6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Surrey Life today click here

Woodland walks in Surrey

PUBLISHED: 15:24 06 November 2017 | UPDATED: 15:24 06 November 2017

Snowy Shere Woodlands by Marie Davey

Snowy Shere Woodlands by Marie Davey

Archant

Surrey is England’s most wooded county and the Surrey Hills boasts almost 40 per cent woodland cover. These woodlands hide a wealth of archaeological features. We pick some of the best woodland walks to explore

Bourne Wood, near Farnham

Bourne Wood (also known as Bourne Woods) is an area of predominantly coniferous woodland, just south of Farnham owned by the Forestry Commission. Wander through large areas of heathland and up steep hill paths and you’ll discover spectacular views over the pine forests below. The heathland is interspersed with silver birch and pine trees creating a more mature heathland habitat and the sandy soil provides a good walking surface allowing access to many of the tracks and public footpaths throughout the year.

Marden Park, Woldingham

Owned by the Woodland Trust, Marden Park near Woldingham, sits high on the rolling chalk downs of East Surrey. Its ancient semi-natural broadleaf woodland is coupled with sections of newer planting and interspersed with clearings of rare chalk grassland, making it a diverse and fascinating natural habitat.

In spring, the oak, horse chestnut and the gnarled, twisted trunks of veteran beech trees are skirted by ferns, foxgloves, and a carpet of vivid bluebells. Later in the year, the huge variety of tree species brings a stunning palette of autumn hues.

Abinger Roughs, Abinger Hammer

The hidden woods with ancient trees and flower-sprinkled grasslands of Abinger Roughs are a must. Just off the North Downs and Pilgrims Way and above the village of Abinger Hammer, is a peaceful mixed woodland with some might oak trees, some of which are over 300 years old. In the 1970s, Charles Darwin walked on the Roughs while staying at Abinger Hall.

Abinger Roughs’ shady paths are fairly flat and clearly marked, and the National Trust offers a circular trail, which is perfect for families and those new to exploring the countryside.

Chiddingfold Forest, Chiddingfold

Chiddingfold Forset, managed by the Forestry Commission, covers a block of woods spanning 840 hectares and lies to the North-East of Chiddingfold village. A significant proportion of the forest is of national importance and designated a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI). The wood contains a large proportion of Broadleaved species including significant numbers of Oak, Birch and Ash trees. Rich in wildlife the forest is home to the rare wood white butterfly, rare moth species and the Bechstein’s bat.

A post shared by Ian MacFadyen (@ian_macfadyen) on

Banstead Woods, Banstead

Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs has a long and fascinating history. It was alluded to in the Domesday Book 1086 and has been in the ownership of Kings and Queens of England, Knights of the Realm, the founder of Barings Bank and many other interesting people over the years.

Iconic characters from CS Lewis’ classic children’s tale The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have been brought to life at an enchanting new Narnia themed nature trail at Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Nature Reserve. The figures have been carved from standing deadwood by talented chainsaw sculptor Ella from The Tree Pirates, making use of the site’s own existing natural resources. It is hoped that more sculptures will be added over the coming months as funding becomes available.

Staffhurst Wood, near Oxted

These woods are a fine mix of oak, ash and beech with areas of hornbeam and hazel coppice. It is an Ancient Woodland as it has remained continuously wooded since Saxon times. A wonderful place to get away from it all; look out for stunning displays of bluebells in spring and a variety of fungi in the autumn. There is also a beautiful woodland pond and to help you get the most out of your visit, Surrey Wildlife Trust have a self-guided trail leaflet to download >>> surreywildlifetrust.org/reserves/staffhurst-wood

A post shared by Mark Dean (@mrgobbiero) on

Ashtead Common, Ashtead

A Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), owned by the City of London Corporation, this woodland is famous for its rare veteran pollarded oaks dating from the 17th to 18th centuries. They are of great conservation interest, so each tree has a specific care plan to prolong its life. The nearest car park to the common is Stew Ponds car park.

Hammonds Copse, Newdigate

Hammonds Copse woods is home to species ranging from tawny owls, chiffchaffs, blackcaps and sparrowhawks to butterflies including the silver-washed fritillary, yellow brimstone and white admiral, as well as bluebells, wild daffodil, guelder rose, wild service tree and wood spurge. The woods have a marked trail to follow and free car parking.

A post shared by @anneberrimangardendesigns on

Winkworth Arboretum, near Godalming

In 1952, consultant dermatologist Dr Wilfrid Fox handed the National Trust a piece of the Surrey Hills that he had nurtured for 15 years – his arboretum at Hascombe, containing a magnificent and important collection of trees from all around the world. Winkworth Arboretum is open at different times throughout the year so it’s best to check the website before visiting. Parking is free and entry to the arboretum is £7.60 for adults and £3.80 for children.

A post shared by Luisa Pizzo (@pimpina82) on

Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden, Ockley

The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in Standon Lane, Ockley is a magical woodland that fires the imagination. The forest garden, created by landscape designer Anthony Paul with lakes, broadleaved plants and mature trees, provides the frame for contemporary sculptures. The garden is now closed for the winter but will reopen in April 2018.

Sheepleas, Horsley

Sheepleas is a 300-acre mosaic of woodlands and wildflower meadows on the chalk slopes of the North Downs. It supports a huge diversity of wildlife, from butterflies to very rare flowers and the area includes working coppices. If you’re lucky, you might spot the occasional charcoal kiln.

A post shared by @jfb1977 on

Shere Woodlands, Shere

Shere woodlands is made up of three picturesque sites in the Surrey countryside; West Hangar, Combe Bottom and Netley Plantation. The North Downs Way goes through the West Hangar area where there are spectacular views across the Weald towards the Devil’s Punch Bowl and the South Downs. Parking can be found on Staple Lane, East Clandon. Dogs can visit the woodlands.

A post shared by Matt Gordon (@mashgordon) on

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Surrey visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Surrey staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Surrey account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Surrey Life

Yesterday, 15:06

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Yesterday, 14:08

From riverside retreats to secret gardens, we’ve got your summer covered with this selection of Surrey pubs that are perfect to enjoy your favourite tipple and a bite to eat in the sunshine

Read more
Wed, 15:41

The Bike Project Surrey, which refurbishes donated bikes and sells them to the local community, has received funding from the Charles Russell Speechlys Community Fund

Read more
Wed, 14:47

We talked to chief audiologist at The Tinnitus Clinic, Mark Williams, who discussed causes, symptoms and treatments for tinnitus and hearing loss. Here’s what to do if you have ringing in your ears

Read more
Tue, 16:12

Reading, writing… and fire-lighting? More and more children across the UK are being taken out of the classroom to be taught in the great outdoors, writes Amy Noton

Read more
Tue, 10:51

Based in Ockley, Louise Dunckley finds artistic inspiration in her local surroundings. Her illustrations of Surrey’s villages, towns and landmarks capture beautifully the qualities of this fine county. Tinx Newton chatted with her about her work and being chosen to produce prints to commemorate the Surrey Hills AONB’s 60th anniversary

Read more

Famous for its park and royal connections, and recently named one of the best places in the UK to live, there’s plenty to uncover in this riverside town

Read more
Mon, 11:52

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend: art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Friday, May 18, 2018

This month we launch our annual photography competition, sponsored by Portmore Dental. The winners will be featured in our 2019 Beautiful Surrey calendar. Here are some inspirational shots submitted over the last month, alongside details of this year’s prizes and how to enter

Read more
Friday, May 18, 2018

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Thursday, May 17, 2018

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more
Thursday, May 17, 2018

As well as viewing all the new and vibrant show content first, there’s plenty to do at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show Preview Evening on Monday 2 July from 5pm to 10.30pm.

Read more
Thursday, May 17, 2018

We are offering one lucky winner the chance to win a pair of tickets to see Fanfare and Fireworks with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra at Hampton Court Palace

Read more
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Whilst watching the high (or ‘low’ depending upon your perspective) lights of yet another Donald Trump press conference, my mind skipped back to when I was around five or six years old and my favourite toy was Action Man.

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Surrey's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search