Peaslake: Surrey village life

PUBLISHED: 19:47 12 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:07 20 February 2013

Peaslake: Surrey village life

Peaslake: Surrey village life

A hub for mountain bikers and with its own community- run school, they operate to their own rules in Peaslake

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine September 2011

A hub for mountain bikers and with its own community- run school, they operate to their own rules in Peaslake

Photo: Brian Simmons


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Getting there
Peaslake is found just off the A25 by Gomshall, which is also where youll find the closest railway station.

NEXT MONTH we visit Chipstead.

Did you know
In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in the area since it was discovered by the mountain bike brigade, with Peaslake becoming something of a centre for the sport. Visit on a weekend and join the queue of bikers for coffee and cake in the village store and maybe have a look at the little bike shop. The surge of cyclists has raised issues about the effects on the local woodland, something that is being looked into by the Surrey Hills AONB organisation and the Hurtwood Control.

Village voice
I have lived in Peaslake for 17 years now and before that I was in Shere, so I know the area fairly well, says Avril Munford, who runs The Peaslake Beauty Room and Dance-A-Ramix childrens dance and adult fitness classes at the Old British Legion. We have the community-run Peaslake School, which is great, and a brilliant local shop known as The Peaslake Stores that also houses the Post Office. The Hurtwood Inn hosts vinyl night every couple of months and the memorial hall is used regularly by the local amateur dramatic society The Peaslake Players, the Badminton Club and WI. We are also surrounded by The Hurtwood, which is something like 600 acres of woodland open for walking, biking and horse riding.

Date for your diary
ThePeaslake Village Fair takes placein the village every August.

Making the headlines
In 1993, the local authority announced the closure of Peaslake School, as part of a programme of closures across the region, despite a four-year battle to keep it open. So eventually the villagers decided to come together to operate the school for themselves and formed a charity to provide free school provision from 1994. The school was run in a private home for three years while the village raised money to buy the original building and it returned to its home in 1997, providing education for some 50 plus children aged from three to seven ever since. The school has to raise up to 160,000 per year from the local community to stay open, but still managed to attain outstanding results in a recent OFSTED inspection.

Did you know 2
Once a base for the suffragette movement, Peaslakes history stretches back through labourers via smugglers and even one of the earliest Quakers.

Grab a bite
The privately owned Hurtwood Inn hotel (01306 730851), which was built in 1920 on the site of two cottages, offers a choice of dining options with restaurant and bar menus. You can also book a room if you wish to explore the area for a few days its a great launchpad into the Surrey Hills. Alternatively, try the deli at the Peaslake Village Stores (01306 730474).

Something to take home
The Pedal & Spoke bike shop (01306 731639) is independently run and you can hire bikes there for 30.

In the spotlight

  • Rockers Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and Kenney Jones all live in the area.

  • The stunning 14 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens and lakes that is Coverwood Lakes, found mid-way between Peaslake and Ewhurst, has featured on film and television on a number of occasions some suggest pop star turned director Madonna filmed there last year.

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