About the walk
A 6 mile (9.5 kilometre) circular walk from Boxhill and Westhumble station in the beautiful Surrey Hills National Landscape, passing through Denbies vineyard and Ranmore Common.
Please note: This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Please respect people's privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.
- Start and end address: Boxhill and Westhumble station car park
- Difficulty: challenging terrain
- Distance: 6 mile (9.5km)
- Type of walk: circular walk
- Approximate time: 3 hours plus travel
- Accessibility: no stiles, several gates, some hilly climbs
- OS Map Explorer 146: Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate
Denbies Hillside comprises chalk downland and woodland on the southern slope of the North Downs. The land is grazed to maintain it as an important habitat, with a diverse range of wildflowers that attracts a variety of butterfly species, including the distinctive Adonis Blue.
How to get there
By car: Norbury Park Crabtree Lane car park from point 1 of this walk.
By train: start and finish as Boxhill and Westhumble station. Check train times as service can be infrequent.
By bus: Route 465 stops nearby on A24.
- Views: Many spectacular views
- Toilets: Boxhill and Westhumble station (when manned) and at Denbies Wine Estate
- Refreshments: Cycle shop café at station, Stepping Stones pub 300 metres away, Denbies Vineyard café approximately halfway round
The numbers of each stage of the walk correspond with the points shown on the map.
Stages of the route
- Start to Crabtree Lane car park
- Stage 1: Crabtree Lane car park to woodland edge crossroads
- Stage 2: Crossroads to gate into the woodlands
- Stage 3: Woodland to Ranmore Road
- Stage 4: Ranmore Road to cottage junction
- Stage 5: Cottage junction to Denbies crossroads
- Stage 6: Denbies crossroads to Chapel Lane
Start to Crabtree Lane car park
Leave the Boxhill and Westhumble Station and walk through car park to reach T-junction with Westhumble Street. Turn left and then join pavement to cross railway bridge. Immediately afterwards, fork right into Crabtree Lane between flint arch and chapel. Follow quiet lane ahead with views to the River Mole to your right. After climbing steadily for 1km you will pass Norbury Park Crabtree Lane car park on right.
Stage 1: Crabtree Lane car park to woodland edge crossroads
Please note: if you are starting your walk at Crabtree Lane car park, exit on foot back onto the lane and turn right.
Follow lane steadily uphill for 400m. On top of hills to left you can see St Barnabas Church spire at Ranmore which you will be passing later on this walk. Keep straight ahead at junction, passing Crabtree Cottages on left, ignore the footpath to your left. Keep ahead on footpath which leads you past fields and through woodland for 670m. At far edge of woodland (just before a stile ahead), you will come to a signed crossroads of paths.
Stage 2: Crossroads to gate into the woodlands
Turn left on bridleway which leads you downhill through woodland. At staggered crossroads keep straight ahead, continuing downhill. At bottom of woodland you will come to a single gate ahead. Go through to enter a pasture (caution - sheep) and walk diagonally left for just a short distance to reach gate out to road. Turn left and then immediately right to join track signed for Bagden Farm and youth hostel. Track swings right to enter Polesden Lacey Estate. Continue past farmhouse and barns on right, then stay on main track which climbs 120m more. You will come to a pair of gates ahead. Pass through smaller (right-hand) of these and keep in same direction across pasture, passing right of a large oak tree in centre of field. At far side, a gate leads you back into woodland.
Stage 3: Woodland to Ranmore Road
Keep ahead along track for just 50m, then fork left through old gateway. Stay on main wide bridleway track climbing steadily through woodland. Some way along (700m) keep left to merge with another bridleway coming in from right. 100m later you will reach a fork, take right-hand branch. Towards top of slope you will reach another fork (with cottages visible ahead). Keep right and follow track which swings left, passing cottages on right. You will emerge out to a T-junction with Ranmore Road.
Stage 4: Ranmore Road to cottage junction
Cross over road with care and turn right along grass verge for just 40m. Turn left onto signed public footpath, an unmade track between hedgerows. Walk past an old gate and then turn sharp left to join North Downs Way (NDW). After just a few paces, go through gate ahead to enter Steers Field. Take right-hand of two grass paths ahead which is Denbies Hillside, with views to your right over Westcott and Dorking. After passing a couple of cottages on left you will come to a signed junction of paths (right-hand branch is a link to Greensand Way). Turn left, staying on NDW.
Stage 5: Cottage junction to Denbies crossroads
Go through kissing gate then walk diagonally right across verge. Cross Ranmore Road with care and follow side road opposite (signed Bookham, Westhumble and Parish Church). Follow quiet road past St Barnabas Church on right. Keep straight ahead along lane for a further 0.5km, ignoring any paths signed off to left. Where main road swings left, keep straight ahead past white vehicle barrier to join a concrete track with Denbies Lodge on right. Keep ahead for just a few paces and then take first turning right (still part of NDW), a stone track between fields. Turn left at next junction, still following NDW. Pass through gate ahead to enter Denbies Wine Estate. You will now have glorious views ahead and across vineyard slopes. Continue along track, pass through a second gate and follow track as it swings left. Follow track meandering down through woodland to reach a signed crossroads of tracks.
Stage 6: Denbies crossroads to Chapel Lane
Turn right, leaving NDW to join public bridleway. Follow track which heads downhill. Bear right to join concrete track (between vineyards) heading for complex of farm estate buildings. (Note: Denbies is a working farm so please keep dogs on lead). A few paces before you reach buildings ahead (Bradley Farm), you will see a signed crossroads of paths. If you wish to visit Denbies Wine Estate visitor centre and café, keep ahead past house and farm buildings, then turn left into centre's car park. Otherwise, for main route, turn sharp left at this crossroads to join wide grass track which runs between vineyards.
Follow wide grass track and pass through gate at end of vineyard. Cross over stone track and go ahead through gate into field. Cross field diagonally right to reach kissing gate on far side. Go through this gate and join narrow footpath between gardens. You will eventually emerge out to a quiet residential road, Adlers Lane. Cross over and join narrow footpath which continues ahead. This path leads you steadily uphill and out to T-junction with road, Chapel Lane.
Turn right along road, then fork right between white fencing to join raised pavement running along right-hand side of road. Further down, join pavement immediately alongside road passing end of Crabtree Lane on left. (Note: if you are parked in Crabtree Lane car park, turn left here and follow lane for 1 kilometre to reach car park on right). Otherwise, keep straight ahead on pavement which swings right and over railway bridge. You will come to Boxhill and Westhumble Station on right where your walk began.
The map shows the route of this 5.5 mile, circular walk that starts at Boxhill and Westhumble Station and takes you on to Crabtree Lane car park, through Dorking Wood, Ranmore Common and Denbies before finishing back at Boxhill and Westhumble Station. Select the map of the route below to open a larger version in a new window, that can be printed, if necessary, using your browser print tool with landscape selected. Alternatively, you can save the image to your mobile device, for reference on your walk.