Weekend Walk: South Holmwood to Coldharbour (9 miles)

Christchurch, Coldharbour. Consecrated in 1848, this small church is on the slopes of Leith Hill.© Copyright Ian Capper

This is a circular walk through fields and woods. There is a steep climb at Leith Hill but you can avoid it and shorten the walk if you wish. There is a lovely pub en-route, The Plough at Coldharbour, please see the offer below. The walk description is provided by Guildford Rambling Club, please check the website for more details if you would like to join them (guildfordramblingclub.org.uk).

1. Walk back along Mill Road towards the A24 for about 200 yards and then turn left down the access road to Holmwood Park Farm. Walk through the houses and through a gate straight out into fields along a concrete track. Reach its end at a small bridge and gate. In this field, ignore the footpath sign pointing right. The path that you want heads out straight across the field to a small crossing over a rail line (where there is a footpath sign pointing back to the gate) but crops may force you to walk there around the edge. Go over the rail line and into a small field on the other side.

2. Walk forward for a few yards then turn right onto a bridleway on the near side of the hedge and walk along parallel to the rail line and through fields to a house. Continue forward along its drive to pass first 3-way signpost and then an immediate 2-way signpost and walk along a metalled lane and under a road bridge to reach a T-junction with a minor road. Turn right and cross. Walk over a bridge above the rail line and Holmwood Station. Walk past a few houses and, at the 30 limit sign at the end of them, take a footpath off left. This takes you through to Moorhurst Lane where you turn left.

3. Pass the imposing gate of Capel Leyse on your right and reach a junction by a Copse Farm sign (point *, see later). Here fork left down a lane that gradually deteriorates to a track and continues through trees. Soon after this, the terrain opens out to fields on your right and you reach a T-junction with a concrete track and a sign to Trout Farm. Here you turn right to walk along the track to Henhurst Cross Lane. Cross, jinking right, to turn left into the access road to Bearhurst. Immediately past the house on the corner (Bearhurst Lodge) take a footpath right.

4. Go over a stile and through a gap into a field and turn left to walk along the left-hand edge, climbing a slope. Go through to the next field and head for the stile in the far right-hand corner. Immediately cross another stile into another field and head up the slope to the far left-hand corner. Now head for the far right-hand corner of the next field, dipping down and climbing up to do so. Exit through a gate and go right to reach a road. Jink right, cross and take a footpath left and fairly steeply up. Eventually reach another road. You could shorten the walk and avoid a steep climb by turning right here and walking over ½ mile along the road to pass Christ Church church and reach the pub in Coldharbour. You might even choose to picnic at the church.

5. If you intend to finish the full walk, turn left and walk a few yards to turn right into Landslip Car Park. Walk through and out of the other end following the footpath to the Tower signs. You will be led away right and then steeply up a long haul culminating in steps that take you to a barrier. Here you leave the path to the Tower and turn right along a wide track. Continue along this track for about ¾ mile, ignoring lefts and rights, until you drop down to emerge on the road opposite the Plough in Coldharbour where you could lunch or you could picnic close by.

6. After lunch, take a footpath running down by the back of the gardens of the cottages at the right-hand side of the pub. Follow the path across a field and then down through a wood to arrive at a very narrow lane. Turn left and walk along until, at the end of the lane just past Kitlands Cottage, taking a footpath right, into a field. Head out slightly left and down slope to find a stile in the left-hand hedge. In the next field, turn right and follow the right-hand edge to a track exiting from the far right-hand corner. Follow this through to Henhurst Cross Lane and turn left. Walk up the road to pass various houses. Ignore the first footpath right. Pass The Walled Garden and then, by Stable Cottage, take a footpath right. Quickly reach a T junction and turn right.

7. Walk for about ½ mile, at first along a narrow path, ignoring lefts and rights as it widens and eventually becomes a road (Moorhurst Lane). Walk to the junction at point * (see left). This time take the road left, signed ‘Burleys Private No Through Road Footpath Only’. This runs into a car parking area and then on along a dirt track into trees. Ignore lefts and rights and continue ahead to reach a stile into a field. Walk along the left-hand edge to cross two stiles and enter ‘Bechets Brook Fields’, NT land. Continue along the left-hand side of two fields. Then exit over a stile on the left onto a road.

8. Turn right and follow the road as it swings left. Ignore tracks right, pass the entrance to a side road on the left and then swing right to reach houses in South Holmwood. Just past Betchet’s Green Farmhouse and a small pond, turn right to climb a short slope to the church. Go straight through the churchyard to the A24. Go straight across (if you prefer, there is an underpass a couple of hundred yards along to the left) and enter the lane opposite, ignoring several signposts. Walk along the lane until you reach a house and then take a footpath forking left and into trees. Emerge in a field.

9. Continue forward along its right-hand edge, through a kissing gate, across a small field and over a little footbridge into a very large field. Head out very slightly right across this field and slightly more right across the next field to reach an electric fence and the concrete track which you came along at the walk start. You may need to walk left along the fence to find the way through, the farmer sometimes moves it. On the concrete track turn left and walk through to Mill Road. Turn right and walk along the road to the start.

DISTANCE: 9 or 8.25 miles
OS MAPS: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate, Leatherhead & Caterham
STARTING POINT: Head south down the A24. Just past the South Holmwood sign turn left into Mill Road towards Leigh/Brockhurst. Go on to reach a pond, Fourwents Pond, at a cross roads. Park in the car park there.
The Plough, Coldharbour. T: 01306 711793


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