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Four Weddings and a Windmill

This linear walk along the Mole Valley follows the waymarked Greensand Way to Reigate Heath.

Distance 3.7 miles (6km)

Minimum time 1hr 30min

Ascent/gradient 82ft (25m)

Level of difficulty Medium

Paths Rural paths, bridleways and village roads, 3 stiles

Landscape Lowland landscape in Mole valley

Suggested map aqua3 OS Explorer 146 Dorking, Box Hill & Reigate

TQ 198494TQ 239503

Dog friendliness Take care at the village road crossings, and keep on lead across golf course

Parking Car park at Reigate Heath

Public toilets None on route

Notes Catch bus 32 from car park to Brockham Green. Hourly service Monday-Saturday, 2-hourly on Sunday

1 Park your car at the finish and walk back to the A25, using the safe bridle track on the left-hand side of the road. Turn left to the bus stop, 40yds (37m) along the main road, and catch the number 32 bus to the start at Brockham Green. Get off the bus, walk across the village green to the Dukes Head, and turn right. After about 55yds (50m), bear left through a small white gate onto the Greensand Way, waymarked 'GW'. The narrow path leads you to a substantial footbridge over the River Mole; bear right here, onto a broad, tree- lined track. After 100yds (91m) look out for a heavily overgrown Second World War pill box nestling between the track and the river. There's a thoughtfully placed bench seat here too, and it's a very pleasant spot for a riverside picnic.

2 The track climbs gently to a three-way wooden signpost; keep straight on along the waymarked route towards Betchworth, then continue through St Michael's churchyard and up Wonham Lane, beside the Dolphin pub. Back on the walk, the Greensand Way sidles off to the left just beyond the Dolphin, and follows the edge of an open field as far as Sandy Lane. Turn left, follow the road over a low hill to the T-junction opposite Knowl Cottage, and turn right. After 25yds (23m) turn right again, up a narrow flight of rustic steps to a stile. Nip across, follow the field edge to another stile, then turn left onto a bridleway for 150yds (137m).
Now turn right over a 'GW' waymarked stile, and follow the Greensand Way to Dungates Lane. Turn right, and continue past Dungate's Farm to the edge of Reigate Heath golf course. They've been playing golf here since 1895, so it's only fair to give golfers priority. Cross the course with care, then climb the heather-clad slopes of the low hill towards the clubhouse and windmill.

3 Turn left onto the golf club drive; then, just past Golf Cottage, follow the Greensand Way down a grassy track on the right. Cross Flanchford Road and the golf course and keep Bracken House to your left as you follow the waymarked route up a woodland track. Pass Tile House and follow the path round to the Skimmington Castle pub. Turn left in front of the pub, then follow the waymarked route past the edge of the golf course and back to the car park at the beginning of the walk.

Brockham is as charming a Surrey village as you could wish to find. The church, shop and two pubs cluster around the wide village green, whilst the River Mole flows placidly under the narrow bridges at the foot of the hill. It's generally a relatively peaceful place but can become surprisingly busy when, once a year, thousands of spectators gather for the village's spectacular annual Guy Fawkes bonfire and fireworks display.

St Michael's Church might look familiar. Itplayed a starring role as St John's Church, Stoke Clandon, in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Pop around to the lychgate on the north side of the church, and I think you'll recall seeing Charles and Scarlett (Hugh Grant and Charlotte Coleman) frantically changing their clothes after a last minute dash to Angus and Laura's wedding.

Further along the walk, the windmill dates from around 1765, and is famous for the small church in its roundhouse. The mill is now anchored to face the prevailing wind; the sails no longer turn, and it isn't open to the public. But you can visit the church and take a look at the massive crosstrees and quarterbars that support the structure above.

While you're there

Seek out the recently restored post mill on Reigate Heath. It's on top of a small church, for which you can obtain the key from the nearby golf club's secretary's office, behind the clubhouse. It's free to enter this peculiar place at any reasonable time, but dogs are not allowed inside.

Where to eat and drink

The village shop in Brockham sells pretty much everything you could ever need for a good picnic, but shuts at 3:30pm on a Sunday. Brockham Green has two pubs, both serving real ale and regular bar food. The Royal Oak is a cream-washed building on the village green with outside tables and a children's play area. Well-behaved dogs are also welcome. Nearby the Duke's Head is more of a local's pub and dogs are not allowed during food service hours. In Betchworth, head for the Dolphin, a 16th-century huddle of whitewash and tile hanging. It's a Young's house and serves a comprehensive menu of light snacks and bar meals. At Reigate Heath the Skimmington Castle restricts children to the garden but keeps dog biscuits behind the bar. Dating from 1485, the chimney was used as a lookout by highwaymen on the heath. Nowadays you'll find real ales and a good range of bar food from snacks to main meals.


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