Text copyrighted © Colin Bridge 2009-2021
Section 26 (Out)
Betchworth to Dorking
|Map||OS Explorer 146 (Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate)|
|Distance/Time||5 Miles/3 Hours|
|Start||The Dolphin in Betchworth village centre, limited parking around the village or ask in pub.|
|Comment||Betchworth is a splendid village with interesting houses and medieval church. The walk is through gracious countryside with a fair sprinkling of stiles. The final stretch into Dorking is inevitably urbanised, but former country footpaths weave between houses and gardens into the very heart of the town with a long decline from Tower Hill offering panoramic views.|
With ‘The Dolphin’ pub on your left, climb up the grassy bank on your right to a post box set in the wall. Turn left along an earthen path with the wall on your right and the road down on the left. Follow this narrow path to reach a river bridge. Cross with care (no pedestrian walkway).
Immediately over the bridge turn right off the road through a metal kissing gate into a field. Follow a grassy path along the field edge towards a wood with the River Mole on your right. Continue into the wood.
Dip down then climb up to a further metal kissing gate and emerge into a field. Bear right to follow the hedge on your right. Ignore a path off to the left and keep on to a stile ahead. Over this go on on an obvious path on the high ground above the river, now far down in the valley to your right.
Keep on uphill towards the corner of woods ahead. At the corner go through a metal kissing gate into a field (do not enter the wood), and keep on along the edge of the field with the woods on your right. At the end of the wood reach a junction with a cross path. Turn left on this down by a line of four trees.
In 50 metres bear right, downhill, towards a clump of bushes. On reaching them bear left, across the field on your left, just left of two houses ahead to a metal kissing gate by an old fieldgate in the far corner. Go through to soon emerge onto a road.
Turn right on the road for a short distance then left on a footpath off the road, just before a house on the left. Follow the path across meadows towards distant housing.
On reaching a road, cross and turn left a few paces, then right on an enclosed path just before a house. Follow this path by a wooden fence, then the ends of gardens, to a footbridge and stile. Cross into a field and bear left to follow the hedge on your left, towards distant farm buildings. Follow power lines to a metal kissing gate between posts leading to a road at Felton’s Farm.
Turn right on the road for 30 metres looking for a stile on your left in the hedge just past the last building. Cross the stile into a small paddock. Go straight across to another stile, then on in the same direction, past a farm building on your left, and a rough parking area on your right. Keep on to cross a brick bridge over a stream into a field.
Keep straight on up the field parallel to a hedge 20 metres over on your right, to reach the top of the field. Here turn left and walk along with a hedge on your right. At the end of this large field cross a stile in the corner into another field and keep on, again with a hedge on your right, to the far corner ahead opposite a farm on your left.
In the hedge in the corner is a stile. Cross into a triangular area. Pass a field gateway on your right and follow the hedge on your right to soon go along with a stream on your left. Reach a fieldgate with a stile at the side. Cross into a field. Here the path divides. Bear diagonally right across the field to a railway bridge in the distance.
Search for a stile in the hedge near the corner and cross into a corner of a field. Go a few paces further on to reach a second, currently broken, stile onto a road by the bridge. Turn right on the road and go under the railway bridge. Immediately turn left, off the road, and go through a kissing gate onto a concrete farm track. In a few paces turn right off the track and cross a narrow strip of grass to a stile in the hedge by a tree.
Over the stile, follow the hedge on your right to the very end of the field. Cross a stile into an enclosed path crossed by power lines. Go on to a substantial footbridge in trees. Over this turn right and follow the field edge towards distant houses.
Emerge onto a road by the ‘Royal Oak’ pub. Cross straight over to a footpath going through a kissing gate into woods. There is new housing on the left. In a short distance the path meets an asphalt path. Go forward on this in the same direction as before. Look for a turning off right.
Go down and over a footbridge into an enclosed path between houses. Emerge onto a road in a housing estate. Cross slightly left to a service road opposite and continue uphill. Pass a recreation ground on your right and reach a road at the top. Cross to an enclosed asphalt path and continue on uphill to meet a very busy main road.
There is a central refuge here. Cross to the other side with great care. Enter ‘The Glory Wood’. Immediately turn right uphill on a path (essentially this path leads virtually straight to Dorking town centre).
Follow it uphill, ignoring all tracks to left or right. Emerge onto a private road. Keep on up and soon re enter the wood at the top. Keep climbing now on the Greensand Way. Again ignore branching paths and keep on to the very top of the hill, then down the far side on a broad path.
Eventually leave the wood through a gateway and bear right by a seat to keep on down the edge of an open grassy area with a wood on your right. At the bottom this becomes an enclosed path and soon emerges onto a road by a school.
Keep on past the school on your right and housing, then cross a road onto an asphalt path running down the rear of houses. Eventually this path becomes a pavement by a road. Keep on down to emerge onto a road in front of a Sainsbury’s supermarket and car park.
Turn right on this road. Where it swings right uphill, go on into a cul-de-sac. Continue on an enclosed path at the end down to a road in front of a daunting block of flats. Turn left down to the High Street in the centre of Dorking.
To reach the station, cross to the road opposite and go on down by the Royal Mail delivery centre. At the end of the road, where it bears sharp right, go on down a path in front of a terrace of cottages to reach Meadow Bank Park.
At the bottom turn right on a path with a stream on your right. Keep on this eventually passing a lake (former mill pond) on your left. Leave the park over a cast iron bridge into an enclosed path. This soon reaches a road.
Turn left on the road. Soon pass the Magistrate’s Court on your right and come to a main road by a petrol station. Cross the main road with care (there is a pedestrian crossing) to reach Dorking Deepdene Station and the end of the Dover to Dorking Robust Ramble. (Follow the return route a short way to reach Dorking North Station.).