Hascombe - Hydon's Ball - Surrey Hills AONB - Circular

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Hascombe lies in a valley in the Surrey Hills south of Godalming, just to the south of Winkworth Arboretum, which you may have visited. It has a very special Victorian church, well worth a look, a lovely village pond and a great pub, the White Horse – see Additional Information.

Your route leaves Hascombe beside the pub and heads west through fields and lanes to the National Trust area of Hydon's Ball and Heath. You pass a memorial to Octavia Hill, one of three volunteers who founded the National Trust. Incidentally there are now 47,000 volunteers who help to run the NT's properties and its annual income is close to £400m. The NT woodland is a mixture of planted species with natural regeneration and includes oak, rowan, holly, birch, pine and chestnut. Bilberry or 'hurt' grows in profusion on the common.

You cross the West Surrey Golf Course and see the particularly fine Enton Mill near Witley. Witley has some very interesting old buildings and several pubs, one conveniently at the turning point of your route, but sitting astride the busy A283 it lacks the peace and quiet of the rest of the walk.

As you leave Witley, you will pass Enton Hall, a former health hydro. When in 1956 the writer Ian Fleming's sixty cigarettes and bottle of gin a day began to catch up with him, he spent some time here. It features in Thunderball as 'Shrublands', where a reluctant Bond is packed off by M. It seems that rest and recuperation had a better effect on Bond than on his creator, who needed further heart medication immediately after checking out.

You join the Greensand Way, which in total runs for 108 miles from Haslemere along the Greensand ridge, parallel to and south of the North Downs, into Kent and almost to the coast. It takes its name from the layers of sandstone and in particular the green-coloured mineral glauconite.

You miss the village of Hambledon, the Surrey one, not the more famous home of cricket further south in Hampshire, but Hambledon's Church of St Peter is quite separate from the village and right on your route. The church was almost entirely rebuilt in 1846. The churchyard contains two gigantic yew trees, one with a thirty-foot circumference and hollow, with space for four people inside. Legend has it that if you walk around the interior three times you will see a witch. The trees antedate the church by many centuries.

England - South England - Surrey - Surrey Hills


Birds, Church, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, National Trust, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, Woodland
03/09/2015 - Harley Quilliam

The parking instructions for this walk suggest parking in Church Lane. There isn't space to park in Church Lane, and the Parish Council have had adverse comments about parking here. Another possible parking spot is on the grass verge near the playing field in Mare Lane (leading West from the main road), or there is a car park further South on the main road, before you get to Hascombe Grange. Also, the car park opposite the White Horse pub (on the Greensand Way) needs extreme caution when driving away, since the sightline to see traffic coming from the right is very poor, and the traffic can be quite fast!

31/05/2015 - Anne England

We did this walk today, and after a night and morning of rain, the majority of the walk was very wet and muddy. We also found the forest sections quite dark and gloomy - so we recommend choosing a really sunny day after a decent dry spell. A couple of points on navigation: just before WP 4, please note that the footpath forks. We took the left fork to take us down to the track, although the right fork may do the same. And between WPs 6 and 7, the 'one path turning left' near a pond is actually a cross-paths, and we couldn't see a pond. Pass by this point and you'll see the cross-paths you should be turning at. Follow the Octavia Hill trail with purple arrows, and you'll be fine.

21/08/2014 - Kevin Pay

Excellent walk. Wonderful blackberries along the route. Beware there is serious mud between point 19 and 20!

15/01/2012 - Mark Bailey

We have just returned from this walk and had to write a note as soon as we got in - it was THAT GOOD. Just over eight miles, we were lucky to have beautiful blue skies which provided excellent views at every turn. The directions are spot on, the anecdotes interesting and the mix of lane, wood and meadow just amazing. Can't praise this walk enough, only downside a disappointing roast at the White Horse which was distinctly average. Go do it NOW.

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Distance away
21.1 Miles
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Distance away
31.1 Miles