Hidden woodlands, lush green meadows, tranquil ponds and an ancient common filled with ancient oak trees.
If you’re looking for a great place to walk the dog or just fancy taking a stroll in the fresh air, we know the ideal spot to visit.
Holmwood Common, at the foot of the North Downs and the Surrey Hills Area of outstanding natural beauty, is just 10 miles from Gatwick Airport, but you wouldn’t know it was so close to one of the world’s busiest transport hubs because the planes overhead are drowned out by wonderful birdsong, and the beautiful scenery — think dappled woodland, open clearings, ancient oak trees and picturesque ponds — is a sight to behold.
This 517.61 acre site, just off the A24 south of Dorking, was once an ancient common owned by King Harold and William the Conqueror. Today it’s a relatively hidden gem that offers great opportunities for walking, cycling and horse riding.
It’s the kind of place you can visit all year round; in summer it’s the ideal spot for a picnic in the sun; in winter it’s a great place to stretch the legs and enjoy some fresh air; in autumn it is alive with mushrooms and toadstools to discover; in spring it bursts into new leaf and looks as pretty as a picture. It is renowned for its abundant wildlife — birds, bats and butterflies in particular — and its glorious native crab apple trees, which erupt into pink blossom each spring and bear small fruit in the autumn.
Climb to the Ranmore Viewpoint, just a short stroll from the Mill Road car park, and you’ll be rewarded with commanding views of the surrounding countryside, including the spire of St Barnabas Church on Canmore Common, about four miles to the north, and the Box Hill viewpoint, six miles to the north.
As well as it’s ancient royal connections, the common has an interesting connection with more recent history: it was the site of a downed German Junkers 88 plane in the Second World War. The plane, which crashed on 13 March 1944 killing all four airmen on board, has since been excavated and is now on permanent display at the Wings Museum at Balcombe in West Sussex.
If you visit Holmwood Common there is ample car parking available at Mill Road car park and Fourwents Pond car park. Dogs under control are welcome.
For more information, including opening times, please visit the National Trust website.