173 km / 107 miles
The Greensand Way follows the ridge of greensand rock across Surrey and Kent, to the edges of Romney Marsh and almost to the Kent coast. The Way takes its name from the layers of sandstone in each of which is found the green coloured mineral glauconite. The Greensand ridge runs broadly parallel to and south of the North Downs ridge.
It traverses two areas designated as areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (Hindhead to Leith Hill in Surrey and the Sevenoaks ridge from the Kent-Surrey Border to Borough Green in Kent). Excellent views can be obtained of the North Downs and across to the Weald to the South. Although much of the route passes through quiet and almost remote areas, there are links to towns providing opportunities for accommodation and refreshment. Much of the walk is accessible by public transport.
In Surrey the Way passes the Devil's Punch Bowl and crosses Hascombe Hill and Winterfold Heath then traverses the main Surrey tops of Pitch, Holmbury and Leith Hills, where Leith Hill's tower reaches 1000ft, before descending north to Dorking. In Kent it crosses Toys and Ide Hills, descends to Sevenoaks Weald and crosses the Medway Valley to Yalding. Then ascending the ridge it passes through villages, orchards and hop gardens and views over the Weald are achieved. The ridge becomes indistinct beyond Great Chart but the route crosses a rolling landscape of farmland and woodland.
There are a number of link routes with the North Downs Way National Trail. A further link is provided by the waymarked Reigate and Banstead Millennium Trail (18 miles), a route between Banstead Downs and Horley. The Way meets the Saxon Shore Way at Hamstreet near to the Royal Military Canal. At its start, the Serpent Trail provides a 64-mile route on the Sussex greensand hills and heaths. The Four Stations Way (12 miles) links Haslemere to Godalming.
The former well-produced 1997 Greensand Way publication is out of print, but may still be available on the internet via a book search (eg, http://fr.bookbutler.com/do/showWelcome). To mark the 20th anniversary of the Greensand Way, Explore Kent has produced a new walking guide, 'Six Circular Walks along the Greensand Way'. The first part of a free online linear walk guide to the Kent section of the Greensand Way is available on the link below to download and print at home (PDF, 15MB). This covers Westerham to Shipbourne. The full route is shown on OS mapping.
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