10 ways to celebrate Surrey Day in the county this year

Watts Gallery will be offering free entry to Surrey residents (c) Ann Ayerst Photography

Watts Gallery will be offering free entry to Surrey residents (c) Ann Ayerst Photography - Credit: Archant

With the first Surrey Day taking place on Saturday May 4, Visit Surrey, the county’s official tourist board, has compiled 10 of the best places to celebrate

Visit an Artist Village

Named Surrey's Tourist Destination of the Year 2018, Watts Gallery - Artists' Village in Compton is hosting a Surrey residents' open day. Discover Victorian paintings and sculptures in Watts Gallery and submerge yourself in history and art at Watts Studios. Enjoy a quiet moment at Watts Chapel, a Grade I listed Arts & Crafts building, and then explore the woodlands and grounds. This open day takes place from 10.30am to 5pm on Surrey Day and is free to Surrey residents with proof of address.

Watts Gallery - Artists' Village, Down Lane, Compton GU3 1DQ; wattsgallery.org.uk

See History in the Making

Explore the remarkable ruins and tranquil gardens of the National Trust's Clandon Park before restoration work begins in 2020. Members of the team behind Clandon's remaking will be on hand from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm, to give visitors invaluable insight into the work going on behind the scenes of this fascinating restoration project. Free entry for Surrey residents on proof of residency.

Clandon Park, West Clandon, Guildford GU4 7RQ; nationaltrust.org.uk/clandon-park

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Journey Through the Vines

Climb aboard the Denbies' wine train for a leisurely 45-minute tour of some of the most beautiful view points in the award-winning vineyard. A recorded commentary makes this an informative and comfortable way to experience the magnificent panoramic views of the vineyard and the surrounding North Downs. To celebrate Surrey Day, Denbies has added an extra complimentary tour for Surrey residents from 10am to 11am.

Denbies Wine Estate, London Road, Dorking RH5 6AA; denbies.co.uk

Party at Silent Pool

One of Surrey's most mysterious beauty spots, Albury's Silent Pool and the area around its crystal blue waters has transformed into a food and drink hub in recent years. Now, the picturesque Albury Organic Vineyard is teaming up with its neighbours at Silent Pool Distillers, Surrey Spice and Norbury Blue Cheese, as well as Moooh ice cream and Tillingbourne beer, to host the Surrey Day Street Party at Silent Pool, from 11am to 4pm. English sparkling wine, gin cocktails, delicious street food and artisan cheese from some of Surrey's best producers, plus added entertainment - sounds like bliss to us.

Silent Pool, Shere Road, Albury GU5 9BW; alburyvineyard.com

Barbecue on the Terrace

Hidden away on the southernmost tip of Surrey, Stanhill Court Hotel in Charlwood will be celebrating Surrey Day with a special barbecue on its picturesque terrace. Only minutes away from Gatwick Airport, this newly refurbished hotel is surrounded by 35 acres of ancient woodland and stunning surroundings. There will be family entertainment and the chance to explore the 19th century country manor house and its grounds, with tours available on the day. Tickets for the event are free (with food and drink charged at normal prices) but pre-registering on their website is essential.

Stanhill Court Hotel, Stan Hill, Charlwood RH6 0EP; stanhillcourthotel.co.uk

Walk this Way

An independent charity promoting the enjoyment of our county's Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Surrey Hills Society will lead a walk along part of the North Downs Way - the National Trail, which runs through Surrey from Farnham in the west and into Kent in the east. The walk, which is free and open to all, will start promptly at 11am from Guildford Town Bridge. The walk is about four miles long, will take about two hours to complete and will finish at The Percy Arms pub in Chilworth, with its views up to St Martha's Hill. From here, buses and trains run back to Guildford. Turn to page 69 for a map and guide to the route.


Pop Up Food Market

In the historic market town of Dorking there will be a pop-up Surrey produce market inside The White Horse, a refurbished coaching inn with a history dating back as far as 1278. With the town's eclectic mix of shops including an entire street that is almost entirely dedicated to antiques, it will be easy to work up an appetite for some of the best produce our county has to offer. Dorking's shops and businesses will also have special offers to mark Surrey Day and beauty spots like Leith Hill and Box Hill can be explored nearby.

The White Horse, High Street, Dorking RH4 1BE; dorkingtownpartnership.co.uk

Lighting up the Sky

Surrey Day will bring a rare opportunity to stay late on the Discovery Walk at Surrey Life's Farm Shop of the Year, Priory Farm. This family-friendly nature trail is found in the heart of stunning East Surrey countryside and features free roaming guinea fowl, 'Cluckingham Palace' and The BFG's chair, among other highlights. Watch the sun go down while enjoying street food and live music, and then join in the countdown to the lighting of a beacon set on the hill above the Discovery Walk.

Priory Farm, Sandy Lane, South Nutfield RH1 4EJ; prioryfarm.co.uk

Behind the Scenes

Discover the secret workings of an Edwardian country estate at the National Trust's Polesden Lacey, with a series of intimate tours and talks taking place on Surrey Day. Chat with the gardeners, rangers and conservationists in the house to learn how the former home of Dame Margaret Greville, socialite and friend to the royals, is kept great today. Tours and talks will take place from 10am to 5pm in the gardens and 11am to 5pm in the house. Normal entry applies.

Polesden Lacey, Great Bookham, near Dorking RH5 6BD; nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey

Art in the Outdoors

For art lovers, collectors, sculptors, photographers and nature enthusiasts, The Sculpture Park near Farnham is a hidden gem. Hundreds of sculptures from national and international artists are on display among the arboretum and water gardens. A two-mile winding trail leads through 10-acres of outstanding natural beauty, with art at every turn. To celebrate Surrey Day, visitors can enter for half price on Friday May 3.

The Sculpture Park, Churt, near Farnham GU10 2LH; thesculpturepark.com

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