Colley Hill and Reigate Hill

An easy access walk along the North Downs Way with spectacular views, taking in Colley Hill and Reigate Hill and visiting the attractions of Reigate Fort and the Inglis Memorial. This walk is published through a collaboration with the Surrey County Council.

Technical sheet
No. 8414378
A Surrey walk posted on 30/04/21 by Aurelie-21. Update : 30/04/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 1h25[?]
Distance Distance : 4.38km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 64m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 62m
Highest point Highest point : 238m
Lowest point Lowest point : 203m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Surrey Hills
Location Location : Surrey
Starting point Starting point : N 51.26006° / W 0.21584°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) Leave the Margery Wood car park to join the woodland footpath, passing between low wooden bollards and then passing through a generous simple staggered fence to reach a fork. Take the left-hand branch and follow this wide stone path steadily uphill through the pretty woodland. Margery Wood has a particularly healthy population of bluebells, creating a wonderful display in the late spring. At the far end of the wood, you will come to a footbridge over the M25. Cross this and, at the far side, keep ahead along another short section of woodland footpath. Over to your left you will see a tall ornate brick water tower. NOTE: Beyond the next gate you may come across Belted Galloway cattle. Go through the single gate ahead and you will meet a junction with the North Downs Way. It is at this point that you are rewarded with your first glimpse of the views that this walk enjoys. All along the top of Colley Hill magnificent views can be seen across the Weald to the South Downs. Turn left along the surfaced path with the views to your right and passing the water tower on your left. Stay with this path, the North Downs Way and, just before you come to the next gate ahead you will reach the Inglis Memorial on your right, a circular structure with columns. Be sure to look up to the internal ceiling. This unusual building with its cobalt and gold ceiling showing an astronomer's view of the heavens, was originally built as a drinking fountain for horses. The central fountain has since been replaced with a topograph which indicates the landmarks that can be seen from this viewpoint.

(1) When you have finished at the memorial, pass through the gate ahead to continue on the North Downs Way, leading you through a section of woodland. You will pass a pillbox on your right before coming to a clearing with a pair of aircraft wingtip sculptures and an information board. This clearing is the site of a World War II plane crash. On 19 March 1945, a US Flying Fortress plane was returning from a bombing raid in low cloud and sadly crashed into Reigate Hill, killing the nine crew members. Further along, just after passing the tall masts of a transmission station on your left, you will come to the entrance for Reigate Fort on your right. Take time to explore the fort should you wish, although note that, as sheep graze the site, dogs are not permitted. Reigate Fort was built in 1898 as one of 13 mobilisation centres, established to protect London from invasion. Confidence in the British Navy at this time was low, so whilst a huge ship-building programme was initiated by the Government, this line of defence was put in place in case of a French invasion.

(2) When you have finished at the fort, continue along the North Downs Way which now becomes a tarmac lane passing a few houses on your right. Just beyond these you will come to a crossroads with a public bridleway. Go straight ahead, continuing on the North Downs Way which becomes a stone path once again.

The stone path leads you downhill (the steepest gradient of this walk) to reach Reigate Hill Footbridge. The single span footbridge, which weighs 3 tonnes and has a span of 30 metres, was built in 1910 by the firm Mouchel, using its newly introduced French system of reinforced concrete. It is the earliest example of a reinforced concrete footbridge in the country.

Cross the bridge and you will emerge into the Wray Lane car park and picnic area which has a cafe kiosk and toilets. This is another great place to pause and enjoy the views. There are several picnic benches, deck chairs and another topograph viewpoint.

(3) When you are ready to continue, retrace your steps back over Reigate Hill Footbridge and follow the North Downs Way back past Reigate Fort, the plane crash site and on to reach Inglis Memorial. Pass the memorial (now on your left) and continue for about 170 metres to reach a single gate on your right. Turn right through this gate and join the tarmac residential access lane directly ahead. Follow this quiet lane across the M25 and then leading you gently downhill. At the bottom of the slope you will come to the car park on your left where the walk began.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 204m - Margery Wood
1 : km 0.99 - alt. 224m - Memorial
2 : km 1.73 - alt. 232m - Reigate Hill
3 : km 2.27 - alt. 203m - Wray Lane
D/A : km 4.38 - alt. 204m - Margery Wood

Useful Information

The walk follows wide surfaced paths throughout some compacted stone and some old tarmac which are very firm but a little uneven and with some shallow surface mud. There are a few gradients, but these are all gentle to moderate. There are no stiles, steps or kissing gates on the route, just a few single gates. Given these conditions, the route is suitable for rugged pushchairs and disability buggies. You will be sharing one section of Colley Hill with Belted Galloway cattle that are used for conservation grazing, so take care with dogs (it is worth noting that this is a popular stretch of the North Downs Way so the cattle are accustomed to both walkers and dogs). Allow 1.5 hours. There are toilets and a popular cafe kiosk (the Urban Kitchen) in the Wray Lane car park, half way round the walk. Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate. This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways which cross private and public land. Information is included for your interest, but please respect people's privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

This trail has too many sections over a 12% grade to be marked as wheelchair or stroller friendly although some sections of it may be for some users or equipment types. Also, users have reported that as there are some rocky or muddy areas, all-terrain tires or motorized equipment may be needed on this trail for the surface type.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

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