15 Best Places to Visit in Surrey (England)

Known by many as the “stockbroker belt” for its many high-income residents, Surrey has long been an odd place.

After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William the Conqueror gifted a large area of ​​what is now Surrey to his closest associates.

In Runnymede, Magna Carta was sealed in 1215, and later Guildford became an important hub for the carriage network in southern England.

Now you can explore many market towns, each with a different background and personality, palatial country estates and some of the South’s most breathtaking landscapes in the Surrey Hills.

1. to be lazy

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This market town is located in the Surrey Hills and is surrounded by rambling country estates.

There are six estates from Dorking, all built during the Georgian and Victorian periods to take advantage of the beautiful views that the lush chalks of the area have to offer.

The hills are covered with yew forests and fields dotted with wildflowers in early summer.

The 224m Box Hill, home to the 2012 Olympic road cycling competition, offers one of the most joyous countryside panoramas in the South of England.

Dorking is also known for keeping the Dorking Cockerel, which is known for its extra toes, and there is a small section of information about this breed at the local heritage centre.

2. Farnham

St Andrew's Church, Farnham

With the magnificent green hills of the North Downs, beautiful streets with Georgian houses and stately medieval castles, the market town of Farnham has it all.

Farnham has had a market since the grandson of William the Conqueror ordered Mott and Bailey Farnham Castle as the seat of the Archbishop of Winchester in the 12th century.

They remained here for the next eight centuries, and there is still a superb farmers market on the fourth Sunday of every month.

Volunteers offer free tours of the castle, which has the circular outline of a “shell”, while you want to spend a good afternoon wandering around town. Castle Street is lined with stately Georgian townhouses that are gorgeous.

3. Guilford

Guildford

With a wealth of culture and heritage, Guildford has built a reputation for being equidistant from Portsmouth’s naval base and Greenwich’s Admiralty.

Travelers who ride in between spend the night at this transit station, and several hotels for this purpose are still here.

See the Angel Hotel on the street, it retains the old sign and is still a working hotel, containing construction work from the 1300s.

The cobblestoned avenue is packed with historic buildings, such as the Town Hall from the 1300s, and a clock that stands out from the street in the 1600s.

Just minutes from the city centre are country estates such as Polesden Lacey, Hatchlands Park and Loseley House, plus more little attractions than we can describe in one paragraph.

4. Godalmin

Charterhouse School, Godalming

Surrey’s reputation as one of the most luxurious counties in the UK is rooted in towns such as Godalming, on the south bank of the River Wey.

Minutes away is the unique Charterhouse, one of England’s original ‘public schools’. On the high street, you’ll learn about the town’s great days, especially in the market square, which is surrounded by Tudor timber-framed houses.

At the centre is Pepperpot, Godalming’s former town hall, built in 1814 and arched to form a lovely covered market.

In the 17th century, Wey was dredged and locks installed to make it accessible to barges.

This is still the case today, with beautiful old longboats strapped to the pier on the north side of town.

5. Weybridge

Weybridge

If you’re looking for an adventure to explore the more idyllic River Wee, this is the destination.

Starting next to Weybridge train station is the Locks and Levels walk, a brisk walk along the river tow path, with locks and other 17th and 18th century infrastructure adding some historical interest.

Like Farnham Weybridge, it benefits from a number of Victorian and Georgian properties, giving the centre a period character.

However, your main motivation for coming should be a visit to the Brooklands Motor Speedway in 1907, and the world’s first circuit built exclusively for racing.

Brooklands is also an airport, so the track’s excellent museum has both majestic vintage race cars like the Napier-Railton and a great collection of aircraft, including a real Concorde.

6. Oster

Oxidation

Another extraordinarily wealthy town, Oxstead’s fortunes changed in the late 19th century, when the railway line was just half an hour’s drive from central London.

But before that, there was already a small town here, as Oxted mentioned in the Book of Doomsday, when it was the property of Eustace II of Boulogne, a close friend of William the Conqueror.

For something special, book a tour of Titsey Place, which features paintings by Caravaggio and the beautifully manicured grounds have a lake, conservatory and a lovely walled garden.

There are stables offering one-off horseback riding and excellent local facilities such as the Barn Theatre, where Shakespeare plays are staged in a restored 13th-century barn.

7. Leather head

leatherhead

Leatherhead is a charming town in the palatial countryside of the Surrey Hills, full of old properties.

The town can provide you with a Heritage Trail flyer to guide you to the most important places.

There is no better setting for the Leatherhead Town Museum than the Rustic Hamptons Cottage, an evocative wattle and daub cottage dating back to the 1600s.

Nearby are interesting finds from Anglo-Saxon and Roman ruins, as well as the latest artifacts (old-fashioned “Goblin” brand appliances and gas lamps) from factories that used to be located outside the city.

8. Chertsey

Chertsey Bridge

Families with bored kids should keep Thorpe Park in mind.

It’s the second-most-visited theme park in the country and is geared toward teens and young adults with a variety of white-knuckle roller coasters and rides.

The town is also on the River Thames, crossed by Chertsey Bridge, rebuilt in 1784 by acclaimed Georgian architect James Paine. In summer you can take a boat trip on this quieter, narrower stretch of the Thames, and on Sundays take the little ones for a short trip on the Great Cockrow Railway, a 50-year-old miniature railway, Made and saved with love.

9. Diarrhea

laxative

Even people like us who know nothing about horse racing may know that Epsom Downs is home to the Derby, which has been running since 1780 and is one of the oldest sporting events in the world.

The Derby takes place on the first Saturday in June and is the most valuable event on the British horse racing calendar. In town, the Playhouse Theater is a well-regarded little venue with shows almost every night, whether it’s touring comedians or bands.

A kids attraction, Hobbledown is a Tolkien-esque fantasy-style animal farm in Houghton Country Park.

There are camels, alpacas, meerkats, otters, sheep, pygmy goats, pigs and more for the kids to meet and pet.

10. Readjust

Tunnel Road Sand Cave and Mine, Reigate

Set in the inspiring countryside of the North Downs, Reigate is a country town, despite its links to Greater London.

Stroll along Reigate’s High Street, with its local shops in Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian buildings, and a traditional covered market.

Just behind the high street, the terrain is almost steep, and on top of this hill is where Reigate’s Norman castle once stood.

Now it’s a pristine little park guarded by an 18th century folly that resembles a medieval gatehouse.

Use the soft chalk beneath these gardens to carve out a walkable former road tunnel, built in 1823 and billed as the oldest tunnel in Europe.

11. Egham

Founders Building - Royal Holloway - Egham

Past the northern edge of Egham is the water meadow of Runnymede, where the Magna Carta was sealed between King John I and the barons who rebelled against him.

The charter gave these nobles a number of rights, including immunity from false imprisonment, and was considered a groundbreaking constitutional document.

The site has a National Trust monument, which was chosen because it was so close to Windsor that King John could come here in times of war and return quickly and safely.

For a little reflection, also visit the Kennedy Memorial on the river, at the top of 50 steps, each representing a different state.

12. Haslemere

Haslemere

Surrey’s southernmost town sanctuary is located in the Surrey Hills Area of ​​Outstanding Natural Beauty at the upper limit of the South Downs National Park.

On Petworth Road and Main Street, Haslemere is undoubtedly an upscale town full of Georgian townhouses and lovely tiled cottages.

You might be surprised by the scope of the Haslemere Educational Museum’s collection, which mainly covers natural history (mostly fossils) and was assembled in the 19th century by renowned surgeon Sir Jonathan Hutchison.

The Devil’s Punch Bowl, a natural amphitheater just minutes from Haslemere, is known as one of the natural wonders of the South.

13. Virginia Water

Virginia Water

The quintessentially wealthy town of Virginia Water is named for the lake on its western edge, which is part of the 2,020-hectare Windsor Great Park.

The charm of Virginia Water lies in these stunning settings and the lavish amenities and interesting heritage adjacent to the Royal Estate.

Wentworth Golf Club is world-renowned and was the site of the first Ryder Cup.

Then there’s the lake and its 4.5-mile circumference of walkways.

These waters have been the location of the Harry Potter films and are lined with striking ancient monuments, such as the obelisk erected during the reign of King George II in the mid-1700s.

14. Escher

St George's Church, Escher

Although a south-west London suburb, Esher is part of Surrey and, despite being a low-key place, is dotted with Grade 1 Reserves.

One is St George’s Church, which was built in the 1500s to welcome worshippers such as Queen Victoria.

Unlike many English churches, St. George’s was not updated in the 1800s, so it retains its Tudor style and character.

Claremont House and its gardens also have first-class status, bought by the British in 1816 for Princess Charlotte and her husband Prince Leopold of Belgium. The gardens are owned by the National Trust and still have the same layout as in the 1720s.

15. here

Shell, Surrey

Ask most people to imagine a typical southern English village and their ideas will be very close to what you’ll encounter in Shere.

Just think, country pubs with benches ahead, Normandy churches, chuckling streams, tea rooms and timber-framed houses all suggestive of ancient trades like wheelsmiths and blacksmiths forging.

You won’t be able to resist wandering, a trail has been set up in the village to let you know what some of the buildings in the village used to be.

After lunch at the pub, head to Cape Newlands, a wondrous 173-meter viewing platform with the chalked north hills unfolding before you.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Surrey, England
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