Monday 4 May 2015

Walks around Polesdon Lacey, Surrey

At the far end of Polesdon Lacey's car park, you'll find a big sign charting several colour-coded walks, varying in length from about 1.5 miles to 4.5 miles. Most of them take you down the steep hill into the Mole Valley that nestles between the Edwardian country house and Ranmore Common to the south west. Virtually devoid of any development, this Arcadian countryside contains the odd farmhouse and a charming Youth Hostel that looks like it belongs in the 1930s. It is hard to believe you are less than five miles from the M25 - London's heavily congested circular motorway. The longer walks climb up towards Ranmore Common, from where there are viewpoints back to the National Trust property. All the routes end up looping round through the bucolic woods and fields south east of Polesdon Lacey.  If you are National Trust members, you can stroll back to the car park via an 18th century belvedere on to the Long Walk, which leads to the foot of the lawn tumbling down from the elegant mansion. Lined on one side by a hedge, punctuated with white statues, and on the other, by woodland, this narrow lawn offers heart-warming views over the tranquil Mole Valley. 8/10