The Surrey Hills are located just south of London, and are considered one of the best places to come for walks. Home to the second highest hill in South East England, where on a clear day, you can see as far as London.
There is an abundance of woodland, including some really fairytale type stuff. The area is also steeped in history, from an ancient long distance walking trail, to gunpowder mills dating back to the 1600’s, and a lot of WWII pillboxes dotted about.
Best walks in Surrey:
I have done every single one of the walks in Surrey on this list, and have provided a link to take you to the full guide for them*, with more detailed information including a map, photos, and step by step walking route guide.
- Devil’s Punch Bowl
- Box Hill
- Guildford to Newlands Corner and St Martha’s Hill
- Guildford to Godalming
- Leith Hill
- Farnham to Guildford – North Downs Way
- Guildford to Westhumble – North Downs Way
- Westhumble to Merstham – North Downs Way
*I have got 7 full guides on here, but there is an 8th walk I haven’t got a guide up for yet. However, it’s so famous, you won’t have trouble finding more info about it.
Are these walks in the Surrey Hills easy to get to ?
Hell, yes. The Surrey Hills are very well connected by public transport, and you can reach the area for walks in as little as 30min by train from central London (some do take a little longer). Following on from that point, every one of these walks in the Surrey Hills, start and finish at a train station.
Read more: What to pack on a day hike
Do these walks in Surrey all involve hills?
All bar one of the walks in Surrey on this list do involve hills, however, although some are challenging (I’m looking at you Box Hill), some aren’t so tough. I have included one walk with no hills, but rather, gives you a view of them. Anyway, let’s get into it….
8 Best Walks in the Surrey Hills
1) Devil’s Punch Bowl – The most fairytale like of the walks in the Surrey Hills
Start/Finish: Haslemere Distance: 8miles Time: 3h 30min Difficulty: Challenging Type: Circular
This is one of my favourite walks in the Surrey Hills. Devil’s Punch Bowl is pretty spectacular, and needs to be seen. It has been described as a natural amphitheatre, and when you are in there, it feels like you are in some sort of long lost mystical land.
This walk starts from Haslemere train station, however, the best part of the walk is around the Devil’s Punch Bowl, Hindehead common area, where there is ample parking. So this walk is perfectly doable if you want to come by car. You will also walk up to Gibbet Hill, which is the second highest hill in Surrey, and you can see up to 60km away.
If you want more detailed information, you can check out my guide about the Devil’s Punch Bowl walk here.
2) Box hill – The one with the steepest hill climb
Start/Finish: Box Hill and Westhumble Distance: 4miles Time: 2hours Difficulty: Medium Type: Circular
Although Box Hill isn’t the highest hill you can walk up in Surrey, it is the most challenging one. Right out of the gate, you are faced with this hill. It’s steep, with lots of steps.
It’s one of those hills that you think must be over soon, but then it takes you around a corner and just keeps on going up. At the top, you have a lovely view, before heading into Box Hill woods and out the other side, for some more lovely views.
Box Hill in Surrey is super easy to get to from London by train, and the station is just 5 min walk to the bottom of the hill. There is also car parking just by the woods at the bottom of Box Hill.
For more detailed information, you can read about walking up Box Hill here.
3) Guildford to Newlands Corner and St Martha’s Hill – The most well rounded of all the walks in the Surrey Hills
Start/Finish: Guildford Distance: 11miles Time: 4hours Difficulty: Medium Type: Circular
Of all the walks in the Surrey Hills, I would say this is the most well rounded. What I mean by that is, it’s a bit of everything, and not too much of one thing. A bit of river, a bit of history, a bit of woods, a bit of hills, a bit of views.
There are a few hills on this walk, but they aren’t massive. Just enough that you feel you got a good workout, but not so much you can’t breath. Oh, and that ‘bit of views’ really means, there are some viewpoints, but they are fantastic ones.
I absolutely love this one, and of all the walks I have done in the Surrey Hills, it is probably my second favourite. Devils Punch Bowl being the first.
If you want more detailed information about how to do this walk in Surrey, you can check out my guide about walking from Guildford to Newlands Corner and St Martha’s Hill.
4) Guildford to Godalming – The one along the river
Start: Guildford Finish: Godalming Distance: 5.7 miles Time: 2h Difficulty: Easy Type: Linear
This is the only one of the walks in Surrey on this list which doesn’t actually take you into the hills. That doesn’t make it less special though. This one follows the River Wey for the entirety, giving you the occasional view out to the hills.
It’s super easy, and relatively short, so is perfect for a day when you want a bit of an escape from the city, but fancy more of a leisurely stroll.
For more detailed information, you can read about the walk from Guildford to Goldalming here.
5) Leith Hill walk – The highest point in the Surrey Hills
Leith hill is the highest point of all the walks in the Surrey Hills. It’s so high that on a clear day, you can see as far as 14 counties….or so they say. I cannot confirm this, but what I can say is, you can definitely see the London skyline. You do need a clear day though.
I have been up Leith hill a bunch, and only one time could I see it. This is the one walk on the list I don’t have a guide up for yet…but I will.
The North Downs Way
The North Downs Way is a long distance walking trail, which runs through the Surrey Hills and then the Kent Downs, from Farnham to Dover. Commonly split up into 10-13 stages, the first 4.5 stages are through the Surrey Hills.
For various reasons, I haven’t completed the whole route yet. It’s a little bit cursed for me. The last time I was on it, I got an injury which put me out of hiking for quite some time….I’m not ready to go back yet.
6) Farnham to Guildford – Stage 1
Start: Farnham Finish: Guildford Distance: 11.3 miles Time: 4h 30min Difficulty: Easy Type: Linear
For this walk, you are never that far from civilisation, and there is a constant sound of the road in the background. However, it’s not that bad. Sometimes it just a faint hum.
The walk takes you through mostly woodland, with a few fields and some golf courses. You don’t have the high up, far reaching views that some of these other walks in the Surrey have, but it’s quite a pleasant walk regardless.
Check out the Farnham to Guildford walk here for more detailed route information.
7) Guildford to Westhumble – Stage 2
Start: Guildford Finish: Westhumble Distance: 14.6 miles Time: 5h Difficulty: Medium/Challenging due to the length Type: Linear
If you like you woodland, then this might be the one for you. Of all these walks in Surrey, this one has the most woods. It starts off along the River Wey, then heads up two great hills. St Martha’s Hill, and Newlands Corner. After which, it’s woodland for the majority of the rest of the walk.
There are quite a lot of WWII pillboxes along the route. Way more than I was expecting. It was quite interesting whenever another one popped up.
If you like wine, then you might be interested to know that right at the end, this walk will take you past a vineyard. Could make a nice finish.
For more detailed route information, check out my guide about the walk from Guildford to Westhumble here.
8) Westhumble to Merstham – Stage 3
Start: Westhumble Finish: Merstham Distance: 10.8 miles Time: 4 hours Difficulty: Medium Type: Linear
This walk features Box Hill, which I have already mentioned is arguably the most challenging hill in Surrey. Just like in the Box Hill circular route I mentioned earlier, you get it out the the way first.
This walk has a lot of woodland, like the previous section of the North Downs Way, but it also has more views. I particularly enjoyed the views near the end around the Reigate area.
The big negative of this walk though, is the roads. You are never that far from them, and for a section, you even walk quite near to the M25. It’s pretty aggressive, and I might suggest taking some headphones or something to listen to some music for this bit.
I got quite injured on this walk, and really struggled to finish it. I was then plagued with this injury for some months after. As such, I’m not so fond of this one.
If you would like to give it a go, or just find out a bit more info about it, read about the walk from Westhumble to Merstham here.
Pin it for Later: Walks in the Surrey Hills near London
If you would like to find out some more information about things to do in the area, you could check out the Surrey Hills website.