I’m thrilled that my children are finally at an age where we can do longer adventurous walks. Recently we visited the Inglis Memorial on Colley Hill, in our pursuit to explore Surrey more. Then, a just over weeks ago, we did part of the Inspiring Views walk along Surrey Hills. Our starting point was from Car Park 5 of the Hurtwood. Greensand Lane (also known as Winterfold Heath Road), Surrey GU5 9EN. The walk was on my list of things to do since the UK went into lockdown because of Covid-19. I decided to wait until I was sure the car parks were open. There’s nothing better than a walk through the woods to clear the head and stir up the imagination. It’s the ideal social distancing pastime. The Surrey Hills Arts Inspiring Views walk is a must this summer.
Surrey Hill Inspiring Views
The Surrey Hills Arts Inspiring Views walk is a self-guided art trail experience through the woods of Hurtwood. Each sculpture blends in wonderful with the landscape and looks out to remarkable vistas. There are five piece stretched out along the 6 miles trail.
We explored small part of the trail. Along the path we took, we saw two installation; Perspectives by Giles Miller and Contour by Russell Jakubowski.
Perspectives is a sheltered sitting area made of wooden shingles. Some of the shingles have personal messages from locals engraved on them. The artist, Giles Miller, was inspired by how visitors to iconic sites leave messages to loved ones. Visitors can sit and be introspective as they look out onto the clear view over the South Downs.
My daughter said being in shelter made her feel safe. I totally get it. Perspectives has a womb-like vibe, as the leaves create whooshing sounds all around. I imagine that’s what if must sound like inside the womb.
The walk from Perspectives to Contour was roughly 25 minutes for us. We took a wrong turn at one point; it could possibly less time normally. Contour is a seat made out of recycled plastic sheets which are as strong as wood. Nestled on Reynard’s Hill, Contour looks out onto lush green vegetation.
Russell Jakubowski devised the shape based on his inspiration from ‘great cycle of marine sedimentation that lasted until the end of the Cretaceous period when the land lay beneath water. The layers of sedimentation, contours of the land and the visible forms and cycles of nature inspires this design.’
Personal Highlights Exploring Surrey Hills
The art trail is rightly named Inspiring Views. Any of the vistas would ignite your inner poet. As much I relished the walk, observing how my children enjoyed the landscape more rewarding. Observing them being wild and free, it was the wonderful rewilding experience. They sang songs, made up games and bug spotted along the way. It’s what it means to live in the moment.
Accessibility & Amenities
Visit the Inspiring Views page to check for accessibility. We didn’t do the entire walk, so I can’t say for certain what the terrain is like all along. However, Perspective is relatively close to car park 5 mentioned above. Depending on your need a strong companion could give support you up to that point.
As it is a walk through the woods there are no amenities. Be sure to pack food/snacks and drinks to suit you need. Comfy walking shoes, trainers or wellies are all suitable footwear options. If it’s rainy some paths may be muddy. On very hot sunny days paths may be dusty.
If you have litter ones who are not in slings, then consider exploring one or two installations first. There are car parks along the route for each installation; some are could be closer than others. However, you don’t necessarily need to start at Perspectives.
You don’t have to be an art aficionado to enjoy the Inspiring Views art trail. Nature lovers will find it fascinating;for your little ones will relish the space and freedom to be wild and use their senses to explore. There’s app called iFootpath that can help along. We haven’t tried it yet. Visit the Surrey Hills Arts website for more further details.
If ever there was a time to get outdoors, it’s now. Below is a vlog of our best bits along the walk.
Share with us where you have been or where you would like to visit. Comment below we want to hear fro you.
(Updated 14th August 2020)