10 of the best Heritage Open Days in Surrey

Fetcham Park

Fetcham Park - another beautiful location open as part of the scheme - Credit: Sophie Duckworth Photography

Our pick of more than 100 free events taking place across Surrey

Back with a bang for 2021, Heritage Open Days is a chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences, all for free. 

There are more than 100s of in-person and online events for all ages happening across Surrey, including talks, walks, tours and more with many celebrating this year’s theme of Edible England.  

Here is a selection: 

Brockham sign with milk churns and shed

Take a stroll around Brockham to find out what happened at The Sale of the Century - Credit: Les Chatfield @ Flickr

Sale of the Century - A Gentle Walk Around Brockham Village

Starting at the village pump, corner of Middle Street & Tanners Hill, Brockham Green RH3 7JT

Explore Brockham Village with this short walking tour linking 15 familiar village properties sold in the Deepdene Estate Auction from July 1921. The walking route is available beforehand (brockham.org/) and outside each of the ‘auction lots’ you will find a poster of the property and sometimes an old photograph. Allow two hours and perhaps enjoy refreshments from the local shops, The Village Bar, The Reading Room Café or our two pubs – The Grumpy Mole and the Royal Oak. 

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CWGC Tour - Brookwood Military Cemetery

Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Dawney Hill, Pirbright, Woking, Surrey, GU24 0JB

Find out more about the history and work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission while exploring the graves its volunteers care for at the charity’s largest site in the UK, Brookwood Military Cemetery, Woking. 

Brookwood Military Cemetery contains 1,601 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 3,476 from the Second World War. In addition to the Commonwealth plots, the cemetery also contains French, Polish, Czechoslovakian, Belgian and Italian sections, and a number of war graves of other nationalities all cared for by the Commission. 
 
During the Walking Tour, you will visit war graves from both World Wars and learn about the history of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. You will also find out about some of the casualties that are commemorated here. 
 
Event Times: 

Friday 10 September: Tour 11am; Saturday 11 September: 2pm; Sunday 12 September: Tour 2pm; Monday 13 September 2pm; Tuesday 14 September: 2pm; Wednesday 15 September: 11am; Thursday 16 September: 2pm; Friday 17 September: 11am; Sunday 19 September: 2pm. 

Visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/156071705673 

Historic Vehicle Display

Tunnel Road, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 0JY

Head to this lovely Surrey market town and enjoy a display of historic vehicles by Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society. Formed in 1967, the society has over 200 members and a collection of cars, vans and motorcycles – some dating back more than 100 years.  

The event takes place on Saturday 18 September: 10am-4pm. 

Slyfield House

Cobham Road, Stoke d'Abernon, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3QE

Make the most of this private guided tour by the owners of the Grade I-listed Jacobean house which has retained many original features. The event takes place on Saturday 18 September at 11am. Pre-booking required by email: boxoffice@molevalley.gov.uk 

Pint of beer

Head to Dorking Brewery to find out more about this award-winning brewery - just one of the Edible England Heritage Open Days - Credit: Cottonbro @ Pexels

Dorking Brewery

Aldhurst Farm, Temple Lane, Capel, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 5HJ 

You are invited to join the team for beer tasting and a look at the brewing process. The company’s brewers – who are all qualified by the Institute of Brewing and Distilling – make more than 20,000 pints per week of exciting, modern style beers, using traditional brewing methods inspired by the best ingredients, flavours and techniques from all over the world. 
Events take place on Saturday 11 & 18 September: tours at 11:45am & 1.30pm. 
The onsite taproom will be open from 10am-6pm and there are also street food vendors on site. 

Tours must be pre-booked by September 10 at: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/heritage-day-brewery-tour-tickets-145861502681?aff=ebdsoporgprofile 

The Newdigate Local History Society presents Edible Newdigate

Newdigate Village Hall, Kingsland, Newdigate, Dorking, Surrey, RH5 5DA

Learn how Newdigate fed itself in the past and meet local food and drink producers who are supplying the needs of the village today. Owing to its location and poor infrastructure, Newdigate became self-sufficient. Join the local history society as it shares a continuous slide show of hundreds of pictures depicting the village in the past. There will be displays showing how people fed themselves in days when you couldn't just pop to the supermarket. Local food and drink suppliers will also be on hand to display their products for visitors to see and sample. It is amazing the wide variety of cottage industries that still operate today. 

Taking place on Saturday 11 September from 11am-4pm. Booking is not required. 

Ewell History Day the Romans

Bourne Hall Park, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF

Meet the new Roman governor of Britain as he stops over in Ewell to make an offering to the Gods in the scared springs protect by members of the Praetorian Guard. His encampment contains many of his entourage; they will show visitors the roman way of life, food, trades and crafts. Gladiators will fight to the death to entertain the governor to win the chance to fight in Rome. He will be looking to recruit men for the army. 

The event runs on Saturday 18 September from 10am-5pm. Contact David Brooks for more: epsom.wointg.com/ewell-history-day 

READ MORE: Things to do on a rainy day in Surrey

Coxbridge Farm

West Street, Farnham, Surrey, GU9 7AS

Take a tour of historic Coxbridge Farm conducted by the owner Keith Kenward who has lived on the farm with his family for 50 years. A tractor-drawn trailer will take visitors across the farmyard and up on a leisurely tour through the peaceful fields of this 500-year-old farm, to the point where it meets Crondall Lane. The farm tours will take visitors through the farmyard and up the hill through fields where horses graze, past a small tree-lined stream flowing down the hill to join the River Wey, in a setting where it is difficult to remember that the busy streets of the town are barely half a mile away. New woodland has recently been planted with support from the Woodland Trust. 

The tour is available on Wednesday 15 September and Thursday 16 September at 9.30am. Pre-booking essential from:  
https://farnhamsociety.org.uk/hods2021 

Godalming Museum

109A High Street, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 1AQ

Head to Godalming Museum to learn more about life at Witley Camp in the First World War. See artefacts from the recent excavations and speak to reenactors about what life would have been like more than 100 years ago. 

Once a bustling military camp home to 20,000 British and Canadian soldiers and a veterinary hospital in the First World War, Witley and Milford Common today has returned to woodland with little trace of any remains. In 2019, thanks to the National Lottery Heritage Fund, volunteers were invited to join archaeologists from Surrey County Archaeological Unit to carry out excavations, investigating and recording remains from both the First and Second World War. Artefacts from the excavations will be on display at Godalming Museum, with one of the archaeologists to explain the results.  

Taking place on Saturday 11 September: 10am-4pm. Booking is not required. 

Guildford Cathedral

Marking 60 years since its consecration a tour of Guildford Cathedral is a must - Credit: Jack Pease Photography

Guildford Cathedral and Tower

Guildford Cathedral, Stag Hill, Guildford, Surrey, GU2 7UP

Designed by Sir Edward Maufe, Guildford Cathedral was the first Anglican cathedral to be built on a new site in the south of England since the reformation. Now celebrating our 60th year since consecration you can climb the 249 steps up the tower for views of Guildford and beyond or go on a guided tour with one of our experienced Cathedral Guides, discovering the secret treasures of Guildford Cathedral or head below to see the hidden workings of the building. Browse an exhibition highlighting our Diamond Year, or explore the building with our Family Fun Day style diamond craft packs. How many diamonds can you find? 

The heritage day takes place on Saturday 18 September and will include Family Fun Day packs; Crypt Tours; Guided Tours (NB this does not include the crypt or tower) and Tower Tours. Visit: guildford-cathedral.org/visit for timings and details of how to book. 

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