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A ramble around Banstead Woods

PUBLISHED: 14:35 08 March 2018

Banstead woods. Picture taken by Donald Macauley (CC BY-SA 2.0), Flickr Creative Commons

Banstead woods. Picture taken by Donald Macauley (CC BY-SA 2.0), Flickr Creative Commons

Archant

Take in the breathtaking views and varied habitat of Banstead Woods with this easy three mile (4.8km) walk

1. The walk starts from the kissing gate at the rear of Holly Lane car park. Take the sloping path towards Banstead Woods, keeping to the right of the notice board. Keep straight ahead passing under a large yew tree. You will come to a choice of three paths ahead. On the right you will see a way marker post with yellow bands, a number one and a green-white-brown tree trunk waymark symbol with the words Banstead Woods Nature Trail. This is the first of the series of 17 posts that this nature trail follows.

2. Take the middle of three paths, which passes immediately to the left of a strange looking oak tree. Follow the path uphill. Towards the top of the slope you will see Post 2. Turn right here.

Banstead woods

3. Further along you will come to Post 3. Keep going on the path which leads downhill and swings right to reach a crossroads at Post 4.

4. Keep going, passing between the two yellow posts then ignore the access track immediately on the right. Keep going uphill, for just 40 metres to reach the next crossroads with a yellow post. Turn right here and the path leads you downhill to reach Post 5. Follow the path as it swings left passing an orchard on the right. Further along you will pass Post 6 and Post 7. Continue up the hill. Go through the barrier and you will reach a zebra crossing over Elizabeth Drive. Continue on the woodland path, winding uphill which leads you past Post 8 and on to Post 9 and 10. Keep ahead on the winding woodland path and you will come to a T-junction at Post 11. Bear right here.

Banstead Woods

5. You will come to another T-junction. Bear right and then follow the path as it swings left to reach a major crossroads. Keep straight ahead, passing Post 12 on the left. Keep going and, after just a few metres, the path leads you past Post 13. Continue on to reach Post 14 where you will find a fenced pond on the left, with some strategically placed benches, ideal for bird watching or your picnic.

6. Turn left, passing the pond on the left. The path winds ahead to reach a junction with a way marker post. Turn sharp right here onto the smaller path, heading south once again. At the crossroads with a path, keep straight on. After just a few paces you will emerge to a T-junction with another path. Turn left for just a few metres and you will come to a fork at the edge of a more open grass section. Take the right-hand path and follow the path between young trees and scrub. The path will lead you to Post 15. Here the route continues to the left, but it is worth taking a small diversion to the right to reach a viewpoint across the valley.

Banstead Woods _0036

7. At Post 15 take the right-hand path. At the crossroads, keep straight ahead to re-enter the ancient woodland. After just a few paces you will come to another crossroads with a large oak tree at its centre. Keep straight ahead and then, at the next major crossroads turn right.

8. The path leads you past Post 16 on the right. Keep ahead at the next crossroads, with a bench on the right. Continue to the next crossroads where you will see Post 17. Follow the main path which heads downhill. At the T-junction turn right and, after about 100 metres, you will come to a junction with a path on the left. Keep straight ahead to the end of the path, then turn left down the hill back to the car park.

Winter Morning in Surrey

Start: Holly Lane Car Park, Chipstead.

Grid ref: TQ273 583 Postcode for sat nav: CR5 3NR

Length of walk: Two hours.

Transport: Chipstead station is only five minutes’ walk to Holly Lane car park. Nearest bus route that serves Chipstead is the 166.

Food and Drink: The Ramblers Rest, Outwood Lane. The Mint public house is located on Park Road. Chipstead Station Parade has a small selection of shops and takeaway outlets.

While you are there: Check out the lion, the witch and the wardrobe and other characters, which are part of the Banstead Woods Narnia Trail.

LOCAL FACTS

• Chiphouse Wood is an ancient semi-natural woodland with mature oaks and beech trees. In summer rare plants, including greater yellow rattle and many orchids; in particular pyramidal, common spotted, bee and fly orchids can be seen.

• Many butterflies are present here, including common and chalkhill blue, orange tip and various skippers such as small and large. The views are always stunning across Chipstead Valley at any time of year.

• Marker posts dating from 1861 for a Coal Tax was introduced to rebuild the City of London after the Great Fire; these posts were placed within 26 miles of the City to collect due monies.

• The area is managed by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council in partnership with the Downlands Partnership. The Downlands Trust is a volunteer-run charitable trust, created in 2008 to promote in particular the aims and work of the Downlands Partnership. The Downlands Trust raises essential funds through memberships and fundraising initiative.

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