Chobham village guide 2015
PUBLISHED: 11:40 19 August 2015 | UPDATED: 09:49 21 August 2015
A haven for lovers of all things equestrian, Chobham has the largest National Nature Reserve in the south-east on its doorstep. Recent years have seen its pubs and restaurants put the village firmly on the map
Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life
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Did you know?
1 Home to the current Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards restaurant of the year, Stovell’s, and pub of the year, The Four Horseshoes, Chobham vies for Surrey’s gastro-village title with Ripley. A number of its other pubs have also recently undergone overhauls, too.
2 It’s a complete coincidence, of course, that the Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards are held annually just down the road at the luxury Foxhills resort near Ottershaw.
3 In 1853, Queen Victoria watched the British troops setting out to the Crimea, including the famous Light Brigade, from Chobham Common.
4 In 1968, the Common was purchased by Surrey County Council from Lord Onslow for £1 an acre. Today, it remains the largest National Nature Reserve in the south-east of England and one of the finest remaining examples of lowland heath in the world.
5 The existence of the Longcross tank research centre at Chobham Common was once top secret. The base developed, among other things, Chobham Armour, which is a material still used today, but the site is now used for film locations and track days rather than military purposes.
6 Some of the filming for Lawrence of Arabia (1962) took place at Chobham Common, which means Peter O’Toole actually comes off his bike in Surrey rather than, say, Morocco.
7 Established in 1976, Ascot Park Polo Club is said to be the largest polo training academy in the world, helping over 2,500 people learn to play polo each year. Despite its name, it’s actually based in Chobham.
8 Meanwhile, Chobham Equestrian Centre is the perfect place to learn how to ride and take advantage of the brilliant bridle paths leading out from the village into the surrounding hacking country.
9 You may occasionally hear Brian Blessed’s booming voice as he lives nearby in a house that doubles as something of an animal sanctuary.
10 National treasure Colin Firth, who famously played Mr Darcy, recently headed to the Leonard Daborn car dealership and garage in Chobham, which turned back the clock to become the forecourt of a 1960s petrol station. He was busy shooting for an as yet unnamed film about the doomed yachtsman Donald Crowhurst. Watch this space...
A pocket guide:
Drink at: Muddy boots and dogs are welcome at The Four Horseshoes – and there’s a hitching post for horses.
Eat at: Stovell’s has made a name as one of the very top restaurants in Surrey in the past few years.
Stay at: Pop down the road to Foxhills – where you can play a top round of golf too.