Whatever your walking ability, it is a great way to get around Thursley Common.
There are plenty of footpaths, bridleways and permissive paths to explore. We have selected some routes for differing levels of ability. In general, given the sandy soil, there are stretches which are very difficult for less mobile people or push chairs. We have selected walks for varying capabilities and for their wildlife interest and history. Do take care ion the common, it is very easy to get lost and the mire can be very difficult to cross even on the bridleway. In some areas water run-off creates dangerous terrain, please be aware and walk accordingly. If in doubt take an alternative route.
Remember to bring your camera, binoculars and bird/plant/wildlife spotting book.
Depending on the season you can see Fox, Deer, many birds, including birds of prey. Lizards, Frogs & newts. Varied plant life including Sundew, orchids and Bladder Wort. And often more……. At times there are cows on the common which help to keep the vegetation under control in sensitive areas.
The routes avoid the centre of the common, called the mire, in winter the bridleway can be 600mm under water for large stretches and even during summer the ground is very boggy.
Parking is available in Thursley Village, the Moat Car Park and In Elstead, details are elsewhere on this website.
The Website also has maps which are displayed at main entry points to the common.
Do’s and Dont’s
Please keep to the well trodden paths.
If you are walking with a dog it MUST be on a lead 1st April to 30th September and must not enter the water adjacent to the boardwalk. In both cases allowing your dog to run anywhere/swim damages the nature reserve.
Please tread lightly and leave no trace
Respect other users of the common. Every horse or cyclist or person is different. Announce your presence and please step to one side if required. Bikes and horses have to keep to the path.
Please do not
Please do not go off the paths there are many rare plants and insects.
Please do not pick any flowers or plants, it is a national nature reserve.
Collection of fungi for personal use is tolerated but please make sure what you are picking, it may be poisonous or even endangered. There are 66 protected species in the UK. https://www.wildfooduk.com/protected-uk-fungi/
Enter the water in any Pond or walk off the boardwalk
A view of the well trodden paths with distances
A OS map view of the common
Selected for all abilities and with a range of interests in mind.
There is a Pub at Thursley, Elstead and a Cafe at Hindhead and Elstead. The nearest hotels are Hindhead and Churt.
A 1.5 mile simple loop for all abilities
The ground conditions are generally good with areas of packed sand and trees/roots. Enjoy the board walk and see the wildlife on the ponds. Ideal for children and passable with assistance by wheel chair.
A 2 mile harder route for vistors with less mobility
Explore the varied terrain and conditions on the common. Starts and ends at the Moat Car Park. The terrain is flat with soem hard pack gravel. The section marked by 56 can be very sandy in hot dry conditions. Passable with assistance by wheel chair when sand is hard packed.
Medium hard walking routes
A 2 mile harder route with sandy sections
Explore the varied terrain and conditions on the common. Starts and ends in Thursley. There are some steep descents/climbs..
A harder boardwalk route covering all of the sections
Start at the Moat Car Park, see the dragon fly sculpture, pine island, pudmore pond walking in a figure of 8.
Harder walking Routes
A harder route for experienced walkers
Takes you to the boardwalk from Thursley. The ground conditions are generally good with areas of soft sand and trees/roots. There are steep descents and steps caused by errosion. Stop for refreshments at the Three Horseshoes. Starts and ends in Thursley.
A harder route starting from Elstead with Ponds and Open Common
Walk on the boardwalks. Take care with construction traffic whilst Hammer Pond Dam is replaced. Enjoy a stop halfway at the Three Horseshoes in Thursley.
Epic walking Routes
Did you know Hankley common next door has a replica of the Atlantic Wall built in secret during WW2 and Hankley was used to film James Bond Skyfall (James Bond’s house in Scotland)
A harder route for experienced walkers
Takes you on to Hankley common from Thursley. The ground conditions are generally good with areas of soft sand, take care on the descents and watch out for tree roots. There may be military activity on Hankley it is a current training area. Stop for refreshments at the Three Horseshoes. Starts and ends in Thursley.
An EPIC route starting from the Moat with Ponds, Open Common, the Devils Punchbowl and Gibbets Hill
Walk on the boardwalks. Walk through the Devil’s Punchbowl, See London from Gibbets Hill. Enjoy a stop halfway at the Three Horseshoes in Thursley or the National Trust Cafe at Hindhead.
These routes are on public rights of way, Footpaths, Byways or Bridleways unless on a permissive path on the common. You follow the route at your own risk.
Please ensure that you are prepared for your walk. Take a mobile phone. Do not take risks or walk where not permitted.