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Surrey walk around Holmbury Hill

PUBLISHED: 11:20 26 November 2015 | UPDATED: 16:12 03 July 2018

Surrey Hills Society members enjoying a brisk winter stroll

Surrey Hills Society members enjoying a brisk winter stroll

Archant

Enjoy a brisk walk over the stunning hillside of Holmbury Hill. With a history dating from the Iron Age, this climb will also reward you with one of the best views in England

Information

• Start: Car Park 1, on Radnor Lane, Peaslake

• Grid Reference: TQ098431

• Length of walk: This walk is three miles long and steep in one section. It will take about one-and-a-half hours.

• Food and drink: There are three pubs in the area: The King’s Head and the Royal Oak (currently closed) in Holmbury St Mary, and the Hurtwood Inn in Peaslake.

• Whilst you are there: Visit the picturesque village of Shere, used in lots of movies including Four Weddings and a Funeral and The Holiday.

• Guided walk: Surrey Hills Society will be leading an exclusive walk from Belmont School, Holmbury St Mary, on Saturday December 5, followed by mulled wine and mince pies and a tour of the Arts and Craft main building, featuring William Morris tapestries and tiles. For details of how to join this event, see surreyhillssociety.org.

 

The route

1. The walk starts from Car Park 1 at Peaslake. Take the main sandy path for about 100m and then take the small path off to the left. Cross the next two paths and, just before the path enters a wood, take the sunken path on the right.

2. After the next path, turn left. Go on past the electricity poles until a small path intersects. Take the right-hand path, through a wooden barrier. Go down a steep wooded bank and near the bottom you will go over a wide crossing path. Continuing on down, you will come out onto a driveway to a house on your right. Follow the drive ahead until you reach a lane in front of some small cottages.

3. Carry on down the lane (The Glade) into Holmbury St Mary. Take the right lane up to the church and enter the churchyard and keep right. At the other end of the churchyard, exit via a wooden gate. Follow a narrow path behind some cottages and fork left when you get to a pair of electricity poles. You will meet a lane that leads to the King’s Head pub.

4. From the pub, take the higher lane, Holmbury Hill Road, alongside the green. At the end of the green, turn right. Very quickly turn right onto a track signposted to Holmbury St Mary cricket club and follow this up the hill until the series of tracks merge.

5. Take the first turning on your left, marked with a blue GW arrow (the Greensand Way). The path will eventually fork right passing to the right of a wooden footpath post. Follow the Greensand Way markers to reach the top of Holmbury Hill where you can enjoy the stunning view. Here, you can also read about the Holmbury Hill Iron Age Fort on the information boards.

6. On leaving the village of Holmbury St Mary, with your back to the memorial seat, take the left-hand path and follow this path around the edge of the escarpment. Here, you will be rewarded with another excellent view to the south, near to the pond, on your way back to the start at Car Park 1.

 

Viewpoints

• The remains of Holmbury Hill Fort were excavated in 1929 by S E Winbolt, who concluded that the site dated from around the 1st century AD.

• The hill offers lovely views across The Weald. From the top, it’s possible to make out the tower on Leith Hill four miles away. It is the fourth highest hill in the county at 856 feet.

• Edwin Waterhouse (of the consultancy firm, PriceWaterhouseCoopers fame) built a stunning Victorian Arts and Crafts house on the hill, called Feldemore – now home to Belmont Prep School.

• Written in 1908, the popular novel A Room with a View, by author EM Forster, was supposedly based upon Holmbury St Mary.

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