Interesting places to visit in Surrey

It's often the places that are closest to home that get forgotten, when touristic things to see and do are discussed. That's why we included Frensham Ponds, Waverley Abbey and Chilworth Gunpowder Works in our key places to visit in Surrey

If you've got a favourite place to visit in Surrey or hidden treasure that you'd like to share, please get in touch with us with your recommendations by commenting below or emailing


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Waverley Abbey, near Farnham

Surely one of the most exceptional heritage attractions on the Surrey map, if you happen to be travelling around the Farnham direction, do take the opportunity to pay a visit to Waverley Abbey. Aside from the atmospheric ruins, it also makes a beautifully serene picnic spot.

It was the first Cistercian abbey in England, founded in 1128.

Today, the ruins are managed by English Heritage.

The abbey was the setting for an idyllic interlude in Danny Boyle's 2002 film 28 Days Later.

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Frensham Ponds, near Farnham

Who said Surrey doesn’t have its own beach? A quick visit to Frensham Ponds should clear up any confusion once and for all. While it may not be West Wittering, the ponds at Frensham, with their lovely sandy shoreline, are definitely worth a visit.

The ponds were created when the Whitmore Stream was dammed to provide the Bishops of Winchester, who were regular visitors to the nearby Farnham Castle, with fish stock.

The secluded Little Pond is owned and managed by the National Trust.

The Great Pond attracts bathers and watersports enthusiasts and is also home to a hotel.


Lovelace Bridge, East Horsley

If you go down to the woods today, you can be sure of a big surprise - well, you can if you're in East Horsley at any rate. Hidden deep in the forest is a series of strange, tunnel-like structures that have intrigued passers-by for years.

Built in the latter half of the 19th century, they are all individually designed, uniquely decorated, meticulously handcrafted and set deep in the woods - but no one really knows why.

One of the more outlandish theories is that the English eccentric who created them, the first Lord Lovelace, may have been deformed and wanted to travel to and from Horsley without being seen.

Originally numbering 15, those that survive are currently undergoing a restoration program.


Chilworth Gunpowder Works, Chilworth

Among the shady trees of Chilworth lies what was once the beating heart of the East India Company’s gunpowder production. Following its closure in the 1920s, many of the factory buildings were converted into dwellings, and a small community known as ‘Tin Town’ lived in the valley until the early 1960s. There are also lovely walks to be had.

Established by the East India Company in 1625, the mills became one of the most significant suppliers of gunpowder to the government.

At a time when Britain appeared to be permanently at war, the mills employed 600 people at their peak, working in a danger laden environment that led to frequent fatal accidents.


St Martha’s Church, Chilworth

Located just a couple of miles outside Guildford, in the heart of the Surrey Hills, the ancient church of St Martha’s is built on the site of an Iron Age hill fort. Both the church and the surrounding woodland, which includes bluebell haven Chantry Wood, are ever popular with walkers and photographers alike. The views are also breathtaking.


Leith Hill, Coldharbour

Okay, so everyone always talks about it, and it’s been an inspiration to many authors, but do you really have to visit Leith Hill? Well, if you were ever in any doubt about the beauty of our county (remember the Lonely Planet slating Surrey received last year?), we suggest you pack your bags and head there this instant and follow up with trips to Box Hill and Newlands Corner.




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Secret Surrey: a ballroom under a lake to Brooklands wine cellars via the Wentworth bunker

Private buildings open for Heritage Open Days 2014