Looking for free hikes or walks just outside of London that would suit any type of fitness levels and can be easily completed in a day? Then one such walk is Sailor’s Stroll Devil’s Punch Bowl England, which I did just a week after one of my surgeries.
It is an easy walk along a mostly flat surface with just gentle gradients to Gibbet Hill. Here you can take in stunning views of the country and on a clear day, see Canary Wharf and the London Eye.
Hiking around the world is one of my favourite outdoor activities, you get to take nature in at your own pace and immerse yourself with your surroundings. However, since having multiple heart surgeries, I have been doing a lot more lighter hikes and walks in the UK where I am based. This is so I can build up my strength and not overdo it but still do what I love.
Table of Contents
- Sailor’s Stroll
- Driving to Devil’s Punch Bowl
- Useful information before visiting the Devil’s Punch Bowl.
- Other hikes around the world
Sailor’s Stroll is one of several free self-guided hiking and walking trails offered at Devil’s Punch bowl in the county of Surrey. The fun short circular walk is roughly 1mile in distance to Gibbet Hill, Surrey’s second highest point (272m). The route will take you along a path that is mostly flat and through woodland.
This is a good walking path, for anyone to enjoy especially if you are only looking for a relaxed walk. You can do it quickly or take your time, it really depends on you.
Devil’s Punch bowl
Devil’s Punch bowl is located next to Hindhead village in the English county of Surrey and is just over an hours drive from central London. Making it the perfect day out for hiking or walking. The park covers an area of 282.2-hectares and is a large natural amphitheatre that is taken care of by the National Trust.
There are miles of paths to explore, some more challenging than others. In addition, there are also bicycle tracks and bird watching amongst other activities that you can do at Devil’s Punch bowl. You can even take your dog along for the walk. With all of this to offer, I completely understand why Devil’s Punch bowl is a popular outdoor attraction in England.
Distance and additional information on Sailor’s Stroll
This walking trail distance round trip is 1.6kms (1mile) to Gibbet Hill. This should take you around 30mins to 1hour to complete.
- Distance; 1.6 km (1 mile)
- The route: – Is market blue, making it easier to navigate
- Suggested hiking time; 30mins-1 hour
- Entrance fee; Only for the car-park
- Open; All year-round.
- Toilets; Available only at the café
Looking for a watch that you allows you to track your hike? Check out – Casio Protrek GPS Smartwatch
The Route Map of Sailor’s Stroll
There are lots of free walking areas at Devils Punch Bowl, however, there are only six main walking routes. All are marketed with a different colour on the Devils punch bowl map. You can pick up a FREE walking map at the cafe that has all the routes and additional information that may help.
Shown below is the walking route of Sailor’s Stroll Devil’s Punch Bowl with directions that pass by the Sailors stone. Also, I have highlighted in yellow the amenities in the area.
Level of fitness for Sailor’s Stroll
- Gentle gradients and mostly flat surfaces.
- The path is marked and signed
- You don’t have to be an experienced hiker to do this track. This is good for families or anyone wanting an easy walk.
- I think it’s a good first walk for anyone wanting to start hiking.
⇒ To keep track of my steps and heart rate while hiking, I use a fitness tracker. It is great, as I can see how many calories I have burned and how far I have gone.
Hiking Sailor’s stroll
It took us around 2 and half hours to complete the Sailor’s Stroll Devil’s Punch Bowl, as we incorporated some of the Roam 639 trail. Our walk was slower than usual because I had heart surgery the week before. The weather was nice, so we decided to have our lunch at Gibbet Hill to take in the views. It was a clear day so not only could we see across the Weald but also the buildings in Canary Wharf.
We did see a lot of families with dogs doing Sailor’s Stroll, as well as a few people on bikes.
⇒ I wore my Merrell Women’s Siren 3 Low Rise Trainers for my walk. They are light and super comfortable to wear and they have never blistered my feet.
Start and finish of the walk
You can start and finish Sailor’s Stroll from the Devil’s punch bowl main car park. Follow the marked trail of a light blue sign with a Celtic cross on it. The path is a gentle walk, which will take you past the Sailor’s stone, where you can learn about the barbarous murder of the unknown sailor. Before arriving at the summit of Gibbet Hill for stunning views across, which is at 272m .
To get back you will need to return the same way along the route back to the cafe. If you’re looking for a more challenging, longer hike, then you can combine Sailor’s stroll with the Hidden Hindhead Trail.
Driving to Devil’s Punch Bowl
Sailor’s Stroll track is located at Devil’s Punch Bowl in Surrey south-east England and the best way to get there is by car. It is around 43 miles and roughly just over an hour’s drive from central London to Devil’s Punch Bowl entrance. Getting there by car is pretty straight forward as you drive mostly down the A3 Highway. Once you get closer there will be signs to indicate where to go. If you are concerned about getting lost then use a Sav Nav or google maps.
National Trust members can park for free but for non-members, there is a small fee for the car-parking. However, if you are not a member there is a car park in the town that is FREE and only an extra 5 minutes walk. Which I have highlighted in yellow on the map above.
Address for the Devil’s punch bowl
- Godalming GU8 6NS
Hire a car for the day
Alternatively, if you don’t own a car, hire on for the day, especially if there is a group of you or if you have a family. There are numerous companies in and around London where you can hire a car. If you are a member of Zipcar this is also an option.
⇒ Check out Travel Supermarket for FREE, easy fast comparison on car hire.
Other walking routes at Devils punch bowl
Sailor’s Stroll is one of six main walking routes marked out on Devil’s Punch Bowl map, which is available at the cafe. Maps are also available underneath the notice board. All routes vary in distance and difficulty, depending on your fitness and what you like to do.
- Highcombe hike (marked yellow)
- Hidden Hindhead trail (marked pink)
- Roam 639 trail (marked white and purple)
- Miss James’ walk (marked orange )
- Golden Valley (marked red )
In addition to the walking routes, Devils Punch Bowl also offers cycling routes.
Useful information before visiting the Devil’s Punch Bowl.
- Cafe: located next to the car park and at the entrance of the route.
- Dogs are allowed at Devils Punch Bowl but must be on a lead during nesting season(March – September).
- Take a water bottle, to keep hydrated, which you should be able to refill at the cafe.
- Wear appropriate gear for all types of conditions. Layers are best (waterproof jacket, spare socks)
- Devil’s Punch Bowl hotel across from the car-park is a nice pub for a meal or drink afterwards.
- Opening times: The grounds Dawn to dusk. Cafe: 10:00am – 15:00pm
On the whole, Sailor’s Stroll Devil’s Punch Bowl is a great walk for beginners or families wanting a day out. It is short, easy and the surface is mostly flat. As stated earlier, I did this walk a week after heart surgery and found it to be a great way to exercise and get out with nature. You can even take your dog along for the walk.
I like the area and have been back to Devil’s Punch Bowl on several occasions to do different routes. You can walk through shady woods and watch the wildlife or across open heathland with grazing cows. It is great to see such organisations as the National Trust taking care of these beautiful places for future generations to explore and be educated by history.
Other hikes around the world
Discover more hiking routes around the world with all these great articles and remember to wear good Hiking Boots or shoes.
- Wolfsklamm Gorge & St Georgenberg Monastery – Tyrol Austria
- Helpful Hints for tackling Everest Base Camp – Himalayas Nepal
- Hiking Routes of Niigata & Nagano – Japan
- Hiking Trails Lerderderg State Park Melbourne Australia
Even though the ground is flat in most parts, it is still covered in gravel, please make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes
Have you ever walked Sailor’s stroll before or any other of the hiking routes at Devil’s Punch Bowl? Or alternatively, do you know any other hikes close to London that you can do in a day? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below
Thank you for reading, I hope it was helpful and answered any questions you might have about Sailor’s Stroll Devil’s Punch Bowl.
Here are some good suggestions for day backpacks for hiking or day walking, all are reasonably priced.
Disclaimer: All views are based on my own experience on the walk and the Devil’s Punch Bowl area.