Things to do in Abinger Hammer - Village life
PUBLISHED: 11:30 26 January 2015 | UPDATED: 12:37 16 May 2018
Pete Gardner Photography
Next time you’re taking a trip into the Surrey Hills, be sure to stop off for a cuppa at the idyllic little village of Abinger Hammer
The Abinger Hammer village store has been owned by Annie Williams for 22 years, with a tea room being a part of the establishment for the last 12 of those.
Helping to run the store for the past five years, Sally Leeson says the business is very much at the heart of the village. “The store is part of the community,” she says, “People rely on it – and of course we rely on them! It’s a bit like an internet network – except it’s not on a computer – everyone helps each other.”
The shop is a busy stop-off for passing traffic too: “We’re open seven days a week, from 6am to 5.30pm,” continues Sally, “and we sell lots of home-cooked food – takeaways, sandwiches and salads.”
She adds that the village is a lovely place to be at any time of the year: “When it snows here, it is beautiful – and in the summer it’s packed with kids and families – we call it the Abinger Riviera!” laughs Sally. “Kids come in to buy fishing nets and try to catch things in the stream.”
What to see
There aren’t exactly a lot of shops in the village, but you’d be surprised what there is if you take the time to look hard enough…
Just opposite the famous clock, Stirling Antiques (tel 01306 730706) is a real treasure trove; you could spend hours browsing. Chandeliers, clocks, vintage telephones… you name it, they’ll probably have it.
The village is also home to The Abinger Cookery School (tel 01306 730470). If you’re a budding chef and fancy your chances on the BBC’s MasterChef, why not book yourself in for one of their classes? One-day courses in game cookery will have your mouth watering before you start – Duck Massaman Curry perhaps? Pheasant Kiev? Or Venison Wellington in herb crust? Imagine how impressed your partner would be when you set that down on the table.
In addition, they also do a five-day course to coach you in the fine art of becoming a Chalet Cook – students are fed, watered and given bed and breakfast as part of the offer. Find out more at abingercookeryschool.com.
Did you know?
One of three Abingers (the other two are Abinger Common and Sutton Abinger), the village is famous for its clock that juts out over the narrow road with the figure of Jack the Blacksmith striking the hour. Completed in 1909, the well-known landmark celebrates the role of the blacksmithing industry in the village’s past and was built in honour of Thomas Henry Farrer, who established much of the village.
Grabbing a bite…
How about a Hatch Burger? Or perhaps a Bumblebee Sausage? These are both dishes on offer at The Abinger Hatch pub, which is found just a few minutes drive away in Abinger Common (tel 01306 730737). This quintessentially English pub (turn to page 38 for more) is open for food from 12noon to 10pm.
No time to stop? As mentioned in Village Voice (see left), the Abinger Hammer Shop and Tea Rooms has all you need – Sally will be happy to make up a picnic box or a sandwich if you’re in a rush.
Making the headlines…
• 2012 saw Abinger placed firmly on the world stage, if only for a few minutes, when the Olympic cycle race roared through the village. The road was closed to traffic of course, but huge crowds watched the cyclists as they sped past.
• Winner of the Pride of Surrey award at the 2014 Surrey Life Food & Drink Awards, Barry Arminson can be found at the Kingfisher Farm Shop in the village. Using spring water from their wells, Barry and his family grow and sell wonderful fresh watercress. There’s plenty more delicious fruit and veg to be picked up there too.
Located a few miles west of Dorking on the A25 and on a regular bus route (Arriva 32 from Redhill to Guildford), Abinger Hammer is not far from Gomshall railway station either. If you’re driving, there is also a small village car park just off the main road.