Unimaginably beautiful, Box Hill is one of Surrey’s beauty spots and is a summit of the North Downs which goes from Farnham in Surrey to the Dover Cliffs. It owned by the National Trust and sees at least 850,000 people a year. 

The beauty spot gets its name from when it was first established as it was full of box trees which remarkably grows on slopes. Sadly, because the wood itself is worth a lot of money, in 1979 Sir Henry Mildmay ,who owned Box Hill at the time, cut down all the trees over 20 years old and sold them and made £10,000 which today would probably be closer to a million pounds!  

The River Mole runs through the area carving out beautiful valleys, creating stunning vistas, popular with walkers and many photographers both amateur and professional especially at the summit at sunset.  This year particularly, when outdoor space has been a valuable commodity, losing yourself in Box Hill and its wonderful views and bracing interesting routes is a real treat. 

Endurance cycling is also very popular in Box Hill after its intricate, zig-zag vertical climb came to the world’s attention during the 2012 Olympics. This challenges even the strongest of cyclists, who now come flooding in to see if they can take on the Box Hill climb. 

In the 1890s to try and keep London safe from a possible French invasion Box Hill offered a strategic natural defence due to its deep valleys and it was used as a land defence where there were concerns about the capabilities of the British Navy. Thirteen mobilisation centres containing gun powder were built from the North Downs all the way up to Essex to protect London. 40 years later in WWII pill boxes (a concrete dug out shelter) were built with anti-tank guns in the valleys to defend the main road to London from Box Hill in the case of German invasion. 

My friend Rosie Higham walked with me around Box Hill and said, “I love coming here in different times of the year. In Autumn the colours are beautiful, in Summer it’s nice to have a picnic and my dog really enjoys his walks here in any season.”