7 great walks in Surrey with kids

by Jan

Discover 7 great walks in Surrey that children will love.  They are all family-friendly walks in Surrey that will motivate your kids to get active and outdoors. Don’t worry, if you don’t have kids, these Surrey walks are perfect for adults too!

It’s not always easy to get kids to go for a walk and sometimes you need a little something more interesting than just going from A to B.  Here are some great walks in Surrey that will pique their interest.  Soon you will have the whole family raring to go, as all the walks have something extra to offer (and not just the usual ice-cream bribe!)

These child-friendly walks in Surrey all have an interest feature, such as a waterfall, totem pole or animals which will motivate the kids and ensure the whole family can enjoy the walk.

Box Hill Natural Play Trail, Surrey, UK

A steep walk up Box Hill, Mickleham, near Dorking

  • Start point:          National Trust Car Park at top of Box Hill,  KT20 7LF
  • Type of walk:      Various trails (2-8 miles)
  • Refreshments:     Café at Visitor Centre, Stepping Stones pub (base of hill)
  • Train station:       Box Hill & Westhumble (1/2 mile)

The first of our great walks in Surrey is at Box Hill.  This is one of the most famous walks in Surrey and is popular with hikers, cyclists, and day-trippers from London.

Box Hill is at the summit of the North Downs and is one of many fantastic family walks in the Surrey Hills.   There’s a good variety of walks at Box Hill, so you’ll find something to suit all ages and levels.  There’s a number of family walks, including a natural play trail, which children love.

Here are some of the highlights of a family walk at Box Hill:-

  • A Natural Play Trail (with natural play apparatus and climbing equipment)
  • The iconic stepping stones (over the River Mole)
  • Old WWII anti-tank cylinders on the Riverside Walk
  • A Visitors’ Centre with tasty home-made cakes and ice-creams
  • Super den-building and tree-climbing opportunities
  • Sweeping views of the Surrey Hills from the memorial viewpoint
  • Broadwood’s Folly

The walking trails at Box Hill range from 2 to 8 miles.  Details of the route are available at the Shepherd’s Hut.  Alternatively, you can read about 3 of the best family walks here.

Box Hill offers great opportunities for walking throughout the year, but some trails are steep and can get.

Another way to entertain the children at Box Hill is geocaching.  However,  be warned – the ones we tried were cryptic and very tricky.

A circular walk at Virginia Water Lake

Virginia Water Lake, Egham, Surrey, UK
  • Start point:        GU25 4QF   Virginia Water car park, London Road (A30). (This can get very busy, we prefer starting our walk at Virginia Water South Car Park on Blacknest Road.)
  • Type of walk:    Circular or out-and-back
  • Refreshments:   Virginia Water Pavilion Café (indoor and outdoor dining); Various take-away catering; ice-cream van
  • Train station:     Virginia Water (2 miles)

Without doubt, Virginia Water Lake is one of the best places for a family walk in Surrey.

Virginia Water Lake is in north Surrey near to Egham and Ascot.  It’s part of the Great Windsor Park crown estate, which covers 4800 acres of parkland.  The walk around Virginia Water Lake is about 4.5 miles, but there is plenty to stop and look at along the way:

  • An impressive totem pole (a gift to the queen in 1958)
  • Replica Roman ruins – built in 1818, with stones from the original in Libya
  • An enchanting cascade waterfall (with viewpoint)
  • Fantastic tree-climbing (in the rhododendrons en-route)
  • Hide and seek in the Valley Gardens
  • Amazing wildlife and nature – deer, ducks, herons and every breed of pet dog you can imagine

If you have younger children, you could just walk to the Totem Pole and back, with a stop at the duck pond on the way.  Alternatively, there is a small playground by Obelisk Lawn.

Children who are not keen on walking can take scooters or bikes, but it does get busy at peak times.

If you want to extend your walk, you can go through the fabulous Valley Gardens or head in the other direction to Cow Pond.

Click here for details of the best family walks at Windsor Park.

Flowering bushes at Valley Gardens at Virginia Water, Surrey, England

Of all the great walks in Surrey, this is our favourite.  For full details read our post, A visit to Virginia Water Lake, Surrey.

A riverside walk at Shepperton Towpath

Canal boat waiting at Shepperton lock, Surrey
  • Start point:         TW17 9LJ (Shepperton Lock)
  • Type of walk:     Out and back (3 miles)
  • Refreshments:    Nauticalia Café; Thames Court Pub;  ice cream van
  • Train station:      Shepperton (1 mile)

One of the best places for a riverside walk in Surrey is at Shepperton Lock.

You can start this Thames Path walk at the car park on the towpath next to Thames Court Public House.  It is an linear walk, which will take you up to Dumsey Meadow, near Chertsey Bridge.  You can often see cows in this meadow, which has been designated as a Site of Specific Scientific Interest.

The walk on Shepperton Towpath is a great family walk, as there is plenty to keep children interested along the way.

What is there for kids to do on the riverside walk at Shepperton?

  • Watch the boats move through Shepperton Lock, which was first built in 1813
  • Feed the ducks and geese
  • Take a trip across to Pharaoh’s Island
  • Grab a ferry boat to Weybridge
  • Look at the riverboat houses
  • Wonder at the cows in the river
  • Spot parakeets
  • Eat ice-cream
  • Play in the Dumsey Meadow

The walk from Shepperton to Chertsey Bridge is about 3 miles out and back.  However, this walk is on the national trail, the Thames Path, so you could continue walking all the way to Windsor. In fact, the Thames Path is 184 miles long and goes as far as the Cotswolds.

Alternatively, you could start the walk at the other end and park by the small playground at Chertsey Meads.  There is plenty of wildlife along the way, especially Canada Geese.

A heritage walk at Chilworth Gunpowder Mills, Albury

Old derelict buildings at Chilworth Gunpowder Mills, Surrey, England
  • Start point:       GU4 8NP (top of Vera’s path, by Chilworth CofE Infant School)
  • Type of walk:   Out and back (1 mile) or circular (5 miles)
  • Refreshments:  Picnic benches on walk; Newlands Corner Café
  • Train station:    Chilworth (under 1 mile)

If you are looking for a shorter family walk that’s packed with history and heritage, head to the Chilworth Heritage Trail in the Tillingbourne Valley. Here you can see the remains of the mills used for hundreds of years in the manufacture of gunpowder.

If you follow the walk on this short heritage trail you can:

  • Inspect the remains of the gunpowder mills (more than 100 buildings to explore)
  • Paddle in the stream (bring your wellies)
  • Delight in the wonderful nature
  • Count the toads!
  • Climb up St Martha’s Hill (with amazing views over 8 counties)

Alternatively, if you want to extend the walk, make the steep ascent up St Martha’s Hill to the beautiful St Martha’s Church.

Click here for a walk from Newlands Corner to St Martha’s Church.

A historic walk at Runnymede, Englefield Green (near Windsor)

National trust sign, during Family Walk, Runnymede, Surrey
  • Start point:          TW20 0AE (Sat nav) Runnymede or TW20 0NX (Barley Mow Pub)
  • Type of walk:      Circular
  • Refreshments:     National Trust Café or Barley Mow Pub
  • Nearest station:  Egham (2 miles)

One of the most interesting family walks in Surrey is to historic Runnymede.

Although you can walk from the car park at Runnymede, we follow a spectacular circular walk from Englefield Green, Surrey.  This route stops at the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, before heading into the woods and down into the Runnymede meadows.

Here are some of the best things you can do on a historic walk at Runnymede.

  • Step back in time at the 3 memorials John F Kennedy, Magna Carta and Runnymede Memorial
  • Pay respect to the 20000 airmen and women who died during the 2nd World War
  • Admire the new public artworks – “Writ in Water” and “The Jurors”
  • Gaze for miles across London from the Runnymede Memorial
  • Ramble along the River Thames
  • Play in ancient woodland
  • Touch the oldest tree in England

We always start the walk at The Barley Mow public house, which has a cricket green in front and small playground. This is great for refreshments on our return.  If you want more details on the route for this walk, read A walk to historic Runnymede.

In addition, you could extend your walk and visit Ankerwycke where the colossal Yew tree is believed to be up to 2500 years old.

A scenic walk up Leith Hill (Surrey Hills near Coldharbour)

Leith Hill Tower, Surrey Hills, Surrey
  • Start point:          Starveall Corner Car Park or Windy Gap Park
  • Type of walk:     Out and back (1.5 miles)
  • Refreshments:     Farm shop servery at tower
  • Nearest station:  Holmwood (2.5 miles)

One of the most beautiful walks in Surrey is at Leith Hill Tower.  This is a wooded hill in the South-West of Dorking.

There are many different routes you can take to access the top of the hill, where you will have views stretching as far as The English Channel.  At 313 metres, Leith Hill Tower is the second highest point in South East England

This is a popular family walk is Surrey, as children can:-

  • Play hide and seek up the top
  • Climb the 78 stairs of Leith Hill Tower
  • Use a telescope to spot a boat on the English Channel or the landmarks of London
  • Eat home-made cake at the tower servery

A royal walk at Bushy Park, East Molesey

View of Diana Fountain, Bushy Park, Greater London, UK
  • Start point:          TW11 0EQ
  • Type of walk:      Circular
  • Refreshments:     Pheasantry Café or ice-cream van
  • Nearest station:  Hampton Court or Teddington (1 mile)

The last of our 7 great walks in Surrey is at Bushy Park.  This Royal Park, covering 1090 acres, started as a royal hunting ground and has always been a family favourite for walks in Surrey.

You can choose your own route at Bushy Park, as there are plenty of paths.  It’s perfect for a family walk, as there are so many things for children to do.  These include:-

  • Look for the roaming herds of red and fallow deer (watch out when it’s rutting season)
  • Go wild in the large playground – there are swings, see-saws and climbing frames
  • Dig in the large sandpit – bring your bucket and spade
  • Wander through the woodland gardens, marvelling at the nature and wildlife
  • Admire the cascade at the Upper Lodge Water Gardens
  • See the Diana Fountain
  • See here for the best things to do at Bushy Park

Bushy Park is a short walk from Henry VIII’s magnificent Hampton Court Palace, so you can cross to explore the gardens here.

A map of the 7 great walks in Surrey with kids

Below is a map of 7 great places in Surrey to take children for a walk.

You can save the map to use when you are there by clicking on the star to the right of the title.

Later, find the map by going to your Google Maps app and selecting the saved icon.

Have you tried any of these family walks in Surrey?  Please feel free to comment below.

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