Attractions/Leisure - Walking in Surrey
Walkers of whatever ability are spoilt for choice in an area that has some of the best and most beautiful walking country in England.
Leatherhead sits at the gateway to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), some of the finest countryside in Britain. To the north are the ancient wood and oak pastures of Ashtead Common and Bookham Common. All around Leatherhead, there are huge numbers of sites in public ownership, or owned by bodies such as the National Trust, Corporation of London, Mole Valley District Council, Surrey County Council and Surrey Wildlife Trust, many of which have free and open public access. Other, privately-owned areas are crossed by rights of way which afford the right to pass over land, so long as you stay to the path, do not damage and do not picnic or pick the flowers. To help you, the vast majority of the paths around Leatherhead have waymark posts (whether it is footpath or bridleway), showing a destination and the distance in miles. There are helpful confirming waymarks between signposts too. These wooden signs, made from English oak, are produced by volunteers working for the Lower Mole Countryside Management Project with the support of Surrey County Council Rights of Way. For more details of what you can and cannot do, please see the Countryside Code.
Footpaths run out in all directions from the town centre and there are a number of bridleways which can be used on pedal cycles. The off-road cycle and horse track leading south from Leatherhead alongside the Dorking Road give access to a vast area of open space south of the town.
The Countryside around Leatherhead includes farmland, common land, woodland, chalk downland and riverside. Some of it is of high biodiversity value, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve.
There are not only great countryside walks but also town trails to enjoy. The Leatherhead Heritage Trail has two options which can be linked together or undertaken separately. The trails provide a guide to the layers of history which make Leatherhead the special place it is today. The places along the route have provided the back drop for trade and commerce and for the ordinary and sometimes extraordinary dramas of life in this small Surrey market town.
The Dorking Heritage Trail also has two options which can be linked or undertaken separately. The trail is the perfect guide to the towns varied architecture, streets and public spaces, which allows you to step back in time and explore the rich and eventful past of this historic town.
The Ashtead Village Trail provides a guide to the architecture and history of this small surrey village and also has four other walks to the north, south east and west of the village centre to enjoy.