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Touring Surrey

Hampton Court Palace south front courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces copyright Sandwiched between the Surrey hills in the south and London in the north, the county of Surrey blends into the greater London area. The Surrey hills are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and cover one quarter of the county. They consist of chalk downs, yew and box woodland, grasslands, and heath. Many of the county’s attractions can be visited on a day out from London. Hampton Court Palace is the most famous of Surrey’s attractions.

The historic town of Guilford is home to an historic guildhall and clock, castle gardens (the castle was built by the Normans, and at one time a palace of Henry III stood on the site), and the home of Lewis Carroll’s family—author of Alice in Wonderland. The Guilford House gallery, in a 17th century townhouse, built between 1660 and the 1680s, houses an art gallery. A museum is home to artefacts and displays that give details of local history.

In the town of Godalming a museum detailing the town’s history is located in a medieval building with the added attraction of a garden.

Clandon Park by Barbara Ballard Hatchlands Park and Clandon Park are 18th century homes set in landscaped grounds. Clandon is built in the Palladian style and is famous for its two-storey marble hall. Of note are collections of 18th century porcelain, furniture, textiles, and Mortlake tapestries.

Hatchlands by Barbara Ballard Hatchlands interiors are by the famous Robert Adam and decorated with a nautical theme. Old master paintings and keyboard instruments played by famous historic composers are noteworthy. Concerts are given on the instruments throughout the year.

Polesdon Lacey by Barbara Ballard Polesden Lacey, originally built in the 1820s in the Regency style was remodelled around 1906. Inside the visitor can view nine rooms with collections of paintings, furniture, porcelain and silver. The 1400 acres of grounds include a 30-acre Edwardian garden with roses, lawns, and landscaped walks. This is where the late Queen Mother and King George VI spent part of their honeymoon.

Farnham Castle keep courtesy Colin Smith geograph org Loseley Park (HHA) is an example of an Elizabethan house, loved and lived in by the family of the original builder. There are five gardens and parkland. Farnham castle keep is a motte and shell keep of a castle founded in 1138 by Bishop Henry of Blois. It was home to many wealthy bishops of Winchester.

Kew Gardens palm house by Barbara Ballard As for gardens, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens claims the fame crown. The 300 acres, a World Heritage Site, is worth an entire day. In the grounds are Queen Charlotte’s cottage, Kew palace, a palm house, alpine garden, rock garden, bonsai house, Princess of Wales conservatory, and Nash conservatory. There’s also a temperate house, Japanese landscapes, woodland walks, a waterlily house, and much more. There are several restaurants and cafes in which to eat or take advantage of the grounds and bring a picnic lunch.

Another of Surrey’s gardens, Claremont, is owned by the National Trust. It’s one of the 32 National Trust sites in Surrey. It is one of the earliest English landscape gardens to survive, dating from before 1720. Sir John Vanbrugh, Charles Bridgeman, William Kent, and Capability Brown all had a hand in its development.

Of special note is Painshill Park, considered one of England’s finest 18th century landscape gardens. Created in 1738-73, the 158 acres include a circular walk opening onto various ‘scenes’. In the grounds are a number of features that include several follies, a 14 acre lake, waterwheel, Gothic temple, Turkish tent, crystal grotto, Chinese bridge, ruined abbey, and vineyard. Surrey is home to Another garden, Winkworth Arboretum, is the place for bluebells and azaleas in the spring. There are woodlands, lakes, and rare trees and shrubs are on offer.

Runnymeade, in the county, is where, in 1215, King John was forced to sign the Magna Carta. The area provides riverside meadows, grasslands, and woodland. One section of the land is a Site of Special Scientific Interest under the care of the National Trust. The famous Epsom Downs racecourse is located in Surrey.

Surrey Attractions

For opening times and full details of attractions see the Attractions section of our website.

Box Hill
The Old Fort, Box Hill Rd, Tadworth
One mile north-east of Dorking; 1.5 miles south of Leatherhead
Tel. 0 1306 885 502

Chessington World of Adventures
Leatherhead Road, Chessington
Tel. 0 1372 731 601
Web: Chessington World of Adventures

Clandon Park
West Clandon, o the A246 Leatherhead to Guilford road
Tel. 0 1483 222 482

Claremont Landscape Garden
Portsmouth Rd, Esher
Tel. 0 1372 467 806

Epsom Downs Racecourse
Epsom Downs reached by London Waterloo and London Victoria train stations
Tel. 0 1372 726 311

Farnham Castle Keep
.5 mile north of Farnham town centre on A287
Tel. 0 1252 713 393

Farnham Museum
Willmer House, 38 West St, Farham
on the A325
Tel. 0 1252 715 094

Godalming Museum
High St, Godalming
Tel. 0 1483 426 510

Great Barn
Tel. 0 1483 444 751

Guildford Castle
Tel. 0 1483 444 751 (Guilford Museum)

Guildford House Gallery
155 High St, Guildford
Tel. 0 1483 444 751

Guildford Museum
Castle Arch
Tel: 0 1932 857 381

Hampton Court Palace
On the A308, about 30 minutes south-west of London on the Thames River; can be reached by train, bus or river trip from London; Waterloo station from London, train runs twice an hour; by riverboat in summer from Westminster, Richmond-upon-Thames, and Kingston-upon-Thames
Tel. 0 844 482 7777 (from UK); 020 3166 6000 (from outside UK)
See our five articles and photos on Hampton Court Palace at Hampton Court Palace
Web: Hampton Court Palace; can book tickets online

On the A246 Leatherhead to Guilford road
Tel. 0 1483 222 482
Web: Cobbe Collection

Harvey Gallery
Harvey Rd, Bright Hill, Guilford
Tel. 0 1483 518 539
Web: Harvey Gallery

Kew (Royal Botanic Gardens)
Kew, on the A307/A205, 10km south-west London, on south bank of River Thames; best reached by public transport from London
Tel. 020 8332 5655
For photos and more details see our article Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
Web: Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew

Kew Palace
Kew Gardens
Richmond, on the A307/A205
South bank of the River Thames, 10km south-west of London
Use public transport (underground, train, bus) from London
Tel. 020 8332 5655 (info line)
Web: Kew Palace

Leith Hill
Leith Hill Lane, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking
One mile west of Coldharbour village
Tel. 0 1306 711 777

Loseley Park House and Gardens
Stakescorner Rd, just south of Guilford
Tel. 01483 304 440

Painshill Park
Portsmouth Road, A245, Cobham
Tel. 0 1932 868 113
Web: Painshill Park

Polesden Lacey
South of Great Bookham near Dorking
Tel. 0 1372 452 048
For photos and more details see our article Polesden Lacey

Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park
Jumps Rd, Churt, Farnham, near the A287
Tel. 0 1428 605 453
Web: Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park

Ranmore Common and Denbies Hillside
Landbarn Farm, Hole Hill, Westcott, one mile west of Dorking
Tel. 0 1306 887 485

Reigate and Gatton Park
Between Reigate Hill and Banstead Heath, 1.5 miles north-east of Reigate just north of A242
Tel. 0 1372 220 640

RHS Garden Wisley
Woking, GU23 6QB
Tel: 0 845 260 9000

Rural Life Centre
The Reeds, Tilford, Farnham
Tel. 0 1252 795 571
Rural Life Centre

Shalford Mill
Shalford near Guildford
Tel. 0 1483 561 389

Shirley Sherwood Gallery
Kew Gardens, Richmond, TW9 3AB
Tel. 020 8332 5655

Winkworth Arboretum
Hascombe Road, 2 miles south-east of Godalming

Tourist Information Centres

Croydon TIC
Croydon Clocktower, Katharine Street
Croydon, CR9 1ET
Tel: 020 8253 1009

Farnham TIC
Council Offices, South St, Farnham, GU9 7RN
Tel: 0 1252 715 109

Guilford TIC
14 Tunsgate, Guildford, GU1 3QT
Tel: 0 1483 444 333

Richmond TIC
Old Town Hall, Whittaker Avenue
Richmond, TW9 1TP
Tel: 020 8940 9125

Farnham castle keep courtesy of Colin Smith at Geograph Britain
Hampton Court Palace south front courtesy of Historic Royal Palaces copyright

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Some of our Surrey Articles
Polesden Lacey
Hampton Court Palace
Farnham Castle Keep
Richmond Town, Palace and Park
Other England Articles

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