrier and head right, up the hill following the orange markers towards the tower. Stop by the noticeboard when you reach the top.

Step 8

Now you've done that hard work of climbing up the hill, let's have some fun by rolling down. Walk up to the tower and then roll down the slopes towards the noticeboard.

Step 9

Pick yourself up and step back onto the gravel path. Follow this round to where the view opens up. Here you will have a good vantage point to stop and watch the birds that enjoy the trees and bushes nearby.

Step 10

This is one of the highest points in South East England. Stop to admire the views to the South Downs.

Step 11

You can continue to look out for birds and bugs as you retrace your steps down the hill back to the car park. Remember to follow the orange waymarkers on your way down, walking through the low barriers onto the path down towards the road. Take care when crossing.

Step 12

Now you have reached the Rhododendron Wood, make your way once again to the picnic benches. Here take part in the last activity.

Step 13

Congratulations! You have completed your adventure on the 50 Things challenge at Leith Hill. You are now a true nature explorer.

End point

Rhododendron Wood National Trust car park, RH5 6LU. Grid ref: TQ131427.

Trail map

Map for the 50 things trail  at Leith HIll
Map for the 50 things trail at Leith HIll | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Get in touch

near Coldharbour village, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6LU

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