15 places to go in Surrey during lockdown
We’ve been locked down during a dark, dank month and yet we still need to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. Enter stage left with Muddy wellies, our pick of the 15 finest family days out throughout Surrey.
Yep, we’re feeling it too. We’ve been locked down during a dark, dank month and yet we still need to get outside for some fresh air and exercise. Enter stage left with Muddy wellies, our pick of the finest family days out throughout Surrey.
The gorgeous 18th century garden at Painshill is open every day for visitors and from Sat 21 Nov, the magical festive trail Snowfari will also be taking place. Walk the one-mile route around the gardens and see animals, glittering snow, Christmas trees and giant gingerbread men. The gardens are open from 10am to 4pm, and Snowfari is included in the admission price. Cost: Adults £9, children £5, under 5s free.
Info and bookings: painshill.co.uk
Hampton Court Place, East Molesey
While the doors are firmly shut at Henry VIII’s palace, the gardens and outdoor spaces are still open at weekends. There are 60 acres of gardens surrounding the palace including the Magic Garden which is open. All garden visits must be pre-booked.
Cost: Tickets are £8 adults, children £6.
Info and bookings: hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/
Bushy Park, Hampton
Famed for its mix of waterways, gardens and grassland, and roaming herds of deer, Bushy Park covers almost 1,100 acres and is a great spot for getting outdoors – either on foot or bicycle. The visitors centre is closed during the lockdown.
Cost: Entry is free.
RHS Wisley, Woking
The wonderful autumn displays are at the best at Wisley right now – head to the Pinetum to see masses cyclamen flowers weaving between the Scots pines, as well as the top ridge of the Alpine Meadow. The Equinox Borders are awash with purple blooms and Howard’s Field shows off a impressive display of more than 1000 varieties of heather. The Four Seasons sculpture exhibition is also still at Wisley and worth a look. Pre-booking an entry time in advance is a must.
Cost: Adults £14.95, children £7.45.
Info and bookings: rhs.org.uk
Waverley Abbey, Farnham
Waverley Abbey was the very first monastery founded in Britain by the reforming Cistercian religious order. But perhaps more interesting for kids, is the fact it’s also the backdrop for Hollywood films like the 1998 film Elizabeth (starring Cate Blanchett and Joseph Fiennes) and Disney’s Into the Woods. Take a picnic and wear wellies.
The Scuplture Park, Churt
As well as more than 800 works of art by 500 renowned sculptors, the 10-acre Sculpture Park near Farnham is still showing off its autumn beauty. Take the 2-mile trail which weaves through water gardens, woodlands and sculptures. All of the artwork is for sale. Entry tickets must be pre-booked online.
Cost: Adults £11.20, children £5.86.
Info and bookings: thesculpturepark.com
Polesden Lacey, Bookham
Set on a 1,400 acre estate, there’s certainly no shortage of outdoor space at the former country home of Edwardian socialite Margaret Greville. There are four way-marked walks across the estate which takes in two working farms, ancient woodlands, historic farmsteads and rolling downland, as well as the gardens. The house is closed during lockdown.
Cost: Adults £10, children £5, family £25.
Info and bookings: nationaltrust.org.uk/polesden-lacey
Claremont Landscape Gardens, Esher
Steeped in almost 300 years of history, the gardens at Claremont are an oasis of green throughout the year. But right now, when the best of the autumn colour is on display, it’s something quite special as the maples turn a soft shade of amber. Many of the greatest names in landscape design history have put their stamp on the gardens over the years including Sir John Vanbrugh, Charles Bridgeman, William Kent and ‘Capability’ Brown. Entry must be booked in advance. Tickets are released on Friday for the following week. Dogs are allowed on a short lead.
Cost: Adults £10, children £5, family £25.
Info and booking: nationaltrust.org.uk/claremont-landscape-garden
Richmond Park, Richmond
Covering an area of 2,500 acres, Richmond Park is one of the top sites in the UK for ancient trees. Head to the Isabella Plantation, a 40-acre woodland garden, to see them at their best. The park is also a popular spot for cyclists.
Hatchlands Park, East Clandon
The parkland and garden are open at Hatchlands Park near Guildford, and with 430 acres of leaf-lined parkland paths to run around in, it’sperfect spot to enjoy outdoor activities and some beautiful seasonal colour. Booking is recommended.
Cost: Adults £8, children £4, family £20.
Info and booking: nationaltrust.org.uk/hatchlands-park
Priory Park, Reigate
This park is in the centre of in Reigate town centre and has plenty do. Why not follow the Tree Trail, which takes you past the 25 of the best trees – each one named on the map and with a little story included. The walk takes you around Priory Lake in the park too. The park also has a playground and a picnic area.
Home to the world’s most diverse collections of living plants, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, near Richmond, are set on a spectacular 300-acre site. As well as more than 50,000 species of native and exotic plants, trees and flowers, there’s plenty to see and do including a wander through the Rock Garden. Right now the Cyclamen are in full bloom and there’s some interesting fungi too. Entry must be booked in advance.
Cost: Adults £10, children £4.50, under 4s free
Info and bookings: kew.org
Winkworth Arboretum, Hascombe
This 46 hectare arboretum was given to the National Trust over 60 years ago and has loads of rare trees and shrubs amongst the 1,000 varieties found in the gardens, many with berries, nuts and fruits. And it’s during these autumn months that it looks spectacular. You must book in advance – tickets are released every Friday for following week (and they’re selling out quick). Dogs on a lead are allowed.
Cost: Adults £10, children £5, family £25
Info and booking: nationaltrust.org.uk/winkworth-arboretum
Guildford Castle, Guildford
Guildford Castle is a vibrant and popular park which is free to enter. The gardens are pretty and there’s also a life-size statue of Alice Through the Looking Glass.
Box Hill, Tadworth
With views across the surrounding countryside, Box Hill is home to lots of wildlife and plants, including the Adonis blue butterfly and bee orchid. There are plenty of walking trails which you can find here, although the paths are very muddy. The National Trust car park at Box Hill gets very busy at weekends. The café and shop are both closed.
Cost: Free but there is a charge for parking.