Surrey walk around Lingfield
PUBLISHED: 14:21 03 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:33 27 June 2018
Take an adventure around the village of Lingfield, where you can see the former home of author WE Johns, the creator of Biggles
• Start: Car park in Gun Pit Road, Lingfield
• Map: Explore 146
• Length of walk: Five miles
• Food/drink: A real hidden gem, make sure to visit the Hare & Hounds (01342 832351), just off Lingfield Common Road, for exceptional food in quirky surrounds. Have a drink at The Wiremill (01342 832263), on Wiremill Lane, which is set in a stunning lakeside location with even the odd waterskier.
• While you’re there: Visit the British Wildlife Centre. Home to some 50 species of native wildlife, from foxes and hedgehogs to otters and red squirrels, the centre first opened to the public in 2000 on the site of a former dairy farm. Today, the actress Dame Judi Dench is a keen supporter. They open every weekend and public holiday, plus state school holidays, from March to October.
• Recommended by: Bob Hayward for Surrey Ramblers (surreyramblers.org.uk)
1 Once in the village of Lingfield, start from the car park in Gun Pit Road, walking between the shops to get to the front, and then head to the war memorial beside the village pond. Go right along the High Street and then left up Old School Place to the signed footpath you’ll find in the right-hand corner.
2 Along this footpath, you’ll reach the 15th century Church of St Peter and St Paul. Pass the front door and then head down some steps, passing the 15th century public library on your left. Go on down a few more steps across Vicarage Road and then up onto a pathway to reach the playground by going through Fosters Gate. Continue across the field, with Lingfield Wildlife Area on your left, to reach a gap in the hedge on the other side. Go through the gap onto a field path with the hedge on your right.
3 Ignore the side paths, as you go through trees, past a centenary post, along a gully and out to an area of open field and to a house on your left to reach a kissing gate. Follow the Age to Age walk sign as you pass through the gate and on along the drive of Coldharbour Farm. At the T-junction, go right and reach the main road before crossing over and slightly left to a footpath sign going past a gate with a house on your right. Head through another metal kissing gate, then another gate, and go right over a plank bridge and along a drive to the path on the right of the gate.
4 Continue following the arrows, then head 90 degrees right onto a path between two fields, with hedges on both sides, and over a small river. At the next gate, go ahead leftish across the field to the corner, and on through the next field to the stile and across to the far right corner and into a long grassy walkway with the showground area on your left. You should reach a stile with stone steps on your right in the hedge. Cross over onto a tarmac track. Then, go left along the long tree-lined lane, with a moated farmhouse on your right.
5 Eventually, you will emerge into Tandridge Lane by the entrance to Ardunrun Lodge. Go right for 20 yards, then left onto a lane signed Heath Grange and Coach House. Continue on past the right-hand side of a gate with a fence on your left and a hedge on your right. There will be a horse training area on your left. At the stile, go ahead into grassland to another stile and onward under trees to emerge on the A22 beside the Smith and Western pub. Go left past the pub, along the A22 to the road junction cross-over and left past the Blindley Heath cricket ground on your right.
6 Soon, you’ll come to a track on your right opposite the Tandridge road junction. Go along it past a house as the pathway reduces and winds over a small bridge, over a stile, left along the stream, turning right before the gate and onward following the telegraph wires. Stay on this path for a short distance, then go right to reach a stile beside White Cottage Lodge.
7 Go over the stile along the lane and at the T-junction, go left and then sharp left again to a footpath to the left of the house. Stay on this path past the pond on your left, over a stile and into the field ahead to the far right-hand corner. Continue to a hedge and go through the gap to another stile. With the pond on your right, now go across the field to the right-hand corner of the Pond Farm buildings and onward to another stile in the next corner. Here, go over the stile and left to reach a concrete trackway. Go right. Follow the trackway as it bends left and right past the ponds and along to eventually meet the main road the B2029. Go to the right, along past the sports ground, and past the thatched cottage on your left, former home of the author WE Johns, who was the creator of Biggles.
8 You should soon arrive back at Lingfield High Street, its old jail and pond, and the car park behind the shops where we started.
• Built in 1431, the Old Guest House of the College for Secular Chaplains is now home to a public lending library. Though the rest of the original college is long gone, an 18th century farmhouse, called The College, marks the site.
• As the village is approached via Godstone Road, there is a pretty thatched cottage that once belonged to WE Johns, creator of Biggles. The house deeds stipulate that an unusual collection of Biggles books must remain within it.
• A prominent feature at the heart of the village is The Cage, which was used as a temporary jail for minor felons in the 1700s and 1800s. It is dominated by a hollow but fully-leafed oak tree, which is thought to be over 400 years old.