Walkers can now climb the height of Snowdon and Ben Nevis combined without ever leaving Surrey, following the overhaul of a 100+mile trail*. The Greensand Way, nestled between the famous North and South Downs, fell into neglect over the past decade, making it difficult to follow in some areas. Dubbed one of Britain's “best kept secrets", it has now been given a new lease of life thanks to Surrey County Council and volunteers from the Ramblers who gave sections of the route an overhaul over the past 18 months. The trail, which stretches from Haslemere in Surrey to Hamstreet in Kent was cleared where it became overgrown and was re-routed along some sections. New signposts feature the eye-catching Leith Hill tower logo were added and old ones repaired which means ambitious hikers will now find it much easier to walk the entire length across the whole of Surrey and into Kent. The Greensand Way takes in some of Britain's most breathtaking sites including the Devil's Punchbowl in Hindhead and the Surrey Hills. It also passes through numerous sites of special scientific interest such as Leith Hill where a number of rare birds breed, including all three species of British woodpecker.
Tom Franklin, Chief Executive of the Ramblers (www.ramblers.org.uk), said, “I’m proud of our volunteers across the country who give up their free time to keep footpaths like this open for us all to enjoy. The Greensand Way is a wonderful walk through the Surrey and Kent countryside and I thank Surrey Ramblers and the council for their work in bringing this route back to its rightful splendour.”
The path travels over the Surrey hills of Hascombe, Pitch, Holmbury and Leith, before descending north into Dorking then Reigate and then entering Kent just beyond Limpsfield. For walkers who don't fancy taking on the entire route, the path in Surrey, which stretches 55 miles, has been split into 10 sections ranging between three and seven miles each. A guide and maps are available for download at www.surreycc.gov.uk/greensandway
*The total elevation of the hills along the 55-mile Surrey section of the Greensand Way is 8,166ft.