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By Sara Hardy– 8th December 2020

I have to admit it, I really do love where we live. Having grown up in the West Country, lived in the Alps, Bristol and then London, Surrey really does tick all the boxes for this stage of our lives. This is why I think it’s a great place to live, and a fabulous place to visit.


One of the main reasons we moved to Surrey is for it’s location. After ten very happy years in the city, we tired of the London life (notably during weekends when we just wanted to be in the countryside). The train is approximately twenty minutes into Waterloo and we’re still outside the M25. When we moved here, we were both commuting into the City and long hours were the norm. An easy commute was the priority, with fresh air and green space following narrowly behind it. We are a short twenty minute drive to Heathrow and forty minutes to Gatwick which makes travelling further afield fairly hassle free.



Speaking of scenery, we are thankful to live between two expanses of densely wooded common land; Chobham and Horsell. These offer numerous walks as well as tree climbing and den building opportunities for our energetic children. A few minutes in the car takes us to the Surrey Hills, home to a couple of vineyards and a gin distillery. What more could you ask for?



We are spoilt for choice when it comes to pubs. My hidden gems include The Onslow Arms, The Abinger Hatch and The Four Horseshoes. We even have our own a micro pub in Chobham, The Horse and Groom. Make sure you try some of our local wines too; Albury’s blanc de blancs is currently my tipple of choice if we are eating out.



There is no shortage of National Trust properties which we love exploring as a family on a weekly basis. Our favourites include Polsden Lacey and Claremont Landscape Gardens. We are also very fortunate to have RHS Wisley here which is simply stunning and changes through time with every visit. It is the most majestic place with many hidden corners and a beautiful wooden play area which opened fairly recently.



Surrey is teeming with picturesque villages that you would never expect to find this close to London; Ripley, Shere, Chobham, Abinger Hammer and Cranleigh, the UK’s largest village. Take a stroll through any of these picture perfect villages and you’ll feel like you’re wondering through middle England. If time allows, dinner at the Michelin starred Clock House in Ripley, or Sorrel in Dorking are a veritable treat if you book in advance.



We are also spoilt for choice when it comes to fine country house hotels. These are great for a really special occasion, a celebratory meal or afternoon tea. The likes of Beaverbrook, Coworth Park on the Surrey / Berkshire border and Pennyhill Park offer a plethora of incredible country pursuits that everyone should try at least once.



Guildford. A small and beautifully formed city bursting at the seams with atmosphere. It boasts a castle and a cathedral, pretty cobbled streets, excellent shopping and a huge choice of individual and quirky eateries along the riverside.



There are many activities and play parks for children within easy reach. Personally I love the smaller ones such as Elm Nursery, Hobbledown, Bocketts Farm, The Lookout and The Magic Garden at Hampton Court. We do also have Legoland, Thorpe Park and Chessington World of Adventures nearby which I’m sure we will love when our boys are a little older. Two of our favourite places (conveniently next to one another) are Brooklands Museum (home of Concorde) and Mercedes Benz world which are great for car and plane enthusiasts of any age. If cars are your thing, you might be interested to know that McLaren cars are designed and made right here in Surrey too.



You can sail down the Thames. Perhaps sail isn’t the best verb to use, but thanks to GoBoat Kingston you can charter your own electric boat and take a journey down the river. You can also take a cruise if you prefer not to take the helm yourself. Seeing the beautiful Surrey towns from the water gives you a very different perspective.



We have Royal Parks on our doorstep. The beautifully vast Windsor Great Park spans parts of both Surrey and Berkshire. A morning stroll around the Savill Garden or Virginia Water Lake (stopping off at the waterfall) followed by lunch at Piccolino’s always makes for a great day out.


What do you love about where you live? Do you live in Surrey and have something to add?



Sara x

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