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The Parrot, Leith Hill and Jayes Park Walk is a trail located near Dorking that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is mostly used for hiking, running, and bird watching.
Distance: 9.5 km
Time: Est. 3 hrs
Route Type: Loop
Elevation Gain: 282 m
Walk Information: A circular (and decently strenuous) pub walk from The Parrot in Forest Green, Surrey. The Parrot sits proudly on the village green overlooking the cricket ground, the perfect position to fulfil its natural right as the heart of the local community.
1. Start to Dingwall Wood Pond
Standing at the car park entrance, turn right along the grass verge. Follow this wide grass verge leading you ahead to reach a right-hand bend in the main road. Bear right to stay on the same verge, now a narrow, raised grass bank. When the verge ends, carefully swap to the left-hand road edge and follow this for just a few metres to reach the Etherley Copse National Trust car park. Turn left into the car park, pass through it and join the main stone track which leads ahead and soon bends right, climbing steadily through the woodland. The track leads you to a T-junction. Turn right and follow this track as it soon swings left. Continue on the main track, climbing steadily and winding ahead. You will reach Dingwall Wood Pond, with its woven bird hide, on your right.
2. Dingwall Wood Pond to Rhododendron Car Park
Continue on the main woodland track, climbing more steeply to reach the next junction. Take the left-hand branch, still on the main stone track which swings left and climbs to a T-junction. Turn left and follow the woodland track leading you ahead and then bending right, to continue uphill with an open field visible to your left. At the next junction, fork right through a staggered wooden barrier. A few metres along, ignore the orange arrow which points right, instead go straight ahead. Follow the woodland path, pass a bench on your left and keep left at the fork here. As you draw level with the next bench, stay with the main path which bears left. A few metres later, turn left at the crossroads and follow the path leading you into the Rhododendron Wood National Trust car park.
3. Rhododendron Car Park to Greensand Way
Go straight ahead to leave the car park via the vehicle entrance and, taking care of traffic, turn right along the lane. Just before you reach the road junction ahead, turn left at an orange-topped waymarker post. Head up the short flight of steps, cross over the road with care and go ahead to join the woodland path. Follow the orange arrows which direct you diagonally left on a path going steeply uphill. Stay with this waymarked path, bending right at the end of the wall and continuing to climb through the woodland. At the top, you will emerge via a staggered barrier to reach a T-junction with a stone track. This track is the Greensand Way long distance path.
4. Greensand Way to Leith Hill Tower
Turn right to join the track. When you reach a fork, it is safest to take the right-hand branch as this branch is not shared with cyclists. Your path soon rejoins the main track. Simply keep ahead and, before long, you will reach the summit of Leith Hill with the impressive Leith Hill Tower.
5. Leith Hill Tower to Trust Boundary
When you are ready to continue, retrace your steps for a few metres to reach a large covered noticeboard. Turn left just before this, to join the path signed to the Windy Gap car park. Follow the path which swings right to reach an orange-topped post. Turn left here to join the flight of wooden steps leading you steeply downhill. After the first stretch of descent, turn left at the waymarker to continue down the next flight of steps. You will emerge into the Windy Gap car park. Walk ahead to the road, turn left for about 30 metres and then turn right onto the signed public footpath. Follow this woodland track continuing downhill for about 400 metres. At this point it begins to swing right and a waymarker post marks a subtle crossroads. Turn left here to follow the narrow woodland path which leads you downhill, over a footbridge and on to reach a small wooden gate.
6. Trust Boundary to Forest Green Road
Pass through the gate to enter a large rough meadow. Follow the grass path which bears right, leading you downhill with the woodland on your right. Where the woodland swings away to your right, do not follow this, instead keep ahead. Pass just to the left of a large oak tree and then bear slightly left, passing under power lines to reach the far, bottom field corner. As you reach this corner, take a moment to turn around and look behind, for a perfect view of Leith Hill Tower. Bear left to join the grass and stone vehicle track, with a hedge running on your right. Follow the stone track all the way to its end, with a barn on your right. Turn left and follow the access track, passing a beautiful timber-framed farmhouse on your left. Continue to reach a junction with Forest Green Road.
7. Forest Green Road to Jayes Park
The next short stretch of walk follows the edge of this road, so take good care of traffic and use the grass verge as much as possible. Turn left along the road and follow it as it bends right. Take the first turning on the right, the entrance drive for Jayes Park Courtyard. Follow the tarmac driveway, passing through or alongside a vehicle gate. At the first junction, ignore the left-hand branch. Keep ahead to reach the courtyard complex. Take the middle of the three tracks and follow this leading you between the beautiful converted buildings. These buildings date from the 1800s and were originally stables and outbuildings, but now are home to a number of small businesses. Beyond the courtyard buildings, follow the main track as it swings left, passing the estate’s walled garden on your left. Again, it is worth looking behind you here, for the next perfectly-framed view of Leith Hill Tower.
8. Jayes Park to Mole Street
Continue on the concrete track, passing a cottage on your right, to reach a wide farm gate ahead. NOTE: This next pasture may sometimes be holding cattle. Pass through the gate to enter the pasture. Our exit from the field is actually to your right and the most direct way of getting there would be to turn right and follow the field boundary. However, this is NOT the line of the public right of way, so please only do this if you need to avoid grazing cattle. To follow the public right of way we need to follow a V-shape within the field. Walk directly ahead through the pasture to reach a footbridge and fingerpost at the far side. Do NOT cross the bridge, instead turn sharp right to follow the second line of public footpath, heading partly back on yourself through the pasture. In the field corner, cross the stile-bridge-stile combination and continue ahead on the narrow woodland path. At the end of the woodland you will emerge out to Mole Street.
9. Mole Street to End
Turn right along the lane for about 300 metres, passing the entrance gates for Woodstock House on your left and continuing on to reach a tarmac lane on your left. Turn left to join this. Pass Gosterwood Manor Farm Cottage on your left and then follow the lane as it bends right then left, to pass the farm buildings on your left. With the farmhouse ahead, follow the main lane which again bends right then left to reach a pair of gates ahead. Pass through the gates and continue ahead on the tarmac and then stone track, passing a beautiful line of oak trees on your left. Beyond these trees, follow the track as it bends left. Ignore the footpath signed off to the right, simply keep ahead on the main track leading into woodland. At the end of the track you will emerge to the road in Forest Green village. Turn right along the village road and follow this all the way through the village. The road leads you past the large green on your left, to reach The Parrot on your right for some well-earned hospitality when COVID restrictions have eased.
See more info on the walk at: www.alltrails.com