Box Hill walk: Westhumble and Norbury Park
A 10 mile walk around Surrey
(Photos © urban75, Feb 2008)
A Sunday afternoon circular walk starting from Box Hill and progressing through Polesden Lacey and Ranmore Common.
Sunday maintenance work meant that our London train terminated at Leatherhead station, where we had to wait for a connecting bus to the start of our walk at Boxhill. The journey takes 42 minutes from Victoria.
This is the first thing we saw as we came out of the station.
Welcome to Leatherhead!
The delightful Victorian Gothic architecture of Leatherhead station, built in 1859. The delicate wrought iron canopy supports are exquisite.
In the 1930s, an extension to Chessington was planned, but these plans were scuppered by a mix of the start of World War 2 and the introduction of a protection order on Ashtead Common.
The original London, Brighton and South Coast Railway (LBSCR) station building has been boarded up for some time.
The bus dumped us some distance from the Box Hill station, and we had to carefully shuffle across a busy main road that was buzzing with motorcyclist enthusiasts who regularly meet up at a nearby pub.
The astonishingly pretty station of Box Hill, with its ornate tiling, polychrome brick with stone dressings and steeply pitched roof topped off with a Gothic weathervane.
Take away all the modern eyesores (car, bright red rubbish bin and yellow lines) and you'd have a scene that has barely changed in a 75 years.
Boxhill waiting room.
Well, I say 'Boxhill', but its full title is currently 'Box Hill & Westhumble' - and that name was only decided upon in 2006.
Since opening in 1863, the station has also be known as West Humble for Box Hill (1867), Box Hill and Burford Bridge (1870), Box Hill (1896), Box Hill and Burford Bridge (1904) and Boxhill and Westhumble (1948).
Incidentally, Boxhill gets its name from the box trees nearby.
Flint and stone archway north of the station, with a blue plaque honouring the celebrated Georgian novelist and diarist Fanny Burney
Adjacent cottage, faced with flint.
Heading north-west, we were presented with lovely views across the valley of the River Mole to Juniper Hill.
Following a bridleway path.
We climbed through Druids Grove to pick up the main path higher up the valley.
In the mixed woodland you can see beech, ash, cherry, maple, sycamore and hazel coppice trees. Not that we were very good at recognising many of them.
A warning sign at a picnic spot with excellent views.
We stopped off here for a quick snack, but promised ourselves we wouldn't tuck into our backpack full of fresh bread, cheese and apples until we were at least half way.
Across Fetcham Downs, where the walk heads in a south westerly direction.
Detail from the barn at Roaring House farm.
Farm outbuilding standing on curious concrete mushrooms (there are apparently called Staddlestones and are used to stop rats getting in the barns).
Cottages close to the farm.