Autumn walks in Surrey with kids

by Jan

In Surrey, England’s most wooded county, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to stunning autumn walks.  There are just so many places to enjoy the changing colours in the trees, kick through leaves and hunt for conkers.  Read on for our pick of the best autumn walks in Surrey with kids.

Winkworth Arboretum, Godalming

Boys looking at the reds, oranges and yellow of autumn trees at Winkworth Arboretum, Goldalming, Surrey

With a medley of rich autumn hues, Winkworth Arboretum is one of the top places for an autumn walk in Surrey with kids.  At the turn of the season, Winkworth is ablaze with vibrant colours such as russets, golds, and ambers.  However, the highlight of this lovely walk is the vivid reds of the Japanese maples.

Georgous Reds of Autumn leaves at Winkworth Arboretum, Goldaming, Surrey

Whether you follow the woodland trails, take the board walks across wetlands or the path around the lake, there is plenty to amuse your little explorers.  Winkworth Arboretum has logs to climb on, leaves to catch and some very friendly ducks.  What are you waiting for?

  • Start Point:         GU8 4AD
  • Distance:              Various walks
  • Difficulty:             Easy to moderate
  • Refreshments:    National Trust Café
  • Opening times:   10am to 4pm (pre-booked tickets only)

Click here to find more ideas of the best places to see autumn colour in Surrey.

Virginia Water Lake, Egham

The Cascade, Virginia Water Lake, Egham, Surrey, UK

It’s really no surprise that Virginia Water Lake is one of the most popular places for an autumn walk in Surrey with the family.  With a large, picturesque lake, landscaped gardens, and woodland, it has one of the most varied landscapes in Surrey.

The route round Virginia Water Lake is flat and even, so is an ideal trail for walking with families or young children with scooters.  It’s also an extremely popular walk for dog-owners.

As well as the lake, there is plenty to see at Virginia Water.  Expect to find a totem pole, Roman ruins, and an ornamental cascade waterfall, as well as some interesting wildlife.   A walk at Virginia Water Lake is splendid at any time of the year, and autumn is no exception.

If you take a detour to the Valley Gardens, you’ll find a palette of colour, with some stunning reds from the Acers.  November is the perfect time to see the gardens in their full autumnal glory.

Admission to Virginia Water Lake is free, but parking fees apply.

  • Start Point:       GU25 4QF
  • Distance:            5 miles around lake (but shorter walks available)
  • Difficulty:           Easy (main path is paved)
  • Refreshments:   The Pavilion Café
  • Opening times: 7.30am to 7pm

Alice Holt Forest, near Farnham

large wooden kids play structure at Alice Holt Forest, Surrey

Alice Holt Forest near Farnham provides a perfect location for an autumn walk in Surrey with kids.

Kick through the leaves on one of the forest trails, hunt for conkers and acorns or just stop and climb the wooden animal play sculptures.

Now, if you’re walking with younger kids, they will love looking for the Gruffalo and friends who lay waiting in the forest.

A walk at Alice Holt is a great way of enjoying the autumnal hues, whilst keeping the kids entertained.

  • Start Point:        GU10 4LS
  • Distance:             Various (4 way-marked trails)
  • Difficulty:            Easy
  • Refreshments:    Take away
  • Opening times:  8am to 7pm

RHS Garden, Wisley

Statue/Bust made from seasonal vegetables and fruit at RHS Wisley Gardens, Woking, UK

The next of our autumn walks in Surrey with children is at RHS Wisley.

The world-class gardens at Wisley remain resplendent throughout the seasons.  And, as autumn approaches, ancient trees, exotic plants, and seasonal flowers are still providing a kaleidoscope of colour.

The pinetum with its ancient trees provides a woodland setting, with great autumn colours.  Or climb to the top of the viewing mount for purple lavenders and great views over the gardens.

Kids will love exploring the pretty waterways of the Rock Garden, the tiny trees on the Bonsai Path, or the exotic plants in The Glasshouse.

In addition, this year Wisley gardens is hosting The Four Seasons exhibition.  Kids will love spotting these four giant sculptures around the gardens.  Each is covered with seasonal fruit, vegetables and flowers and depict spring, summer, autumn and winter.

Plus, Wisley has a new nature playground with picnic areas.

  • Start Point:        GU23 6QB
  • Distance:             Various
  • Difficulty:            Easy (main path is paved)
  • Refreshments:   Restaurant, café, and food hall
  • Opening times: 9am to 5pm (pre-booked tickets only)

Devil's Punch Bowl, Hindhead

Views over Devils Punchbowl

Legend says that the Devil’s Punch Bowl near Hindhead in Surrey was created by the Devil throwing boulders at Thor.  However, this large natural amphitheatre is more likely the result of years of water erosion on the clay.

Either way, it’s now a significant beauty spot and a great location for an autumn walk in Surrey with kids.

Nowadays, there are 5 walking trails at the Devil’s Punch Bowl, all of which have stunning views of the surrounding Surrey countryside.  When you get back, you can stop at the National Trust café and let kids enjoy the natural play area.

  • Start Point:        GU26 6AB
  • Distance:             Various (5 way-marked trails)
  • Difficulty:            Easy to moderate
  • Refreshments:   National Trust Café (10am – 4pm)
  • Opening times: Dawn to dusk

Banstead Woods

Conkers at Winkworth Arboretum, Goldalming, Surrey

The next of our autumn walks in Surrey is in Banstead Woods, near Epssom.

Set in 250 acres of ancient woodland, Banstead Woods was originally a medieval deer park, and once owned by Catherine of Aragon.  Today, it’s a site of Special Scientific Interest and a great place to enjoy an autumn walk in Surrey, especially if you’re looking for conkers.

Another thing for children to do on a walk at Banstead Woods is follow the Narnia trail.  The woodland trail leads for 3 miles passing sculptures of Aslan the lion, Lucy Pevensie, and a wooden wardrobe.

These characters from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have been carved out of local deadwood to create a Narnia-themed trail, which is sure to entertain little ones.

  • Start Point:      CR5 3NR (Holly Lane car park)
  • Distance:         3 miles
  • Difficulty:         Easy/Moderate (some hilly areas)
  • Refreshments: The Ramblers Rest, Coulsdon (1/2 mile from start)

Richmond Park

Deers grazing in Richmond Park, Surrey on Kids day out

With an area of over 2,500 acres, there’s plenty of space for an autumn walk with the family at Richmond Park near Surrey.  As well as parkland, you’ll find plenty of trees and some important historical sites.  Did you know you can see all the way to St Paul’s Cathedral from St Henry’s Mound?

Plus, you can explore the Isabella Plantation, a Victorian ornamental woodland garden with a rare collection of plants and trees.  The garden has several ponds and plenty of wildlife for children to spot.

Without doubt, the best wildlife to see at Richmond Park are the deer.  Richmond Park is one of the eight Royal Parks and home to over 630 red and fallow deer.  Autumn is a great time for a walk, as this is the rutting season.  Click here for more information on exploring Richmond Park with kids.

Don’t approach the deer, as they can be dangerous and it can cause the deer stress.

  • Start Point:       TW10 5HS
  • Distance:            variety
  • Difficulty:           Easy
  • Refreshments:   Tea rooms at Pembroke Lodge and various refreshment cabins
  • Opening times: 7.30 am until dusk

Have you taken your family on any of these autumn walks in Surrey?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

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