Narnia Trail Banstead Woods

Narnia Trail at Banstead Woods

Narnia Trail at Banstead Woods

If you are wondering what to do this Easter, the hidden secrets of the Narnia Trail at Banstead Woods make for the perfect place for the whole family to visit. Words and images by Davina Hyde.

Children can enter Narnia’s magical forest through the wardrobe, complete with wooden hanging clothes, in Banstead Woods, and see the novel’s most iconic figures, including White Witch and Aslan. 

The beautiful tree sculptures from CS Lewis’ classic children’s book “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” have been carved from standing deadwood by Ella Fielding, a Surrey-based chainsaw artist. 

Says Ella: “Helen West, Greenspaces Officer at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council, thought it would be so fun to go through the wardrobe and imagine you are in a forest. 

“I am very lucky to do the job I do, but it is only completed once it is experienced by others. My job is to make it to a point and then all the magic is made by everyone else.”  

The 5km circular Narnia Trail was created by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council in 2017 to mark the designation of Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs as a local nature reserve.   

In medieval times, Banstead Park Estate, as it was known then, was a deer park sheltering the Royal deer – and deer can still occasionally be seen wandering the woods today. 

Just a short distance from the A217 near Banstead, and five minutes walk from Chipstead Station,  the trail starts and finishes at the Holly Lane car park. There are no toilets or refreshments on the trail itself, though the visitors can get a cuppa from the mobile van in the carpark.   

The trail takes only about half an hour to complete and, although pushchair friendly, there are some gravel paths and steep sections, and it can get a bit muddy and slippery after rain.  Along the route, there are wooden signs depicting nature and wildlife for children to spot. 

Beautiful all year round, it is however particularly lovely when the woodlands are filled with bluebells in mid-April and May (avoid the temptation to take them home, as bluebells are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981). 

If you wish to take a longer walk once the children have discovered all the wonderful sculptures, you can follow some of the many other intersecting paths, which will take you through 250 acres of beautiful ancient woodlands and chalk grasslands. 

Whether you choose to do a short or long walk, you might like to round off your day with a drink at the local pub, the aptly named Ramblers Rest, just down the road from Holly Lane car park. 


Walks in South West London and Surrey