Rail to Ramble - Dorking to Betchworth
- Credit: Chris Howard
Surrey Hills Society members Chris Howard and Ken Bare, take you on a leisurely path that starts and ends at a railway station
The Rail to Ramble walk leaflets were launched this year, to encourage people to leave their cars at home and enjoy exploring the Surrey Hills by train. Created as a partnership project between Great Western Railway, the Southeast Communities Rail Partnership and the Surrey Hills AONB team, the routes were created by Chris Howard and Ken Bare, with support from other volunteers. The walks can be downloaded from surreyhills.org or picked up from various information points.
Start: Dorking Deepdene Railway Station
Postcode for Sat Nav: RH4 7TY
Parking: Available at Dorking Deepdene, but parking very limited at Betchworth Station.
Toilets: At the start and on route but not at Betchworth Station.
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Grid ref: TQ170 501
What3 words: ///when.spit.small
Length of walk: 5 miles (8kms) Allow 2.5 hours
Food and Drink: There are two pubs and a café in Brockham and the Red Lion & Cellar Room, Old Road, Betchworth
While you are there: Visit Dorking and enjoy the many independent shops, cafes and museums.
Free guided walk: Join Chris Howard on a free guided walk on Sunday of the month – see surreyhillssociety.org for details.
- From Dorking Deepdene Station head to the A24. Turn left and walk a short distance before you see a footpath signposted to Pixham. Take the narrow tarmac alleyway between high wooden fences. At the next junction, turn left and go under the railway bridge. Follow this path, which becomes Pixham Grove and continue to the junction. Follow this road to the junction with Pixham Lane.
- Cross over the road and then go right under the railway bridge and then turn left into Leslie Road by St Mary’s Chapel. Follow this road until you spot some modern white flats on your left. Turn left at the signposted footpath just past these buildings and go through the metal kissing gate.
- Follow this path until you reach Castle Mill. Turn left at the mill and cross over the River Mole footbridge and continue on the path straight ahead towards Box Hill. Pass through the wooden kissing gate and out into a field. Follow the left-hand corner of the field and pass through another wooden kissing gate and down some steps.
- Turn sharp right onto the Tarmac road. Take the path over the bridge and continue on the Tarmac road to the A25. Cross over the A25 and continue ahead with the Betchworth Castle Park Golf Club sign on your right. Bear left on the main road up towards the golf club, signposted as a public bridleway. Pass the golf club on your right. Continue straight ahead on the bridleway, signposted to Brockham.
- After 1.3km, at the T-junction, turn left over the bridge across the stream. Pass Brooklands Cottage on your right (on Old School Lane) and continue until you reach Brockham Village Green. There are opportunities here for refreshments, food and toilet stop at the Royal Oak and Grumpy Mole Pubs and The Reading Room Café. Continue across the green, past both the pubs, until you reach gates at Brockham Court Farm. Note the old Pound on the right.
- Take the bridleway on the left-hand side of the gates marked Greensand Way. Cross over the stream and then over a second bridge, where the path bears right. Note the WW2 defensive Pill Box on your right. Follow the path up the hill. At the top of the rise take the path on the right, staying on the Greensand Way. The path runs parallel to the River Mole, with houses on your left. Keep on the Greensand Way until you reach a Tarmac drive crossing over the path. Keep going straight ahead, through the wooden gates, into the church yard. Continue with the church on your left, through the metal gate at the other side of the churchyard.
- Continue ahead with the church on your left, through a metal gate at the other side and come out onto The Street. Cross onto Wonham Lane, with the Dolphin Pub on your left. After about 150m you may wish to take the footpath up to the left, which runs parallel to the narrow road until it reaches Sandy Lane.
- Turn left up Sandy Lane (you may wish to continue on 50 yards to enjoy the view over historic More Place). After 300m, take the first footpath off to the left, which looks like a private driveway. Go straight ahead up the steps, where you will spot another footpath sign ahead. Keep going and cross over a Tarmac drive. Pass through a metal kissing gate on a narrow path, which runs down the side of a horse pasture field. The path bends right and quickly left. Go through another metal kissing gate. Cross over the next Tarmac drive and keep ahead on the path between two wooden fences. The narrow path pops out on Old Reigate Road.
- Turn right along the road towards the Red Lion Pub. Follow the footpath which runs up the side of the pub, past the pub’s car park, and keep going straight ahead. At the fork in the paths, keep left, heading towards the A25, following the edge of the field. At about 450m look for a gap in the hedge to your left, by a power pole. Take this path down the gulley and up the steps, which brings you out on the A25.
- Cross straight over and take the footpath on the other side of the road, with a petrol station on your left. Cross a bridge and then bear left following the stream. Go through the metal kissing gate. Keep to the left of the field. At the end of the field, go left through the gate over the stream. Keep going straight ahead across the middle of the field, with the railway line ahead of you. Do not go towards the tunnel under the railway line, but keep straight ahead. Bear left and head for the left-hand corner of the field where you will find another metal kissing gate, close to the railway line.
- Follow this path which runs parallel to the railway line for 450m all the way to Betchworth Station for your journey home. Note: there are no facilities at this station
- Pixham is a village on the edge of Dorking. Sitting at the foot of Box Hill stretch of the North Downs Way, the village includes a number of historic buildings, some dating back to the 17th century. St Mary’s Church is in the centre and was designed by architect Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1903.
- Brockham, originally 'Brook-ham' (bend in a brook) from the Anglo Saxon meaning 'river meadow by the brook'. It was first recorded in 1241. Today it is best known for its spectacular Guy Fawkes Night bonfire celebrations – one of the biggest in the South East of England.
- Betchworth Church is unusual in that the Greensand Way runs right through the churchyard. Dedicated to St Michael, the structure is Grade I listed. More recently, the church was used for the first scene of Richard Curtis’ ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ (1994)
- More Place, previously known as Le More and Aglonds More, is a Grade II-listed 15th century house. It was bought by the Lord of the Manor of East Betchworth from the Manor of Wonham in the 18th century. All subsequent occupants were tenants until the freehold was sold in 1981 following the death of the Lord of the Manor, Major General Goulburn.