25 family days out to enjoy in Surrey during the 2019 summer holidays

PUBLISHED: 11:27 17 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:01 18 July 2019

Dapdune Wharf on the River Wey © National Trust Images/John Milar

Dapdune Wharf on the River Wey © National Trust Images/John Milar

©National Trust Images/John Millar

After a long winter cooped up indoors, summer heralds the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy the Surrey countryside. We suggest 25 fun family days out to get you started

Waterside Pubs

1. Colourfully stylish seating that looks out to the River Wey, makes this Guildford pub's terraced garden a popular choice to while away a sunny afternoon. Extra touches like offering outdoor drinkers a hot water bottle, welcoming dogs and laying out bread for people to throw to passing ducks make it a great place to bring the family.


2. Situated in the charming village of Lower Eashing, The Stag on the River pub and hotel sits alongside the banks of the River Wey, making for a picturesque backdrop in which to indulge in some fine food and drink. The historic pub and inn dates back to the 17th century and is a great pit stop for those exploring the Surrey Hills.


3. Situated at the heart of the pretty village of Worplesdon, just outside Guildford, Worplesdon Place's expansive gardens are a great place to while away a summer's afternoon. The two-acre park-like grounds include a large swan lake (home to a family of black swans) woodland, sweeping lawns and an all-adventure kids play area.


4. Located on the banks of the River Wey, The Anchor offers the perfect vantage point for watching the colourful canal boats of Pyrford Lock pass by. The beer garden runs alongside the river where visitors can enjoy a menu of traditional pub favourites and libation or two in the open air. The pub also has its own 3.2 mile walking route.


5. The Mill at Elstead is steeped in history, with the site having been occupied by Oliver Cromwell's roundheads before functioning as a corn mill, a factory and a hospital during Second World War. The pub's beautiful waterside garden on the banks of the River Wey at Elstead offers the perfect chance to marvel at The Mill's architecture.


Picnic Spots

6. Chertsey Meads is an ideal spot to bring the family for a summer picnic. Its 71 hectares of wildflower meadow sits on the banks of the Thames. It has a modern children's play area, two picnic areas with views across the river and two free car parks. Head there now while the wild flowers are in full bloom.


7. Head to Ripley to find a picnic spot along the River Wey with views of Newark Priory. The priory was founded at the end of the 12th century and was one of the monasteries that dissolved during the reign of King Henry VIII. Today, it sits on private land but can be viewed whilst walking along the River Wey between Pyrford and Ripley.


8. Claremont Landscape Garden provides a wonderful hideaway from the rush of modern life. The gardens were once the retreat of the aristocracy and are now the perfect place to bring the family. There's an annual programme of events, including a teddy bear's picnic. Plus there is a great café and tea room too.


9. For spectacular views of the Surrey Hills as a backdrop to your picnic, head to Newlands Corner, four miles east of Guildford town centre. The area of open chalk downland has plenty of woodlands to explore, offering visitors spectacular views across the Weald - the ridge of the South Downs. There are plenty of picnic tables and places to park too.


10. The South Lawn at Polesden Lacey is a glorious setting for a summer picnic. The café stocks delicious take-away food to top up your hamper and there's jazz on Sunday afternoons throughout summer. There's plenty of outdoor activities for kids too.


11. With more than 650 modern and contemporary sculptures by renowned and emerging artists, The Sculpture Park in Churt is an eclectic and atmospheric sculpture exhibition, which has been delighting visitors for over 15 years. Walk the two miles of paths that meander through 10 acres of arboretum and water gardens.


12. Reconnect with nature with a countryside picnic at Runnymede and Ankerwycke. Sit by the water and enjoy watching birds glide peacefully by. Plus, you can also go fishing on this fertile stretch of the Thames and visit the historic site of the sealing of the Magna Carta as well as several wartime memorials.


Outdoor Activities

13. This 28 July, The Runnymede on Thames in Egham will be playing host to a Paint & Prosecco art masterclass with a local artist. There will be masterclasses in both landscape and portrait painting along the banks of the River Thames. Plus, there will be a selection of cheese with fizz or wine to keep you going.


14. Guildford Shakespeare Company often put on spectacular performances of the bard's best plays during the summer months. From July 13-27 the company will be performing The Merry Wives of Windsor at Stoke Park Railway. The play is Shakespeare's only comedy set in England and will star Eagle Radio's Peter Gordon.


15. With around 90 different species spotted each year, Frensham Little Pond is one of the best places in Surrey to watch birds. With its mix of freshwater lake conifer woodland and the open heath habitats, nature lovers can while away hours here spotting birds. And if you fancy a paddle on a hot day then head to the neighbouring Great Pond.


16. Summer is a great time to get out on the water and though Surrey may be landlocked, there are plenty of rivers and lakes to enjoy. Why not take the opportunity to learn to row at one of Surrey's many rowing clubs or spend the day kayaking or paddle boarding along 20 miles of tranquil waterway running through the heart of the county.

17. This summer Mayfield Lavender will be hosting bee safaris at its Banstead farm. The Secret Life of the Honey Bee Safari is a three hour experience that provides both adults and children an insight into the fascinating world of beekeeping. The stunning lavender fields are open from June - September and there is a great gift shop too.


18. Hidden away in the picturesque countryside around Godstone, you'll find the intriguing Divers' Cove, a secret haven for scuba diving and wild swimming that opens on weekends throughout the summer. Due to the lakes natural biodiversity the water quality is exceptional and glows a beautiful turquoise green.


19. Outdoor cinemas spring up everywhere in summer and Surrey is no exception. The grounds of Guildford Cathedral will play host to The Luna Cinema in August. Built in 1961, this imposing venue provides a stunning backdrop for some unforgettable nights of cinema under the stars.


20. Head to RHS Wisley this summer to experience its new plant centre, restaurant, café and shop. Plus there are plenty of events going on to entertain the whole family, including live jazz every Saturday afternoon throughout July, an open air screening of Mama Mia: Here We Go Again, and late night openings.


Riverside Walks

21. Virginia Water is a walker's paradise. The area is steeped in a rich history that spans centuries - from ancient monuments, to cascading waterfalls and stunning vistas. The nearby Savill Garden was created in the 1930s and features 35 acres of interconnected gardens with stunning floral displays.


22. The Thames Path is a long distance walking route that follows the 184-mile course of the river. Join the route as it traverses Surrey, taking in Runnymede and Staines-upon-Thames. Just beyond is Penton Hook, the most impressive loop along the river, where you can traverse the lock and visit the wooded island.


23. The North Downs Way is a 153-mile journey from Farnham to Canterbury that takes in the River Mole near Dorking. The river is at its most beautiful as it meanders its way below the chalk cliffs, flowing between the stepping stones which provide a crossing point for walkers on the trail.


24. There are many different trails on the River Wey - mostly along different areas of the towpath but some also across the countryside and reaching heights that allow far-reaching views of the North Downs. Make sure to head to Dapdune Wharf as there are often activities for children or boat rides if your feet start to hurt.


25. The towpath alongside the full length of the Basingstoke Canal is teeming with wildlife and is a great way to see the Surrey countryside (and maybe even the landscapes of Hampshire, if you feel like crossing the border). The towpath forms part of the Woking Cycle network for all weather cycle use.



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