Day tripper: A walk and a splash at Box Hill
Looking for somewhere to take the bratlets these summer holidays that won’t break the bank and gets them outside taking in a bit of fresh air and sunshine? (Okay, if they’re at all like my tweenie they may be glued to their smartphones for a bit of Poke-hunting – Grrr!)
But right now I’ll take that. So, I give you *drum roll* Box Hill, near Dorking. Okay, okay, I know it’s hardly a little-known destination as far as Surrey days out go, but I went recently after a long absence and I figured that if it had fallen off my radar, it may have fallen off yours as well.
If you’re a National Trust member you’re quids in, because pretty much the only thing you pay for is the car park (which is free for members, obvs) and probably ice creams. You can pack a picnic and eat it on the hill with the stunning views across the North Downs (or if you can’t be bothered slapping some cheese and ham between bread, there’s a lovely cafe for lunch).
We took the picnic option, because Mr Muddy is pretty good at sorting that kind of thing, and then grabbed a coffee from the cafe.
After lunch we took off for a walk. It has to be said that the idea of a walk doesn’t thrill my mudlets. But we had a couple of secret weapons up our sleeves. One, was the lure of ice creams at the end. That’s the obvious one. The other was an insider’s tip about a rope swing across the river Mole. So if the sun’s out, pack the kids’ swimmers because they’ll want to have a go. We spent a fair bit of time here.
There’s a choice of four walks, ranging in length from half an hour to four hours, which take in the Old Fort, one of 13 built along the North Downs in the 1890s to help save London in case of conflict. They were never actually used in battle, though, and are now home to bats. Our loop around would have taken about an hour, but we spent a couple of hours at the rope swing. Here’s a link to the walks at Box Hill.
The walks themselves are pretty, with bridges and stepping stones to cross the river, lovely views and woods. And to my mind, Pokemon hunting or not, at least my mudlets have enjoyed some time outside, getting a bit of exercise and appreciating nature.
Box Hill, Tadworth, near Dorking, KT20 7LB. Tel: 01372 220644. nationaltrust.org.uk