You’ll hear the acronym AONB, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a lot in connection with Surrey. Due to its spectacular countryside and landscape, daytrippers, holidaymakers and locals flock here to explore the area, walk the hills, enjoy the views and picnic. A protected area it has a diversity unique to any other part of the British Isles and work is constant to maintain and manage it so that future generations can take just a much pleasure in it as people do today.
The Surrey Hills stretch for miles which is why the scenery differs so much, as well as the chalk slopes of the North Downs, and the woods and hills and heathland there’s the panoramic views of Gravelly Hill, Colley Hill, Box Hill, Headley Heath, Leith Hill and the enticingly named The Devil’s Punch Bowl to discover. Rich in flora and fauna, quaint market towns, stately homes and tiny villages, it’s a county known for some of the best walking routes in Southern England.
Significant for its picturesque splendour Surrey has often been the place musicians, artists and writers come for inspiration. Visitors rank in the millions each year seeking peace and tranquillity and an appreciation of the sheer beauty of the place, they find a spot to sit and just chill for a while.
If you’re a weathered rambler or just out for a saunter then you can opt to walk independently as trails are well marked out, go online and you can download walks and maps that show where the trails are to be found, and they are free, or invest in a book that gives you details of the trails and tracks to follow depending on your level of fitness and what you want to see. Surrey’s countryside is so big that there are various starting points for walks, find the nearest one to you and take the train there or get in the car and drive and park.
Otherwise join a walking group if you don’t like the idea of going alone, this is also a good way to meet people socially with the same interests. For those visiting from further afield then an organised holiday can be arranged there are lots of companies that fix up everything from accommodation and transport to guided walks with people familiar with the countryside, nature, customs and legends of the region.
If you prefer to go it alone but still like the idea of someone dealing with the details then choose a self guided holiday, they’ll help you plan a route and book you into accommodation overnight at each place, some will even transport your luggage from one hotel to the next so when you finish the day’s walk they are at the hotel waiting for you.
Surrey has all kinds of events going on, particularly in the summer months. Those in the area in October should head to the Surrey Hills Wood Fair at Birtley House in Bramley where a broad range of handmade and locally produced wood objects are on sale and there are demonstrations of tree surgery, wood chipping and coppicing. Fun for all the family there are competitions and lots of children’s activities with delicious home cooking and locally brewed beer competitions.
For a perfect daytrip consider taking a leisurely walk and combining it with some sightseeing of a local stately home or church or art gallery, or walk for a while then stop off at the village pub for a traditional English lunch. If you decide to stay overnight or fancy a weekend trip, book into a comfortable B&B, guesthouse or hotel and take your time exploring the region.
There is generally something going on all year round, take a trip online and search for hotels in Surrey and whatever countryside events interest you.