Lonely Planet travel guide slates Surrey
PUBLISHED: 16:56 03 November 2011 | UPDATED: 16:01 20 February 2013
Residents of Surrey are up in arms with the news that Lonely Planet has slated the county in its latest guide
Surrey Life magazine May2009
Residents of Surrey are up in arms following the news that Lonely Planet has slated the county in its latest guide.
In their new book on Great Britain, they have described Surrey as: "The heart of commuterville, but for the most part made up of uninspiring towns and dull, sprawling suburbs..."
Surrey Life editor Caroline Harrap took to the airwaves on BBC Surrey to defend our stunning county.
"We couldn't believe it when we heard what Lonely Planet had written - nothing could be further from the truth!" she said. "It nearly caused a riot in the Surrey Life office!
"Here in Surrey, we have some of the most beautiful countryside in the whole of the south-east - not least the spectacular Surrey Hills, which stretch right across the county and were one of the first places in England to be designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
"Then, of course, there's all our wonderful towns and villages, which far from being dull or uninspiring are mostly steeped in history - with ancient buildings, castle keeps, abbey ruins, cobbled streets and twisting lanes.
"And last but not least, there's all the fantastic places to visit - Denbies Vineyard in Dorking; Hampton Court Palace in East Molesey; all the amazing National Trust properties; the lovely art galleries - such as The Lightbox in Woking and Guildford House Gallery; and not forgetting, of course, Wisley, the Royal Horticultural Society's flagship garden...
"It does make you wonder whether these people have ever actually visited Surrey."
The book's authors felt that only three places in the county were worthy of recommendation - Farnham, Hindhead and Waverley Abbey - and even the county town of Guildford failed to secure a mention.
However, Lonely Planet travel editor Tom Hall, who was also interviewed on the programme, defended the book's comments.
"Our authors visit all the destinations in the guidebook and judge which they think travellers and holidaymakers will be most interested in," he said. "There isn't space to include everywhere in Great Britain within the guidebook. If we have omitted a destination, it is because we feel it doesn't have enough strong drawcards.
"Authors update the Great Britain guidebook every two years so they will be back soon to research for the next edition. If they feel that the towns in your area have something more to offer, they may be included in the next book."
Following the programme, BBC Surrey was inundated with calls and texts from irate listeners who were quick to spring to the defence of the county.
HAVE YOUR SAY
What do you think? Does Lonely Planet have a point or have they got it badly wrong. Let us know what you think by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or having your say on the Surrey Life forum