Things to do in Chiddingfold - village life

PUBLISHED: 21:12 23 February 2015 | UPDATED: 08:58 04 April 2015

The Swan Inn

The Swan Inn

Pete Gardner Photography

Head to Chiddingfold for some good old-fashioned community spirit, a great bonfire and decent pubs

Gary Young (left) and son SamGary Young (left) and son Sam

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine February 2015


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Village voice…

Gary Young and his son Sam have had family connections with the village stretching back four generations. Gary’s father and grandfather worked at the butcher’s and Gary himself has been there for 32 years now.

“It’s a lovely village and a safe place to live,” he says. “Everyone is very friendly and we get a lot of locals in the shop – although a lot more come from outside the village too – even from London.”

Sam, who has worked at the shop for four years, echoes his father’s sentiment: “It’s a beautiful village,” he says. “There’s a lunch club for the elderly and a cinema – and the sausages are good!”

Making the headlines…

The famous bonfire on the green has, over the years, been the source of a number of stories. The last time that the Riot Act was read was following a disturbance over fireworks here in 1929. Also, rumour has it, the local policeman at the time was not a particularly popular character and his effigy was the one perched on top of the bonfire every year up to the early 50’s when it was considered not quite the done thing...

Did you know?

The village has several claims to fame, including glass making and walking stick manufacture, and a lovely example of its stained glass can be found in St Mary’s church.

The village was also home for a while to the eminent scientists William Bragg and his son Laurence. In 1915, they made history by being the only scientists to jointly win the Nobel Prize in Physics for their development of X-ray crystallography. Look out for the commemorative plaque in the village church.

Last but by no means least, the village even has a Royal Navy ship named after it, the ‘Cheery Chid’. Built in 1983, she is a minehunter based down in Portsmouth.

Grab a bite...

Located on the edge of the green, The Crown Inn (01428 682255) is a fabulous 15th century building with an inglenook fireplace and cosy rooms – great for a relaxed lunch or a more formal evening meal. Feeling peckish? How about sharing the 16oz chateaubriand with a friend?

Around the corner is The Swan Inn (01428 684688), where you’ll also find an interesting menu, plus a splendid garden for eating alfresco (if weather permits!).

A little further down the road, there is also Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans’ excellent pub, The Mulberry Inn (01428 644460).

For a quick bite, try Treacle’s Tea Shop. Run by Tracey Honeysett, former owner of the Michelin-starred Drakes on the Pond in Abinger Hammer (now closed), they offer a range of tempting lunches.

Dates for your diary...

• Chiddingfold Cinema has regular showings of films on the first Thursday and third Friday of each month – head to to see what’s happening this month.

• No precise date on this as yet but keep your eyes peeled for Gardeners’ World on the telly some time in the spring. Resident Jack Salway’s unusual tropical garden is to be featured by the well known presenter Joe Swift.

• The Joint Churches hold a coffee morning on the first Wednesday of every month at the Pavilion – anyone welcome, just pop in.

Getting there…

Chiddingfold is found on the A283 between Guildford and Petworth. There’s no railway station but the No. 71 bus will take you from Guildford via Godalming and Witley to a stop outside The Crown.

Next month...

...we visit Capel

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