I have loved growing up in Surrey and its surrounding areas of natural beauty, despite knowing I’ll most likely never be able to buy a house of my own here, given the prices are sky high! However, saying that, house prices across the entire country are completely unrealistic right now.
After travelling to other parts of the world, not only has it made me want to continue exploring different countries, but it has also given me the desire to adventure in my own back yard a little more. I think we’re all guilty of not doing this.
So, on this rainy day thinking of where I could be exploring, I thought I would share this blog post with you – 7 of my favourite photography / dog walking spots in Surrey, my home county. I’m by far from finished adventuring in and around Surrey, but today Storm Dennis makes that difficult.
Do you remember the English cottage from the Christmas movie The Holiday? Well… that was filmed in Shere, and I will let you in to a little secret, the cottage was not a cottage at all and merely just a cardboard front! It kind of ruins the magic of the movie a little doesn’t it?
Shere is a beautiful and quintessentially English village offering its visitors charming buildings, a picturesque stream with ducks and swans, a couple of pubs and tea rooms serving some of the most delicious food, boutique shops, a prestigious 12th Century Church (featured in Bridget Jones!), and of course miles of scenic walks and photo opportunities.
Shere is one of my favourite places to spend a sunny day in Surrey. The village is just 15 minutes from my home, but is one of those places that when I’m there feels like I’m on a holiday!
ADDRESS: Shere Lane, Shere, GU5 9HS
FREE CAR PARKING / DOG FRIENDLY
If you park at the foot of Box Hill you’ll come to the stepping stones, and from there you can trek to Box Hills view point. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like the climb (like me… most of the time) you can drive to the top. Be prepared to pass a few cyclists on route up the winding roads as Box Hill has become hugely popular for cyclist enthusiasts after the 2012 London Olympic race was held here.
On a hot day, you can expect Box Hill to be bustling with visitors. However, if you explore further than the main view points, you’ll find a spot to yourself surrounded by nature. It’s a great spot for a picnic as the views you can expect from the top are insanely beautiful. Which reminds me, do not forget the camera!
FREE ADMISSION / CAR PARKING – CHARGE PER HOUR / DOG FRIENDLY
If you need some inspiration for photography, then look no further than the picturesque Denbies Wine Estate. Located right in the Surry Hills, Denbies is a family run estate and will WOW you with its panoramic views over the 265-acre vineyard and North Downs.
Before travelling, I used to work at Denbies Wine Estate as a Conference & Events Assistant, and I definitely took the surroundings for granted each day. Walking through the vineyard when in full bloom feels like you’ve been transported to somewhere like Italy or France. It’s hard to believe the UK can produce such delicious wine as well as some truly spectacular views.
After exploring the vineyard, you can enjoy some lunch in their Conservatory Pavilion, or on a hot day, outdoors in their seating area. And of course lunch must be paired with some wine tasting! There are options to enjoy a wine tour, browse their gift shop and Art Gallery and if you’re there for a special occasion, the Gallery Restaurant is a must.
I am excited to shoot when the vines are back in bloom. Who’s coming with me?
FREE ADMISSION & CAR PARKING / DOG FRIENDLY
Bushy Park is a really incredible place to go for those that love wildlife and the outdoors. The park is home to Red and Fallow Deer that still freely roam the park just like they did in Henry VIII era. I had never seen Bambi in real life until visiting here! It is advised that you don’t get too close as the deer are learning to approach humans who might have food and apparently it sometimes isn’t ending well! To be honest, I didn’t want to get to close myself, they were a little intimidating.
As well as wild deer, Bushy park is a hive of excitement all year round, attracting millions of visitors to the popular grounds to see the array of local wildlife, wild flora and fauna, gardens, woodland, ponds and the impressive Diana Fountain. It is a beautiful place to capture on camera.
ADDRESS: Hampton Ct Rd, Hampton TW12 2EJ
FREE ADMISSION & CAR PARKING / DOG FRIENDLY
You may have heard of the beloved Silent Pool Gin, who’s handcrafted bottle was inspired by the colour of the pool located in Albury. I didn’t think it was possible to find such blue water in Surrey!
Silent Pool is beautiful and mysterious, set amongst evergreen trees. You may hear the sound of birds going about their day, but other than that, you’ll find it eerily still. Silent Pool has become a popular place to visit, especially for Gin lovers as next door you’ll discover their distillery, full of gin to taste and purchase. I’m yet to take Moose back here, no doubt he’ll want to jump in and I’m not sure that’s allowed!
FREE ADMISSION AND PARKING / DOG FRIENDLY
Hatchlands Park is a part of the National Trust and is a beautiful place to walk, and of course a place that will deliver on some stunning views for the camera. It is one of my favourite places to go between April and May, as during this time you’ll find the Little Wix Wood breaks out into a sea of bluebells from one end of the woods to the other.
ADDRESS: East Clandon, Guildford GU4 7RT
ADULT – WHOLE PROPERTY £12.40 / PARKLAND ONLY £8.50 / FREE PARKING / DOG FRIENDLY
I cannot believe Painshill Park is literally no more than a 10 minutes drive from my doorstep and it has taken me until 2020 to visit… Shame on me!
Painshill Park is a 158 acre wonderland, full of beautiful gardens, historic plantings, ancient follies, trees, shrubs, flowers and some rather incredible wildlife. You’re given a map of the grounds on arrival and you could most definitely spend a whole day exploring and finding spots take photos. It’s a perfect spot for families, kids, couples and of course our furry friends! Moose loved it!
ADULTS £9 / FREE PARKING / DOG FRIENDLY
I hope you enjoyed the read and photos. Have you explored much of your home town and surrounding area?