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Surrey from the air: our county as you've rarely seen it before

PUBLISHED: 12:31 28 January 2011 | UPDATED: 12:54 27 June 2014

Thrills at the John Battleday Waterski Park adjacent to Thorpe Park, near Chertsey

Thrills at the John Battleday Waterski Park adjacent to Thorpe Park, near Chertsey

Providing a fascinating aerial portrait of the county, the beautiful new book Surrey from the Air allows us to look down on the landscape from a perspective that we never normally see. Showing the county off in all its glory, with wonderful snapshots of its spectacular wooded landscapes, quintessentially English towns and villages and historic country houses, here we pick out just a few of the most stunning images

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine January 2011


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Flight of the photographer:

One of the country’s best-known photographers, Jason Hawkes captured these stunning images of Surrey over a two-month period.

“There are over a hundred photos in the book, which were taken over five or six separate helicopter flights,” says Jason, who is based near London. “I guess it took around 12 hours in all.”

A veteran of aerial photography, Jason has already produced some 40 books in the series, mostly of cities or entire countries, such as the UK. So what, if anything, distinguishes Surrey from other areas of the country when viewed from the air.

“Well, as many readers will know, Surrey is one of the most densely wooded areas in England, and I think that certainly comes across in the pictures,” says Jason. “The area around Box Hill and the North Downs was particularly nice to fly around.”

One of the attractions of aerial photography is that it allows us to look down on the landscape from a perspective we don’t normally get to see, revealing things that are usually hidden from view.

“The resulting photos can often be strikingly beautiful in their own right,” adds Jason. “For example, my favourite image in the book is the one of the fruit pickers at the farm in Busbridge, near Godalming, which I love because of the slightly more abstract nature to the shot.”

One thing’s for sure, with the proliferation of sweeping green landscapes, almost Tolkien-like forests and quintessentially English towns and villages, the book certainly dispels the myth that Surrey is nothing more than “dull and sprawling suburbia” as Lonely Planet once described us!

  • For further information about Jason Hawkes’ work, and to see more of his images, visit his website at

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