Find and book the perfect apartment or holiday cottage in Surrey
Visit Surrey: the county of the Magna Carta!
The gateway to the south-east of England, Surrey is a fantastic county that has captivated travellers for centuries. Ramblers and hikers especially love the rolling hills and trails of the Downs, while historians admire the various artefacts and heritage sites that date back as far as the 11th century in some cases – such as the Guildford Castle, and the Byfleet Manor. Some of the most beautiful countryside can be found here, such as Leith Hill, which is the highest point in the county and provides views across the numerous valleys rivers, forests and more. In fact, on a clear day the channel coast can even be seen from here. Thanks to its close proximity to London, Surrey has become that place in England where traditional villages mix with the modern metropolitan vibes of business, finance, and technology – lending to its reputation as London's "stockbroker belt".
Best time to visit Surrey
Tucked away in one of the prettiest corners of the UK, Surrey is home to fantastic spots such as Guildford, Ewell, Epsom, and Guildford, Surrey is never a bad place to spend your holiday. With a temperature climate all year round, Surrey rarely experiences extreme weather, although the weather is unpredictable – just like the rest of the UK. On average, July is the best for sunshine, with typical temperatures up to roughly 30 degrees, while the coldest will be January, and October is the wettest.
How to get to Surrey
Found in the south of England, Surrey has great transport links to anywhere else in the UK, and the rest of the world, whether you're looking to travel by plane, train, or car.
If you're looking to take the scenic route and drive down to leafy Surrey, then you'll find excellent motorway connections. Take the M25, the M23 or the M3, which run the length of the country, or the A3 dual carriageway offers one of the fastest routes to get from London down to Portsmouth. Alternatively, if you've driven over from the continent, Surrey is just an hour away from the Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, and an hour from the ferry crossings at Portsmouth and Newhaven. One of the best ways to travel around Surrey is by car; being such a big county, it's difficult to see everything on offer, but driving around the countryside means you can enjoy it all at your own pace, and mot miss anything out.
For anyone who wants a more relaxing trip down to Surrey via the trains, or if you are already staying in an apartment in London and have no car, there is a very quick service from Waterloo, Victoria, and London Bridge – to towns all over the country. Plus, there's direct links from Gatwick Airport to Redhill, Reigate, Dorking, and Guildford.
For those travelling from further afield, both Gatwick and Heathrow Airport are just a short drive from the leafy county, both of which are some of the biggest airports in the world and have links to countries all over the world. from here, visitors can hop on a bus, or hire a taxi and be in their cute countryside B&B in no time.
Where to stay in Surrey
Guildford is known for being one of the best places in Surrey, thanks to its incredible culture and heritage. It's a historical town, known for centuries when travellers would once ride between Portsmouth and Greenwich, stopping for the night in a local inn in Guildford. One such inn was the Angel Inn, set right on the high street, which still has its original sign swinging from the walls, and inside there is building work first erected during the 1300s – and its still a working holiday home.
One of the richer towns in Surrey – which is saying something – Oxted didn't become as popular or attractive as it is now until the mid to late 19th century, when a railway line was installed. Now, at just half an hour from central London, it's a coveted spot for commuters and tourists alike. That doesn't mean the town itself is new, however; Oxted is so old it was mentioned in the Domesday Book, when it belonged to a close friend of William the Conqueror, Eustace II of Boulogne. It's here that you can find Caravaggio paintings inside the Titsey Place, quiet stables offering horseback rides, and the Barn Theatre – an old, 13th century restored barn that frequently stages Shakespeare plays. Treat yourself to a pleasantly cosy B&B holiday rental in Oxted with a stay in Meads Bed & Breakfast, right in the heart of town.
Found in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Haslemere is right on the edge of the South Downs National Park – which lends itself to some amazing views, no matter where you stay. With Georgian townhouses, tile-clad cottages, a high street full of boutique stores, and plenty of beauty in the natural surroundings to warrant a picnic or two, Haslemere really is the place to stay. Make sure to check out the Haslemere Educational Museum, and the Devil's Punch Bowl just minutes from the centre of town – one of the south of England's best natural wonders. If you're looking for cheap accommodation that's still cosy and welcoming, check-in to The Station House, right in the middle of the town.
Named after the fantastic lake towards the western end of the town (which also doubles as a great spot for a picnic), Virginia Water is one of those little towns where you could get absolutely lost in its beauty. The secluded atmosphere makes you forget about the rest of the world, with the stunning surroundings and luxurious shops, cafes, restaurants, and general amenities providing you with everything you need. There are plenty of heritage sites for those that love history, and for the sportier travellers, the Wentworth Golf Club is renowned across the world – and was actually the venue for the first ever Ryder Cup. Why not couple the luxurious atmosphere of the town with your own luxury holiday accommodation, staying in the fantastic Great Fosters: a grade I listed building with 50 acres with of formal gardens, and its own Michelin starred restaurant.
Technically a southwest London suburb, Esther is a very low-key spot for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the tourists – and yet still discover a number of Grade I listed sites. Home to the Church of St. George which dates back to the 1500s and was known as a coveted spot by Queen Victoria, as well as the Claremont House, who's gardens still have the same layout as when they were first landscaped in the 1720s. One of the best family friendly bed and breakfasts in Esher is The Bear, found on Portsmouth Road since the 1500s.
If you're picturing the archetypal English town, then look no further. Shere is full of country pubs, a trickling stream, a café dedicated entirely to afternoon tea, a Norman church, and the stereotypical timber framed houses with fairytale gardens out the front. It's a great place for those who like to wander, with a trail that goes past some of the village's best spots, and a site called Newlands Corner, which is an incredible lookout at 173 metres. Shere is cute and quirky – and the holiday rentals match: try staying in the Hurtwood Hotel, a 1920's building set away from the hustle and bustle of a busy everyday life.
What to do in Surrey
RHS Garden Wisley
Nestled away in the corner of Wisley is one of the most beautiful set of landscaped gardens in the country. RHS Gardens Wisley are one of the only four gardens run by the Royal Horticultural Society; stretching cross 240 acres, the gardens are full of glasshouses, decorations, beautiful flowers, a fruit fields, a vegetable garden, and even desert and tropical plant displays. Essentially everything a garden lover could wish for, there's even a canal adorned with water lilies, and the Grade II listed building on site is home to a laboratory used for scientific research and training.
This amazing, grade II listed building might look familiar to some: it's the same manor house used in Downton Abbey. Once owned by royalty (Anne of Denmark, wife of King James I), the house has stood since the early 1600s. an exclusive private residence, Byfleet Manor abounds with history and magical gardens.
One of the most famous amusement parks in the UK, Thorpe Park is right next to the fantastic town of Chertsey and it's been open, incredibly, since 1979. The theme park is water-based, complete with a "Thorpe Shark Hotel", designed to look like an actual shark coming out of the lake. The park hosts an annual "Fright Night" even for Halloween, which includes staff members dressed up as zombies.
Near the lovely town of Guildford is a beautiful country house set amongst 430 acres of gardens and greenery. The house has been a Grade II listed building since 1967, and was once used as a finishing school for girls, as well as a printing press. It's still currently a family home, but the family who live there are gracious enough to open it to visitors four afternoons a week – although the gardens and parkland are open every day of the year. During the summer, cinema and theatre evenings are hosted on the garden outside the manor house.
One of the most stunningly pretty towns in Surrey – and possible the country – Farnham is home to a medieval deer park right next to the main town centre. A fantastic market town, and right next door to the fantastic Waverley Abbey – the first monastery created in Britain -, there's no doubt Farnham is the place to be if you want that quaint English town experience.
Guildford Castle is thought to be as old as William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066, and it's the perfect backdrop to the town of Guildford and its history. Head to the top of the castle and enjoy a drink from the panoramic platform, enjoying the view of the perfectly well-kept grounds.
Home to more than 1000 different varieties of plant life, shrubs, and trees, the Winkworth Arboretum has been maintained by the National Trust for the last 60 years, and its famous for its ability to adapt and change with the seasons. Head down during the autumn for a magnificent display of flame-coloured trees and leaves, or witness the arrival of the bluebells and tulips during springtime. Nearby, there's also Winkworth's century-old boathouse, which offers a fantastic view over the lake.
WWF Living Planet Centre
The HQ home of the WWF-UK, an environmental charity, education and visitor centre, WWF Living Planet Centre is a great day out for anyone looking to find out more about the planet and its different environments - and how those environments are catastrophically changing. The different spaces inside are themed around wildlife, freshwater, oceans, and forests, with incredible films to bring the topics to life. The centre even hosts treasure hunts for kids, in a way to get people of all ages interested in the environment.