So it’s that magical time of year when the light is beautiful and the leaves are golden. A fantastic time to head out as a family for some fun, fresh air and photos!
I’ve listed some local parks, playgrounds and woodland and I’ve listed them in order of their distance from Epsom.
We’re slowly making our way through the list but we haven’t managed to get to them all yet. If you know of any lovely outdoor places which aren’t on the list or can help me add some icons, please leave a comment below!
The little icons show what the parks offer for little ones. Whether that be dog spotting, duck watching, trees, a sandpit or a playground. And also if there’s a cafe on site for a much-needed coffee.
If you want to find out more just click the links…
UNDER 10 MILES
Court Recreation Ground Pound Lane KT19 8SF (0.3 Miles)
Rosebury Park Ashley Rd KT18 5AW (0.5 Miles)
Duck Pond & Children’s playground
Mounthill Gardens (across the road from Rosebury Park) (0.5miles)
Long Grove Park KT19 8TE (0.8miles)
Elizabeth Welchman Gardens Downs Road KT18 5HH (0.8miles)
A small peaceful garden park created out of an old chalk pit that was dug into what was once part of Epsom Downs. There is a hard surfaced path running around the perimeter. For those wanting peace and quiet and a chance to watch nature, this is a good site.
Alexandra Recreation Ground (1.1 Miles)
Recreation ground with two separate fields close to Epsom town centre. Popular with dog walkers. Playground for under 12s
Chessington Road Recreation Ground KT19 9ED (1.2miles)
One of the smallest recreation grounds in the borough, a large open expanse of grass with a children’s playground and teenage play equipment.
Gibraltar Crescent Recreation Ground (1.5 Miles)
The Wells Playground KT18 7LR (1.8miles)
Surrounded by Epsom Common. The Well’s Playground is a small playground situated on the Wells Social Centre site. The site is due for redevelopment in the future but the playground is currently still open for use.
Epsom Common (1.8miles)
Ashtead Park Farm Lane, Ashtead KT21 1LE. (1.9miles)
There are two large ponds, both of which are fished by a local club. The lower pond is also managed as a haven for wildlife.
Bourne Hall Park (2miles)
Great for feeding the ducks and geese.
Horton Country Park Epsom KT19 8PL (2 miles)
Activities visitors to the reserve can enjoy include Walking, Cycling, Running, Dog Walking, Nature Watching, Events, Kite flying, Orienteering, Fruit Picking, Golf and many more
Horsing and Coursing Walk on Epsom Downs Tattenham Corner Rd (2.1miles)
A walk across Epsom Downs racecourse that everyone will enjoy. Distance 5 miles (8km) Minimum time 2hrs Ascent/gradient 394ft (120m) Level of difficulty Medium Paths Mainly broad, easy-to-follow bridleways
Epsom Downs and Walton on the Hill Walk Tattenham Corner Rd (2.1miles) KT18 5NY.
A 5.5 mile circular walk through Epsom and Walton Downs, the chalk downlands which form part of the North Downs in Surrey. The route starts from Epsom Downs Racecourse, home to The Derby, and heads south through Walton Downs to reach the pretty village of Walton on the Hill. Here, about half way round, there are a couple of pubs and a cafe, the perfect place for lunch and/or a pint. The walk returns back through woodland bridleways and open downland paths. There are great views throughout and on a clear day much of London and Surrey is visible.
London Road Recreation Ground, Primrose Walk KT17 2EZ (2.2miles)
Priest Hill (Surrey Wildlife Trust) Reigate Road (A240), Epsom KT17 3BZ (2.2 miles)
Over the past 9 months Priest Hill, near Epsom, has been transformed from abandoned playing fields to a brand new nature reserve for the benefit of wildlife and the local community.
Poole Road Recreation Ground – Harrier centre/giggles soft play KT19 9RP (2.4miles)
Howell Hill (Surrey Wildlife Trust) Cheam Road, Cheam SM2 7HR (2.4miles)
In the southern part of the reserve, a variety of chalk downland flora can be found. Some 260 kinds of flowering plants have been recorded, including large colonies of mouse-eared hawkweed and kidney vetch; bee, common spotted, fragrant, pyramidal and white helleborine orchids as well as two species of broomrape. The area supports many anthills, which provide good feeding for green woodpeckers. 50 different kinds of birds have been seen at this reserve. A variety of insects and other invertebrates occur and there are more than 20 different kinds of butterfly including green hairstreak and small blue.
Ashtead Common (2.7miles)
Ewell Court Park and Playground Lakehurst Road, Ewell, Epsom KT19 0EB (2.9miles)
The main entrance is situated at the junction of Ewell Court Avenue and Lakehurst Road where there are car parking facilities available. There are also numerous pedestrian entrances into the park on its eastern and southern boundaries from Oakland Way, Manor Drive and Meadow Walk. Ewell Court Park is open all year; however, it is locked half an hour before sunset. It is re-opened by 8am on Monday to Friday, or by 9am at weekends. Lovely park with duck pond, great forest walks, pond dipping and playground for all ages. There is also a library and cafe at the Mansion house.
Malden Rushett walk KT9 2NQ (3.1miles)
Park at the Shy Horse, Leatherhead Road, Malden Rushett, KT9 2NQ. Food is served all afternoon until 10:00 PM Mon-Sat and 9:30 PM Sun.
6.92 miles / 11.13 km / 2.75 hours
Nonsuch Park – 23 Ewell Rd, Sutton SM3 8AL (3.4miles)
Nonsuch Park is a very large open space with an extensive network of both surfaced and unsurfaced paths. It is home to a variety of different species of flowers, birds and insects. Nonsuch Mansion House is situated in the centre of the park and there’s a cafe located next door.
Auriol Park KT19 0QE (3.4miles)
Playground for under 12s
Cheam Park, Tudor Cl, Sutton SM3 8QS (3.8miles | 13mins)
Car park accessed through Tudor Drive, disabled bays available.
Football Pitches, Tennis Courts, Table Tennis Table, Outdoor Gym, Cafe, Playground, Pavilion, Male & female public toilets & Croquet & Bowls Club.
I’ve taken a lot of photographs of Emilie here. It’s such a great park. We can take photos (while chasing dogs and birds), Emilie can have a play in the playground and I can grab a coffee in the cafe.
Shadbolt Park KT4 7BX (3.8miles)
A quiet and tranquil park with mature trees, the other being a playing field with playground and outdoor gym area. The park is also home to Shadbolt Park Doctor’s Surgery and the Day Lily Garden, which houses the National Plant Collection of hemerocallis (day lilies)
Headley Heath Headley Common Road, Headley Heath KT18 6NN (5.4miles)
A wonderful mix of open heathland, woodland and chalk downland Headley Heath has a wide network of tracks to explore, and stunning views to rival any of its neighbours – the perfect place to enjoy the countryside, whether walking, cycling or horseriding.
There’s always something new to see, from fragrant, bright yellow gorse and breathtaking purple heathers, to deer, badgers and dragonflies.
During the warmer months, Headley Heath is alive with birdsong from rare birds like stonechats, linnets, meadow pipits and woodlarks.
*Family trail – The Lizard trail (starting at the main car park)
*Family events throughout the year
*Guided walks and talks by a ranger are available for school and community groups
*Plenty of lovely spots to enjoy a picnic
*A kiosk serving drinks, ice-creams, light snacks and lunches (non-National Trust) at Headley Heath main car park. Small local food shops in Headley.
*There are no toilets on this site
Narnia trail at Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Nature Reserve Holly Lane, Banstead CR5 3NR (5.4 miles)
Iconic characters from CS Lewis’ classic children’s tale The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe have been brought to life at an enchanting new Narnia themed nature trail at Banstead Woods and Chipstead Downs Nature Reserve. Visitors can meet Aslan the Lion, spot Lucy Pevensey waiting by the lamppost and even walk through the wardrobe entrance to Narnia, complete with hanging coats.
Explore Surrey: Banstead Woods Nature Trail Walk CR5 3NR (6.1 miles)
A 3 mile (5km) circular walk discovering the hidden secrets and natural wonders of Banstead Woods, 250 acres of ancient woodland.
The Battle for Banstead Commons CR5 3NR (6.1 miles) A popular, well-wooded route in the Chipstead valley. Distance 3.5 miles (5.7km) Minimum time 2hrs Ascent/gradient 295ft (90m) Level of difficulty Medium Paths Woodland and field edge paths, muddy after rain, 7 stiles
Norbury Park (Surrey Wildlife Trust) Young Street, Leatherhead KT22 9DX (6.5 miles)
The variety of habitats at Norbury encourage a vast amount of wildlife. There are roe deer, badgers and foxes in the woodland, together with all three British woodpeckers (green, great spotted and the much smaller lesser spotted).Three tenanted farms; Bocketts, Swanworth and Norbury Park occupy part of the area and our farmers (and their grazing animals) look after much of the land. Fetcham car park and Young Street car park are located off the A246 near Leatherhead.
Dawcombe (Surrey Wildlife Trust) Pebble Hill Road, Dorking. Map reference: TQ 215 525. (6.7miles)
One of the most species-rich chalk grassland reserves is Surrey. Situated on chalk scarpland with thick patches of hawthorn scrub, mostly in the bottom of the valley.
The open areas are managed as chalk downland and include spotted, fragrant, pyramidal, fly, man, bee and greater butterfly orchids in addition to a rich variety of typical chalkland plants. Much of the conservation work concentrates on scrub clearance which is necessary to maintain and increase the chalk downland habitat.
A good area of woodland stretches from the north-west to the south-east of the reserve as a wide strip on the top of the scarp and marked as Dawcombe Wood on the OS map. This is mainly of beech and ash with field maple, whitebeam, hazel and spindle and extends to the North Downs Way on the east side.
Both woodland and open grassland are rich in insects especially butterflies. Other invertebrate groups such as spiders, harvest-spiders, mites, millipedes, centipedes, woodlice etc are well represented.
Over 56 species of birds have been recorded on the reserve. Common lizard, slow-worm, fox, badger and rabbit regularly inhabit the reserve and roe deer are also common.
Shabden Park (Surrey Wildlife Trust) High Road, Chipstead CR5 3SF (6.9 miles)
Shabden Park is famed for its sweeping views of rolling hills and sheep-grazed valleys. When visiting the Estate please remember that most of the area is a working farm. In the interests of both wildlife and livestock, you should keep to the designated paths and close all gates behind you.
Betchworth Quarry & Lime Kilns (Surrey Wildlife Trust) The Coombe, Betchworth RH3 7BU (7.3miles)
Set within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and part of the North Downs. Rich in flowers and several types of orchids, this chalk grassland reserve is best visited during the summer months. A yew and broad-leaved woodland can also be found around the edge of this former chalk quarry.
Claremont Landscape Garden Portsmouth Road, Esher KT10 9LG (7.4miles)
Claremont is a beautiful garden surrounding a small lake and featuring an unusual grass amphitheatre. Visitors walking around the lake will see the island and pavilion, grotto and many viewpoints and vistas. There are hidden features to enjoy as well as wider estate walks and a new children’s play area. Open-air theatre events June to July. Children’s craft workshops, storytelling and trails during school holidays. Guided walks April to October. Full yearly programme of walks, talks and activities.
Morden Hall Park walk SM4 5JD (7.4 miles)
Easy | Time1 hour | Distance1.9 miles (3 km)
Start:The Potting Shed Café, next to Garden Centre Car Park
Hampton Court Gardens KT8 9AU (8.3 miles)
Hampton Court Palace’s world-famous gardens include 60 acres of spectacular formal gardens and 750 acres (304 hectares) of parkland, all set within a loop of the River Thames.
Our gardens are home to the world’s oldest puzzle maze, a record-breaking grape vine, 3 National Plant Collections, over 1 million flowering bulbs in the Wilderness and a huge variety of wildlife, including the descendants of Henry VIII’s deer herd.
Hampton Court Walk KT8 9AU (8.3miles)
Discover more about the game of kings on a walk through the regal landscape of Hampton Court Park. Distance 4.8 miles (7.7km) Minimum time 1hr 45min
Hampton Court Walk (wheelchair & Pushchair Friendly) KT8 9AU (8.3miles)
Distance 5 miles (8km) Minimum time 2hrs. Ascent/gradient Negligible. Level of difficulty Easy. Paths Level, well maintained tow path walk, ideal for young families with a pushchair, and active wheelchair users
Six Ponds and a River Bank Esher West End and River Mole Walk KT10 8LJ (8.4miles)
Distance: 5½ km=3½ miles easy walking: 1 or 2 slopes and steps.
This woodland walk begins by a quiet village pond near Esher, Surrey and quickly develops into a wild ramble along the River Mole and then over beech- and pine-clad hills. It also takes in all six ponds of this part of Esher Common, some hidden deep in the woods. The woodland, river and ponds are attractive at any time of the year.
Bookham Commons Church Road, Great Bookham KT23 3LT (8.4miles)
Ancient commons, mentioned in the Domesday Book, with grassland plains, mighty oak woods and serene ponds. Bookham Commons’ varied landscapes, from ancient oak woods to grassland plains and tranquil ponds, support an abundance of wildlife, which can be heard and seen throughout the seasons.
Box Hill (National Trust) Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Box Hill, Tadworth KT20 7LB (8.5miles)
Box Hill is the perfect place to discover a family walk and explore the beautiful Surrey Hills. Forming part of the North Downs, Box Hill has breathtaking views across the surrounding countryside. It’s home to some fantastic wildlife and plants too, including the Adonis blue butterfly and bee orchid.Head over to the shepherd’s hut to borrow a kite or tracker pack for free. Tracker packs contain binoculars, compass, note pads and pencils and are a fun way to explore the great outdoors. Stop off for a bite to eat at the cafe.
Gatton Park – Park & Gardens Reigate RH2 0TW (9.2miles)
There is something to see and do throughout the year from the stunning displays of snowdrops in the spring to autumn walks in the parkland.
Part of the Gatton Park estate is owned by the National Trust and the discover Gatton walk is open all year around.
Dollypers Hill (Surrey Wildlife Trust) Kenley CR5 1JN (9.7miles)
Situated in an urban area of Surrey, Dollypers Hill is a mixture of different habitats, including ancient woodland, scrub and chalk grassland.
The wooded section at the northern end of the reserve consists of old ash and hazel coppice with some maple.
Reigate Hill and Gatton Park Reigate Hill, Wray Lane, Reigate RH2 0HX (9.7 miles)
*Great open spaces for family enjoyment – games, kite flying
*Guided walks and events suitable for families and children throughout the year
*Guided tours of Reigate Fort for schools and community groups
*A Reigate Fort education pack is available and use of the Tool Store can be arranged for class room activities
*Discover Gatton an interesting circular walk around Gatton Park. A map is available from the leaflet board on the servery wall
*Servery (non National Trust Urban Kitchen, Reigate) open from 9am-5pm
*Toilet (open from 9am-5pm) located at the Wray Lane car park
*Benches and grass picnic area near the servery
*Benches dotted along the North Downs Way
*Dogs are welcome. Please keep them on leads when livestock are grazing
*A dog waste bin is provided just by the bridge on the North Downs way for dog walkers to use
*Information boards located at the Wray Lane and Margery Wood car parks
*Wray Lane car park: free parking
*Margery Wood car park: free to NT members or pay by mobile phone RingGo – area code 8505 (020 3046 0010) – £4
Deepdene Terrace (Surrey Wildlife Trust) Deepdene Avenue, Dorking RH5 4BQ (9.9miles)
Deepdene Terrace is a woodland reserve, located south east of Dorking, and runs along part of the Greensand Way.
An avenue of beech trees, interspersed with rhododendron, forms the main part of the reserve. The beech avenue was badly damaged in the storms of 1987 and 1990, but extensive replanting has been carried out over a number of years to regenerate this area.
If you’re interested in booking an outdoor photography session then pop along here for more information.