Mole Gap Trail
Starting Point: Leatherhead Train Station (grid ref 163 569)
Length: 10 Km
DIfficulty Level: 2
Step off the train at Leatherhead station and you will soon see the silver arrows which will guide you along this delightful 6 mile (10 kilometre) walk to Dorking. Walking time is approximately 3 hours but do allow much longer to appreciate all there is to see, and to stop for refreshment along the route.
- Leave Leatherhead Station via platform 2 exit, turn right and follow footway to main road. Cross road at pelican crossing, and enter park opposite. After a few steps, bear left and take diagonal path through centre of park. At next path junction keep ahead into corner of park to road.
- Cross road on far side of mini-roundabout just before Town Bridge, and walk over bridge. Turn left immediately and follow path alongside River Mole. Keep straight ahead on public footpath, past football ground and leisure centre, then skirting grounds of Thorncroft Manor.At end of footpath turn right onto tarmac drive. Continue along drive passing entrance to Thorncroft Manor. Before reaching Thorncroft Vineyard turn left off drive onto path and through metal kissing gate. Follow path through field to kissing gate. Keep ahead and follow path along riverside, passing through underpass.
- Cross road using pelican crossing. Turn left and walk uphill towards town centre. Bear right towards town centre passing War Memorial on left. Continue round to right and down towards river, passing The Running Horse on right.
- Keep ahead, and through kissing gate into Norbury Park. Walk across field, then bear right uphill to join track. Keep ahead on track through kissing gate. At cottage turn right through kissing gate, up hill, and under railway bridge.Turn left soon after bridge and up steep path. At tarmac drive turn left downhill to wooden bench on right. Just past bench bear right uphill on grassy path to surfaced track. Cross over and go ahead downhill into woods. Take second footpath on left, down through kissing gate into picnic site. Leave picnic site through kissing gate on far side and keep ahead on track with fields on each side. At Lodge Farm, follow track left then right then ahead over bridge over River Mole. Continue along track to farm buildings then turn right along track and past cottage. Continue ahead along path and through three kissing gates to footbridge over River Mole. Cross river and follow path ahead to kissing gate and to Westhumble.
- Cross over Chapel Lane and turn right along footway. Continue along footway where it separates from road, passing Pilgrims Way. Continue ahead with care along Chapel Lane for 25 metres then turn left down narrow path between fences and hedges. Continue ahead crossing over road to kissing
gate into field. Continue ahead across field and through kissing gate to stone track. Continue ahead through gate into vineyard. Keep ahead on wide track through vines and crossing over drive. Keep ahead uphill. Where main track turns right keep ahead on grassy track. Go through metal kissing gate and ahead uphill with trees on right.
- At path junction turn left and follow track towards road. Just before road turn left along narrow path and through kissing gate to road. Cross road and keep ahead on footway then turn right along Chichester Road. At end of road follow the pavement to turn right beside dual carriageway. Keep straight on, crossing over three side roads to subway. Go through subway and up ramp exit. Keep ahead to Dorking Station.
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This is a pleasant station-to-station route that is easy to navigate and not too hilly. We did it as a trail run with a group of 9 and saw just a few other people. The footbridge mentioned in an earlier review seems to have been repaired, as we had no issues crossing it. For the best of Surrey Hills, I prefer Leith Hill and Winterfold areas, but this is much more accessible by public transport and still very nice countryside to pass through - a mix of fields, woodland and river bank. It was a bit soft underfoot in places after heavy rain earlier in the week but fine in trainers. We took a shortcut at the end to get into Dorking centre for brunch - footpath heading south from Ashcombe Road, via Dorking Skatepark and Dorking Wanderers football ground.
This was a beautiful walk through very varied countryside, along the banks of the river Mole, then through pretty woodland and across fields with some extensive views across the Mole Gap, and finally through Denbies Vineyard. We took the alternative route back to Dorking town, not the station, as we had travelled by bus from and back to Guildford. There was even a picnic spot with bench half way along. We had been to both towns before but this showed us parts we didn't know about. The instructions were excellent, the path well marked with little silver arrows in the ground and the going was good, with no mud in early May.
Lovely trail and really accessible as you go from Leatherhead Station to Dorking Station. Just watch out for the footbridge closed at Westhumble (shut end of September 2018), not sure when it'll open again and there's no alternative route posted. You can cut back and follow the road, but adds milage and not as pretty.