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There are hundreds of great attractions to visit in Surrey, all guaranteed to offer a fantastic day out for everyone to enjoy.
Discover the county's rich heritage and history with a visit to one of our monuments or museums, castles or country estates, each offering a unique glimpse of life in Surrey over the years. Surrey has been the play ground of Kings for centuries and so we have our fair share of castles like Guildford, Farnham and Reigate to explore, as well as the famous, historic Hampton Court Palace, in Richmond. We have a wide variety of museums from small charitable establishments like Shere Museum showcasing rural Surrey life, to Godalming Museum, with an impressive collection from Gertrude Jekyll, the famous Edwardian gardener through to the extensive collections held by the County archives at the Surrey History Centre in Woking.
Other internationally famous monuments include the ancient site of the signing of the Magna Carta- the document that ended the absolute rules of kings and forms the basis of the American constitution. Also, at this interesting river setting near Windsor Castle (just over the border in Berkshire) is an acre of land given to the American people with a large monument to mark the huge respect Britain had for American President John F Kennedy.
Learn more about the great authors, artists and sculptors who, inspired by their time in Surrey, created masterpieces that continue to inspire future generations. One of the best little gems in Surrey is the wonderful artists village created by Victorian artists and Emily Watts, who developed an incredible complex of Arts and Crafts buildings that house, the workshops of GF Watts and also the communal potteries that his wife developed. Today it is once again a thriving artist’s village, that is well worth a visit, complete with a lovely cafe and gift shop.
Other internationally well known authors include Arthur Conan Doyle who wrote “Sherlock Holmes” , Aldus Huxley who wrote “Brave New World”, HG Wells who wrote the sci- fi “War of the Worlds”, PG Wodehouse, author of 1920s classic “Jeeves and Wooster”. Charles Dodgson’s family home was in Guildford. He is better known as Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice in Wonderland”. A little known fact is that he is buried in Guildford, over- looking the town, high up on The Mount. The Guildford Museum has quite an interesting Lewis Carroll collection.
One of the biggest attractions in Surrey is the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is a specially protected area of countryside, similar to a National Park that runs right across the County from Farnham in the west to the border with Kent in the east. Running right across this landscape if the long distance footpath called the North Downs Way, which is popular with walkers and hosts several marathon events throughout the year. Other key attractions within the Surrey Hills worth visiting include Leith Hill, with its famous 18th century Gothic tower, which turns it from a hill to a mountain and is the highest point in Surrey, at 965ft above sea level. Also, Box Hill, well known as the site of the infamous picnic in Jane Austen’s novel “Emma”. It is now also famous for being the most challenging section of the 2012 Olympic Cycle Race but also houses a National Trust Cafe, a panoramic viewing platform and the grave of a local eccentric called Peter Labilliere who is buried on his head! The area is also a the site of a Victorian hill fort, which is run to explore. Reigate similarly has an interesting hill fort with a fascinating history and for the archaeological enthusiasts a visit to the Iron Age Hill Fort at Holmbury Hill, near Dorking, is thoroughly recommended.
For motoring enthusiasts, a visit to Surrey is not complete without a trip to the very special Brooklands Museum. Sited at the world’s first motor circuit it houses a unique collection of historic cars, motorbikes and aircraft showcasing the development of this industry through the 19th and 20th century. Recommended as a great day out for all the family. For the modern racers, a trip to nearby Mercedes Benz World maybe more your thing. Not only can you see the latest racing cars but also get behind the wheel of any number of driving experiences available to you. You may even see the occasional famous racing car driver there!
For the thrill seekers, we have Thorpe Park, which houses a scary new ride called Colossus and Chessington World of Adventures, which also houses a zoo. Both are great for short breaks, with their associated hotels, as well as great days out.
During the summer, a trip to the unusually preserved 1930’s Guildford Lido is a great day out for all the family. For all year round fun try the Guildford Spectrum, within indoor pool complex, Olympic sized ice skating rink and bowling alleys. There are also good leisure centres to entertain the children in all the major towns. Along with, Air Hop, Gravity Force Trampoline Parks, paint ball, dry ski slopes and lots of horse riding establishments there is something for everyone.
Finally, no visit to Surrey is complete without a visit to one of our many famous gardens. Starting with internationally renowned Royal Kew Gardens, to the Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley, to the many National Trust properties that show off the work of 18th century landscape designer “Capability” Brown, or the Victorian designer Gertrude Jeykll. Gatton Park is a must for the Spring with its wonderful display of snowdrops, while Winkworth Arboretum is famous for its stunning autumn colour displays. The Rhodendrum Walk at Leith Hill Place is also quite a treat in the Spring.
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