The Best Walks in Surrey
The Best Walks in Surrey
There’s a stroll for all seasons to be had in this lusciously green county
Admire the Surrey Hills over a summery picnic or a frost-thawing flask of hot chocolate, acquaint yourself with the varied wildlife, flora & fauna and rediscover the county with the best walks in Surrey.
Image: © National Trust Images, James Dobson
With over 1,000 species of trees and shrub to meander through, Winkworth Arboretum is a local dendrophile’s dream. Choose a route through more than 100 acres, stopping off for bucolic photo opportunities at the beautiful boathouse with views across the lake, or on one of the arboretum’s towering hills. Crack open a flask of hot chocolate on frostier days or gather the family for a wholesome picnic experience in the warmer months among the sweeping Surrey Hills.
The largest of London’s Royal Parks, Richmond Park stretches across a sizeable 2,500 acres, and there is an abundance of picturesque walks to be enjoyed all year round. Our favourite spots include the Isabella Plantation, where you can amble around the ponds and take in secluded spots such as the Heather Garden. Amble towards King Henry’s Mound on a sunny day and admire the view of St Paul’s Cathedral through the telescope. From here, exit through Richmond Gate and head to a local gastropub for breezy pub garden vibes or a glass of red by the fireplace – the choice being seasonally led, of course.
Kingston Riverside Trail
Start at Kingston Bridge, on the north bank, and take the riverside path towards Hampton Court for an enjoyable riverside wander all the family will enjoy. As you pass Raven’s Ait, duck through the path on your right (Surbiton Passage) to Home Park, pass the pond and head towards the Long Water where you will be greeted with fabulous views of Hampton Court Palace. Created in 1660 by King Charles II, the Long Water was commissioned as a wedding present to his bride-to-be, Catherine of Braganza. Stroll back through Home Park to the exit to Hampton Wick, passing the 17th century icehouse.
Stepping-Stone Walk, Box Hill
For something more active and invigorating, opt for a light hike, taking on Box Hill. With its stepping-stones walk, which comprises of a scenic meandering walk along the River Mole. The stepping-stones are part of the iconic Surrey countryside and an idyllic spot to sit down by the river with a picnic and watch the world go by. Along the way, you’ll also take in views of the rolling Surrey Hills, packed with hikers and cyclers through the warmer months. A trickier climb in the winter months, a well-timed successful ascension may be rewarded with stunning snowy vistas in all directions.
Immerse yourself in the verdant greenery at the RHS Gardens in Wisley. During the warmer months, the gardens come to life. You can wander through the Mediterranean Terraces which explode with life in the warmer sunny weather and explore the magnificent trees of the Pinetum. There are several eateries in the gardens so you can stop off and reward your wandering efforts with a coffee and a slice of cake – afternoon teas are on offer to make an afternoon of it.
Be transported back to the 18th Century with an explorative stroll through Painshill Park. The historic Grade 1 listed gardens were created between 1738 and 1773 by the Hon. Charles Hamilton who was inspired by Renaissance art and his trips across Europe. Visitors can wander around the lake and discover surprising gems and follies such as Grotto Island, the Gothic temple and the amphitheatre. Once you’ve finished the trail, treat yourself to afternoon tea at the Hamilton’s Tea Room or a hearty lunch and enjoy the views of the park.