Shere village guide 2015
PUBLISHED: 14:50 18 September 2015 | UPDATED: 15:33 18 September 2015
Widely considered to be one of the most picturesque villages in Surrey and nestled among beautiful countryside, Shere has a perfect chocolate-box tranquillity that has long attracted visitors from far and wide
Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life
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Did you know?
1 The undisputed queen of crime, Agatha Christie has sold millions of books across the world. But in a bizarre case of life imitating art, the strangest story of all concerns the night that she faked her own death at Newlands Corner, near Shere.
2 Often cited as one of the county’s most beautiful and photographed villages, it’s no wonder Hollywood decides to descend on Shere. St James’ Church, and its Sir Edwin Lutyens designed lychgate, feature briefly in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, while the cast of The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, also filmed here.
3 Famous connections continue at The William Bray restaurant, which was until recentlty owned by former racing driver and one of the Stigs (of Top Gear fame), Julian Bailey.
4 Shere and the pub have a historic connection with baseball, too. Experts at Surrey History Centre confirmed in 2009 that baseball was played in Britain more than 20 years before American independence – and it was all thanks to a note in William Bray’s diary from March 31, 1755.
5 Peter Pan creator JM Barrie once organised a cricket team, featuring Arthur Conan Doyle, to play the Shere village XI.
6 The village museum was previously based in a resident’s house but has since moved to the village hall. It’s home to models of Shere village, the Tillingbourne and the Manor House Lodge designed by Lutyens among other highlights.
7 The Anchoress of Shere, Christine Carpenter, made a solemn promise to devote her life to God and live in a holy place in 1329. So it was that the Bishop of Winchester gave permission for her to be enclosed in a cell, which was built in the North wall of the chancel of St James’ Church.
8 Every June, Shere residents open their garden gates and invite the public to view a selection of about 20 beautiful private gardens in the village.
9 The first Shere Hill Climb ran in September 2013. A group of local petrolheads reasoned that if the Olympic organisers could close so many roads in Surrey for their bicycles, they could get one small lane closed for a few hours for a car event.
10 Shere may be the most famous but there are a number of picturesque villages to be found off the A25, including Albury, Gomshall, Abinger Hammer and Holmbury St Mary. This is a part of Surrey that has really managed to preserve its heart.
A pocket guide:
Drink at: The William Bray, which usually has a local brew on from Surrey Hills Brewery.
Eat at: A former Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards restaurant of the year, Kinghams, must be based in one of our county’s most beautiful restaurant buildings.
Stay at: Rookery Nook in the centre of the village offers the perfect intimate retreat.