Stepping Stones Walk, Box Hill, Tadworth, Surrey
If you can spare the time and the weather's good, go and do the Stepping Stones Walk from Box Hill. You really should because, if you didn’t go and explore at least a little bit of the Surrey Hills whilst you’re in this neck of the woods, take it from us, you’d be missing out. The AONB status didn’t come about by accident – these hills are a staggeringly beautiful landscape with views that push out and roll on and on as far as the eye can see. The flora and fauna is a delight, with rare plants and Adonis blue butterflies to be spotted on the chalklands; the wooded areas are home to nesting birds and mammals, and you’ll find follies and historic buildings here and there, each with its own story, its own fascination.
The Stepping Stones Walk is a National Trust trail that’s probably one of the most popular walks in the hills. It’s only a couple of miles so it won’t take you long and it’s not too much for little legs; the family dog can go too of course, as long as he’s kept under control, and ideally on a lead.
The walk starts and finishes at the Visitor Information Centre at Box Hill and takes you through a varied terrain of surfaced paths, meadows and river banks. One section has 275 steps down through the woods, which is rather fun, but it can be a little slippery at times, so do take care. The best bit is when you get to the Stepping Stones across the River Mole; take off your shoes and socks and have a paddle, and if you take a picnic, this is the place to unpack it. On the final stretch you pass Box Hill Fort, which you can have a look round – you can’t go in because a colony of bats have taken up residence there.
You might feel that you deserve a little treat by the time you get back to where you started, so go and find a table in the café and tuck into a nice homemade cake.
Grid ref: TQ178513
All information correct at the time of writing