Explore Bookham

Bookham – a vibrant, strong and welcoming community in a warm and exciting semi-rural village.

With its range of restaurants; 4 pubs; a historic high street full of traditional, boutique and main
stream retailers; 4 churches, several pre-school and infant schools; a handful of private schools and the highly reputed Howard of Effingham state secondary school. It is bordered by the Bookham Commons offering acres of grassland, woodland and twelve ponds. Bookham is nestled on the edge of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the North Downs and some of the country’s finest countryside.

Yet despite it being a tranquil, endearing and historic village, Bookham is a stone’s throw from the A3, M25 and South Coast; its train station is served by South Western & Southern and puts you on London’s South Bank within the hour, whilst major town centres like Guildford and Kingston fall within just 20 minutes.

An introduction to Bookham Commons

From Ian Swinney, Bookham Commons Ranger

You would be forgiven for thinking that I’ve got one of the best jobs in the country, but don’t ask me in January when it’s pouring with rain. Looking after the commons for more years than I care to remember (okay, so it’s 40..!) has been both a challenge and a joy. The challenge comes from the fact that it is very dynamic and will grow and change very rapidly. Paths will overgrow and the wildlife will disappear unless we give it a helping hand. The joy comes from seeing the wildlife return and seeing people enjoying the scenery and the wild flowers, the birdsong and the majestic oak trees… My job is all about helping people to enjoy a healthy countryside… And yes, it is one of the best in the country…

Secluded woodland glades, wide open grassland plains, tranquil ponds and ancient oak trees can all be found on the Bookham Commons. There are cycle tracks to follow and deep, dark shady woods to explore, or watch herons, little grebe or a kingfisher at the bird hide. Silver-washed fritillaries, white admiral and purple emperor butterflies can be seen in June and July, with a great variety of bats flitting in the evening sky from spring to autumn. 

Lying on the dip slope of the North Downs, where the London Clay overlaps the chalk, the commons are just behind Bookham railway station, with strips of manorial grassland reaching into the village, where dog walking and blackberry picking are favourite activities.

The commons were saved from development by the people of Bookham who presented them to the National Trust in 1923… Come and enjoy a walk on the wild side… 


Facts and figures:

  • There are three commons (Great Bookham, Little Bookham and Banks Commons) covering 452 acres (182.9ha)
  • One of the best recorded sites in the country, the commons have been surveyed by the London Natural History Society since 1941
  • Over 1500 species of beetle have been recorded on the commons
  • Nocturnal creatures include the dormouse, badgers, foxes, roe deer, stoats and weasels.
  • All three native newts, loads of frogs and toads, all three species of woodpecker, nuthatches, goldcrests, finches and warblers, buzzards, kites and sparrowhawks, kestrels and twelve species of bat can be found here.

Recommended cycling, jogging & walking routes

Bookham’s local residents have provided their favourite walks, runs and road rides in and around Bookham. Choose your activity and click on one of the links below:

Local Amenities

Click here for a list of local schools, childcare, GPs, Pharmacies, Dentists, Library, Post Office,
Churches, local police, council and other useful links

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