10 of the most romantic places in Surrey
- Credit: Archant
Pack a bottle of Champagne, wrap up warm and escape outdoors to one of these romantic Surrey escapes this month...
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2017
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While the picnicking hoards still ascend the slopes of Box Hill in the summer, you can usually discover a quiet little corner for yourself, especially in the earlier months of the year. 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of globally-loved author, Jane Austen, so maybe it’s time to recreate that famous Emma picnic scene – just hopefully with far more enjoyment and a happier ending! Make sure to explore the stepping stones (pictured) while you’re there.
Getting there: Box Hill car park, Tadworth KT20 7LB (parking charges apply). Web: nationaltrust.org.uk/box-hill
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Recently recreated and opened up to the public for free, the Deepdene is said to be one of the country’s most historically-significant gardens. Only minutes out of Dorking town centre, you can discover the area’s connection to the famous Hope Diamond, the unique Hope family Mausoleum and stroll on to villages like Brockham and Betchworth.
Getting there: It’s probably best to visit this one by train – the station is about a 15-minute walk away (free entry). Web: deepdenetrail.co.uk
Did you know that Surrey has a natural waterfall? While it may not be listed among the wonders of the world just yet, it’s found among the beautiful walking countryside, near Friday Street. There’s the added bonus of being able to pop into ‘Surrey’s most secluded pub’, the Surrey Life award-winning Stephan Langton, while you’re in the area, too.
Getting there: Friday Street car park RH5 6JR or Broadmoor car park RH5 6JY (both free parking). Web: stephanlangton.pub
It’s a momentous year at Painshill Park, where they are in the process of reconstructing the impressive Temple of Bacchus. While that won’t be completed until the summer, there’s still the vineyard, The Ruined Abbey, Turkish Tent, Gothic Temple and Gothic Tower to enjoy now. Last, but by no means least, the Crystal Grotto is arguably the pièce de résistance.
Getting there: Painshill Park, Portsmouth Road, Cobham KT11 1JE (entry charge applies). Web: painshill.co.uk
After eating in one of the town’s many romantic restaurants, or perhaps after a long stroll through the deer at Richmond Park, head up to the top of Richmond Hill and the terrace walk. Then, settle down in front of the River Thames sweep and marvel at the sunset.
Getting there: Park at Pembroke Lodge car park in Richmond Park TW10 5HX (parking is free) or get the train and wander through the town. Web: royalparks.org.uk
THE SCULPTURE PARK
With over 300 renowned and emerging artists showcasing 600 modern and contemporary sculptures for sale, The Sculpture Park is a visual feast for those on the hunt for something a little different. With ten acres of stunning arboretum and wildlife inhabited water gardens to explore, this is one place you’ll be extremely happy to get lost with a loved one.
Getting there: The Sculpture Park, Jumps Road, Churt, Farnham GU10 2LH (entry charge applies). Web: thesculpturepark.com
VIRGINIA WATER LAKE
Among the spectacular highlights at Virginia Water Lake, the Leptis Magna ruins were transported all the way from the shores of the Mediterranean near present day Tripoli in Libya. The whole area, which is part of the man-made The Royal Landscape, makes for an eye-opening day out.
Getting there: Virginia Water Lake, London Road, Virgina Water GU25 4QF (parking charge applies). Web: windsorgreatpark.co.uk
Head down the winding lanes near Farnham, and you might stumble upon the rather fabulous ruins of Waverley Abbey. A small group of monks from France settled in this quiet spot by the River Wey in 1128, and fortunately some of the scene remains today. Just down the road is the equally magical Little Frensham Pond, with its mini-beaches between the rushes.
Getting there: Waverley Abbey, near Farnham GU9 8EP (free entry). Web: english-heritage.org.uk
For a spectacular colour palette, winding pathways and a film-worthy boathouse, Winkworth Arborteum is a must-visit. Established in the 20th century by Dr Wilfrid Fox, a dermatologist by trade, it has been looked after by the National Trust for 60 years and has built up a collection of more than 1,000 different shrubs and trees, many of them rare.
Getting there: Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe Road, Godalming GU8 4AD
(entry charge applies). Web: nationaltrust.org.uk/winkworth-arboretum