The Yew Tree Way
This short cycle tour is 8 miles following country lanes in rural Tandridge District of Surrey. Accessed via railway stations at Hurst Green and Lingfield (trains from London Victoria, East Grinstead and Uckfield) this route adapts the Yew Tree Way Leisure Route created by Tandridge District Council and Surrey County Council.
The route is suitable for the whole family but as it is on-road some road experience is necessary.
To help you follow the route you can download a GPX file for GPS units below, or a KML file for free mobile apps such as MapsWithMe:
GPX download | KML download
Share your adventure with #weloveyew and @ConservationFdn
Words by The Conservation Foundation and photos by Diana Patient and from Geograph. The map was created by The Conservation Foundation as part of the We Love Yew campaign, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
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If you are coming from London (south bound train), come out of the station and over the bridge, where you'll be passing over the Greenwich Meridian as you cycle west along Greenhurst Lane. At the roundabout take a right to head north-west along Hurst Green Road, and then the first left to head down Tanhouse Road. When you reach the end, turn left at the junction and soon after turn off the road and follow the bridleway on the right, to see one of Britain's tallest ancient yews.Find Hurst Green station
St Peter's church
When you've followed the bridleway to the end you'll come out by a road next to St Peter's Church Tandridge. Walk inside the churchyard and you'll find the huge ancient Tandridge Yew. Struck by lightning and pronounced dead in the mid-19th century, the yew recovered and now towers above the medieval church. Thought to be over a thousand years old it is one of the oldest trees in Surrey, and was immortalised on Royal Mail stamps as part of millennium celebrations. When you're ready, head out of the churchyard and we'll visit another ancient yew, in nearby Crowhurst.More on the Tandridge yew
St George's church
Heading south down Tandridge Lane, take right at the junction for Crowhurst then, after the bridge a mile down the road, take a left onto Crowhurst Lane, following it round for another mile until you reach St George's Church. The small church is an attractive building of 12th and 15th Century work with alterations and additions made during the 13th and 14th Centuries. The open trussed roofs are early but the wooden spire clad with shingles was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original in 1946. The interior is simple with mosaic frescoes on the east wall with tombs of the Gainsford family flanking the chancel, one of which is in cast iron probably unique in this country. The font is of Saxon origin.More on St George's church
The ancient yew is thought to be double the church's age. The tree is rich in tales and folk lore. A door was attached to the tree in 1820 and villagers held tea parties in its hollow trunk, which also provided shelter for those attending the annual Palm Sunday Fayre. A cannon ball, thought to be from the Civil War, was found embedded within the tree’s trunk. It disappeared during the Second World War, but was handed back by a soldier from a nearby army camp who thought better of taking it as a memento. The Crowhurst yew has been documented since 1630 and is one of the ‘50 Great British Trees’ chosen to celebrate the Queen’s jubilee year.More on the Crowhurst yew
Follow the lane south to Lingfield two miles down the road, crossing over Lingfield Common Road/Haxted Road onto Crowhurst Road when you reach the junction and on into Lingfield village. The village is home to an oak tree thought to be some 400 years old, in the town centre next to the pond which is thought to have been created whilst quarrying sandstone to build the roads. Next to the tree you'll also find a cage, built in the 18th century as punishment for local miscreants which was used until 1882. The church, St Peter and St Paul, dates from the late Saxon period. You'll be able to stock up on supplies in the village shops and pubs, and when you're ready can head home via Lingfield station (trains to London and East Grinstead).More on Lingfield