Circular from Box Hill and West Humble Station
Distance: 10 miles
Map: Explorer 146
Start and finish: Box Hill & West Humble Station
Difficulty: Moderate, with some steep sections
Walk surveyed and described by Anna Harris and Sue Williams, based on Ken’s walk summary as follows: Circular walk from Box Hill and West Humble station via Norbury Park to Polesden Lacey (NT Café) for lunch. Return via North Downs Way with possible tea stop at Denbies.
Description checked by Bert Neale, Brian Keyte and Susan Lea.
Leave station through small car park and turn left on to the road. Cross over and look for Bridge 312 at junction, then take footpath by the fence. After a gate, follow a grassy path diagonally left across a field. At the end of the field, pass through a gate where the path rises up through trees and then continues with the River Mole down below on your right. Another path soon joins from a bridge on the right but go left around a cottage (note the large white house on the hill above which is Norbury Park) and continue through a small picnic area. Turn right at the junction on to a bridleway that climbs gradually ahead for approximately half a mile. At a junction of tracks, turn left and walk steeply uphill towards Norbury Park.
(At the top there is a signposted attractive diversion of half a mile to the viewpoint at Centenary Copse.)
Continuing ahead from the signpost follow the track straight on keeping the boundary fence of the house on the left, passing an entrance gate to reach a road. Turn left and walk on to Norbury Park Wood Products where there is a seating area and information boards.
Continue along the main track, ignoring ones to left and right; after 200 yards look for sign describing ‘Chalk Grass Land’. Track continues downhill bearing slightly right. (Ignore the track joining from the left.)
At the next signpost, which marks a cross path, turn left following blue bridleway sign. This path makes its way up and over. On joining road at the bottom turn left and immediately right past buildings to reach a crossing track at the top of the slope.
Turn sharply left on to the byway (marked Admirals Road on the OS map) and follow this for approx 2 miles to Polesden Lacey, ignoring tracks to right and left and enjoying views. Approach the house using a signposted path to the right of the access road, and before the arched entrance continue ahead on the small road
signed towards farms. Follow this round to use the pedestrian gate into the NT car park and keep to its right hand side to arrive at the lunch stop. Cafés are open to NT and non-NT members alike.
From Polesden Lacey café and toilets turn left and retrace steps to the gate. Turn left out of car park, walk past Home Farm House and Garden Cottage and downhill under 2 footbridges. Turn left at the next junction and continue downhill on the road which swings round to the right, past Polesden Farm on the left.
Continue through a gate uphill in the direction of Prospect Lodge. (At the top, you’ll see seats on your right with a good view back to Polesden Lacey House). Continue ahead past Prospect Lodge on the right on a wide track through the woods. Go through a gate and take the left fork, soon joining a main surfaced track where you turn left. Ignore tracks to the right including one signed Lonesome Cottage. Leaving Polesden Lacey Estate (see entrance sign), turn right on a path alongside Ranmore Common road and after a short distance cross over the road to turn left at the sign to Ranmore Campsite.
Pass the Scout campsite on the left to reach a junction of 4 paths. Turn left here to join the North Downs Way (NDW). There’s a fine view on your right towards Leith Hill. Continue along NDW, through woods for about half a mile to a gate at Steer’s Field. There’s another fine view here, over the valley.
Bear right at an angle between Ranmore Church spire and Dorking town in the valley, along NDW, then curve round to the left to a gate and rejoin Ranmore Common Road. Cross road junction with care and continue alongside the road, passing Ranmore Church on the right (possible refreshments in churchyard on summer weekends).
Continue past the entrance gate to Denbies Farm and turn right on NDW along path with fields on either side.
Very soon, turn left with the NDW (ignoring path ahead downhill). Go through a big gate and continue gently downhill for about a mile.
At junction of tracks near the foot of the hill, you can turn right for optional diversion down to Denbies Vineyard café and shop. Otherwise, keep ahead with the NDW which bears right. At the sign’ Public Footpath to Westhumble’ turn left, leaving the NDW.
Walk across field to a path between houses. Cross a little road and continue straight on to reach a larger road where you turn right and find a roadside footpath down to the station.