The Surrey and London border promenade with the golf course, farm and WWII history around the road

Horton Country Park Nature Reserve is one of Surrey’s finest walks for the holiday season.

Situated between Epsom and Chessington, this is an ideal location for residents of Surrey, as well as for Londoners wishing to experience a green belt just outside the capital, popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders.

With its easy access for motorists (there is on-site parking and it is less than 10 minutes drive from the M25) and a wide range of activities. There is the Horton Park Country Club Golf Center and Hobbledown Family Adventure Park and a farm on the side of the road.

Read more: First look inside Epsom Horton Arts Center as it hosts the first concerts

A spokesperson for Epsom and Ewell Borough Council said: “The reserve includes ancient forests several hundred years old, traditional hay meadows, orchards, ponds and miles of hedgerows, forming a reserve rich in native flora and fauna.

“To ensure that the country park remains a safe haven for wildlife and fun to visit, we ask all users: to keep dogs under control, to bring litter home, to guard the paths, not to fire / barbecue, not to disturb wildlife or their habitats; cyclists must not accelerate and must give way to pedestrians and riders.

They also advise everyone to continue to follow the latest Covid-19 government guidelines during their visit.

Car park

The main car park for Horton Country Park is on Horton Lane (marked on the map above), although there are others around the site.

It is open all year round, but closes half an hour before dark (or 9 p.m. in summer).

The walk

There are many routes you can take around Horton Country Park, mostly along the trails.

As this route below takes over an hour, a map can be downloaded from the Epsom and Ewell Borough Council website, describing shorter routes to take around Horton Country Park.

There are also maps on hand showing you the way around the country park.

This walking route is based on the Horton Country Park Virtual Tour – you can find an annotated copy of the map to guide you on the council website.

Epsom and Ewell City Council have asked the public to take their trash home

  • Leaving the Horton parking lot, head north on a public trail leading from Epsom to Chessington. You will pass the Epsom Polo Club on your right.
  • Continuing to follow the path straight north, you will pass a path on your right which leads to Hobbledown Farm. Continue straight and you will pass the Clarendon Park housing estate on your right, which was once the Long Grove Hospital Complex, which for a short time housed one of the infamous Kray twins.
  • Following the path will take you to Lawn Barn Meadow, which you can walk through with boots or good walking shoes, but there is also a path on the side if it is too muddy for your shoes. Short-eared Owls can be found here in the winter.
  • Crossing the field will take you to Lambert’s Orchard on your right, where there are also long-eared owls, which once belonged to Long Grove Hospital.
  • Continue with Great Wood, the next wood along, to your right. You will then pass Meadow Pond, where you can often see herons and the golf club on your right.
  • After passing these sites, turn left to follow the Horton Light Railway, which was a railway line in operation from 1913 to 1950, supplying local hospitals at the time with goods.
  • Drive around the golf course and you’ll reach Butcher’s Grove Wood. The path will take you to the edge of the national park.
  • On the left is Hendon Grove, planted in the 1980s and named after one of the trains that once ran on the Horton Light Railway.
  • You will then cross the public path where you started the walk. Follow the Chessington Trail back down towards Epsom. You will see the four acre wood on your right.
  • Follow the path and you will come to Pond Wood, which you can bypass. There are more sites here, including a large crater caused in the June 1941 railroad bombing, as well as a pond, restored in the 1990s with help from the Kingston Conservation Volunteers. Turn right and you are back on the old railway line.
  • There is an optional detour around this point to a wetland in the field on your right. Turn left at the crossroads to go up the hill to the parking lot.

Thanks to Epsom and Ewell Borough Council for their help with this piece.

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