LO­CAL FACTS

Surrey Life - - Walk -

The 15-mile Thames Down Link was cre­ated by the Lower Mole Part­ner­ship to en­cour­age lo­cal peo­ple to ex­plore the coun­try­side on their doorstep. It starts by Kingston Bridge on the Thames, fol­lows the Hogsmill River, then through farm­land to fin­ish at the North Downs Way Na­tional Trail – hence the name.

The first part of Ashtead Park you walk through is now a pub­lic open space but it was once a deer park. The rest of the park is in the grounds of City of Lon­don Free­mans’ School, cen­tred on the Manor House of 1790.

Ju­niper Hall was once the site of the Royal Oak Inn, ex­tended in 1762 by Sir Ce­cil Bish­opp, who planted the nine cedars in the grounds. French aris­to­crats shel­tered here dur­ing the French Revo­lu­tion.

The fa­mous Zig Zag slope leads up to Box Hill, owned by the Na­tional Trust. The hill rises up 600 feet above sea level, of­fer­ing won­der­ful views across Sur­rey and the High Weald.

Leg­end has it that the River Mole is so-called be­cause it dis­ap­pears un­der­ground into the chalk near Dork­ing dur­ing dry weather.

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