Surrey Three Peaks

What to expect

Published By: Daniel Woodley. Published: 13th May 2024. Filed at: Hiking Routes. Disclosure: I earn commission from purchases made via links.

In early May 2024, I tackled the challengingly long Surrey Three Peaks route.

While it may not offer the mountainous terrain of The Lake District or Snowdonia, it was still a cracking route at nearly 37km long and with a total height gain of just over 1000m.

There are several routes that take in the three peaks at Leith Hill, Box Hill and Holmbury Hill, I took the most popular one on AllTrails which was 36.6km long and I believe this offers the best views. The route used for competitions didn’t look quite as appealing to me as it’s been rerouted to avoid some areas I like.

I started my attempt of the Surrey Three peaks from Leith Hill, most will start at Box Hill but it’s a circular route so it doesn’t matter.

Watch The Video:

Here’s an 11 minute video of my Surrey Three Peaks hike:

Surrey Three Peaks Profile

Length: 35-37km circular (depending on which variation you take).

Total Ascent: 1060m (my Garmin).

Moving Time: 10hr 5mins (but I was talking to the camera, flying drone etc)

Grade: Long hill walk.

Start/End: Anywhere on the route. I suggest Leith Hill but Box Hill is more popular.

Hazards: There is one section just northeast of Westcott that is notoriously muddy in winter and after rain. Box Hill has areas of shiny and slippery chalk.

Parking: Pay and Display car parks at Box Hill. Most of the car parks at Leith Hill are currently free.

Map (click to expand)

Here’s a map of the exact route I took (within a few metres) and also a downloadable GPX file:

Download file for GPS

I Parked at Starveall Car Park at Leith Hill

To start the Surrey Three Peaks route, I parked at Starveall car park at Leith Hill (What3Words) as it’s on the main route, is free and is one of the more popular car parks.

The car park is only an easy 15-minute walk from the first peak – Leith Hill, which sits 294m above sea level.

The imposing tower on Leith Hill was built in 1765 and can be ascended when the tower is open to the public.

Leith Hill Tower at Sunrise

Leith Hill Tower at sunrise.

From Leith Hill to Denbies Hillside

This section took me from the tower at Leith Hill to Denbies Hillside.

The first part of the route zigzags through a delightful woodland, mostly in descent with only a few small hills to ascend.

There are a couple of tiny villages to pass, but most of the route is through woodland on some slightly muddy paths.

After crossing the A25 just east of Westcott, the route became very muddy and was just about passable with boots on.

The route then ascended towards Denbies Hillside, first crossing the railway line:

Photo of woodland just north of Leith Hill

The path through Leith Hill’s woodland.

Aerial photo of Leith Hill woodland

Aerial photo of Leith Hill woodland with the tower visible in the distance.

Walking in a field

Leaving the woodland and heading towards the east of Westcott.

Muddy path on the Surrey Three Peaks route

Just northeast of Westcott. Mud bath anyone? Wear boots, not shoes.

Railway crossing

Crossing the railway line northeast of Westcott and below Denbies Hillside.

View from Denbies Hillside

Me walking up Denbies Hillside.

Denbies Hillside to Box Hill

Denbies Hillside offers delightful views across to Leith Hill and the Surrey Hills.

I left the hillside and took the public footpath through Denbies Vineyard – the largest vineyard in the UK.

From here I descended to the foot of Box Hill and took the chalky and slippery path (steps also available) to the summit and the viewing point.

Box Hill marks the halfway point for me on the Surrey Three Peaks route.

Footpath through Denbies Vineyard

Public footpath through Denbies Vineyard.

Steps to Box Hill

Chalky steps to Box Hill.

Box Hill

Box Hill.

Box Hill viewing point

The viewing point on Box Hill. My halfway point on the Surrey Three Peaks Route.

From Box Hill to Holmbury Hill

I took the path (mostly steps) down towards the river and the famous stepping stones which were submerged under water due to heavy recent rain.

From the stepping stones (bridge nearby if flooded), I took the public right of way above Denbies Vineyard towards the village of Wotton (via White Downs and Ranmore) where I stopped in the Wotton Hatch pub for a drink and some rest.

From the pub I entered the woodland and ascended to Holmbury Hill – the final peak at 261m and only a couple of kilometres from Starveall car park, my starting point.

View down to Denbies Vineyard

The path above Denbies Vineyard..

Church at Ranmore

Church at Ranmore.

Woodland path between Ranmore and Wotton

Woodland path between Ranmore and Wotton.

The Wotton Hatch pub
Lake at Friday Street

Lake at Friday Street, located between Wotton and Holmbury Hill.

Holmbury Hill, the final peak

Holmbury Hill. The final hill on the Surrey Three Peaks route.

Summing Up The Surrey Three Peaks Route

This is one of the best long routes I’ve completed south of London and while not comparable to the Lake District or Snowdonia, I found it very enjoyable.

The sections of ascent weren’t overly challenging (part from Box Hill which is a slog) but the overall length made this quite the outing.

I would definitely do this route again and I’m glad I took the original line which went through Ranmore and next to White Downs rather than the rerouted option through the village of Westcott.

I haven’t completed that many routes in the south of the UK as I mostly visit Snowdonia but you may like these routes, each comes with directions, a video, a map and photos:

About Daniel Woodley

This guide to the Surrey Three Peaks was created by Daniel Woodley, aka The Bald Scrambler.

From walking along beaches and kayaking down rivers to making his way up mountains and even jumping out of planes, Daniel has a love of the outdoors, but scrambling is his real passion.


Daniel Woodley

Daniel Woodley aka The Bald Scrambler

Have fun, keep safe. Hopefully I’ll see you on the mountains one day

By The Bald Scrambler

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