Advantages great views, reasonable facilities, interesting day out.
Disadvantages not a lot of "attractions"
I'm not normally a rambler, but my friend had been trying to convince us to join him for a ramble for a while. We conceded, and our destination was Box Hill (in Surrey); I had not heard of it, so decided to google the area. I learnt that it was the backdrop to the picnic scene in "Emma", and as a Jane Austen enthusiast, this made the prelude to the trip all the more exciting. Luckily for us, it was really sunny on the day, so I managed to get some great photos. I also learnt from wikipedia that a British biker rock band released a single called "Boxhill or Bust", which explains why there were so many bikers there (although it could be that they just enjoyed the scenery...)HOW TO GET THERE
OUR RAMBLE TO THE PEAK...
Once you leave the station, you turn left, go underneath an underpass, and you follow a public footpath. The walk is a good 15 minutes before you reach the foot of the hill. On the way there, there is a stream which could be a nice spot for a picnic (we didn't think that far ahead), and there were quite a few dogwalkers around. There are also some "stepping stones" through the stream. We had actually crossed on a bridge, but decided to cross the river on the stepping stones and back, as there weren't many people around and we weren't in the way. The stones were quite slippery, but the river/stream wasn't deep in any case.
The incline up the hill was quite steep. There were steps though, and gravel to make it less slippery. The steps were quite large, so you had to do 2 mini steps or one big step, which I thought was more tiring. Still, it was great exercise. On the way up, there are breaks from the trees, and you can take "beauty spot" breaks to admire (and take photos)... but also to catch your breath. There's only one really long steep incline which was troublesome; it was about 3-4 storeys of steps in one go, and that was the only bit I actually did struggle and needed to take a short breather (embarassingly...)Once you hit the top though, the views are amazing. You can see all of Dorking, and there's a viewing station mapping out areas you can see; Gatwick airport, Devil's Dyke (in Brighton), and the South Downs.
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