Here, our Epsom & Ewell locals share some of their favourite spots for a winter wander, most being right on our doorstep, but all within easy reach…
Not far from Epsom Road, lies the oak woodlands of Ashtead Park – and here you’ll find not just one, but two ponds…don’t say we don’t spoil you. Whilst you’re in the neighbourhood, why not enjoy a cuppa and toasted teacake at Ashtead garden centre?
Oxshott Heath and Woods
This is a walk that both you and your dog will thank us for. Think towering tall trees and hills steep enough for small beads of sweat to break loose, but nothing that’ll take your breath away – don’t worry, the views will do that for you.
Bourne Hall’s lake in the heart of Ewell village sets the scene for this stroll. Follow the Hogsmill River for as long as your legs will allow – through Ewell Court, Ruxley Lane, Worcester Park and even farther if you so desire. Feeding the birds along the way is must, so grab that stale loaf from the bread bin before heading out the door.
Aren’t we a lucky lot to have this Georgian gem so close by? We reckon a festive stroll around here on Christmas morning would set you up for the day rather nicely, or better still, it’s perfect for that post-Christmas dinner stretch of the legs…
Unspoilt countryside? Tick. Woodland trails? Tick. Rolling green scenes? Tick. Whether you’re in need of some quiet time amidst the Christmas chaos, or looking for somewhere to take the whole family, we think Norbury Park will do the job nicely.
One minute you’re admiring the wintering finches amongst the grassland, then turn a corner, and you’re in a shaded woodland with the voles and hedgehogs. Epsom Common has got it all, including the nearby Cricketers Inn for a refreshing pint and packet of crisps. You know you want to, it’s Christmas after all.
There’s over 1,000 acres of estate to explore, with four way-marked walks varying from 1.5 to 4 miles. Adventure through ancient woodlands, past working farms and admire stunning views over Surrey Hills.
Morden Hall Park
Inside this National Trust woodland, you’ll not only find fifty hectares of leafy parkland, but a rose garden, the River Wandle, a restored Stableyard and the historic Snuff Mill too. This is a walk for all the family to join in with.
This woodland trail takes you to the highest point in South-East England, impressive right? If you’re feeling brave – and the weather permits – find a picnic bench to perch on whilst enjoying a leftover turkey sarnie, or pay a visit to The Plough pub on your way home.
No festive feature for walking hotspots would be complete without a mention of the stunning Headley Heath. It’s mix of open heathland with woodlands provides a proper walk for both two and four legged friends. Post walk you can enjoy a drink and snack (you deserve the chips) at the mobile cafe.
Horton Country Park
Meadows, orchards, woods and a variety of hard track to explore, it’s a myriad of twist and turns. It’s the perfect place to amble and roam, or take the children to try out their new Christmas bikes…but watch out for golf balls from the neighbouring Horton Country Golf Club.
The Long Water Canal
This winter walk features more than a kilometre of tranquil waterway stretching through Hampton Court Park, lined with avenues of lime trees. Make a day of it by visiting the Royal Palace next door!
Words by Faye Hardy