For some stunning video recording locations just out of London, in Surrey for instance … The Surrey Hills offer spectacular, uninterrupted views of the surrounding area and for miles beyond. On a clear day you can see 13 counties, the Channel and the London skyline from the top of Leith Hill. This is one of several hills in a line from Box Hill (Dorking) through to Pitch Hill (Ewhurst) where they do have (sometimes limited) access for film crews and their vehicles, otherwise a short crew of 3 or 4 would be able to climb the easy pathways. Here are some examples of hills around here we’ve used or simply recce’d:
LEITH HILL – 294 metres (965 ft) Landslip Car Park, or Starveall Corner Car Park is a short walk from the tower. What a simply fantastic view! The view from the top of Leith Hill is absolutely stunning. And at 294 metres (965 ft) above sea level, and as the highest point in the South East, it should be. Note – The Walter Bailey sculpture on Leith Hill was carved with a chainsaw! Nice little museum inside though. For recording locations – a must to recce.
GIBBET HILL – 272 metres (892 ft) Gibbet Hill is the second highest viewpoint in Surrey. From the top you can see over the Devil’s Punchbowl, Hankley Common, Crooksbury Hill, and the Hog’s Back. Also to the Sussex Weald and the South Downs and the London skyline. It is topped with a stone Celtic commemorative cross.
PITCH HILL – 257m (843 ft) Just outside Ewhurst, Cranleigh, this is a little used view (except Summer weekends!) and is not well know as yet! Pitch Hill is part of The Hurtwood and you therefore have the “right to roam” which means you can ride and walk on all trails, including footpaths, unless there are signs specifically denying bikes or access. It’s a magnificent greensand peak, which with the Winterfold ridge, offer stunning views over the Weald to the South Downs. And there are also magical pine woods and heather heaths, ponds and glades, wildlife and wilderness.
REIGATE HILL – 232 metres (762 ft) From here you can take in the views over the town of Reigate, of the Weald and the South Downs. If you look up at the escarpment, you can still see the former stone quarries which supplied materials for much of the area. Also the site of Reigate Fort built in the 1890’s to protect London from invasion, but never used for that purpose.
COLLEY HILL – 230 metres (756 ft) Has views of the South Downs and across to adjoining Reigate Hill. On a clear day you can see the planes landing and taking off from Gatwick Airport. There is a domed folly situated here called the Inglis Memorial which was built in 1909 as a drinking fountain for horses en route to Reigate.
HASCOMBE HILL – 197 metres (644 ft) Part of the Greensand Way above the North Downs, the hill is a close neighbour of Leith Hill. Due to its height, it was the perfect spot for the Iron Age hill fort that was situated there in the 1st Century BC. Later in the 19th Century it housed a naval telegraph station. It also has great woodland for certain types of (spy/adventure) drama! And a fresh spring drinking fountain down in the village originally for travellers on the old Brighton Road.
BOX HILL – 193 metres (634 ft) The view from Box Hill is just one of Surrey’s many great vistas The woodland and chalk downland has great views across the South Downs. It is home to at least a dozen wild orchid species, which you can see early June to early July. And some of the best sledging to be had when it snows.
NEWLANDS CORNER – 170 metres (500 ft) This chalk ridge has views across the Weald to the ridge of the South Downs and is famed in the Summer for its carpets of wild flowers. Warning: it can be very busy, especially at weekends. And with dog walkers!
ST MARTHA’S HILL – 160 metres (525 ft) St Martha’s Hill (privately owned by the Albury Estate) is topped off with a Norman church. On a clear day you can see eight counties from the summit. Walkers can join the North Downs Way and the Downs Link from the hill. The good thing about this is, for Surrey, is it’s pretty isolated given it’s limited access, mainly for fit pedestrians! Well worth a recce! For recording locations – another must to recce.
HOGS BACK – 154 metres (505 ft) Climb The Mount at the Guildford end of the Hogs back and walk along the path which was once the coach route to Farnham. From various points along the way you will get great views down onto the ancient Pilgrim’s Way or North Down’s Way, as it is now called. Also over Pewley Down, Guildford, to the London skyline and to Bagshot Heath and High Curley. Most importantly, beware traffic noise!
HIGH CURLEY – 129 metres (423 ft) On the edge of Lightwater Country Park, this steep gravel hill provides views of Guildford, Woking, Ascot racecourse, Bagshot Park and the London skyline. For a flat, easy walk to the top, take one of the public footpaths through the MOD land from the Maultway in Camberley.
Contact us if we’ve missed out any, as I’m sure we have!