- County: Surrey
- Nearest Town(s): Dorking
- AONB: Surrey Hills
- Difficulty: Easy
- Time: 5-20 minutes
- Height: 172m
- W3W: ///void.oddly.take
- Map: OS Explorer 146 – Dorking, Box Hill and Reigate
Where To Park
There is a really handy National Trust car park behind the cafe at the top of the hill, around five minutes from the trig pillar. The walk in is then short and very flat, plus the cafe has cake.
The car park entrance is at ///trades.pretty.deep. There are often spaces in the car park as the majority of the clientele are of the pedal powered variety. You will have to dice with the cyclists up the aptly named zig-zag hill to get there though!
There are also several National Trust bays along the hill top that offer an even shorter walk in (but further from the tea and cakes).
Assuming you are as lazy as we were on this occasion the walk is short, simple and flat. Simply turn right out of the cafe and follow the roadside path. The main excitement is not our usual big hill but playing dodge the cyclist.
On a Sunday morning the cafe is particularly busy and there is more Lycra on show than your average Eric Prydz video. The cafe service is fast and the salted caramel ice cream is really nice (or so Sam informs me). If you escape the moving maze of MAMILs, Box Hill trig pillar is just to the right of the path by the concrete viewpoint.
We found that there are many walks around the area, well advertised on boards at the cafe. The paths are for the most part well signposted and make for a nice jaunt. Most of the paths are easygoing under foot. In some cases they go up and down the hill which is steep but relatively short. There is a beautiful crossing of the river at the bottom of the hill which is worth a slight detour.
Back from the Pillar
We decided to have an amble along the hillside and discovered not only the Napoleonic fort but also the grave of a local nutter. No, this wasn’t a cyclist that decided to make the hill climb in 40 °C heat, but Major Peter Labelliere, who decided that box hill was a great spot to be buried. Not content with his somewhat unusual burial spot Major Pete decided that clearly being buried head downwards was the way to go. It is fabled that Petey thought the world was so topsy turvy so eventually he would be right way up. I guess he may have been a little prophetic with the current topsy turvy world!
We followed the path back to the back end of the car park, jumped in the car and headed home for a not-so-well-earned roast dinner with Box Hill trig pillar in the bag.
View From The Pillar
Box Hill trig pillar is one of the better views for the Surrey Hills, with a steep drop to the river Mole below. In the right weather you can see for miles across the Surrey countryside and in our opinion is well worth a visit especially given the ease of access.
There is a National Trust car park next to the cafe, easily accessible at the top of zig-zag hill. ///trades.pretty.deep if you use W3W.
Yes, the Surrey Hills are dog friendly. The National Trust have a whole page dedicated to walking dogs on the National Trust sections of the Surrey Hills.
Box Hill and the trig pillar are easy to access year round, and the views are stunning in any weather. In the winter extra care should be taken up zig-zag hill, but in all but the worst of weathers it should still be accessible. Be aware it does get windy at the top, as with any hill.
Box Hill has been the go to view for many a Hollywood Blockbuster classic. Those keen of eye will have noticed it in “The World’s End” (despite the rest of the film being set in Letchworth and Welwyn Garden cities), an episode of Blake’s 7 and the zig-zag hills features very briefly in “The Wedding Date”
Yes there are several on the Surrey Hills. You could try Mickleham Down (S3364) for one to link to, but the view isn’t as spectacular.