Counting Steps – Inspiring Views Trail – AllTrails

Photo by Tom St Aubyn, on AllTrails

Looking for an adventure or just the chance to get out of the house? This month we thought we’d share some great walks you can indulge in to spend some time out and about! Inspiring Views Trail is a circular walk within the Surrey Hills which celebrates the Inspiring Views art project, visiting a number of beautiful viewpoints and discovering the sculptural benches and poetry inspired by these.

Distance: 9.0 km
Time: Est. 3 hours
Route Type: Loop
Elevation Gain: 378 m

Walk Information:
The walk has several climbs and descents throughout, including a couple of fairly steep sections. The steepest climb and descent, over Pitch Hill, can easily be excluded if you prefer. The route follows paths and bridleways through woodland and open grassland, and many sections can be very muddy at times so good boots are a must. You will need to negotiate a few steps plus a kissing gate and two stiles. Both stiles have gaps alongside for dogs and, if necessary, the stiles can be avoided be excluding the arm to the Alderbrook Viewpoint. There is no livestock on route. The final stretch, climbing back onto the Greensand Ridge, can get overgrown with bracken in the late summer. There is one short stretch along the edge of a golf course, so take care of any stray flying balls at this point.


1. From Start to Winterfold View
Standing at the back of Hurtwood Car Park 5, facing the beautiful view, turn left along the sandy path. Just a few metres along, you will see the first of the Inspiring Views sculptural benches on Winterfold Hill, just through the trees to your right. Fork right to reach this shelter and viewpoint and take time to pause and enjoy the surroundings. This shelter and bench is called Perspectives.

2. Winterfold View to Reynards View
When you have finished at Perspectives, retrace your steps back to the main path and turn right to continue your journey along this. Follow this main path ahead, ignoring any small side turns. The path is part of the Greensand Way and is waymarked with yellow and black GW arrows. Eventually you will come to a triangular junction, bear left here. Stay with this path which leads you straight over a tarmac access drive and then winds through the trees, leading you steadily downhill to reach the road. Turn right along the road edge, continue past the informal parking area and, just as the road begins to rise, fork right to join the path running parallel with the road. This path climbs steadily and, further along, you will meet a small crossroads. Turn right for a few paces and then turn left. Follow this path winding through the trees, later meeting a small T-junction. Turn right and keep ahead on this main path. 120 metres along, fork right to reach the next bench and viewpoint, on Reynards Hill.

3. Reynards View to Ewhurst Windmill
Continue along the main path. This next stretch of the Greensand Way is a compacted stone path, allowing easy access to the Reynards Hill view from the nearest car park. Pass alongside the vehicle barrier and walk down the slope into the car park (Hurtwood Car Park 4). Leave via the vehicle entrance and turn right for a few paces along Winterfold Heath Road to reach the T-junction. Cross over and go straight ahead to join the signed footpath, still the Greensand Way. Follow this main path ahead. As you emerge from the trees, bear left to join a stone access track and just a short way along look up to your right where you will see Ewhurst Windmill.

4. Ewhurst Windmill to Pitch Hill
Just a few paces beyond the mill, you will come to a junction with a tarmac track. Turn right along this and, just before the entrance gate for Four Winds, fork left onto the narrow sunken path leading you downhill with a fence running on your right. NOTE: Take care as this stretch is fairly steep and rutted. At the bottom of the slope, pass through the gateway and continue on the short stretch of driveway to reach a junction with the road. At this point you have two choices. The main route climbs Pitch Hill. This is not recommended if the ground is wet or icy or if you are not confident walking on rugged ground. To AVOID the climb to Pitch Hill, turn right along the road and follow this passing The Windmill pub on your right. Now pick up the directions at the point marked within the next section. For the main route, cross over the road and walk ahead through the double metal gateway to enter the Pitch Hill parking area. Immediately after these entrance gates, turn right to join the public footpath. Stay with this path which climbs gently and then more steeply, passing a bench on your left. Continue on this main path ahead and it will lead you directly to the summit of Pitch Hill, with a trig point and donation box.

5. Pitch Hill to Rapsley Farm
Your path down from Pitch Hill is the narrow one on your right, in between the trig point and donation box cairn. But first, it is worth walking ahead across the open plateau to reach the simple bench on your right to take in the expansive views. When you are ready to continue, head back to the trig point and take the path after the trig point but before the donation cairn. Follow this path as it immediately bears right. Continue down this narrow path. Towards the bottom, the path bears right to reach a sunken bike route. Turn left along this for a few paces to emerge out to a junction with the road. You will see The Windmill pub across to your right. Cross over the road and turn left along the road edge. NOTE: If you have skipped the climb to Pitch Hill, pick up the directions from this point. Join the raised right-hand pavement which leads you past Pitch Hill House. After passing a further handful of properties on your right, you will come to a fork in the road. Take the right-hand branch. Soon, just after passing a metal gate on your right, fork left onto the branch of driveway heading for a red brick property. Pass just to the right of this property on the narrow footpath and continue on this as it enters a tunnel of trees. Towards the bottom of the slope, the path bears right and then swings steadily left, around a circular wooden copse on your left. The path then leads you past the beautiful old buildings of Rapsley Cottage and Farm on your left.

Photo by Benazir Shareef, on AllTrails

6. Rapsley Farm to Wooden Footbridge
Just beyond the farm, ignore the footpath signed off to the right, instead continue ahead on the tarmac access drive. At the T-junction, turn right onto the tarmac drive heading for Wykehurst Farm. Continue as this becomes a stone track, passing a horse paddock on your right and then continuing into trees. At the end of this short stretch of trees, you will come to a choice of tracks and paths ahead. Take the second path on the left passing through a wide metal gate. Follow this path with a tree line on your right and a fenced paddock on your left. At the bottom, pass a disused stile and walk ahead into the centre of the grass clearing. You will see a small waymarker post up the slope. Walk towards this to reach a small crossroads. Go straight ahead to join the grass path with fenced pastures and more great views across to your left. Continue ahead on this same grass path, later with trees to your left and horse paddocks behind a wire fence to your right. Beyond these paddocks you will see the wooded hills of the Greensand Ridge, from where you walked earlier. Stay alongside the tall fence on your right all the way to its end and then follow the path as it swings left into woodland. At the first small junction, bear left and then turn right to cross the stream via the wooden footbridge.

7. Wooden Footbridge to Alderbrook View
At the far side of the bridge, turn immediately left on a path which leads you through a stretch of coppiced trees and then bears right, emerging out to the edge of a golf course. NOTE: Keep your eyes peeled for any stray flying golf balls. Keep straight ahead, staying close to the line of trees on your left. Cross the stone parking area and walk straight ahead on the wide grass verge, with the fenced driving range to your right. Pass to the left of the driving range building, then pass alongside a disused stile to reach a junction with the road, Barhatch Lane. Cross over the road and walk ahead into the entrance for Wyphurst Home Farm. Pass a couple of properties on your right and then a pretty pond on your left to reach a junction marked with a fingerpost. Turn right here, continuing on the public bridleway. Walk straight ahead, passing through a wide wooden gateway ahead and continue on between the various old brick and wooden barns. Beyond the buildings, keep ahead on the stone and grass track, with a grass field to your right. You will come to a waymarker post, sitting underneath the wooden pylons. The main route back to the car park continues on the bridleway ahead, but first we take a short detour to visit the next Inspiring Views bench. Turn left and follow the grass track between fences and hedgerows. Follow the path down into some trees and cross the stile ahead to enter a grass meadow. Cross straight over and go through the kissing gate to enter a second meadow. Keep ahead, following the fence on your left, and cross the next stile ahead to join an enclosed grass track. Cross over the access drive and continue ahead on the fenced track between trees. As you emerge from the trees, you will reach the next Inspiring Views bench.

8. Alderbrook View to Colmans Farmhouse
Continue along the track and across the two meadows, passing through the kissing gate and crossing the two stiles along the way. When you get back to the waymarker post under the wooden pylons, turn left to join the bridleway leading you between tall hedgerows. Follow this bridleway through the tunnel of trees and ignore the first side track on the left. Keep ahead on the main woodland bridleway and, further along, the track crosses a stream. 300 metres further along, you will come to a junction with a side track on your right. Do NOT take this, keep ahead along the main stone track.

9. Colmans Farmhouse to End
A few metres further ahead, you will come to a fork in the woodland bridleway. Keep left at this fork and follow this bridleway winding through the trees. Further along it follows a stretch of tall wire fencing on your left, the boundary for the grounds of Alderbrook Park. As you enter a small clearing, follow the main track as it bears left, staying alongside the tall wire fence. The track descends gently alongside this fence. At the bottom of the slope, keep ahead for just a few paces and, where the track swings hard left, fork right to join the narrow woodland footpath. The path leads you past a fenced covered reservoir on your left. Simply continue straight ahead passing two more waymarker posts. At the next subtle fork, take the left-hand branch (NOT the sunken path) and a few paces later you will approach the third waymarker post. Do NOT keep ahead here, instead fork left just before the post, onto a path leading you through the bracken and scrub. NOTE: This path can become quite overgrown with bracken in the late summer, but is usually passable. If you miss this path then you could take the straight-on branch for the climb. This winds more, but simply keep heading uphill and you will eventually reach the Greensand Way that you can follow back to the car park. Back on the main path, along the climb you will pass a couple of reassuring waymarkers, confirming your route. It will lead you back to Car Park 5 on Winterfold Hill.

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