|View From Rose Hill|
After Day 3 of the hike, Day 4 is a bit of a shock. Almost as soon as you leave Dorking all trace of the Greensand Ridge completely disappears and the path crosses fields in the clay vale at the foot of the North Downs. Unlike previous days I would suggest that you park at the start of the walk rather than the end, since spaces are at a bit of a premium in Earlswood, just south of Redhill.
|Where's The Ridge?|
Parking in Dorking proved to be quite easy. I parked by Dorking Halls just off the A24. There is an hourly bus service from Earlswood back to Dorking, or you can walk down into Redhill and catch the train back (which is far quicker but less regular).
From Dorking Halls, walk out of town through the Rose Hill area until you meet the path. Soon afterwards you will cross over the A24, which can be very dangerous so be very careful. Fortunately, when I passed by there were roadworks going on so was able to use the traffic lights to my advantage. On the other side you will climb up through the rhododendron terraces of the former Depedene House, a large palatial house that was demolished in 1969 after years of dereliction. You can get a sense of how impressive the grounds must have been from the landscaping that still exists. At the top of the terracing there is a lovely view of the Weald, the last such view until the end of the day.
|Looking Across to the North Downs|
Once past Betchworth there are signs that the Greensand ridge returns although it is a fairly modest affair compared with the nearby North Downs Ridge which dominates the landscape to the north. After some road walking, you regain the path and at this point you get a rare glimpse of the underlying Greensand rock. You cross a number of fields before Reigate windmill comes into view. This is a landmark that you can see from many miles away due to its prominence on a small hill surrounded by much lower ground. When you reach the windmill, it is actually situated in the middle of a golf course and this presents the only navigational problem for the day since the signage in this area is fairly poor and the map is not particularly helpful.