Leatherhead Common

The ground is reasonably level and there are no stiles, but conditions will vary according to the weather and boots or stout footwear is recommended. The majority of the walk is in woodland, but there are contrasting open areas too. Its character will vary with the seasons, so it is worth repeating at different times of the year. There are several busy roads in the area and the route also crosses the Leatherhead Golf Course. Special care is therefore needed in places on the route.

Technical sheet
No. 8148896
A Surrey walk posted on 23/04/21 by Explore Surrey's Countryside. Update : 23/04/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h55[?]
Distance Distance : 9.57km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 61m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 55m
Highest point Highest point : 74m
Lowest point Lowest point : 39m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Surrey
Starting point Starting point : N 51.31172° / W 0.3342°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) The walk starts on the entrance road for the Tesco supermarket. Take the footpath along the left-hand edge of the access road leading into Tesco. Tesco's petrol station is ahead on your right and the Rye Brook is running on your left. Follow the path ahead through a wide staggered barrier and over a timber footbridge into woodland, Teazle Wood. Beyond the footbridge you will see the first wooden fingerpost which includes the green arrow symbol with the letters LCW (for Leatherhead Common Walk). You will be following these waymarks for the entirety of the walk. Keep right on the footpath signed to Oaklawn Road. Continue ahead along the main path, ignoring any smaller paths off to the left. Teazle Wood is a splendid wood with a great variety of native trees. Taller trees include English oak and ash. Also present is turkey oak, an introduced species which grows vigorously in Great Britain. Look out for spurge laurel, a rare native evergreen. Beneath these are smaller trees of hawthorn, hazel, holly, elder, dog rose and field maple. In spring a spectacular display of bluebell carpets the woodland floor. Further along on the right you will come to Rowhurst Forge, the home of the Fire and Iron Gallery where fine quality metal work is produced. Just visible beyond the forge is a mid-fifteenth century building, thought to have been used as a hunting lodge for Hampton Court Palace.

(1) Continue on the main woodland path which winds its way between mature oak trees before reaching the M25. Here, stay on the path which turns left to follow the edge of the motorway cutting. Further along on the left is Queen Elizabeth's Foundation for Disabled People. Their buildings are now hidden from view by new woodland. The Lower Mole Partnership has restored a former open area to the new woodland you can now see. You will emerge from the woodland to a T-junction with Oaklawn Road, alongside the entrance for Dornicourt.

(2) On reaching Oaklawn Road, cross over the road (with care) to the pavement on the other side and turn right to cross the bridge over the Motorway. At the end of the bridge, continue along the pavement past the first entrance to Combat Stress, at the second entrance cross back over the road (with care) and go down the footpath into the woods opposite. Continue along this path for about 150m before crossing a small stream (using the small sleeper bridge if necessary) and then crossing a larger stream via another sleeper bridge. The path now swings left with the motorway running over to the right. Continue until you reach a T-junction marked with a fingerpost (near some mobile phone masts). Turn left to join the straight path signed to Oxshott Road. Pass alongside the gate and go up the short concrete slope to reach the road. Turn right along the pavement for just 50m then cross over the road with care to join the tarmac entrance drive for Pachesham Park (signed as a footpath to Kingston Road).

(3) Follow the road through the stone entrance gateway and, soon afterwards, the road crosses the first fairway of the golf course. Take particular care here, allowing golfers to play their shots before you proceed and keeping your eyes peeled for stray golf balls. Follow the road past some houses on the right then go through the pair of gates ahead. Keep ahead on the path which leads you across the next fairway.

At the far side, pass through the break in the belt of trees and carry on in the same direction across the practice area. A path ahead through a small belt of woodland leads you out to the A243 Kingston Road. Great care is needed here on this fast and busy road. Cross the road to reach the pavement/cycle path opposite and turn left along this. After 200m you will come to a pair of gates on the right, marking a path into Ashtead Common.

(4) Turn right here, to join the footpath heading directly into Ashtead Common. Keep straight ahead at the first crossroads and then follow the LCW waymarks and green arrows to guide you along the paths through several more junctions.

Ashtead Common is a relic wood pasture owned and managed by the City of London Corporation. Wood pasture had a dual purpose of supplying wood from the branches of trees, as well as grazing and shelter for domestic animals. The branches were cut on a rotational basis above the browse line of cattle created pollards. These ancient oak pollards are characteristic of this type of woodland. Some may be 500 years old and they support lichens, mosses, liverworts and specialised invertebrates of dead or dying wood. They also provide homes for birds, such as woodpeckers, owls and nuthatches and oak loving butterflies such as purple emperor and purple hairstreak.

After 600m you will come to a crossroads of public footpaths marked with a fingerpost of four yellow arrows. Turn sharp right here, heading towards Kingston Road (still marked with the LCW arrow). After 450m, pass through the staggered barrier (made of hedge material) with a City of London board on the left marking the perimeter of the common and Merton Wood. There are views to the south here across the fields on the left.

Keep straight ahead at the crossroads on the woodland footpath signed to Leatherhead. Follow the path winding ahead for 350m and you will emerge to a T-junction with a stone track. Turn left and then immediately right to join the tarmac path which leads you through the underpass beneath a roundabout.

(5) Keep ahead on this tarmac path which leads you through a second underpass and then along a footbridge across the M25. You will emerge to the end of a residential road. Follow this heading downhill, passing houses on the left and the back entrance for B&Q on the right. As you reach the roundabout, go straight ahead into the entrance drive for Tesco, where the walk began.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 39m - Tesco
1 : km 0.1 - alt. 42m - Teazle Wood
2 : km 1.13 - alt. 43m - Oaklawn Road
3 : km 2.02 - alt. 54m - Pachesham Park
4 : km 2.73 - alt. 64m - Ashtead Common
5 : km 4.05 - alt. 61m - Tarmac path
D/A : km 9.57 - alt. 39m - Tesco

Useful Information

Please be considerate and respectful as you will have to cross part of a golf course to complete this loop and it is on private property. Check out our second waypoint on this map with clear instructions on how to proceed when hiking on the golf course. This is a fairly easy three-mile circular walk, mainly on public rights of way, to the north of Leatherhead. Allow up to two hours to complete the walk.

This walk has been specially devised and signposted by the Lower Mole Partnership and Mole Valley District Council to provide an easy-to-navigate route into the countryside. It is signposted with a series of timber fingerposts. Look for the distinctive green arrow
with the acronym “LCW”.

Ordnance Survey Map: Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill & 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.

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

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