We get asked this one a fair bit. Whether you're a dad taking a little one for a stroll with a coffee whilst mum is in a class at the gym, or you're off for a nap lap after or before a class, or just wanting to know where to head from here.
There's plenty of options. I'm writing this at the end of March, which for this year is turning into absolute peak-mud season. The two main routes down to the farm are in terrible nick at the moment, wellies and a degree of caution will get you down here, but you'll definitely enjoy it more in a couple of weeks time once some spring sunshine has dried the ground out.
The basic loop
This is an easy, quick and scenic option. From the cafe, head down the footpath, through the gap in the hedge and over the stream. At the T junction, head up the hill on the bridleway towards the metal gate at the entrance to Ashtead Common. The top of this bit is the worst of the mud. Be careful to stick to the path and not walk in the crops on either side. Once on the Common, head right and follow Bridleway 29 which is a nice and hard-packed, dry surface. At Rushett Farm View, duck right again through the hedge (another muddy bit) and follow the footpath back down to the farm.
Length - 2km
Duration - 20-25min
2. Stew Ponds Loop
The route below includes a couple of stiles. You can avoid these by doing the right turn up to the Common. There are two stew ponds, the smaller is popular with fishermen, but the larger one is home to all sorts of amazing birdlife and is a great spot to sit and chill.
Length - 2.7km
Duration - 30-35min
3. Finding the Roman Ruins!
You may see on Google Maps that there is a Roman Villa marked on the map just inside Ashtead Common. There's more info on that here . There's not a huge amount to see now, indeed there's just an information sign with some photos and details ad not a lot else. But it's there, and it's not too far away. The best way to find it is to go to Chessington View (the big metal bridleway gate looking down at the farm) and head into the Common. Open up Google Maps, and follow the paths into the trees roughly going southwest from the gate. It's a couple of minutes walk into the trees.
4. The Wells
Over on the far side of the common is The Wells. This includes a little monument in tribute to the original Epsom Well. There is some fascinating history dating back to 1618 which led to both the discovery of Epsom Salts and the foundation of what is now The Derby. You can do this as a circular walk or an out and back, and there are also some cut-through paths and bridleways you can take to cut some corners off this route.
That's a few options. The great thing about Ashtead & Epsom Common is that there's actually over 100 miles of marked footpaths and bridleways, so you can spend months discovering new routes and areas.
5. Oxshott for a trip to the Butchers & Deli
The brilliant Surrey Hills Butchers & Surrey Hills Deli are a nice 5km walk away in Oxshott Village. Along the way you'll pass through the Crown Estate, see how many Chelsea players you can spot along the way!