Places to Visit in Surrey

Box Hill

An outstanding area of woodland and downland with many rare species and much to offer the rambler and naturalist.

The Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Tadworth, KT20 7LB

Phone: 01306 885502

Opening times: Open all year, except Christmas day, Boxing Day and New Years Day,

Prices: Free, car parking charges for non National Trust Members

Travel information: Nearest Railway Station : Dorking 3 miles

Clandon Park

Just off the A25 near Guildford, Surrey (well signposted)

A beautiful Palladian Mansion owned by the National Trust with magnificent marble hall, furniture, textiles and porcelain. Attractive gardens.

Clandon Park, West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7RQ

Phone: 01483 222482

Opening times: Open April-October, Tues, Weds, Thurs & Sun and Bank Holidays.

Prices: Contact Clandon Park for further details

Travel information: Situated on the outskirts of Guildford on the A25

Dapdune Wharf

Discover the story of Surrey's oldest waterway and the people who lived and worked on it. Enjoy boat trips, childrens trails and the interactive exhibits

Wharf Road, Guildford, GU1 4RR

Phone: 01483 561389

Opening times: 19th Mar - 30th Oct Thu-Mon 11.00-17.00

Prices: Please Contact Dapdune Wharf for details

Travel information: Nearest Station Guildford 1/2 mile

Devils Punch Bowl

The gateway to the Surrey Hills with fine views. Local people, visitors from further a field and those journeying along the A3 can all enjoy the stunning scenery of the Devil’s Punch Bowl and Hindhead Commons from the viewpoint 50 yds from the café.

London Road, Hindhead, GU26 6AB

Phone: 01428 608771

Opening times: Commons open all year, CAFE, 1 Apr- 31 Oct, 9am-5pm, 1 Nov-31 Mar, 9am-4pm

Prices: Car Parking Charges may apply, please check with Devils Punch Bowl

Travel information: Bus: Stagecoach in Hants & Surrey 18/19; 71 Haslemere- Aldershot. Station: Haslemere 3 miles.

Dorking Caves

Much of Dorking is built upon the soft sand of the Greensand Hills. These hills rise to the south and west of the town to form Leith Hill. The honey coloured sandstone can also be seen in many local buildings. The softness of the sand has resulted in a honeycomb of passages and shafts, many of them being associated with strange stories and legends. All of the caves are man-made, although the reason for constructing them and their age is part of their enigmatic character. Historian John Aubrey referred to the caves in the 17th century, praising their qualities as wine cellars. The oldest date found inscribed on the walls is 1672 and one theory is that they were excavated to provide material for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666. As for their use, it seems that the caves were quite likely to have been used by smugglers. Dorking was conveniently located between the south coast and London and entrances to the caves were well hidden. One cave in High Street is known to have provided a venue for cock fighting. Others may have been used as a hiding hole during periods of religious persecution. The South Street caves are amongst the most extensive, descending over 50 feet below ground level. It is said that the gentleman who constructed them bankrupted himself in the process and ended up in the poor house

South Street, Dorking

Phone: 01306 879327 (Contact for opening times and prices)

Farnham Castle Keep

Stunning Motte & Bailey castle once one of the seats of the Bishops of Winchester. Audio tours available for true historic experience.

Farnham Castle, Castle Hill, Farnham, Surrey, GU6 0AG

Phone: 01252 713393

Opening times: Open daily from April-October from 10am

Prices: Contact Farnham Castle for further details

Travel information: Situated just outside the centre of Farnham also accessible by train, station is within walking distance

Great and Little Ponds at Frensham

The common was once important to local communities as a source of fuel and other materials, and as rough grazing for their livestock. These days the site is valued for recreation and nature conservation and it's many miles of footpaths and bridleways on which to explore the Common. Angling and sailing are restricted to members of the relevant clubs The common supports a wealth of wildlife. Species found on the heath include sand lizard, smooth snake, woodlark, Dartford Warbler and nightjar. The ponds also attract rare visitors such as the osprey, especially during spring and autumn

Bacon Lane, Churt

Phone: 01252 792416

Opening times: Car Park opening times : Summer closing times: 1st April - 1st November - the car park will be closing at 9pm

Travel information: Public Transport: - Stage Coach South bus route no 19 from Farnham Station stopping at Pond Lane pillar box.

Guildford Castle

The imposing stone tower keep of Guildford Castle was the subject of major conservation work in 2003. Major discoveries were made including the fact that the keep was originally lower in height. Following these developments the first floor reception chamber has been re-floored and roofed for the first time in centuries allowing a permanent exhibition to be displayed inside. The Castle Grounds, a riot of spectacular floral colour, are open all year round.

Castle Road, Guildford, GU1 3AJ

Phone: 01483 444715

Opening times: Open: Castle: April - September 11.00 am - 6.00 pm every day; October, November & March Saturday and Sunday 11.00 am - 4.00 pm; Closed December, January and February. Grounds open all year.

Prices: please contact Guildford castle for details.

Hatchlands Park and Gardens

18th Century house with early Adam interiors. Houses Cobbe collection, keyboard instruments associated with famous composers. Surrounded by 430 acres of parkland with way-marked walks. National Trust

East Clandon, Guildford, GU4 7RT

Phone: 01483 222482

Opening times: Park : 27th March-30th Oct Daily 11.00-18.00, House : Tues, Wed, Thu, Sun 14.00-17.30 open Fridays and Bank Holiday Mondays in August

Prices: Please contact Hatchlands Park for details, free to National Trust members

Travel information: Nearest Railway station: Clandon 2 miles

Leith hill tower

An 18th Century Gothic Tower with panoramic views to London and the English Channel to the South. Rugged countryside. Circular nature trails with leaflet

Leith Hill, Nr Coldharbour, Dorking

Phone: 01306 712434

Opening times: Tower: 18th March - 30th Oct, Fri, sat, Sun 10.00-17.00 5th Nov - 12th Mar, Sat, Sun 10.00-15.30, Open in Wed in Aug, All Bank holidays except Christmas Day. Woods and estates open all year.

Prices: Please contact Leith Hill for Details

Travel information: Nearest Station Holmwood 3 miles

Loseley House and Park

Stunning Elizabethan mansion, set amidst attractive parkland and glorious walled garden and lake walk.

Guildford, GU3 1HS

Phone: 01483 304440

Opening times: Garden, shop and tea room : May-Sept Tues-Sun and Bank Holiday Monday 11.00-17.00, House: May-Aug, Tues, Wed, Thu, Sun and Bank Holiday Monday 13.00 -17.00

Prices: Please contact Loseley for details

Travel information: Nearest railway station Guildford 3 miles. See website for directions

Newlands Corner

A local beauty spot on the A25 near Guildford served by a large car park, this is the centre point of a large area of woodland and chalk grassland very popular with walkers and picnickers. Footpaths lead to the villages of Shere, Albury and Chilworth and the breathtaking views take in the lonely St Martha's Church standing on a neighbouring hill surrounded by woodland.

Opening times: Open all year round

Travel information: A25 Near Guildford

Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park

The most atmospheric Sculpture Park in Britain, adjoining 1000's of acres of Frensham Country Park at the foothills of Devils Jumps and the finest views in the county. Offering a wide variety of topographical situations featuring lawns, low-lying bog, coniferous and deciduous woodland, hillsides and valleys. There are three lakes fed by two fast flowing streams. Over 1.5 miles of all weather pathways, offer access to this magnificent venue for a Sculpture Park.

Jumps Road, Churt, Farnham, GU10 2LE

Phone: 01428 605453

Opening times: Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm closed Mondays

Prices: Please Contact Sculpture Park for details

Ramster Gardens

First laid out in 1900, Ramster's 20 acres are now a mature flowering shrub garden with interesting and unusual specimen trees and shrubs. At its best in spring through to early summer, with banks of brilliantly coloured rhododendrons and azaleas, streams and ponds and carpets of bluebells. The millennium garden with its Mediterranean feel gives a dramatically modern alternative to the more traditional gardens. Exhibitions of sculpture and embroidery are held regularly during the garden opening and the Long Hall is an excellent venue for weddings and other functions.

Chiddingfold, GU8 4SN

Phone: 01428 654167 (Contact for opening times and prices)

Reigate and Colley Hill

Rising steeply to the North of Reigate is the chalk downland that comprises Colley and Reigate Hills. The area in the Surrey Hills AONB is a mixture of open grassland and woodland, and has excellent views over the neighbouring countryside.

Reigate and Colley Hill, Reigate

Travel information: Car Parks at Wray Lane off A217 and at Margery Wood

Reigate Castle

Reigate Castle was a stone motte and bailey although no traces of masonry survive; it is still an impressive site. The large oval motte is natural with a wide deep surrounding ditch, a small stone pyramid guards an underground sallyport, emerging level with the bottom of the moat, it is accessible by guided tours only. The gatehouse guarding the bridge to the bailey is a 18th century folly.

Town Centre, Reigate

Opening times: Open all year round

Travel information: Reigate Castle is located in the town centre, off High Street in a public park. 22 miles south of London on the A23-A242.

Rural Life Centre

A museum of past village life with a Chapel, Arboretum, Smithy, Pavillion, childrens play areas and much much more.

Rural Life Centre, Old Kiln Museum Trust, Reeds Road, Tilford, Surrey, GU10 2DL

Phone: 01252 795571

Opening times: Open April - October 11am-6pm

Prices: Contact The Museum of Rural Life for further details

Travel information: Situated 3 miles south of Farnham. Farnham train station is within 5 miles.

Secretts Farm

A country shopping emporium on a farm with fantastic fresh produce, flowers, plants etc.

Secretts Farm, Hurst Farm, Chapel Lane, Milford, Surrey, GU8 5HU

Phone: 01483 520500

Opening times: Open all year round 9am-5.30pm

Prices: Free entry

Travel information: Situated just off the A3 at Milford. Also accessible by train, station is within walking distance.

Winkworth Arboretum

Owned by the National Trust Winkworth Arboretum encompasses a hillside woodland created in 20th Century, stunning shrubs and trees, an abundance of wildlife etc. - a truly peaceful day out.

Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe Road, Nr Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4AD

Phone: 01483 208477 (Contact for opening times and prices)

Travel information: Just off the Hascombe road on the way to Godalming. Nearest train station is Godalming.

Hill Forts

During the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age, hill forts were constructed on the fringes of what is now Surrey. These ramparts and ditches still exist in the landscape, and were likely not just defensive forts but population centres in their time.

These included Felday, near Shere; Botany Hill Camp and Soldier's Ring, at The Sands near Farnham; Holmbury Camp, south of Dorking; Hascombe Hill, south of Godalming; St. Anne's Hill, near Chertsey; Anstiebury Camp, near Coldharbour Common; and St. George's Hill, in Weybridge.

The Silent Pool – Albury (Alternate Name: Sherbourne Pond)

Holy Well or Sacred Spring in Surrey. The pool is formed from a nearby natural spring, and its true name is Sherbourne Pond. Its clear waters and peaceful setting give it an air of tranquility, or 'silence'.

The story of Albury

The village itself was moved from its original location, near the Saxon Church to its present location. This process was started in 1784 by Captain William Fench, who obtained magisterial orders to close or re-route the surrounding roads, at a time when it was fashionable for the Lord of the Manor to live in isolated splendour.

It is unusual for a village of this size to boast three churches. The original church dates back to Saxon times and has been disused since 1842. It is now looked after by the Churches Conservation Trust, a service is held here once a year in midsummer. It was replaced by the present parish church of St Peter & St Paul in Weston Street. Both this church and the Apostolic Church, were built by Henry Drummond, who bought Albury Park Estate in 1819.

It was Drummond who commissioned the architect Pugin, famous for his detailing work on the Houses of Parliament, to build a new village. His Tudor style chimneys over the houses in the village can still be seen today. Later he was to work on rebuilding Drummond's Park House, complete with sixty-three differently designed chimneys.

The earliest reference to the house is in 1645, when it was owned by the then future Duke of Norfolk. The estate itself is mentioned in the Domesday Book, with records going back to 1042. The gardens of the original Tudor manor house were laid out by John Evelyn. Much of his work can still be seen today, including terraces and a tunnel which runs through the hill. In the yard there is an Elizabethan Pigeon House, one of only a few in the country left standing.

In 1830 the corn mill was deliberately set on fire and the miller was shot at, during one of the 'Swing Riots'. These riots took place all over Southern England in 1830, in protest of the poor circumstances farm workers found themselves in. Soon after a religious revival was to sweep the land with the fervent preaching of the Second Advent of Christ. It was during this time that Henry Drummond became one of the founders of the Catholic Apostolic Church. In 1840 as an Apostle, he spent £15,000 building their first church and helped turn Albury into an annual conference centre.

Map Ref: TQ060486

Artington Spring

Sacred Spring in Surrey. Situated at the point where the Pilgrim’s Way crosses the River Wey the spring was reputed to cure sore eyes. As late as the end of the 19th Century schoolchildren apparently collected the water in bottles. It is at the base of St. Catherine’s Hill (formally Drake’s Hill), itself surmounted by the remains of St. Catherine’s chapel. Having parked by the entrance to the lane named St. Catherine’s Hill follow the road downhill; it becomes a footpath, heading down to the site of the old ferry. The spring is by the side of the road, with a copious outflow of water flowing down to the River Wey. The water emerges from an opening in the hill framed by a dry stone surround. There are remnants of some more masonry are at the bottom of the stream, which flows under an ornamental bridge and beside a seat on its way to the river.

Map Ref: SU994482

Lady Well - Tuesley

Holy Well or Sacred Spring in Surrey. Although the term “Lady Well” does not necessarily imply a religious connection, this one has a convent named after it, albeit as recently as 1956. Near to the convent, in Minster Field, is the site of a 7th Century chapel, although no remnants remain – follow the signs marked “Shrine”. It is thought to have been founded on the site of a Saxon shrine to the god Tew or Tiw, who gives the area its name – in 1220 the name was Tiwerlei. At that time, mention was made of the chapel, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, as the first church established in Godalming. By then, services were held only three times a year. A fair was held in the field on Lady Day until 1540. The foundations of the Minster were partly excavated in 1860. At the bottom of the road, known for centuries as Ladywell Hill, just before the stream running under the road we find Busbridge Lakes on the left. A tall fence prevents trespassers, or even casual visitors from reaching the water – apparently fees are payable for fishing. From the map, it would appear that the well, or rather spring, is next to the fence, where the footpath leaves the road, and flowing water is visible through the fence. Apparently the parish church of St. John the Baptist, Busbridge, contains a stained glass window showing Augustine baptising King Ethelbert and another of a pilgrim drinking from the spring, whilst on the hill above him the Minster Church may be seen.

Map Ref: SU968421

St. Mary's Well - Compton

Holy Well or Sacred Spring in Surrey. Situated in "Mother Ludlam's Cave" on the slopes above the River Wey close to Waverley Abbey, the name is reportedly that given by the monk who traced the spring when searching for a water supply for the Abbey. The noticeboard close by suggests that the name Ludlam comes from the Celtic for "loud bubbling stream", which indicated a longer history.
The cave is reached by taking the footpath to the left just up Camp Hill, across the bridge from the Abbey ruins.

Map Ref: SU870457

St. Margaret's Well - Mugswell

Holy Well or Sacred Spring in Surrey. You could say that this well is ideally positioned - in the garden of a CAMRA recommended pub! The pub is the Well House, on Chipstead Lane, quite close to Junction 8 of the M25. A notice on the well, which is of the wishing well type, complete with bucket, says that it is thought to be the one mentioned in the Domesday Book, and that the village of Mugswell derives its name from here. Possible problems with this are that the village is about half a mile away up the hill and the road leading to it is called Monkswell Lane.

Map Ref: TQ258553

St Mary the Virgin's Well - Dunsfold

Holy Well / Spring in Surrey. The well is down a footpath downhill from St. Mary's Church.

Map Ref: SU997363

Watts Chapel

Designed and built by Mary Watts, the Chapel is a unique fusion of art nouveau, Celtic, Romanesque and Egyptian influence with Mary's own original style. It is impossible not to admire the work and inspiration that lies behind this beautiful little building.

As followers of the Home Arts and Industries Association, set up by Earl Brownlow in 1885 to encourage handicrafts among the lower classes, the Chapel was the Watts's contribution to this characteristically Victorian preoccupation with social improvement through creative enlightenment. Mary passionately believed that anyone with a real interest and enthusiasm could be taught how to produce beautiful decoration, if in the process it kept them away from the 'gin palaces' of Guildford, this was surely a good thing. With this belief firmly in mind she encouraged all from the village, whatever their social status, up to their house Limnerslease for instruction in clay modelling.

The clay came from a seam that was discovered in the grounds of their house, apparently not unusual for this area. Taking this as a sign, Mary embarked upon the project with her usual determination, writing to the Parish Council in 1895 offering to build a new cemetery chapel, as the old graveyard in the village church of St Nicholas was full to capacity. Her offer was accepted. As early as 1888 concerned parishioners had discussed the problem of space and plans were therefore already underway for land to be purchased from the Loseley Estate.

Mary had produced her clay model of the new chapel by August 1895 and later that year the sale of land from William More-Molyneux was agreed.

The first clay modelling class took place at Limnerslease on Thursday 14 November 1895. All were welcome, from the local lady of the manor to her farm boys, as long as there was a genuine desire to learn, Mary was happy.

After a few weeks learning how to handle clay and modelling simple decorations, they would begin to make clay tiles from the plates Mrs Watts had prepared.

The design itself is an amalgamation of inspiration, every aspect having symbolic meaning. The Circle of Eternity with its intersecting Cross of Faith is from pre-historic times and symbolises the power of redeeming love stretching to the four quarters of the earth.

The dome is traditionally seen as emblematic of heaven, the four panels on the exterior containing friezes symbolising the Spirit of Hope, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Love and the Spirit of Light.

The exterior of the Chapel was finished in 1898, but the decoration of the interior took a while longer. Mary took the most talented of her craftsmen and women and together they created the stunning gesso interior, finally completing it in 1904.

The Chapel is Parish property and is open to the public daily. It is locked up at night.

Please remember that it is still the village cemetery chapel and is sometimes in use.

Down Lane, Compton, Near Guildford, Surrey GU3 1DQ