Surrey’s best views: 23 spectacular spots to visit
- Credit: Archant
Featuring some of the county’s best-known viewpoints and some lesser-known spots that’ll still take your breath away, we’ve put together this list of 23 places where you’ll find Surrey’s best views
1) Leith Hill
The highest point in Surrey and all of the South East seems like the perfect spot from where to begin our list of the county's best views. On a clear day, you can see 13 counties, the Channel and even the London skyline. As well as a visit to Leith Hill Tower you can get more views from the neighbouring Hascombe Hill.
Privately owned by the Albury Estate but managed by the Surrey Wildlife Trust, this chalk ridge looks down over the Weald and the South Downs from a height of 170m. Deer, woodpeckers and tawny owls can be seen in the area while wildflowers carpet the area in spring and summer.
3) Nonsuch Park
This stunning green area perched between Cheam and Ewell is home to Nonsuch Mansion and is a remnant of royal parkland that formerly stretched for 2000 acres. Walk the park's many paths to find various different angles of this wonderfully open space.
Climb the 249 steps to the top of the tower and enjoy 360-degree views of Guildford and the countryside beyond. Go to the link above for details of when the next tour will be heading up.
5) Gibbet Hill
The second highest point in Surrey affords you views of some of the county's other most-visited viewpoints including the Devil's Punchbowl, Hankley Common and the Hog's Back. You'll know you've reached the top of Gibbet Hill when you spot the stone Celtic cross.
As you might expect from a landscape garden of such renown, the views at this National Trust property have been expertly crafted. Over 300 years some of the country's greatest garden designers - including Charles Bridgeman and Capability Brown - have had a hand in creating the various panoramas you can enjoy today.
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As you take a walk around the edges of this body of water - the smaller of Frensham's two ponds - you'll be able to admire an abundance of wildlife as they bring to life the glistening waters, colourful heathland and ancient oaks dotted around the site.
Just down the road from Frensham Little Pond is the second body of water that was initially created in the 13th century to provide fish for the Bishop of Winchester's estate. Walk away from the beach and the swimmers to find ever-changing views around each corner.
9) Chertsey Bridge
Walk alongside the winding Thames and admire this 18th century stone bridge as it is reflected in the waters below. Wander down to Chertsey Lock for the best look at the bridge with trees flanking it on either side.
The catchline on the website of this 18th-century landscape garden is "where the walk is a work of art", a phrase that perfectly encapsulates the views you'll enjoy as you make your way around the area.
11) Reigate Hill
With stretching views down onto Reigate, the Weald and the South Downs, it's no wonder that this spot was chosen for a 19th-century fort to protect London. It was never used for that purpose but it now provides another point of interest while you're up there for some stunning countryside vistas.
12) Eashing Bridge
This medieval bridge was built in the 13th century and stands out among the period properties that create Eashing's classic village feel. The River Wey and the fields it runs through creating further interest for photographers looking to capture this nearly untouched rural scene.
13) Hatchlands Park
Over 400 acres of rolling parkland and woodland, you'll be treated to a variety of stunning landscapes with the red-brick Georgian manor as its centrepiece. Visit throughout the year to see how the area changes in different seasons.
This vineyard just outside Dorking regularly runs tours of their whole estate and this is the perfect opportunity to see the area's rolling hills while learning about the wine-making process. If the views aren't enough, the tour concludes with wine tasting.
15) St Martha's Hill
Take a stroll up to St Martha's Church just outside Guildford, a location that surely has a very strong claim to being the most breathtaking church in the whole South East.
16) Newark Priory
Although this 12th-century priory is located on private land and so cannot be visited up close, it can be seen from a distance by wandering along the River Wey between Pyrford and Ripley. From this vantage point, you can snap a fantastic photo featuring the water, the priory itself and the ancient trees that surround it.
17) Colley Hill
Click the link above and you'll find a fantastic circular walk starting at Margery Wood and taking you up through Banstead Heath to Colley Hill for wide-ranging views before you cross over the M25 back to your start point.
18) Thursley Common
Over 325 hectares of heathland, peat bogs and woodland, Thursley Common gloriously stretches across the countryside near Godalming. Throughout the reserve there are 1.3 kilometres of boardwalks, making it very easy for you to discover the enormous diversity in the area.
19) Hankley Common
Keep an eye out for stray golf balls as you walk around this 560-hectare reserve owned by the Ministry of Defence. Its military heritage still contributes to the landscape you see today with reconstructed sections of the Nazi's Atlantic Wall - used in preparation for D-Day - now hosting plant life not found in the rest of the reserve.
20) High Curley Hill
After exploring the ponds at Lightwater Country Park head out on one of the many walking trails nearby to find this viewpoint looking out over the M3 and to the countryside beyond Bagshot.
21) Box Hill
When there's a discussion about Surrey's best views Box Hill - located in the North Downs between Mickleham and Dorking - will inevitably be mentioned. The area is managed by the National Trust and they have a large selection of walks that give varying views of the River Mole and surrounding Surrey Hills villages.
22) Hog's Back
The view from the Hog's Back ridge was praised by Jane Austen in a letter to her sister and so you know you'll be in good company when you head to this part of the North Downs. Of course, the panorama will have changed significantly since Austen's day as on a clear day you can now see Canary Wharf and the Wembley Arch.
23) Ockham Common
This rare heathland and woodland habitat - just down the road from the stunning gardens at RHS Wisley - is around 800 acres in size and so chances are you'll find something different each time you visit. Visiting Semaphore Tower on Chatley Heath is a must when you're in the area.