Dormans Park

An enjoyable walk from Dormans Station. The trail crosses Lingfield Park racecourse and golf course, it then passes through the Dormans Park estate and past the Cook's Pond Viaduct.

Technical sheet
No. 8383550
A Lingfield walk posted on 28/04/21 by Aurelie-21. Update : 28/04/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h10[?]
Distance Distance : 4.29mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 223ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 207ft
Highest point Highest point : 351ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 184ft
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Lingfield
Starting point Starting point : N 51.15547° / W 0.00404°
Download : -

Description

(D/A) The walk starts and finishes at Dormans Rail Station. (If you are starting the walk from the village of Dormansland, begin the walk by following the instructions written in brackets within Walk Section 2: Mill Lane to Golf Course Bridge.)

Standing on the road facing Dormans Station, take the footpath which runs immediately to the right of the building. This tarmac path leads you across the centre of a rough common. You will emerge out to a crossroads with a stone track, Mill Lane, with Nobles Green opposite. Alongside the bench at this crossroads you will see a stone marking this as a point on the Greenwich Meridian, zero degrees longitude.

(If you wish to take the detour to Dormansland village, follow the tarmac path ahead which leads you between fields and then between houses. The path widens to become a lane and swings right to pass Cherry Tree Cottage on the left. To reach The Old House at Home pub turn left here, otherwise keep straight ahead. At the T-junction alongside the Parish Room, turn right and you will emerge to the High Street alongside the church. Turn left to reach the bus stop, toilets, village shop and The Royal Oak pub).

For the main walk, turn left along Mill Lane.

(1) (Follow these directions if you are starting the walk at St John's Church in Dormansland, otherwise skip to the next paragraph below. Standing facing the church, take the side road, The Platt, which runs to the left of the church. As you come to the Parish Room ahead, fork left and then keep straight ahead along this lane to pass Cherry Tree Cottage on the right. Bear left and then keep ahead to join the tarmac path between hedgerows. Follow this tarmac path between fields and then past Nobles Barn on the right. Immediately after this you will reach a crossroads with a stone track, Mill Lane. Alongside the bench at this crossroads you will see a stone marking this as a point on the Greenwich Meridian, zero degrees longitude. Turn right along Mill Lane and then follow the instructions below). Follow this stone track lined with trees and hedgerows. The track narrows to lead you over the railway bridge. Immediately afterwards, ignore the path on the left, simply keep straight ahead on the wooded path leading you steadily downhill. Eventually the path emerges from the trees to cross a fairway within Lingfield Park golf course. Take particular care here, allowing golfers to play their shots before you proceed and keeping your eyes peeled for stray golf balls. The path re-enters trees and then leads you down to a junction of paths. Walk diagonally left (at about 10 o'clock) to cross the bridge over the stream.

(2) Keep ahead for just a few metres and then, immediately before the metal barn on the right, turn left onto the path with a hedge on the left. The path becomes a raised embankment path running alongside a golf fairway on the left. Continue until you reach a T-junction with a tarmac track at the side of Lingfield Park racecourse. Turn left along the track. The grandstand of Lingfield Park racecourse can be seen behind you, with the chalk hills of the North Downs in the distance. Continue just until you reach the tee for the 17th hole on the left and a gap in the railings on the right. The racecourse and club were established in 1890. It is said that in the early 1900s the people of Dormansland agreed not to use the footpath across the racecourse in return for discounted tickets to the races. This agreement continued for a number of years, until the course changed hands and the new owners said "No more free tickets." On the following race day, a continuous chain of local people kept the footpath open, holding up the racing until the owners relented and gave them back their free tickets. Turn right here to cross the racecourse track. Immediately after the crossing, fork left across the grass, pass through the gap in the hedgerow and then keep left around the edge of the fairway. The path swings right and then forks left through a section of trees. You will see a bridge on the left. Do NOT cross this, instead, continue around the edge of the fairway with the stream running on the left. Ignore the second bridge and, a few paces later, turn left keeping the stream on the left. Keep ahead, passing the third bridge on the left to reach a signed junction of paths. Fork right to join the path through a section of trees, with the road running on the left. As you emerge from the trees, turn left to reach the road (with the gate for Hill Rise opposite). Cross over the road with care and take the small connecting road opposite. At the T-junction with Blackberry Road, turn right along the grass verge in front of houses. After 70m, cross over the road to turn left onto the signed public footpath.

(3) Walk into the entrance driveway for The Stables and then fork immediately left through the side gate. Follow the stone footpath ahead and then, when the fence on the right ends, turn right along the grass bank (passing the property on the right). Go through the metal kissing gate and turn left then right along the tarmac lane. Go through the gateway and then keep ahead on the wide grass track between fences. At the end of the grass track, go through the gateway ahead (or use the stile just to the right of the gate) and then turn left on the fenced track between fields. Within the boundary to your left are examples of neglected hazel coppice. Coppicing is an ancient woodland practice which involves the cutting of the stems down to the stumps. The stems re-grow and the process is repeated every 7-25 years depending on the size of stems required. The wood was used in many ways including the manufacture of hurdles, cooking utensils, firewood and charcoal. This path leads you to a kissing gate. Go through the gate and follow the fenced path ahead. You will notice that the surface of the path is made up of logs. This is known as a Cordouroy Road, where logs are pinned across the path. Cordouroy Roads are used across swampy land, forming a sort of floating path, and are able to take the weight of a horse and cart. The name is taken from the fabric which has a similarly ridged effect surface. Cross the footbridge over a stream and continue on the fenced path, heading uphill through the woodland. As you draw close to the driveway for a property, fork right and follow this stone path out to a T-junction with the road, Swissland Hill.

(4) Turn right along Swissland Hill. You are now in Dormans Park which was built following the arrival of the railway. In 1887 the Bellagio Estate Company bought 218 acres of farmland and coppiced woodland for housing development. The names of at least two of the old woods have survived in the road names: Swissland and Furzefield. Potential house owners were tempted by the offer of membership to a large and well-equipped Club House on the estate. The Bellagio company failed after about 10 years and the name was changed to Dormans Park. Only about 20 residences had been built by then, apart from the Club House and church, but most of these remain today amongst the newer properties.

Continue along the road for 700m, keeping straight ahead at the crossroads with Hill Crest. At the bottom of the slope (where the main road swings left) you will come to a junction with The Clock House to the right. The Clock House was built late in the 19th century. The ground floor was originally a stable block, and the grooms and stable hands lived above. There was an archway for people to drive through into the yard, but this was filled when the premises were converted into the present house.

(5) Continue straight ahead down the path which soon becomes a grass track. Cross the stream via the footbridge and keep ahead on the woodland path. The path leads you past a property on the left and the green wire gates for a former school on the right.

At the T-junction with the track, turn left. After 230m, as you draw level with The Cottage on the left, turn right down the track (signed as a public bridleway). Follow the path past houses and then continuing through a section of woodland. You will reach a signed crossroads within the woodland, with a property across to the left.

(6) Go straight ahead, crossing a small ford. The path swings right and leads you over a concrete bridge. Continue on the path for 0.6km, ignoring a path off to the right and then one off to the left. A few metres later, turn left onto the fenced path signed as part of the Greenwich Meridian Trail. The path leads you over a wooden footbridge with great views of Cook's Pond Viaduct and the Wilderness Lake on the right. The viaduct is made of latticed girders on brick piers, and is the largest structure on the Croydon to East Grinstead railway. The lake was drained temporarily whilst the piers were built. Keep ahead on the path which leads you over a couple of lake overflows. At the junction with the road, cross over and take the path which continues opposite. Keep straight ahead, climbing steadily, to emerge to a junction with a road alongside the railway bridge. If you wish you can walk to the centre of the bridge to enjoy the views back along the rail line. From the bridge you can get a good idea of some of the work involved in the construction of the railway: a deep cutting, an embankment and the viaduct can be seen.

(7) When you've finished with the view, return back to the path from which you emerged. Cross over the road and continue along the stone path ahead with the railway still on the right (still part of the Greenwich Meridian Trail). Continue over the brow of the hill and the path begins to descend steadily. Ignore the path off to the left, simply keep ahead alongside the railway. You will emerge, via a flight of steps, to reach the road opposite Dormans Station where the walk began. (If you need to return to Dormansland village, follow the directions from the beginning of this walk.) Dormans Station was originally called "Bellagio" after the company that built Dormans Park a few years later, but this soon changed to its present name. The railway was built jointly by the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway and the South Eastern Railway Companies. Dormans Station opened on the same day that trains began to use the line on 10 March 1884.(D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 285ft - Dormans Rail Station
1 : mi 0.14 - alt. 302ft - Intersection
2 : mi 0.68 - alt. 207ft - Bridge over the stream
3 : mi 1.34 - alt. 236ft - The Stables
4 : mi 1.95 - alt. 272ft - Swissland Hill.
5 : mi 2.38 - alt. 259ft - Down
6 : mi 3.04 - alt. 249ft - Fork
7 : mi 3.71 - alt. 335ft - Viaduct
D/A : mi 4.29 - alt. 285ft - Dormans Rail Station

Useful Information

The walk has a few steady gradients and the paths are firm for the most part but the unmade sections through woodland and the golf course can get very muddy so good stout boots are recommended.

There are no pubs or shops along the route, but you can take an optional 10 minute detour to the village of Dormansland where there are public toilets, a shop and two pubs (The Royal Oak pub on the High Street and The Old House at Home pub on West Street).

This walk follows public footpaths and bridleways but also a few private and public lands so please respect people's privacy, keep dogs under control and remember the Countryside Code.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

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