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A woodland path at Witley and Milford Commons , Surrey
A woodland path at Witley and Milford Commons , Surrey | © National Trust/Chris Worsley

Circular walk around Witley and Milford Commons

Take a gentle stroll around the calm and tranquil Witley and Milford Commons, along dry sandy paths that weave through a variety of different habitats across the two commons. There are lots of things to see and do as you stroll. This route goes clockwise from the Webb Road car park, although you can also have fun following the markers in the opposite direction.

Total steps: 10

Total steps: 10

Start point

National Trust Witley car park, Haslemere Road, Witley, Surrey, GU8 5QA. Grid ref: SU934406.

Step 1

From the car park, walk back towards the road and take the path to your right, signposted Witley Outdoor Learning Centre. The path goes through a woodland of Scots pine. At the forked junction, take the path bearing off to the left through the woods, signposted to the Witley Centre. You will come to an open area – walk around to the left-hand side and then straight ahead, following the pink signs.

Step 2

At the Witley Centre the path turns to the right and continues through mixed woodland. Follow the path marked by the pink signs and at the T-junction turn to your left. You will notice that the woodland on your right thins out. There is a lot of young birch here with some conifers.

Step 3

As you turn left you will see how the environment changes. The area to your right is now full of young birch and conifers. This is part of the heathland and the ground is rather boggy. At the T-junction turn left, leaving the nature trail as it goes off to the right. After about 120 yards (110 metres) turn right. You are at the edge of the woodland here with more birch and young oak. The ground to your left slopes upwards and is full of bracken and trees and is a great place for hide and seek. Listen out for woodland birds, such as the nuthatch, woodpecker or tiny firecrest.

Step 4

At the next junction follow the trail marker up the slope. You then turn right along a bridle path with conifers and heather on your left-hand side. At the bottom there is an area of grasses and a junction where you turn left to climb up to the ridge. Here you are at one of the highest points of the common and you have a great view across the heathland. Follow the path to the right along the ridge.

Step 5

The path descends slightly. Around here you will find some large dead trees which are wonderful for climbing over, and it's also a great place for fungi. Carry on along the path, crossing a bridle path and then going through quite thick woodland with lots of hazel and birch and oak. At the junction the path goes to the right.

Step 6

The path comes to a wide open area. On your right side is a fenced-off area. This is the parade ground used by soldiers in both the First and Second World Wars. You can see how it is very flat and the soil is compacted from all those marching boots. From here the path goes back into woodland away from the parade ground. It bears to the left and then right and then left again to come out on a long straight bridle path, which was possibly an old military track.

Step 7

This is a lovely straight stretch of lane to stroll along. You will come to a crossroads with Webb Street. To continue the trail turn left and then right to enter Milford Common. The land here is flatter with some open areas. There are trees here covered in wonderful lichen. You may also see red berries on the hawthorns and wild roses, which are a valuable food source for birds in winter.

Step 8

You will come to a junction with a bridle path. Take the path bearing right at the 2 o'clock position, going up a small slope through woodland. At the top is a lovely view across Milford Common. Turn right at the crossroads down the slope. On your left-hand side is a mass of gorse which flowers through most of the year.

Step 9

At the bottom of the slope is a crossroads with a sandstone memorial commemorating the Canadian soldiers who were based here in the First and Second World Wars. Carry on straight ahead from here and continue to follow the pink markers. The path wends its way through bushy areas and open spaces. You will bear to the left across a large open area, before passing again through open woodland.

Step 10

As you come out of the woodland follow the markers taking a sharp right and then left to go past the baseball ground on your right-hand side. Follow the path here back to the car park.

End point

National Trust Witley car park, Haslemere Road, Witley, Surrey, GU8 5QA. Grid ref: SU934406.

Trail map

Route map for the Winter wander around Witley and Milford Commons
Route map for the Winter wander around Witley and Milford Commons | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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Haslemere Road, Witley, Surrey, GU8 5QA

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