Leatherhead - Surrey Life Towns & Villages 2013
PUBLISHED: 13:18 15 October 2013 | UPDATED: 13:18 15 October 2013
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A gateway to the Surrey Hills, town trails also showcase Leatherhead's buildings of architectural and historic interest
Behind the curtains
Once known as the Thorndike Theatre (named after the acclaimed actress Dame Sybil Thorndike), Leatherhead Theatre is patroned by the Hollywood great, Sir Michael Caine – the actor, who has lived locally for many years, also supports the annual Leatherhead Drama Festival, which celebrated its tenth anniversary this year.
Down the farm
Bocketts Farm is a working farm with a combination of animals and play areas that make it a popular family destination. Highlights include the pig racing, pony rides, kitchen garden and 18th century barn tearooms. Near by, Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Norbury Park is home to the commercial sawmill, Norbury Park Wood Products.
Highbury, a place that features in Jane Austen’s Emma, is said to be based on Leatherhead. Jane visited relatives in Great Bookham during the writing of the novel and would have known Leatherhead well. Walks along the River Mole and around the surrounding hills certainly provide enough inspiration for any author, event today.
The Fire and Iron Gallery is a mecca for metal maniacs and art lovers. Owner Lucy Quinnell’s grandparents and parents were all involved in blacksmithing, and she has amassed an incredible collection of metal art in her historic farmhouse buildings. They made the Dorking Cockerel, too.
Opened in 2004, Vecchia Trattoria (01372 383290) is an independent Italian.
One of the oldest buildings in Leatherhead, The Running Horse (013723 72081) is a 15th century inn on Bridge Street.
The luxury four-star Woodlands Park Hotel (0845 0727581) is just down the road on the way to Cobham.
Found just off junction 9 of the M25. The station is right in the centre of the town.