Surrey

For other places with the same name, see Surrey (disambiguation).

Surrey is the county in the South East of England immediately southwest of London. Surrey is the smallest Home County, is cited as being the wealthiest county per square kilometre in all of Great Britain and is the most wooded county in England.

Understand

30-40 miles out from London a transition occurs from US-meets-European-style conspicuous consumption (including the most golf in the country) to an increase in traditional local customs, food, ales, music, and sports. South Surrey is thus perhaps more welcoming to the metropolitan visitor seeking to skim off part of the cultural cream of English country life. North Surrey is well-trod Arcadian woodland, architecture, and parkland without any real distance at all from global culture, including every type of fashionable good or service and entertainment.

Towns

Selected interesting towns. Haslemere is a large village tucked near the Devil's Punch Bowl in the farthest hills. The southern half is prime walking and cycling hills and lovely. The Thames Path is its parallel, but only through the far north.
Map of Surrey within the UK
Seale, Surrey in snow

Other destinations

Hampton Court Palace viewed from Thames Ditton. The wing was laid out by Sir Christopher Wren who was seen as a pioneer of the Classical in its transition from the Baroque. In the baroque style are its Charles II fountains, statues and ornaments and some of its mouldings. The reverse of the palace is multi-chimneyed and crenellated early Tudor.

Get in

By plane

By train

By car

By coach

National Express and EasyBus coaches to Guildford, Woking and Gatwick Airport provide good access from Airports, from London and major cities. Most interesting walks and nature sites require good agility and strength. Tour buses do operate via major coach companies, usually with good accommodation booked.

A good cheap itinerary will probably involve a whistle-stop tour of Hampton Court using buses from London via Kingston. A whistle-stop tour of Guildford can be booked or paid for using coaches.

Get around

By bus

The cheaper Oyster cards serving London (red buses) operates in the far north of Surrey to Epsom, Esher, and Staines-upon-Thames; these have the three racecourses and are well-served by train as is most of the county.

Metrobus and Arriva operate in Surrey.

See

Do

Eat

Stick to the towns to eat cheaply, preferably in pubs and authentic, independent Indian/Italian (and many other types of cuisine, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese and Chinese are all popular here).

Chestnuts in winter and fine game are a particular local specialty, there are not just in restaurants but available from local supermarkets and butchers.

Consider hiring a car to get to the pub-restaurants nestled by rivers, streams, hills and parkland of Surrey. Some of these are coupled with spa resorts and golf resorts. Top class wining and dining is typical of most of these in Surrey.

Drink

The Hogs Back Brewery is the main Surrey ale producer. It's available in most authentic looking places and better countryside venues. Do not be afraid to try the local wine. Christmas mulled wine from street vendors is particularly good in the towns.

Stay safe

The county has the lowest crime rate in the country. Violent crimes are especially low.

The British police offer a cycle marking scheme for any cyclist spending a considerable time in the country and expensive locks are recommended. Motor theft is rare, authority clamping however can cost say £50-£100, so look/ask around before you park on any lines. CCTV covers the railways offering safe, relatively wide and reliable transport.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, February 21, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.