Inside Croydon’s resident rambler WALKER DUNELM strolls off a little further afield, with the first stage of an exploration of the Greensand Way
The Greensand Way is a 108-mile long-distance footpath which starts at Haslemere in Surrey, and follows the Greensand Ridge to Ham Street in Kent.
In Surrey, the Greensand Way takes the walker along paths which, in many places, give unparalleled views to the south across the Weald as well as northwards to the North Downs. Much of the land is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
There are three ways to tackle a linear walk such as this: to walk the whole route in one expedition, overnighting after each section, either camping out or in a bed and breakfast; you can use public transport to reach a starting point and return; or, as with this route, you can walk a section of the route, returning to your starting point by an alternative route.
This section loops from South Nutfield, just outside Redhill, to Bletchingley.
Walk away from the station down North Station Approach and turn left along Mid Street as far as No 124 on the left. Turn right on a gravel track (following footpath and Greensand Way signs), pass a scout hut on the right, cross a stile and go along the left-hand edge of a field.
At the end of the field bear left through a gap, keep to the right-hand edge of a field and cross a wooden bridge between two stiles. Turn left, go up the left side of a field and cross a stile. Walk diagonally right uphill and cross a stile in the top right corner leading out to a road.
Turn right on the road for 480 yards and, just after passing the car park of BRI (Brewery Research International), turn left along the gravel drive of Colegates Barn (signposted footpath and Greensand Way).
Go under the M23 to a stile beside a metal gate, continue ahead for a few yards on a concrete road and bear left on a gravel farm road across a parkland area.
Cross a stile by a gate and continue on the track, passing another stile by a gate and to the right of two barns. At a fork bear left (Greensand Way sign) towards a metal gate and turn right over a stile on to a footpath enclosed between railings. Climb gradually uphill and bend to the right on a sunken path.
On emerging, continue along the path with superb views to the right, cross over a road to a signposted, enclosed path to the right of a bungalow and walk downhill to another road (Outwood Lane). Cross to the pavement opposite, turn left and follow the road to the crossroads by The Prince Albert.
Cross the A25 and turn left uphill as far as Stychens Lane on the right. Turn left and cross the A25 into Castle Square, pass the old village pound on the left, cross the Greensand Way by the bungalow Bartons previously seen and go downhill on a private drive signposted as a public footpath.
Bear right at Castle Hill Farmhouse, go through a metal farm gate with a lake on the left and continue along the road. At a left turn to the barns previously passed on the Greensand Way, bear right and cross a stile on the left. Walk along by the fence on the right, over a stile and continue by the fence.
After another stile just before the M23, walk through a thicket and a tunnel under the motorway. After the tunnel go over another stile and crossing path and continue straight on with a wire fence and house (Pine Hill Farm) on the left. On joining a metalled drive continue ahead to a road.
Turn left then, at the bend by Porters, turn right where there is a footpath sign almost hidden by undergrowth. Follow a track towards a gate with a notice “No admittance to the public at any time”, bear right to a stile into a field and walk along the left-hand side and, at the end, bear left up a bank to a stile.
Go straight ahead over the next field towards a gap visible in the middle of the opposite hedge; go through and along the edge of the field to a stile into woods and along a downhill path to Mid Street, South Nutfield. Turn left to return to the station.
Map: Ordnance Survey Explorer 146
Distance: 3¾ miles Time: 2 hours
Terrain: Mainly field paths
Nearest town: Redhill
Refreshments: The Station Hotel, South Nutfield, several pubs in Bletchingley
Public toilets: None
Suitable for: All the family Stiles: 16 Grade: Easy