Surrey’s famous and friendly faces share their favourite things to see and do in the county

From top left, clockwise: Emma Stevens (photo by Andy Newbold), Shane Richie (photo by Andy Newbold)

From top left, clockwise: Emma Stevens (photo by Andy Newbold), Shane Richie (photo by Andy Newbold), Chris Howard and Virginia McKenna (photo by Andy Newbold) - Credit: Archant

As we approach the first ever Surrey Day, we hear from a few of the county’s friendly and famous faces about the places they would choose to spend their perfect day here…

Emma Stevens, singer and songwriter

If it's autumn I'd wake up and go for a morning walk at Winkworth Arboretum or if it's spring/summer then a walk up to Box Hill, followed by brunch at The Cosy Club in Guildford. I'd hit the shops for a bit of retail therapy and then see what's playing at the Yvonne Arnaund Theatre!

Charlotte Hawkins, presenter

The scenery at the Devils Punch Bowl in Hindhead is breathtaking and its pathways make it the perfect place for a family walk, while RHS Wisley is a magical place to visit at any time of year. They always have interesting events going on.

Shane Richie, actor

Priory Park in Reigate is such a beautiful place and we spend a lot of time there with the kids and I love wondering over to Well House Inn [in Lower Kingswood] through the fields out the back of my house.

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Mark Carter, BBC Surrey presenter and editor

My perfect Surrey day is all about exploring the beautiful countryside right on our doorstep. I've lived in Godstone since 2012 and we're still discovering new hidden footpaths all of the time, just a stone's throw away from our front door. However, on a sunny day, we will often load up the car with a picnic and explore other parts of the county. Last year, for example, I finally climbed to the top of Leith Hill Tower!

Peter Davison, actor

We love strolling among the lakes, ponds and gardens at Kew. The café is perfect for relaxing and the kids loved the play areas when they were younger. I have a favourite seat along the Thames at Richmond, where I love to walk the dog too. It's the perfect place for people watching.

Virginia McKenna, actor and wildlife campaigner

Sixty two years ago my husband, Bill, and I came to live in Surrey. I am still in the same house we bought in the Surrey Hills and, as time passes, it means more to me than ever. My perfect Surrey Day is being at home, looking at the distant hills on the horizon, hearing the bird song, rejoicing in the shy wild creatures that live in the woods. Each season reveals its own unique beauty.

Brian Blessed, actor

It has to be Chobham Common, where I go running and walking. It's wild with wonderful woods, hidden lakes and tremendous flora and fauna.

Axel Scheffler, illustrator

I love to go with my family to the top of Richmond Hill with a picnic and look down over the river. I always enjoy going for a stroll in Richmond Park. The greenery, water and open spaces are why I love it here in Richmond.

Chris Howard, Visit Surrey chairman

If I had to choose over the many special places I love in Surrey it would have to be a walk up to Leith Hill Tower, in the heart of the Surrey Hills. Now owned by the National Trust, this is a well signposted route, if a little steep, but is rewarded with the most stunning views of our county and beyond. The dogs always enjoy a drink from the historic drinking fountain and the tea servery at the bottom of the tower to quench our thirst and fill our tummies before the return hike home also helps make Leith Hill my favourite place in Surrey.

Laura Hamilton, TV presenter

As much I love to travel, there is no place quite like being at home in Surrey. I have lived here for over 12 years now and I love the fact that I am surrounded by beautiful countryside. My perfect day here would be one spending the day with my husband, my children Rocco (5) and Tahlia (3 and a half). I'd fill a picnic hamper from the coffee shop we opened in Purley two years ago, (Lord Roberts on The Green), we'd jump in the car and drive to the woods between Chipstead and Banstead to follow the wooden carving trail of the The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Sir Richard Stilgoe, Musician

My best Surrey days are when I get the whole lot together: me, my wife, five children and their partners and thirteen grandchildren. It doesn't matter where we are - one of the best days is not actually in Surrey at all, because once a year we go and watch Surrey play against a bitter rival at the Oval - which used to be in Surrey when I was a boy, but isn't any more. But the Oval is one of Surrey's glories, and one of my second homes, and to be there when it's happy and noisy and I am surrounded by the happy, noisy family I love makes me truly happy. I don't even care who wins the game. As long as it's Surrey.

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