The Surrey Hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England. The Hills are one of 46 nationally protected landscapes in the UK. The hills embrace an amazing variety of countryside, including rolling chalk downs and box woodland and flower rich grasslands.
History and Information: Surrey Hills is a 422 km² area, which covers one quarter of the county of Surrey. The Surrey Hills offer some of south east England’s most beautiful and accessible countryside. Parts of the area are owned and managed by the National Trust. The Hills contain extensive footpath networks and inspiring views. Some well-known iconic sites include include Box Hill, Leith Hill and the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Around the area you will find a range of cute market towns and villages. You can explore the area by walking, running cycling or horse riding through.
The Hills have long been a significant and popular area. Parts of the Hill are a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest with an array of animals and rare plants including bats and orchids. There are also a range of conservation projects taking place to protect and conserve the area.
The Hills have a range of different walks depending on your ability and how far you want to walk. In this post I will be focusing on Box Hill and the ‘Stepping Stones’ walk. Box Hill featured prominently on the route of the 2012 Summer Olympics cycling road race events.
Getting There: The address for the main location in the Surrey Hills is Box Hill Road, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7LB. The Hills are easy to access from London. It is about an hour and a half drive from East London. It is a close drive from Croydon in South London. There is a car park on site that you have to pay to park in.
The nearest station is Box Hill & Westhumble station. You can get the South Western Railway, Southern, or Great Western train to the station and then get a bus to the foot of Box Hill. The Metrobus route 21 or Arriva route 465 both arrive at the foot of Box Hill, which is about a mile and a half from the summit.
The Hills are generally open from 9-5, including the cafes and shop.
Price: Once you arrive at the Hills they are completely free to explore on foot.
Accessibility: The Hills have disbaled paking close to the entrance of the shop and cafe. The path from the car park to the main veiwing point is wheelchair accessible. There is also a length of North Downs Way that is accessible to wheelchairs. Ofcourse some of the paths are steep and some are not accessible. Check out the official website to find out more about the accessibility.
Prayer: There is lots of open quite spaces where you can easily pray Alhamdullilah. It is so nice to pray in an open place surronded by beautiful nature.
Things to do: Found within the Hills are key locations including Box Hill, Leith Hill and the Devil’s Punch Bowl, with an array of open commons, picnic sites, walking paths and attractive market towns and villages near by.
As I mentioned above there is a range of different walks throughout with a variety of different difficulties and distances including 2, 3 and 6 mile hikes including a riverside walk and the highest summit, Leith Hill. For more information about the walks check out thier website. When you arrive there is also a Information Point with free maps and guides of the different walks.
I think the best way to explore the Hills is to walk through them. You can also run, cycle or horse ride through to discover the very best of the Surrey Hills. You can also drive through the hills to enjoy the views if you want to.
There are some cute near by market towns nestled within the Surrey Hills too with some great local businesses which has a range of produce and crafts.
We decided to go on the ‘stepping stones’ walk as the weather wasn’t great when we arrived and that is the shortest walk of 2 miles long. The walk passes starts at a viewing point, across a great stepping stone path and bridge.
The stepping stones were first recorded in 1841. They were removed in 1946 during World War 2 as an anti-invasion mesaure.
There are walking groups that explore the Hills. There are different activities you can enjoy in the Hills including horse riding, cycling, fishing and paddle boarding.
Different events take place throughout the year including the Surrey Hills Food & Drink Festival,Tree Climbing Festival and the Wood Fair. These events offer a range of amazing arts, crafts and physical activities including bee keeping and zip wire.
There is a a lovely cafe and gift shop. There is also lots of great green spaces and learning areas for children to enjoy.
Final Thoughts: Due to it’s location Surrey Hills has long been a popular location for Londoners looking for country side views, beautiful scenery and fresh air. The Hills are a short distance from London and offers a great chance to have a quick trip to the countryside from busy city life. There is so much to see and explore. I am hoping to go back in the future to explore some of the other routes. For more information be sure to check out their official website -https://www.surreyhills.org/