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  • Writer's pictureAmy Boalch

Run North Downs: Reigate Hill Route

Updated: Nov 26, 2020

A 6 mile off-road loop that begins on the North Downs Way and then follows trails and footpaths before returning to Reigate Hill.

Starting Point

This loop starts and finishes at Reigate Hill Car Park (RH2 0HX). The car park is free and there's a good amount of spaces. You'll also find a cafe here, perfect for a post-run refreshment! If relying on public transport, Reigate train station is one mile away from the starting point.

Details for this route can be found here and you can download the GPX file to follow the route directly from your watch.

This route is perfect for running or walking. The route mainly follows flat, wide trails but there are two particularly steep and more technical sections. Trail shoes are preferable because of these two steeper sections, but road shoes would be fine.

Mile 1

From the carpark take the path to the left of the cafe. This path heads up a gentle slope over a footbridge, with Reigate Hill road below. On the other side of the footbridge the path opens out into a wide, flat trail with trees either side. Continue heading straight along this path - this is the North Downs Way.

About half a mile into the route you will see Reigate Fort on your left which is an interesting place to explore. The route continues past the fort and eventually opens out into a large green space with the Inglis Memorial on your left.

Mile 2

The second mile continues on the North Downs Way. The trail remains high and weaves its way into the trees. On your right you may notice the Colley Hill Water Tower.

Continue following the path until it meets a small road, take a right and quick left here and continue on the trail. When you meet a second road take a left and follow this road past a few houses. On your left hand side there is a trail that runs adjacent to a property's driveway. Take this narrow trail and continue along it - you are no longer on the North Downs Way.

Mile 3

The trail has a steep descent at this part of the route as it heads down Buckland Hill. The gradient is around -20% and if you are running it's likely you will need to walk down this short but steep section. Follow the trail down - you will actually cross over the North Downs Way as it travels perpendicular to the trail - and eventually the trail will reach a stile that opens out into beautiful open fields at the bottom of the hill.

Head straight across the field ahead of you and at the end you will see some footpath signs. Take a right and run along the edge of the next field. Take a left turn halfway along this field. Follow a trail through a small section of trees before it opens out onto a large flat field. There will be farm buildings across from you. It can be difficult to see where the path leads through this field, but you need to head directly across the field to the opposite side. There is a stile just to the right of the farm buildings. Continue along the path, following the signs and stiles, until you pass under the train line.

Mile 4

After crossing underneath the train line the footpath takes a sharp left and heads up and over a small hill. The path then heads right across the field towards a more residential area, eventually hitting Clifton's Lane. Clifton's Lane heads slightly downhill towards a busy main road - Buckland Road. Before you reach the main road take a left onto Colley Manor Drive so that you join the main road a little later.

Once on Buckland Road you can cross straight over (take care, it's quite a busy road) and join a sandy path. Once you join the sandy path take a left and follow the path across the village green in the direction of the Blackhorse Pub.

Miles 5 & 6

Once you hit the pub you will unfortunately need to run along the main road for a couple of minutes until you meet a footpath on the left hand side. Be careful not to miss this path as it is quite discrete - the path has bushes on one side and a brown fence on the other, hidden between two wide driveways.

Follow this path as it slowly heads uphill via Coppice Lane. The trail will lead into a woodland area and becomes very steep as it climbs back up Reigate Hill. The gradient reaches 60% but there are steps dug out into the hill which makes it easier to climb.

At the top you will see the Inglis Memorial pavillion to your left. Head in this direction and rejoin the North Downs way, retracing your steps back to the Reigate Hill Car Park.

This is a relatively easy route with just one tough climb at the end. The course has a total elevation of 760ft over 6 miles. The route is mainly on trails or on quiet country roads and it features some interesting spots including Reigate Fort and Inglis Memorial. If you're looking for a nice countryside walk this route also has plenty of options for refreshments with a cafe at the start/finish of the route and a pub four miles in.

Always run safely - let somebody know where you are and choose a safe time of day to run. For more route inspiration follow me on Strava and on instagram. Happy running! #happylegshappymind

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