Winter walks in the Surrey wilds


The darker mornings have closed in, and the clocks have gone back, so it’s fair to say summer is officially over, and the cold season has begun. While the cosy evenings are one of the best bits about the colder months, staying in all day, every day – when a lot of people are working from home – can be a little bit draining.A brisk winter walk can be the perfect respite from the day-to-day routine, and it’s great for both mental and physical health as well. In fact, cold weather can help the body fight infections, and it is really good for skin health as it tightens cuticles and pores!

With all that in mind, it’s time to pop on the walking boots, pull on those winter woollies, and explore the stunning beauty of Surrey in all its frosty delight. There is no shortage of trails to discover, but to help any intrepid nature walkers get started, Berkeley Group has compiled their top 5 winter walks across the county.

  1. Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl

To be genuinely amazed by the creations that nature can produce, you must visit the Devil’s Punch Bowl at Hindhead Commons. The almost 700-acre natural amphitheatre is the biggest spring-formed feature in Britain; walk the 4.5-mile surrounding trail to be calmed by the streams and heather-covered slopes.Thanks to the Hindhead Tunnel, the road that was once the A3 is now covered with 200,000 trees and shrubs, providing perfect terrain for grazing cattle and wild ponies. Children will love exploring the wood for mini-beasts, while adults will be stunned by the incredible views from the top of Gibbet’s Hill, the second-highest point in Surrey. On a clear day, the views even stretch all the way to Canary Wharf!

Winkworth arboretum

2. Winkworth Arboretum

Created by a local doctor whose goal was to preserve the nearby wooded hillside, Winkworth Arboretum has become one of Surrey’s most stunning natural beauty spots. Located in Godalming, the area is now home to over 1,000 varieties of trees and shrubs and is celebrated for its changeable seasonal landscape.The Winter Garden boasts dazzling yellow mahonia’s and vivid camellias during colder months to brighten up the day. Take the path down to the boathouse to find a peaceful sanctuary overlooking the magnificent lake or explore the woodland and take the Winkworth to Oakhurst 4km trail to try and catch sight of rare wildlife.

Hatchlands Park

3. Hatchlands Park

Only 45 minutes from Greater London, Hatchlands Park offers those who live in the city a convenient winter escape. Open 363 days a year, this park is the ideal place for a snowy stroll, whether it be with your family, four-legged friend or simply for some much needed ‘you’ time.Set in 400 acres of magical woodland and glistening leaf-lined paths, choose from a number of trails to spot a range of birds and insects. When visiting with children, make sure to say hello to the recently fostered donkeys Callum and Morris or pop over to the Wizard Wix’s Willow Warren, where kids can climb the treehouse or make their own den!

Reigate Hill
  1. Reigate Hill

Reigate Hill, one of Surrey’s most popular natural beauty spots, is not to be missed in winter. For incredible frost-laced views, take the 3-mile walk through crunchy grass and shimmering woodland to admire the extensive landscape of the Weald and South Downs.For a longer trail, take the 7-mile Reigate and Gatton Park walk for more stunning scenery and the chance to pop into a pub on the way. Alternatively, for the history buffs, pay a visit to the Inglis Memorial and Reigate Fort, once a 72-mile defence scheme to protect London from invasion.

Newlands Corner
  1. Newland’s Corner

Only four miles east of Guildford, Newlands Corner opens a wealth of walking and cycling trails and some of the best views of Surrey Hills. Also made famous as the place Agatha Christie memorably staged her short-lived disappearance in 1926, Newlands Corner offers a delightful place for a wintry escape in nature. Newland’s Corner has something for everyone: empty fields for a pup to run around in, a challenging hike for the adventurous types, or even a scenic cycle ride for the next Sir Bradley Wiggins. There’s even the perfect pit-stop to enjoy a tipple at either the Silent Pool distillery or Albury Organic Vineyard. If you are considering relocating to this magnificent part of South East England to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes, browse Berkeley Group’s developments in Surrey for the latest opportunities.

Image Credits: 1. Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl: @Martingarnett_photography 2. Winkworth Arboretum: @Wakinguphere 3. Hatchlands Park: @sarahinsurrey 4. Reigate Hill: @Ilovereigate 5. Newland’s Corner: @ordnancesurvey

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