Photography: © Anna Rubingh
Not far south of London you’ll find a beautiful part of real English countryside; The Surrey Hills. The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty* covers a large part of the county Surrey in the South East of the UK. In the divers landscape of rolling hills woodland, grassland and dramatic heathland alternate, and from various points in that astonishing landscape, like for example Box Hill, there are breathtaking views.
In the past being a remote rural hill area The Surrey Hills now are, especially at weekends, very popular with walkers, mountain bikers and weekend and day visitors. There are various walking routes which all lead you through parts of this amazing countryside.
Besides amazing nature there are also various historic villages that on quiet weekdays look like nothing much has changed over time. The picturesque village of Shere for example, dating back as far as the 11th century, is a small still partly agricultural village set in the wooded 'Vale of Holmesdale' and has many traditional English features with its historical, authentic Tudor architecture. Having that picturesque look and feel the village of Shere was used as a film location for many movies from around the 1920-ties up until recently when the popular movie “The Holiday” starring Kate Winslet was set in Shere in 2006. But visiting on a quiet weekday there is no trace of Shere’s popularity and you’ll just find yourself in a beautiful old English countryside village with pretty old houses, a pub, a couple of independent shops (check out the hip lifestyle shop &Hobbs) and a tea/ lunchroom, all set in an astonishing landscape. Or visit the neighbouring village of Peaslake, a pretty village beautifully located in woodlands in the middle of forest-clad hills and therefore in weekends a popular spot for walkers and mountain bikers starting their outdoor adventures from there.
And if you are in the area you should have lunch or dinner at the Abinger Hatch, a picturesque traditional British country pub just a few miles from the village of Shere which serves great British food and is beautifully located hidden in the middle of stunning Surrey Hills scenery. You can’t get more English than that.