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.