A 45-minute circular walk for if you live near Chobham Common
PUBLISHED: 14:05 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:55 08 April 2020
Enjoy a short, sandy walk on this rare lowland heath with its palette of browns and olive greens, dotted with happy yellow gorse | Words and pictures: Chris Howard
1) From Staples Hill Car Park, go back to the entrance and cross over the road, where you will pick up the start of the purple Albury Bottom self-guided walk.
There are excellent views over towards Woking here. After only a few paces you reach a wide open track, with a post showing other signed walks (but not the purple marker).
2) Turn right here onto the wide track running parallel to Staples Hill Road.
3) Continue on this path until you come to a blocked entrance onto the road on your right. The path moves away to the left and is signposted with the purple self-guided walk marker. Follow the path down the slope.
4) At a cross roads with another wide path, stay straight ahead on the original path. At the next intersection, marked by a purple marker post, take the smaller path to the left.
5) Follow this path until you come to a confusing purple marker post with an arrow indicating straight on and one turning left.
6) Continue straight on until you reach a junction with a wide track and another purple marker post. (Or to cut short the walk, take the left turn straight back across the middle of the common and up the hill to come out directly opposite Staples Hill Car Park.)
7) Follow this wide sandy track until just before you reach Longcross car park. Another purple marker indicates the smaller path to your left. Take this path. A small pond is below you on the left. This path climbs gently upwards and then opens out.
You will see Staple Hill Rd on your right running parallel to the path. At the top of the hill you arrive back at the start of the self-guided walk. Retrace your steps the short distance back to Staples Hill car park.
- The 585 hectares of Chobham Common is one of the finest remaining examples of lowland heath in the world. It is managed by Surrey Wildlife Trust on behalf of Surrey County Council.
- It is home to many rare species of birds and animals, including a little brown bird called the Dartford Warbler, which loves the gorse bushes that cover this landscape alongside the large swathes of heather. You can spot over 100 bird species here.
- In mid-summer you will find several species of native orchids around the heathland verges. The wetland areas harbour insect-eating sundews and rare purple coloured marsh gentians.
- The common is also home to frogs, toads, newts, adders, grass snakes, common and sand lizards, slow worms and 25 species of mammals.
- Chobhom Common is the largest National Nature Reserve in the south of England. It is one of the most ancient and characteristic British landscapes, originally created by prehistoric farmers and now provides a living link to our stone-age past.
- Longcross Film studios are based nearby. Opened in 2006, with many blockbuster films and TV productions being produced here, including Call the Midwife, Thor 2, World War Z, Skyfall and War Horse.
Start: Staples Hill Car Park, Staple Hill Road, Chobham. Free parking after April 1, 2020. Currently £1.30 for one hour
Postcode for Sat Nav: GU24 8TU
Grid ref: SU973648
Nearest railway station: Long Cross
Length of walk: 2 miles (3.2kms) / 45-60 minutes
NB: Dogs are welcome but owners are requested to keep them on leads in the spring bird nesting season, as the heath has many ground nesting birds