Surrey

Places to Visit and Days out in Surrey

Brooklands Museum | Box Hill | Clandon Park | Claremont Gardens | Farnham Castle | Ham House | Hatchlands Park | Hampton Court | Leith Hill | Painshill Park | Polesden Lacey | RHS Garden Wisley | Runnymede | Winkworth Arboretum | Witley Common

Brooklands Museum

Brooklands 1-in-4 test hill
Brooklands 1-in-4 © Martyn Davies - CCL

The Brooklands Museum, preserves an amazing slice of British heritage, as the birthplace of British motor sport and home to several important pioneers of aircraft design.

In 1907 the site was host to England's first purpose-built motor racing track, and the worlds first banked concrete circuit. The idea was born out of the frustrations of the national speed limit of 20 mph, which remained in force until 1930! Drivers such as Malcolm Campbell ruled the circuit, during its peak in the early 1900s.

Part of the site was later used as an aircraft aerodrome and in 1915 Vickers opened an aircraft factory nearby, producing fighter planes, including Barnes Wallis's famous Wellington Bomber.

Many of the original buildings have been restored and visitors can still see part of the old banked concrete racetrack and the 1-in-4 Test Hill (pictured above). Hundreds of historic planes, cars and vehicles from the era are displayed in the museum's sheds and hangers, including a British Airways Concord.

Opening times: Mon to Sun & BHs 10am 5pm (4pm winter) Admission Charge
Location: Brooklands Road, Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 0QN - Tel: 01932 857381 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, toilets for disabled

Box Hill Country Park

A designated Country Park with nature walks, on the edge of the North Downs. More than 800 acres of woods and chalk down land, with magnificent views over the Weald to the South Downs. Wide open spaces for family enjoyment. Marked self guided trails. Guided walks and tours also available.

Dogs welcome - please keep on leads when livestock in fields.

Opening times: Shop & Information centre open all year 10am to 4pm winter 9am to 5pm summer
Free Entry
Location: Tadworth, Surrey KT20 7LB - Tel: 01306 885502 Website
Facilities: Parking (charged), cafe, shop, outdoor seating and picnic areas, children's discovery zone, toilets.

Clandon Park

One of Britain's most outstanding Palladian country mansions. Built around 1733 for the 2nd Lord Onslow by the Venetian architect, 'Giacomo Leoni', in a unique blend of styles. The house is noted for its magnificent two story marble hall, rich decor and intricate plaster work. Contains period furnishings and wall coverings, Onslow family pictures and furniture. Also the Gubbay Collection of furniture, needlework and Chinese porcelain birds. The attractive formal gardens include a parterre, sunken garden and Maori meeting house.

Opening times: Apr~Oct, Tue-Thu & Sun & BHs, 11am to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7RQ - Tel: 01483 222482 Website
Facilities: Parking, restaurant, shop, toilets.


Claremont Landscape Gardens

One of the earliest surviving examples of an English landscape garden. Developed over many generations by several notable garden designers; starting in 1715 with Charles Bridgeman and John Vanburgh, continued by William Kent in the 1730s and later enhanced by 'Capability' Brown. The gardens are currently managed by the National Trust and open to the public. The garden is noted for its splendid late spring flowering rhododendrons and azaleas. Its main feature is a tranquil tree lined lake, surround by many interesting follies including a grassy amphitheater, whimsical grotto and an island pavilion.

Opening times: all year (closed Xmas), times vary see website for details Admission Charge
Location: Portsmouth Road, Esher, KT10 9JG - Tel: 01372 467806 Website
Facilities: Parking, tea-room, shop, toilets

Farnham Castle Keep

Built by the Bishop of Winchester, Henri de Blois. The present building dates from the late 12th and early 13th centuries, although it has been much repaired and updated since.

Opening times: Apr~Sep, 12 to 5pm, Fri to Sun & BHs Free Entry
Location: Castle Hill,Surrey, GU6 0AG - Tel: 01252 713393 Website
Facilities: Parking


Ham House & Garden

Ham House, dating from 1610, is among the finest and least altered examples of Stuart domestic architecture in the country. It was furnished and redecorated in the 1670s by the Duke and Duchess of Lauderdale. Almost their entire collection of furniture survives and has been left in the original settings for which it was intended.

The garden also retains much of its original formal layout.

Run by National Trust.

Opening times: all year - times vary, see website for details Admission Charge*
Location: Ham Street, Ham, Richmond-upon-Thames, TW10 7RS - Tel: 020 8940 1950 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, toilets, plant sales, garden and house guided tours (set times of year).

Hatchlands Park

Created in the mid 18th century for Admiral Boscawen, following his important victory at the battle of Louisburg. The interior is the earliest known work in England by Robert Adam. It contains the world's largest collection of keyboard instruments, many of which have been played by famous composers.

The house is set in 430 acres of a beautiful park lands and woodland walks, with a delightful little parterre garden (near the house) created by Gertrude Jekyll.

Opening times: Apr~Oct, Tue to Thu & Sun, 2pm to 5.30pm Admission Charge
Location: East Clandon, Surrey, GU4 7RT - Tel: 01483 222482 Website
Facilities: Parking, licensed restaurant, shop, toilets for disabled

Hampton Court

Hampton Court gardens

This magnificence red brick Tudor mansion was started in 1516 by Cardinal Wolsey (Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII). However, following his fall from grace the palace was handed to the crown. The building was later updated by Henry VIII, who added the great hall and gatehouse. Following monarchs have added their own touches, with Charles II, William III and Christopher Wren helping to make the palace a showcase of architecture with its red brick courtyards and corkscrew chimneys.

The palace is graced with sixty acres of beautifully manicured gardens, containing sparkling fountains, water gardens, a symmetrical ornamental Privy Garden and the famous Hampton Court Maze. The palace itself contains a magnificent collection of period furniture, fine artworks and many important tapestries.

Opening times: all year (closed Xmas) Mon Sun 10am to 4.30pm Admission Charge
Location: East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU - Tel: 0844 482 7777 Website
Facilities: Parking (limited, free for blue badge holders), café, disabled access and facilities

Leith Hill

Wooded garden, particularly beautiful in April and May for its large collection of azaleas and rhododendrons. An ideal spot for walking, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding. The highest point in South-East England. Climb the spiral staircase to the top of Leith Hill Tower for even better spectacular views over the surrounding countryside.

Dogs welcome - please keep on lead.

Opening times: Gardens: all year, Tower and tea kiosk 10am to 4pm (5pm summer) Small Admission Charge
Location: Leith Hill, near Coldharbour village, Dorking - Tel: 01306 712711 Website
Facilities: Parking, outdoor seating and picnic tables, refreshments, way marked trails

Painshill Park

Painshill Park Lake

A wonderful, 160 acre, 18th century landscaped garden filled with interesting vistas and many whimsical follies. Created by Charles Hamilton, between 1738 and 1773. The garden includes a working vineyard, a reconstructed Abbey, Grotto, Roman Mausoleum, Waterwheel, Hermitage, Gothic Temples and Towers, and many other interesting sights.

Opening times: Apr~Oct, 10.30am to 6pm. Nov~Mar, 10.30am to 4pm (closed Xmas) Admission Charge
Location: Portsmouth Road, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 1JE - Tel: 01932 868113 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, shop, disabled facilities

Polesden Lacey

Polesden Lacey House

Elegant Regency villa built in 1824 and extensively remodelled during the Edwardian period by the Hon Mrs Ronald Greville. The two-story building, set around a central courtyard, is charmingly furnished with English, French and Chinese furniture, plus many fine portrait paintings, Georgian silver and porcelain. Spacious grounds and gardens surround the house, with classical urns and statues, clipped hedges of box and yew and a tranquil walled rose garden.

A festival is held during the summer months, with concerts and plays performed in the grounds.

Opening times: 12 Apr to 29 Oct, Wed-Sun 11am to 5pm Admission Charge
Location: Great Bookham, Surrey, RH5 6BD Tel: 01372 452048 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, shop, garden centre, toilets for disabled

RHS Garden Wisley

RHS Garden Wisley

These internationally renowned gardens, visited by over 750,000 visitors each year, are the principle research gardens for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The 240-acre site was gifted to the society in 1903, who have since developed it into a series of show gardens and trial gardens for the advancement of horticultural knowledge and best gardening practices.

The gardens contain a wide variety of trees, shrubs and plants, with many new and unusual species. There is a formal walled garden, a long mixed border (designed to provide continuous colour and interest), a rose garden, arboretums, alpine meadows, glass houses and a wild garden.

Opening times: Mon-Fri 10am to 4.30pm/6pm (Nov-Feb Sat-Sun) (closed Xmas) Admission Charge
Location: GU23 6QB - Tel: 01483 224234 Website
Facilities: Parking, café, restaurant, garden centre, shop, disabled facilities

Runnymede

The historic meadows (nearly 200 acres) on the banks of the River Thames where King John signed Magna Carta in 1215. Several walks and trails. Runnymede Gallery for contemporary art. The Kennedy Memorial stands above the meadows.

Opening times: car park open all year 8:30am to 5pm (7pm summer) Free Entry to Meadows
Location: Runnymede Estate Office, North Lodge, Windsor Road, Old Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 2JL - Tel: 01784 432891 Website
Facilities: Parking (charged), tearooms, toilets.

Winkworth Arboretum

autumn trees

An outstanding collection of rare trees and shrubs, located on 100 acres of wooded hillside, with excellent views over the North Downs. The arboretum is at its best in spring when the azaleas are in bloom, and in October when the maples and sorbus cover the hillside with every shade of red, orange and gold.

Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead.

Run by National Trust*

Opening times: all year, daily during daylight hours (may close if weather bad) Admission Charge*
Location: Hascombe Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4AD - Tel: 01483 208477 Website
Facilities: Parking, tea room, shop, toilets & baby-changing facilities, children's quiz/trail.

Witley and Milford Commons

Nature trails, interesting and varied flora and fauna.

Dogs welcome - please keep on lead during nesting season.

Opening times: any reasonable time Free Entry
Location: Witley Centre, Haslemere Road, Witley, GU8 5QA - Tel: 01428 681050 Website
Facilities: Parking, picnic area.


disclaimer text
Follow us on panoramio Panoramio twitter Twitter