Mole Gap Trail

A pleasant station-to-station 6-mile ramble through the Surrey Countryside, ending with a traditional pub dating back to the 1400s.

Hiking Easy

Distance
9.4 km
Ascent
88 m
Descent
110 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
31 m
High Point
80 m
Gradient
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Mole Gap Trail Map

Description

Tracing the River Mole, which has carved out a route through the ancient chalk of the North Downs, this trail takes you through Surrey’s beautiful box woodlands and tranquil vineyards.

Pass by famous blue cheese producers and winemakers, go through more kissing gates than you can count, and spot many kinds of wildlife along the way. If you want an easy-to-navigate route that is not too hilly, this one's for you!

Directions:

Catch the train from London Waterloo to Leatherhead Railway Station (about a 45-minute journey). In the train station’s car park, look for the Mole Gap Trail silver metal arrows set in the ground. You will be following these silver arrows for the whole route.

Take the road down the hill and follow signs to Leatherhead town centre. Stay on the right-hand pavement as it turns right and heads downhill, past The Running Horse pub on the right and, immediately after the mini-roundabout, swap to the left-hand pavement to cross the 18th century stone bridge.

After you cross the bridge, turn left onto the footpath signed to Norbury Park. Follow the riverside path along the River Mole, past the football ground, leisure centre, and the grounds of Thorncroft Manor. When you come to the junction, turn right passed the entrance to Thorncroft Manor, and continue on until you come to another junction, where you need to take a left. The path will take you past the old Thorncroft Vineyard and through a wooden kissing gate. Keep ahead on the riverside path, passing under the road (Young Street) overhead. Pass through another kissing gate to enter Norbury Park. Follow the path across the field, with the river on the left, and the railway embankment on the right. The path eventually widens into a track, which you follow down a slope and through the gateway.

Where the track swings left, turn right through the kissing gate and under the railway bridge, continuing until you reach a crossroads of paths. Turn left here and follow the path winding steeply uphill, emerging out onto a T-junction at the top, where you need to turn left. Follow the lane downhill. Immediately after the first bench on the right, fork right onto the grass path, which leads you uphill. The path will bring you to a crossroads with a surfaced track. Go straight ahead on the path, which leads you downhill through the woods. Ignore the first path on the left (a sharp left turn through a staggered barrier). Instead, keep ahead and take the second path on the left, passing through a wooden kissing gate alongside a wide wooden gate and into a picnic area.

Exit via the kissing gate on the far side, pass by Lodge Farm on the left, then follow the track across the bridge over the river. Keep going until you reach more farm buildings. Turn right onto another track between fields and follow it until you reach a kissing gate and pass through this into the field. Keep on the main track and, at the far side, go through the kissing gate and keep going until you cross the footbridge over the River Mole. If you want to rest your feet and refuel, turn left, and you’ll find the charming Stepping Stones Pub.

To continue, cross over Chapel Lane and turn right and follow the walkway. You will emerge through white fencing by the entrance to Pilgrim’s Way. Keep ahead along the edge of the road for 25 metres, then turn left onto the footpath. Follow the footpath, which continues opposite (signed to Dorking), and then through two gates until you emerge at a junction with Chapel Lane. At the end of the long enclosed path, pass through the kissing gate to enter a short field. Cross this and leave through the kissing gate on the far side. You will now enter the vineyard of Denbies Wine Estate, which produces a delicate sparkling wine and are the largest vineyard in the UK.

Keep walking, and at the end of the first section of vines, you will come to a signed crossroads with the estate concrete drive. Go straight ahead on the stone track. At the next junction, where the stone track swings right, keep straight ahead on the wide grass track between the vines. Go through the kissing gate to follow the track up the slope.

Turning left, follow the narrow path through a tunnel of trees, with an open field across to the right. Just before you reach the gravel road, turn left along the narrow path with properties on the right. Follow the path downhill taking time to enjoy the views to Box Hill ahead and across the vineyard to Norbury Park House across to the left, which is famous for producing Norbury Blue Cheese.

You will emerge via a kissing gate onto a T-junction with the road. Cross over and turn left along the pavement. A little further along, turn right into Chichester Road, passing Coombe House on the left. At the end of the road, swing right to join the pavement, which runs beside the dual carriageway. Follow this ahead, crossing over three side roads to reach the subway.

Go through the subway, emerging at Dorking Railway Station, the endpoint for this walk. From here, there are frequent trains back to Leatherhead Railway Station (just a five-minute journey). If you have time, it’s worth heading to Dorking High Street, which is famous for its selection of antique shops. There are also a number of independent cafes and cosy pubs dotted around Dorking. Head to the (King's Arms)https://www.kingsarmsdorking.co.uk/menus on 45 West Street (RH4 1BU) for a victory pint, its a quaint local's favourite pub dating back to the 1400s.

Sources: https://www.surreylife.co.uk/out-about/walks/a-ramble-around-the-mole-gap-trail-between-leatherhead-and-dorking-1-4990619 http://www.gps-routes.co.uk/routes/home.nsf/RoutesLinksWalks/mole-gap-trail-walking-route

Difficulty

Easy

Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

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Guidebooks in this area