When we first moved to Surrey, it was purely for work. I had lived in Guildford, in a previous life, but that wasn’t a happy time and I didn’t have any nostalgia about the area.
However, over the years I have begun to appreciate where we live to a much greater extent. When you like to travel, or spend extensive time in another country, France in my case, it’s easy to take for granted what you have on your own doorstep.
The Surrey Hills were classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1958 and cover over 400 kilometres, of which there is almost 40% woodland. There is an extensive range of footpaths and bridleways which means you have plenty of options for safe walking.
If you follow this link: https://www.surreyhills.org/surrey-hills-60/ You will find suggestions for sixty interesting places to visit in the Surrey Hills. I did a quick tally and I have been to over thirty of them – so far!
One of my favourites is Leith Hill which is the second highest point in South East England. On the top of the hill is Leith Hill Tower which was built in 1765. The views when you reach the summit are stunning on a clear day. You can see London and Wembley Stadium in one direction and Shoreham gap in the other, if you are lucky.
Only last week, I was here with a friend and her Border Collie and we were able to buy drinks and homemade cakes through a window at the base of the tower. Delicious!
I took the photos below at about 11.00 in the morning. You might not think so from the light!
This video clip from the Surrey Hills website gives a very different aspect to Leith Hill.
Another favourite place of mine is Box Hill with its spectacular views. At the foot of Box Hill are the Stepping Stones, a spot close to my heart, by the River Mole. Five minutes away is Denbies Wine Estate which is one of the largest wine producers in the UK . I can recommend the white wine called Surrey Gold!
My next choice is not so well known but is very close to the Surrey village in which we lived previously. It is Chinthurst Hill Folly which stands at the top of Chinthurst Hill. This is a quiet and peaceful spot with fabulous views from the summit. The stone folly was built in the 1930’s and is now a Grade II listed building. From the foot of the folly, there are views across Guildford and the North Downs.
My final place is Winterfold Forest which is a large wooded area very close to where I live. It is popular with walkers and mountain bikers and joins another wooded area called the Hurtwood. It is covered in bluebells in the spring and is part of the Greensand Way, a long distance path of 174km, stretching from Surrey into Kent.
Through funding from the Mittal Foundation, Surrey Hills Arts commissioned five artists to create artworks inspired by the views across the Greensand Way. The one on Winterfold is called ‘Perspectives’ and is by Giles Miller. I have to say how impressive it is!
I hope you have enjoyed my snapshot of the Surrey Hills!