Dog walks in Surrey: 10 of the best places to go
PUBLISHED: 15:41 05 March 2018
Don’t let the daily dog walk turn into a drag, try a change of scene. Surrey Life has sniffed out the county’s top dog walks for you and your pet to explore
1. Gatton Park, Reigate Hill
Unleash your pooch into this historic mix of woodland and open spaces designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.
Need to know: Don’t follow the masses over the Reigate Hill footbridge. Instead, cross the narrow road at the entrance to the car park (Wray Lane) and pick up the Discover Gatton waymarkers to take you on an hour’s circular walk. In April and May, the woods are carpeted in bluebells.
Starting point: The National Trust (NT) car park at Reigate Hill.
Doggy dos/don’ts: There is sometimes livestock in the fields, so please keep dogs under control.
Sniff out: The quieter route that starts from Gatton Park Road – just walk up the hill past the stable to join the Discover Gatton route.
2. Priory Park, Reigate
If you need to socialise a puppy, then this is the place. It’s doggy heaven with plenty of walkers and their four-legged friends. Walks start from 10-15 minutes, ideal for young paws, to an hour depending on the route.
Need to know: Head away from the open space of Priory Park into the woodlands to pick up several circular walks and spectacular views over Reigate town centre.
Starting point: There are several entrances into the park from Park Lane East, Park Lane and Bell Street.
Doggy dos/don’ts: Keep dogs on leads near the formal gardens and out of the pond.
Sniff out: The regular pug meet ups on the last Sunday of every month.
3. Headley Heath
A heady mix of open heathland and woodland with amazing sunset views if you are dog-walking at the end of the day.
Need to know: There is a maze of footpaths taking you into the woods or out onto the open heathland. Many are bridleways so you may be sharing the space with horse-riders.
Starting point: Start from the Headley Heath main car park or Brimmer car park. Pay and display, but free for NT members.
Doggy dos/don’ts: At certain times of the year, the fascinating Belted Galloway cattle appear where you least expect them. Put dogs on a lead. If the cows become agitated, it is safer to let your dog off so they can run away.
Sniff out: The mobile cafe at the edge of the main car park which turns up every day in most weathers.
4. Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham
Mrs Greville, the former owner of this National Trust gem, was a dog lover, so there is plenty of space for walkies all over the 1,400-acre estate.
Need to know: There are four way-marked routes, each in differing lengths from one-and-a-half hours to over three hours, but all with stunning views of the Surrey Hills.
Starting point: Park in the NT pay and display car park, free to members.
Doggy dos/don’ts: There are working farms on the estate, so keep dogs on leads if livestock are around.
Sniff out: The free dog walking club on the second Tuesday of every month from 9.30am. Meet outside the Cowshed Coffee Shop.
5. Chantries Hill, Circular walk
A vigorous morning’s walk that offers breath-taking views and plenty of streams for a doggy paddle.
Need to know: Follow signs for the North Downs Way to the top of St Martha’s Hill. After a breather taking in the 180-degree view, follow paths downhill to Chilworth Manor (and its alpacas) and the historic 17th century gunpowder mills.
Starting point: Free parking in the Chantries car park, just off Shepherd’s Way.
Doggy dos/don’ts: A very short part of the walk is on a country lane so dogs may need to be put on a lead for a few minutes.
Sniff out: The Percy Arms, a short side-step off the circular route, where dogs are welcome in the bar area.
6. Frensham Little Pond
A dog-walker’s paradise with a vast open space of heathland – perfect for a good run-about.
Need to know: A walk around the pond takes about 40 minutes or hike up to Snowball Ridge for amazing views.
Starting point: The NT car park, off Priory Lane.
Doggy dos/don’ts: Birds are nesting between March and September so don’t let your dog run through the heather during this period or go in the ponds as this will disturb wildlife.
Sniff out: Quieter days during the week to walk as it can get very busy at the weekend and bank holidays.
7. Devil’s Punch Bowl, Hindhead
Nominated as one of the nation’s top 100 walks, the Hidden Hindhead trail, right on the Surrey/Hampshire border, is a must for any man and his dog.
Need to know: The breath-taking view will energize you for the three-mile slightly arduous circular route through woods and across heathland.
Starting point: The Devil’s Punch Bowl café car park.
Doggy dos/don’ts: Make sure you put your dog on a lead where you see livestock.
Sniff out: The recently-refurbished Devil’s Punch Bowl café. Borrow a blanket from the shepherd hut so you can sit outside and share lunch with your pooch. Drinking bowls and doggy biscuits available.
8. Foxley Woods, Purley
A dog-walking haven of 27 acres just south of the Purley crossroads, maintained by volunteers.
Need to know: The all-weather circular route round the perimeter of the woods means you and your dog won’t need hosing down after a walk.
Starting point: Approach from either Higher Drive, Northwood Avenue or Burwood Avenue.
Doggy dos/don’ts: Parking is in residential roads, so park considerately before you set off.
Sniff out: The Friends of Foxley’s child-friendly nature trails so you can enjoy a dog walk with the whole family.
A doggy dream with fields for ball-throwing and a river to wash off the mud.
Need to know: This is a walk that ticks all the boxes for good long runs, shady woodland in the summer and a pretty river for cooling off. Follow the footpaths leading to Greathed Manor Nursing Home and back to where you started.
Starting point: Park in Ford Manor Road and look out for the public footpath that will take you into the fields.
Doggy dos/don’ts: Small sections of the walk are on country lanes, so dogs may need to go on a lead if they can’t walk to heel.
Sniff out: The Plough Pub, just a few yards away from the starting point. Dogs welcome in the bar areas. Water bowls available.
10. St Ann’s Hill, Chertsey
A wooded park set on top of a hill with jaw-dropping views.
Need to know: Lots of woods providing plenty of shade in the summer and ideal for dogs that love to scent. A natural spring well at the top of the hill is great for cooling off hot dogs.
Starting point: From the car park in St Ann’s Hill Road.
Doggy dos/don’ts: If your dog is a bolter or has poor recall, keep on a lead or away from the base of the hill which is close to the M3 motorway.
Sniff out: The beacon at the top of the hill from where you can watch the planes land at Heathrow.