Dorking - Surrey Life Towns & Villages 2013
PUBLISHED: 16:43 09 October 2013 | UPDATED: 16:45 09 October 2013
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In the shadow of Box Hill, Dorking is famous for its historic antiques trade, award-winning vineyard and giant cockerel
From the vine
England’s largest vineyard, Denbies Wine Estate can be found in Dorking. In 2011, their Chalk Ridge Rosé 2010 was named best rosé in the world by the International Wine Challenge and this year they were awarded gold at the IWC for their Noble Harvest 2011 dessert wine - the first time an English wine has received a gold award in this category.
The National Trust’s Box Hill has a superb look-out at the top, giving incredible views over the town and surrounding countryside. Its slopes have long tested hobby cyclists but became a focal point for international competitors with the Olympic road race route concentrating on it last year. Leith Hill, the highest point in the south east of England is also just a short drive away.
Stories to tell
Packed with ancient shops that brim with historic finds, West Street, one of the oldest roads in Dorking, is frequented by restorers and collectors. The historic street was also once home to William Mullins, a Pilgrim Father who sailed on the Mayflower to America on September 16, 1620.
Dorking Museum, which is owned by Dorking and District Preservation Society and run by volunteers, reopened last year after being closed for renovations for three years.
The fine dining restaurant two to four (01306 889923) in West Street, which often hosts gourmet nights.
The Star at the end of West Street (01306 889734) has its own recording studio and the Courtyard café bar (01306 888 849) is a hidden gem in Old Kings Head Court.
The White Horse (01306 881138) is a three-star hotel, housed in an 18th century coaching inn.
Off junction 9 of the M25 via the A24. Dorking is well served by two main stations.