Lingfield - Surrey Life Towns & Villages 2013
- Credit: Archant
While the expansion of the racecourse has firmly put it on the map, Lingfield has its own history to explore
Home to some 50 species of native wildlife, from foxes and hedgehogs to otters and red squirrels, the British Wildlife Centre first opened to the public in 2000 on the site of a former dairy farm near. The actress Dame Judi Dench is a keen supporter. They open every weekend and public holiday, plus state school holidays, from March to October.
A prominent feature at the heart of the village is the cage, which was used as a temporary jail for minor felons in the 1700s and 1800s. It is dominated by a hollow but fully-leafed oak tree, which is thought to be over 400 years old. The smaller oak behind it grew from one of the old trees acorns, as did some of those at the Lingfield Nature Reserves.
Boys’ own adventures
As the village is approached via Godstone Road, there is a pretty thatched cottage that once belonged to WE Johns, creator of Biggles. The house deeds stipulate that an unusual collection of Biggles’ books must remain with it. Recent years have seen increased traffic on the road it overhangs threaten its existence.
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Lingfield Park racecourse, which was opened in 1890 by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII). The royal even allowed them to use his feathers in their official heading. The racecourse even stretchies to spa and leisure facilities.
A real hidden gem, make sure to visit Hare & Hounds (01342 832351) just off Lingfield Common Road. Exceptional food in quirky surrounds.
The award-winning The Wiremill (01342 832263), on Wiremill Lane, is set in a stunning lakeside location - you may spot the odd waterskier.
Lingfield Park racecourse’s four-star Marriott Hotel & Country Club (01342 830930).
Lingfield is 15 minutes from the M25 and less than an hour’s train ride to London. The station is at the edge of the village.