Surrey walk around Norbury Park
PUBLISHED: 15:55 19 September 2016 | UPDATED: 16:45 03 July 2018
Surrey Wildlife Trust
Follow this easy two-hour walk around the historic Norbury Park and enjoy the stunning views over the Mole Valley
Start: Fetcham car park – close to the roundabout on the A246.
Postcode for Sat Nav: KT22 9BW
Length of walk: Allow about two hours for this walk.
While you are there: A traditional sawmill and carpentry workshop managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust, Norbury Park Wood Products specialises in countryside and garden furniture made from local, sustainable timber. At their Open Day on Sunday September 18, there will be a chance to enjoy sawmilling demonstrations, local wood crafts, refreshments and much more. See norburyparksawmill.org.uk.
If there’s time: If there’s still time after your walk, why not visit the nearby Bocketts Farm, a working family farm combining animals and play areas with a gift shop (see more details at bockettsfarm.co.uk).
A bite to eat: Bocketts Farm has its own café in a beautiful 18th century barn with a wide selection of home-cooked food. Entrance to the tearooms is free of charge.
1 Starting from Fetcham car park, follow the path between the wooden posts and ahead you will see an information board about Norbury Park. Facing the board, turn right along the track (leaving the Bocketts Farm access road behind you). At the first fork, take the left-hand path onto the main bridleway. Continue to the marked crossroads, with Longcut Barn on the left (which was once used as a holding pen for the sheep that grazed this downland).
2 Walk straight ahead, keeping to the same main stone path, which ascends gradually upwards and bears left. Where the woodland on the right ends, continue on the main path, which swings left passing an open area of chalk grassland on the right. Across to the right is the former gamekeeper’s cottage. Stay on the path, which leads you to the sawmill on the right. Norbury Park Wood Products (part of Surrey Wildlife Trust) specialises in creating oak furniture and posts (see more far right). Immediately after the sawmill, turn right to join Back Drive, passing a small picnic area on the left. Pass the sawmill entrance gates on the right and keep ahead, alongside the vehicle barrier, on the path between the fences.
3 Eventually, you will come to a ‘Viewpoint’ fingerpost on the left. It is worth taking a short detour to the left here to enjoy a spectacular view of the Mole Valley. You will see three large houses on the other side of the valley. Directly ahead is Mickleham Hall, across to the right is Juniper Hall, and to the left is Cherkley Court. Upon returning from the viewpoint to the fingerpost, turn left to continue your journey along Back Drive. Walk steadily downhill until you reach a signed fork. Take the right-hand path, heading uphill, signposted as a public bridleway. Eventually, the bridleway leads you out to a car park alongside Crabtree Lane.
4 Leave the car park via the vehicle entrance and turn right along Crabtree Lane, heading uphill. Continue along the road all the way to the end, where you will spot several cottages. To your left, you will see a superb view across towards Ranmore Church. Turn right, passing alongside a vehicle barrier, to join the bridleway track signed to Bookham. Follow this path, passing through small sections of woodland and between large crop fields and pastures. Eventually, you will pass alongside another vehicle barrier to reach a large fork within the path. Take the right-hand path. After passing alongside the next vehicle barrier, you will come to Roaringhouse Farm on the left.
5 Roaringhouse Farm takes its name because of its position in this windy valley. Note the old granary on the right, which is set on saddle stones (mushroom-shaped stone pillars). This was done to allow air to circulate and to prevent mice and rats from stealing the grain stored inside. Keep straight ahead passing between the farmhouse on the left and the old granary on the right. The track will lead you down to the crossroads by Longcut Barn that you passed through earlier. From this point, you will be retracing your steps back to the start. To do so, turn left along the track and eventually you will come to the car park on the left.
• Norbury Park was the first area of countryside purchased by Surrey County Council (in 1931) to protect it against development and is now managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust.
• A working landscape, it is home to three tenanted farms and a sawmill. The park lies within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and covers 520 hectares. Many wood products and the hand-made Norbury Blue Cheese are also produced here.
• Norbury was one of three manors owned by King Edward the Confessor until 1066. Norbury Park and its manor are mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.
• Norbury Park House was built in 1774 by William Locke who purchased the estate and commissioned Thomas Sandby to design and build it. Marie Stopes, pioneer of birth control and author of Married Love published in 1918, lived at Norbury Park from 1938 until her death in 1958. Today, it remains in private ownership.