Devil’s punch bowl Hindhead, Surrey
Address: London Road, Hindhead, Surrey, GU26 6AB
Wow, wow, wow is the only way to start writing this blog! We were blown away by the beautiful area of Hindhead in Surrey. As you can see from our video, this is a place that offers such a wonderful landscape for you and your dog to journey through.
You would think with a name like Devil’s punch bowl it would be a dark and scary place, but that could not be further from the truth. Interestingly there are several local legends which tell different stories of what created this name and bowl-shaped landscape.
The oldest story claims that two giants clashed in the area, and one scooped up earth to throw at the other, creating the landmark before missing the throw and creating the Isle of Wight!
In another story, they say the devil hurled lumps of earth at the god Thor to annoy him in his spare time. The hollow out of which he scooped the earth became the Punch Bowl. The local village of Thursley means Thor's place. An alternative version of this story says that Thor threw the earth at the Devil, who was annoying Thor by jumping across the Devil's Jumps.
The believed natural history is that this the result of erosion caused by spring water beneath the sandstone, causing the upper level to collapse.
Well however it happened, we are happy it did!
The area is now owned and maintained by the National Trust. The area is home to various wildlife and the area is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI). Due to this there are walking routes that you are asked to have your dogs on a short lead during the nesting season (March-September).
There are 6 different set walking routes that you can follow, offering you different lengths and ability ratings. Every trail is clearly marked on posts with the name and colour of the trail to follow.
The four routes that are restricted to walking your dog on a lead from March through to September are:
- Sailor’s Stoll (Blue trail) – 1 Mile walk with gentle gradients and reasonably flat surfaces.
- Highcombe Hike (Yellow trail) – 2.8 Mile walk that includes some steep gradients and uneven surfaces.
- Hidden Hindhead Trail (Pink trail) – 3.1 Mile walk that is demanding as it includes some steep gradients and uneven surfaces.
- ROAM 639 Trail (Purple and white trail) – 6.39 Mile walk that is the most demanding as it includes some steep gradients and uneven surfaces.
Below are the two routes that you are able to walk with your dog free from the lead all year round are:
- Miss James’ Walk (Orange trail) – 1.9 Mile walk with moderate gradients and some uneven surfaces. This walk starts from the Miss James’ car park.
- Golden Valley (Red trail) – 2 Mile walk that is more demanding with some uneven surfaces and steep gradients. This walk starts from the Tilford Road car park.
We visited this stunning area of the UK in February, so Yianni was free to roam all the trails without his lead. We parked in the Devil’s punch bowl car park - a great place to start as was able to get our caramel latte fix from the onsite cafe for the long walk ahead but be warned if your arriving at peak times, parking here can be a little difficult but there are 5 other car parks giving you access to the trails. Also, remember parking costs when you go (something we tend to forget!) it costs £4 for the full day and can be paid on site or via card over the telephone.
Being February, wellies and a coat was a must wear for us humans and Yianni walked in style and warmth with his Max Bone jumper - which as you can see needed a wash when we got home!
Pictured: Max-Bone Aspen Dog Hoodie
We started our 3-hour walk on the Highcombe Hike which showed us the vast and stunning landscape surrounding us. When we walk we tend to go where our feet take us instead of following one single set trail. We are easily distracted by points that interested us, so our walk was a mixture of the trails! The marked walks we followed did not disappoint with points of interest and little hidden treasures like the fresh streams running through the tall trees.
We could write pages and pages about this incredible destination but we don't want to ruin the wonders you will find when you visit yourself. We can't wait to go back for another beautiful dog walk!
Love from the Aurora Pets family x