Box Hill, Tadworth, Surrey
Not many people would dispute that from Box Hill you have some of the finest views in Surrey. So it’s well worth a stroll to the top or even a longer walk taking in the River Mole and stopping off for a pub lunch en route. There are several walks from the top of the hill, some more strenuous than others so wander at your leisure and enjoy it all, take it all in, the beauty, the fresh air. There’s a gentle stroll around the hilltop that’s not much more than a mile, and another nice one takes you down to the Stepping Stones across the river; take a picnic and linger a while before climbing back up.
Go and see the remains of Box Hill Fort, built in the late 19th century as part of the London defence line; you can’t go inside because a colony of bats have taken up residence there but you can get a good sense of its’ size and purpose from the outside. Wander over to Broadwood’s Tower, look out for the rare Adonis blue butterflies that live on the fertile chalklands, take the little ones on the 2 mile Nature Play Trail where they can balance on logs, make dens and climb among the knarly roots of huge beech trees.
Box Hill is owned and managed by the National Trust and you know how they do things; there’s a car park, a Visitor Centre, loos, picnic tables, a café and a servery.
Where does the name come from? Well, once upon a time there was an ancient box woodland on the west facing slopes, but of course, that’s gone now. Another curiosity, near the fort, is the grave of a local eccentric who was buried here upside down because he claimed that the world was topsy turvy. Maybe he’s right.
All information correct at the time of writing