- County: Surrey
- Nearest Town(s): Dorking
- AONB: Surrey Hills
- Difficulty: Medium
- Time: 1 hour
- Height: 143 m
- Map: OS Explorer Map (146) Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate*
A weekend visit to sunny Surrey meant we were keen to bag at least one trig (if for no other reason than to work off Saturday night’s BBQ!) Our first few choices turned out to be either destroyed as a result of construction or situated on private land. Luckily, we found a trig in near Dorking at Mickleham Downs which was in great condition and seemed to have a good walk in.
Mickleham Down is just a couple of kilometres away from it’s famous sister trig at Box Hill. We didn’t visit Box Hill, having only a couple of hours to spare on Sunday morning, but you could make a day of your walk and loop both trigs.
Where to Park
We parked at a small National Trust car park on Headley Road. There’s room here for about 10 cars, but you don’t pay for parking. If you can’t get in here, you’ll need to carry on to the second car park along the road, as there simply isn’t enough room for on-road parking.
Be warned that Headley Road itself is a narrow single track, so take it slow up here.
The Walk In
From the car park, head towards the road and cross directly to the steps heading up White Hill through Juniper Wood. The steps are good but the incline is steep, and whether you’re a seasoned hill walker or gym stepper, you’ll find yourself a bit out of breath and very glad of the water your bought by the time you reach the top!
Follow the path up the incline, following the signs for the Box Hill hike, until you reach the crossroad. Here, take a right, continuing through the forest. Keep walking until you see a path blocked by a black metal bar (I believe this is there to keep motorised vehicles out, rather than walkers). Walk round it into the clearing. The pillar is on your left-hand side.
The View From The Pillar
Unfortunately, there are just too many tall trees to get much of a view from this trig, so don’t expect much, other than out to the clearing at the top of the hill.
The Walk Out
Carry along the path through the clearing and follow the Box Hill Hike arrows. This will bring you back to the bordering Cherkley Wood. Enter the woods then turn right almost immediately to descend the hill.
The descent here doesn’t have convenient steps set into the earth like the way up did. It’s manageable for confident walkers but does require a bit of trust in the tread on your boots – otherwise you’ll be going down on your bum! Walking Poles” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=” (opens in a new tab)”>Hiking poles might also be a good idea if you’re a little more unstable. Alternatively, take the risk and zig zag down the hill like a mountain goat!
When you reach the bottom of the hill, cross the road and
prepare for another ascent. By now, if it’s a sunny day you’ll be cursing the
jeans you decided to wear because you thought it would be a gentle walk and it
looked a little cloudy outside anyway. You’ll also be wishing you bought a
bigger bottle of water.
When you reach the bottom of the hill, cross the road and prepare for another ascent. By now, if it’s a sunny day you’ll be cursing the jeans you decided to wear because you thought it would be a gentle walk and it looked a little cloudy outside anyway. You’ll also be wishing you bought a bigger bottle of water.
That said, the incline up here is slightly shallower and just requires pacing yourself. Follow the narrow path up the hill alongside the field, keeping an ear and an eye out for mountain bikers who can appear whizzing down the path quite quickly (but at least do so politely!)
As the path levels out follow round, keeping the wall on your right. Hop over the shallow part of the wall on your right and pick up the adjoining path (at this point on the quiet entry road to the outdoor education centre, High Ashurst. Follow the road downhill and round the first bend. At the second bend, follow the dirt track at the apex (signposted as a footpath).
Pass through a field with point-to-point hurdles to your left. The path from here is obvious, just keep following it without turning off. Eventually you’ll pass through the final bit of forest, and straight back into the car park.
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