Redhill town guide 2015
PUBLISHED: 12:32 18 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:48 18 September 2015
It’s all change in Redhill, where the town centre is currently undergoing a dramatic overhaul. Step away from the urban chaos, however, and there’s a wealth of quirks and countryside to lose yourself in
Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life
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1 It’s fair to say that Redhill town centre is in limbo at the moment, while a large-scale overhaul takes place and building sites are pieced together. The vision is ambitious, but it’s been a bumpy road.
2 A bit of a hidden gem, find your way to the St John’s area and take a short hike to the top of Redhill Common. From there, you can enjoy spectacular views of the church.
3 There’s further idyllic walks at The Moors (stroll all the way to The Inn on the Pond), Gatton Park (beautiful bluebells and access to Reigate Hill) and Earlswood Common (watch for territorial swan).
4 In the heart of the town, you’ll find the Memorial Park, which recently underwent a huge revamp that’s made it more popular than ever.
5 Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel (of the famed annual prize) demonstrated his new explosive dynamite for the first time in 1867 at a local quarry.
6 Once upon a time, Redhill was a bit of a musical hotbed, and it won’t take much encouragement to get locals of a certain age recalling the time they saw Genesis or Status Quo or even Simon and Garfunkel in one of the town’s sadly deceased pubs.
7 Formerly known as Earlswood Asylum for Idiots and Imbeciles, the Royal Earlswood Hospital was founded in 1847. It’s now a stylish housing estate.
8 The noted Victorian astronomer Richard Carrington lived in a large house, The Dome, on Furze Hill, from 1852, which housed his observatory. He identified solar flares and devised a system for the sequential numbering of complete rotations of the sun that is still in use today.
9 Head out of town on the A25 via the village of Nutfield to one of Surrey’s best farm shops, Priory Farm. It’s a favourite of Dame Judi Dench. Another gem nearby is the quirky Fanny’s Farm Shop. Sadly, the larger-than-life Fanny Maiklem who created this local wonder passed away this year.
(Fanny's Farm Shop has since closed)
10 While you’re in that part of the world, a trip to the Pilot’s Hub café at Redhill Aerodrome is a must. Enjoy great food and views of the light aircraft and helicopters taking off.
A pocket guide:
Drink at: Head for The Plough, where you’ll find a very solid traditional pub offering with a twist. The Home Cottage next to the station is also popular.
Eat at: There’s something pretty special about The Pendleton, whether you’re looking for formal dining inside or street food creations outside.
Stay at: Nutfield Priory is definitely the place to go in the area.