A rural route

A rural route

Better known for its suburbs than its countryside, Surrey is often overlooked as a walking destination but this is unjustified as more than a quarter of its landscapes are designated as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it is one of England’s most wooded counties and has more village greens than any other county.








As I walked in the Surrey Hills over the Easter weekend, through open fields, down deeply rutted sunken lanes and along sandy tracks overhung with deep-green ferns, it did indeed feel wonderfully rural. We encountered just six other people on our two-and-a-half hour walk as we wandered over heathland and past pretty tile-hung cottages and half-timbered farmhouses, before heading along a sequestered valley and climbing up a steep track to be rewarded with a far-reaching view of the countryside.




The circular walk started and finished at Farley Heath, which not only offers attractive walking tracks and bridleways but also the remains of a Romano-Celtic temple built some time before 100AD. Heading back to the heath, we passed through Winterfold Forest, which became famous when some of the Great Train Robbery proceeds were discovered buried in the woods – and the whole area was used by smugglers in the not too distant past.

If you would like to make the most of our beautiful countryside this month, don’t forget to look out for the first feature in our Know Britain Better travel series Explore… the North York Moors National Park, which appears in our May issue and is full of inspiring ideas for discovering this fascinating area.

2 Responses »

  1. What a wonderul walk, Amanda, and I’d no idea that some of the Great Train Robbery loot was buried in the Winterfold Forest. And what a magical name! It sounds like an historical saga: “The Winterfold Forest”!

    We are fortunate in Torbay to have 460 acres of a countryside park within the Borough – green lanes and bridle ways to explore, and the attractive Cockington Court (with its cafe and craft centre) at its heart (plus the Drum Inn, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.) Torbay is known, obviously, for its coastline (the town of Torquay built, like Rome, on seven hills) but just a mile or two inland is glorious south Devon countryside. We have the best of both worlds!

  2. Pingback: Great British Walks « Country Living Ed

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