Situated just south of the town of Guildford, Surrey, we had the amazing privilege to call a Tudor cottage home, even if it was just for a short time. The catch? Well they were privileges too. Caring for a gorgeous Black Lab named Teazle, two cats, Pepa & George and spending a few afternoons with the mower (and a cold cider).
Bordering London, Surrey is England’s most wooded county, with woodland covering over a fifth of the county. A quarter of these woods are recorded as ancient woodland. Areas rich in wildlife that have been part of the Surrey landscape for centuries. Driving through these wooded area in the spring time was nothing short of stunning. Narrow lanes that wind their way through dense wood where the thick canopy forms a tunnel that seems to go on forever.
Surrey also offers endless miles of public footpaths that make their way through the acres and acres of woodland. In England a public footpath is a path on which the public have a legally protected right. It is probable that most footpaths in the countryside are hundreds of years old. They wind in among farmland and private property. It isn’t uncommon to be walking a public footpath and have it open up onto someone’s back garden. It also isn’t uncommon for a public footpath to take the walker directly to an equally old Pub, and since 99% of pubs in England are dog friendly…
Well, a dog, a public footpath through the forest to a local pub and the rest writes itself really 😉
The northern boundary of Surrey is within the Greater London area, making SW London very accessible by train or car. We took the opportunity to visit Hampton Court Palace – Henry VIII’s royal palace in Richmond upon Thames. The palace is fantastic for families, and we were lucky enough to be able to see a Horrible Histories live show in the gardens. Terrible Tudors, very fitting!
Hampton Court Palace is a great day out, and for those thinking of a visit, we suggest picking up a Royal Palaces Membership. The membership includes entrance to Hampton Court, Kensington Palace, The Banqueting House and Tower of London. The membership pays for itself with a visit to Hampton Court & Tower of London, and is valid for multiple entrances for a whole year.
Surrey is also a great location for exploring the south of England. Whilst we were there only a few weeks, we found time to branch out to Brighton, Chichester, Arundel and Portsmouth to the south. We explored the South Downs National Park and even to make it across to Stonehenge via Salisbury & Winchester. And a bit closer to home, we spent several afternoons browsing the shops along the cobbled high street in the county town of Guildford.
Surrey is a beautiful spot, of that there can be no doubt, and it really was our privilege to live there for a short time, just like a local.