Wednesday, 2 November 2011

North Downs Walk: Westhumble, Mickleham and Box Hill

Box Hill Viewpoint

This walk starts and ends at Box Hill and Westhumble railway station (at TQ 167 519), just north of Dorking in Surrey.

The first half of the walk follows the start of Saturday Walkers Club walk 64 (Box Hill Circular) from the station, through to the optional detour to the Running Horses pub in Mickleham.

Full details are available on the SWC web site.

From there, continue south on Old London Road, towards Box Hill. Make use of a footpath alongside the road where the pavement runs out.

When you reach the junction with Zig Zag Road (at TQ 171 523), cross over and start up the hill. Stop off at the Visitor Centre at the top (at TQ 178 513), if you miss this, you'll come to the North Downs Way first, in which case turn left to the viewpoint (at TQ 180 512) and then head up to the Visitor Centre.

From Box Hill, follow the North Downs Way from the viewpoint westwards, down a long series of steps towards the Mole Valley below. At the bottom, the path arrives at the Stepping Stones, a crossing point on the river. Either cross the river here, or follow the alternative path to a bridge a short distance to the north.

Once on the other side, follow the path along the river (at TQ 174 516) which is not marked on the OS map, but is signposted at the footbridge. When this reaches the A24, turn left up on to the main path, and then immediately drop to the underpass, and use this to reach the other side of the main road. Turn left, up the slope from the underpass, and then almost immediately, turn right up Westhumble Street. Pass the Stepping Stones pub and James Jeans house, before arriving back at the railway station.

The route passes two pubs, the Running Horses was serving (admittedly expensive) food well into the afternoon on a Saturday visit, the Stepping Stones opened at 5pm and food was served from 7pm. Neither pub was visited for food, the Running Horses was visited for a rest and a swift half. There are several benches at Mickleham Church opposite which are ideal for a stop for a packed lunch.

Getting there and Back

Trains run from Victoria to Box Hill and Westhumble station hourly on Saturdays. The station is a few stops outside Travelcard Zone 6, a return ticket from Boundary Zone 6 to Dorking costs around £4, but as always, check your journey on the National Rail Online Journey Planner

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