15 SUPERB DOG WALKS IN SURREY

Updated on December 9, 2022

It may come as a surprise to learn that Surrey, a Shire county in south-east England, is one of the most populous counties in the area because of its extensive areas of beautiful and easily accessible countryside. Nearly a quarter of Surrey is forested, making it the most forested county in England.

The most popular site in Surrey to go for a stroll or take your dog for a run is the area known as the Surrey Hills, which is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This county is also where the North Downs begins, whose slopes continue east to Dover and are a favourite for walkers.

The county’s rich cultural history and beautiful landscapes have earned it widespread recognition. There is no shortage of interesting – and sometimes strange – sights and events to uncover, from several bronze age burial sites to the oldest windmills in England, the troubled histories of a few famous highwaymen, and an annual “swan upping” ceremony on the Thames.

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The county’s accessibility to the lovely countryside contributes to its popularity, as does its location inside the Metropolitan Green Belt and excellent transportation connections. No matter where you go, you and your dog will enjoy exploring the new sights and smells on your daily walks.

We’ve done the research and found 15 of the best dog-friendly hikes in Surrey so you and Fido can see the county’s natural beauty firsthand.

COUNTRY & COUNTRY PARK WALKS

THE DEVIL’S PUNCH BOWL

This peculiar feature, according to folklore, was created when the Devil gathered a handful of earth to hurl at Thor. The Devil’s Punchbowl was formed at the spot where he dug with his own hands.

One of the most popular walking destinations in the country is located within Hindhead Common, and it features a massive natural amphitheatre. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who enjoyed strolling on the common, is thought to have drawn inspiration for the Hound of the Baskervilles from the area.

In the footsteps of literature’s most renowned canine, your own hound can run free and enjoy the open fields. You may get a firsthand look at the unique punchbowl from this path, which traces its edge, and enjoy breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding common and, on clear days, even London.

On your stroll, you and your dog will pass the Devil’s Punchbowl Hotel and Pub, as well as a picnic space and a cafe on the grounds.

Trip Distance: 7.5Km
Moderate in Difficulty
Parking lot at the National Theater
Level ground, rolling hills, wooded and heathy areas
Small free car park at GU26 6SJ (free to NT members, charged to non-members)
A London Road, Hindhead, Surrey, GU26 6AB address.

POLESDEN LACEY

The 1400 acres of land that surround this beautiful Edwardian mansion are open for exploration by you and your four-legged friend. While dogs aren’t permitted in the main house or formal gardens, there’s plenty of outside space for them to run about and sniff around outside.

There’s a long tradition of dog ownership in Polesden Lacey. Margarett Greville, the home’s previous owner, owned seventeen dogs over the course of her life and carved a dog water bowl into the wishing well to show her devotion to the canine species. The National Trust now owns it, although dog lovers still frequent it.

The location is pet-friendly, but they go one step further by offering a free dog walking club every month on the second Tuesday. It’s a great place to go if you want your dog to meet new people and make new friends.

The cafe is conveniently located at the starting points of many of the site’s walks (including the social walk), so you can grab a bite before setting out on your exploration.

Distance of 6.7 kilometers
Moderate in Difficulty
From the Main Entrance
Level, park-like, wooded, and hilly terrain
Parking is free for National Trust members but not for non-members.
Postal Code and Address: RH5 6BD Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham Dorking Surrey

THE RURAL LIFE CENTRE

Visit this outdoor museum in Farnham for a fun day trip with the kids (and the dog)! Your dogs are welcome in the museum as long as they are on leashes, and they will love the neighboring hiking trails. Another walk option, Bourne Wood, is literally right on top of the museum. Why not make your regular dog walk in Surrey more of an adventure by visiting a nearby dog park?

On-site, you’ll find a nice cafe serving up sandwiches and Sunday roasts. The park is a treasure trove of preserved history, and there are lots of picnic areas to idle away the hours. The museum features rotating exhibits and events throughout the year in addition to its extensive collection of farming artifacts and machinery.

The Duke of Cambridge is less than two miles away, making it convenient for a hearty lunch or a relaxing dinner after a day of sightseeing. This pub welcomes families with dogs, and they even have a menu just for canine guests.

Variable Stroll Times
Challenge: Low
From the Main Entrance
Area is flat with grassy and wooded areas.
Entry to the museum and parking are both free.
The Rural Life Centre, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 2DL.

LIGHTWATER COUNTRY PARK

Lightwater Park is able to conjure up images of bucolic rural life despite its proximity to the busy M3. As a remnant of the much larger Bagshot Heath, the park is primarily made up of heathland.

Wear sturdy footwear because the nature walk crosses through heath, woodland, and swamp. Families love the park for its strolling paths and brand-new playground, and anglers enjoy Hammond Pond. You can get a day pass to fish there if your dog is content to sit with you in the quiet countryside.

Otherwise, your dog will love romping through the heather, sniffing the woods, and paddling through the bog and ponds on a walk through the heathland.

On-site amenities include restrooms, a cafe, and picnic spots, but nearby Bagshot features several dog-friendly watering holes like the Forresters Arms if you’re looking for something more.

Distance of a 3K Walk
Challenge: Low
From the Main Entrance
Heathland, woodland, and swamp are all examples of the varied and unsteady topography that characterizes this area.
Parking is free? Definitely.
Lightwater, Surrey; The Avenue; GU18 5RG

CHOBHAM COMMON

Chobham Common is the largest nature reserve in the South East and a great area to go for long walks and take in the fresh air and beautiful scenery of the open countryside.

Being a heath, the scenery is dominated by patches of golden and purple gorse and heather. Your dog will have a blast running and playing in them, sniffing around the underbrush, and maybe even catching a butterfly or two. However, nature lovers will also be delighted to learn that over 350 varieties of wildflowers and over 100 species of birds call this area home. You and Fido can relax in the peaceful countryside at your dog-friendly leisure, since the common is a true wildlife sanctuary and natural oasis.

The Four Horseshoes is a dog-friendly bar where you and Fido are welcome to have a beverage. Since the common itself lacks any sort of infrastructure, this is a sensible plan. To counter this, however, the common is surrounded by a network of pathways and parking lots.

Distance Walked: 9.5Km
Moderate in Difficulty
Chobham Place is the jumping off point. Landscape Types in the Woods: Lowlying, Hilly, and Wooded
Cost-Free Parking, That’s Right (Paid in other car parks)
Place woodlands car park, Chobham, Surrey GU24 8TL

WOODLAND WALKS

BOURNE WOOD

Bourne Wood is a magnificent pine woodland not far from the charming town of Farnham. The area, like many other picturesque parts of Surrey, has been used repeatedly as a filmmaking set because to its undeniable attractiveness. Some of the several movies and TV shows that have shot in and around these forests include: Transformers, Wonder Woman, Gladiator, War Horse, and other entries in the Harry Potter and Avengers series.

You don’t have to be a super hero to enjoy a stroll in this area. Actually, you and Fido will fit right in while taking leisurely strolls along the sandy paths. There are clearings in the woods where your dog can sniff around in the underbrush while you take in the scenery. There is enough of room for off-leash exploration on the forest’s vast, open trails. An additional bonus is the close proximity to the Bourne Wood parking garage.

From the Spotted Cow bar in Lower Bourne, you may take a lovely round walk. If you’re planning on stopping by the pub before or after your walk, parking there will be completely free of charge.

Trip Distance: 6.6Km
Moderate in Difficulty
The Spotted Cow is our point of departure.
Hilly, flat, and wooded areas are all in the vicinity.
Parking is free? Definitely.
Postal Code and Address: GU10 2BH Bourne Wood, Farnham

BANSTEAD WOODS

Banstead Woods, an ancient woods that dates back hundreds of years, is a stunning example of its kind. It was once a medieval deer park, but since then it has been used by people and their trusty hounds for exercise and commerce.

Despite the abundance of magnificent forests in neighboring Surrey, this one is among the most frequented by dog owners taking their pets for a stroll in the woods.

Starting from the nearby Chipstead train station, the nature trail through the woods is a lovely place to take a stroll. Benches are available if you’d want to take a break, but unfortunately the woods lack both bathrooms and picnic areas.

The Narnia Trail isn’t the only route through the woods, though it is our top pick for families. Along this path, you’ll see exquisite carvings of the characters from the popular book series, breathing new life into otherwise lifeless trees.

Distance of a 5-Kilometer Walk
Challenge: Low
The parking lot on Holly Lane.
Natural features: hills, valleys, plateaus, and meadows
Parking is free? Definitely.
It is located at Holly Lane, Banstead, Surrey CR5 3NR.

WAVERLEY ABBEY

All that’s left of the historic monastery is its remains, which sit silently and majestically along the River Wey. Located so close to Farnham, this historic site is a great addition to any itinerary that includes hiking or visiting other local attractions.

It’s not surprise that the ruins have been used in movies over the years, given their prominence on this list. The location is beautiful, and you can feel the presence of time and life there. Here you and Fido can take a stroll among the woods, meadow, and lake that surround the abbey’s ruins.

In nearby Tilford, you’ll find The Barley Mow, a bar that welcomes both dogs and walkers. You’ll pass by two more pubs and use the public restrooms at Tilford Green. There are a number of unpaved trails along this path, so prepare for some muck and make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes. You’ll get to see several different ecosystems, enjoy breathtaking vistas from Crooksbury Hill, and even go to an abbey.

Approximately a 10-kilometer hike
Moderate in Difficulty
The Barley Mow, Tilford is where we’ll begin.
Hilly terrain, wooded areas, and open fields.
Parking is free? Definitely.
Tilford Green, Tilford, Farnham, Surrey GU10 2BU The Barley Mow

WINKWORTH ARBORETUM

The 20th-century Winkworth Arboretum was founded by a local physician who was passionate about preserving the scenic forestland in his neighborhood. A National Trust property, it now features over a thousand different kinds of trees and shrubs, including some that are rather uncommon.

The arboretum is at its most beautiful in the spring when everything is in flower and in the fall when the leaves turn brilliant colors. Take your dog for the most scenic forest walk in the county with a tour around the lake and into the majestic woods here. Dogs must remain on leashes at all times, but this shouldn’t be too much of a problem if they get to go for a nice long stroll outside and indulge in their natural instincts.

There are amenities like a tea room, as there usually are at National Trust properties. The White Horse in nearby Hascombe is dog-friendly, and you can also quickly reach Godalming, where you’ll find many services.

Distance Covered on Foot: 3.5 Miles
Challenge: Low
From the Main Entrance
Surface Features: Hilly, Wooded, and Uneven
Free With parking, yes (But paid entry fee)
Hascombe Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4AD

WATERSIDE WALKS

VIRGINIA WATER

Virginia Water is a small town in the northern part of the county, right on the border between Windsor Great Park and the rest of the county. The park, which was once a royal pleasure ground, is now available to the public and is frequented by a wide variety of people every year.

Beautiful Lake, a favorite picnic place of Queen Victoria, is the main draw here. You can have a picnic or just stroll around the outside and take in the scenery. There is also an ornamental garden, a totem pole that is 100 feet tall, the never-ruined ruins of Leptis Magna, and a lovely cascading waterfall.

Virginia Water has a lengthy history and even royals have become aficionados of the area. The only drawback is the high cost of parking.

You can easily make a day of it because there are so many things to do and see on site. The lake walk begins and ends at the cafe, and there’s a bar nearby where you and your four-legged friend are welcome to have a pint and some grub. The bar even started selling dog-friendly ice cream last year. Maybe they’ll do it again and you and Fido can relax in the sun with a frozen treat.

A 8.2 kilometer hike is a good option.
Challenge: Low
The Cafe Is Where We Begin
Landscape Characteristics: Grassland, Park, and Forest
To park for free: not a chance
Postal Code: GU25 4QF Virginia Water, Surrey

GUILDFORD & THE RIVER WEY

Several beautiful riverside strolls may be had along the River Wey as it flows through Guildford, along its more than 20 miles of towpath. Sunday afternoon strolls with the family and the dog are made for a leisurely stroll along the river’s edge.

Since you’ll already be in town, you may take a leisurely stroll down the town’s cobblestone high street for some retail therapy or a cup of joe. The medieval castle welcomes dogs on leashes, so you may take Fido there as well. Alternately, you can head out from the city and towards the woods by following the river.

The Britannia, a lovely red-brick watering hole, is located on the river’s edge and is known for being extremely dog-friendly. Towels for soiled paws and portable dog beds are available in addition to the standard fare of dog treats and water containers.

Distance of a 3K Walk
Challenge: Low
Initially, we will be on the main street (Or the train station)
Landscape Characteristics: Grassland, Park, and Forest
To park for free: not a chance
Postal Code: GU1 3DP High Street, Guildford

This moderately flat hike links the Thames Path in Kingston with the North Downs Way in Westhumble; it can be completed in its entirety or in stages. Several stops along the line provide access to it. You’ll be thankful there are rail connections so you don’t have to walk all the way back to your starting place.

This path takes you along a greenway past several notable sites like Horton Country Park, Epsom Downs, Maldon Manor, and the Hogsmill River.

You can combine one of our favorite dog walks in Surrey, Box Hill, with a walk down a section of the Thames Down Link if you start your walk from Ashstead station. You may combine the two walks into one amazing outdoor adventure with your dog by following this path.

Distance of a Four-Kilometer Walk
Challenge: Low
Where to Begin: At Any of the Train Stations
Terrain is flat and wooded.
To park for free: not a chance
Postal Code: RH5 6BT Westhumble Street Westhumble Dorking

HILL WALKS

BOX HILL

Box Hill, a hill in the North Downs, is a popular place for leisurely strolls and dog walks because of its picturesque setting. Exploring this designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with your dog will take you across chalk downland and through forests.

The hill is popular among families, in no little part due to the presence of a safe and all-natural play route. Conversely, the abundance of flora and fauna is a delight for ecotourists. There are numerous paths to choose from, allowing for a new stroll each time you visit. Remember to check for signs prohibiting dogs due to livestock grazing or ground-nesting birds, and reattach the leash if necessary (or find another route.)

The tea house provides outdoor seating, so you and your dog may take a break from your stroll and enjoy some refreshments. You can take your dog to either The Tree or The Stepping Stones, two nearby pubs. From Box Hill, you may stroll to the dog-friendly Denbies Vineyard.

Trips range from 1.6 to 6.4 kilometers in length.
Level of Difficulty: Low to Medium
Hills, woods, and meadows serve as the initial landscape.
To park for free: not a chance
A mailing address of The Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7LB

ST ANN’S HILL

This hill got its name because a chapel dedicated to St. Ann was built on its peak, which had previously been the site of an ancient fort. Among the trees of this gorgeous park, you and your dog are guaranteed to have a wonderful day roaming free. A formal garden once stood in this section of the park, and its unique features, such as exotic trees and a nun’s well, are still there.

By following the nature trail, which is only a short distance away, you can quickly reach the top of the hill, where you can take in the panoramic vistas and explore the area’s rich history. You’ll be walking through an Iron Age fort, through a well dug by nuns, and up to the ruins of a chapel.

This hike, as suggested by its name, is rich in flora, fauna, and mushrooms for both you and your canine companion to enjoy. You can enjoy the scenery and take a break at one of the many picnic areas dotted throughout the trail.

Trip Distance: 1.2Km
Moderate in Difficulty
Parking Lot as Point of Origin
Topography: Wooded Hills
Parking is free? Definitely.
Postal Code: KT16 9NL St Anns Hill Road, Chertsey, Surrey

LEITH HILL

Charles Darwin frequented the area of Leith Hill, which is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and stayed at the neighboring Leith Hill Place with his family.

Leith Hill, on the other hand, is not only the southernmost but also the highest point of England, making it an excellent place to go for a stroll and take in the sights of the surrounding countryside. The tower that can be seen from miles away was designed as “a spot for people to admire the grandeur of the English countryside,” and that purpose remains unchanged.

The peak, being the southernmost point, naturally offers spectacular views (and even better from the tower). Good weather permits views of the coast to the south and the London skyline to the east. Rest with your dog at the cafe at the base of the tower and enjoy a drink while taking in the sights. This hike through the woods is relatively straightforward despite its elevation and offers beautiful scenery.

If you’re interested in doing this walk but don’t have access to a car, there is an alternative route that departs from Holmwood Station. When you get to the top of the hill from any point on this excellent Surrey dog walk, you’ll see why it’s considered to be among the best of its kind in the county.

Distance of a Four-Kilometer Walk
Moderate in Difficulty
Place of Departure: Parking Lot at Windy Gap
Hilly and wooded areas with numerous stairways
Parking is free? Definitely.
Postal Code: RH5 6LU Leith Hill Road, Dorking

 

 

 

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