This amble through iconic villages, magical woodland glades and ancient wild forests is at its best in mid / late spring, when you will be rewarded with one of the less common treats of spring – vast crowds of woodland Fritillaries, offering the most amazing, rich show alongside banks of joyful daffodils and crocuses.
Half an hour’s drive away, this walk is further than most of our recommendations – but it is well worth the drive. Chiddingford is one of Surrey’s most beautiful Wealden villages. Picture book perfect – in the centre is a pretty duck pond and large green, surrounded by perfectly symmetrical, beautifully pristeen houses; each one reminiscent of a grand dolls house, with it’s own impeccably kept garden and attractive brickwork.
Parking around the green is plentiful, and there are a couple of welcoming pubs for an after walk restorative stop. The butcher’s home made sausages are highly rated, and the village church, parts of which date back to the 14th century, is worth visiting too – as is its graveyard, with ancient vaulted graves.
Just off the green, the houses are more modest; pretty cottages with interesting, well tended gardens compliment their grander counterparts playing the lead roles in the heart of the village.
This walk is an absolute delight, offering surprise after surprise as the route unfolds through enchanted woods, across open fields (some with sheep or horses) and past magnificent homes set in awe inspiring, imaginatively designed, pristeen grounds.
In early April, both sides of the final woodland stretch will be adorned with crowds of blooming Fritillaries – alongside swathes of daffodils and crocuses, which would usually themselves be more than enough seasonal highlight. On this occasion, however, they provide a very pretty, if predictable seasonal backdrop to the more unusual and surprising, undoubted stars of the show!
Follow this link for the full route, on the Fancy Free Walks website.
As directed, the Chiddingford circular forms the first part of the longer route given.