CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Surrey Life today CLICK HERE

Things to do in Holmbury St Mary - village life

PUBLISHED: 09:49 08 September 2014 | UPDATED: 14:42 08 September 2014

Holmbury St Mary

Holmbury St Mary

Pete Gardner Photography

This idyllic Surrey village has a host of interesting things on its doorstep – from an Iron Age fort to a space science centre...

Share your Holmbury St Mary photography @



Village Voice

What Mike Smith doesn’t know about cars you could write on a postage stamp as the saying goes – and it’s the same when it comes to the village of Holmbury St Mary.

Mike has worked at the only garage here since 1967 and loves the place. “The people are ever so friendly,” he says. “They’re not just customers, they’re friends as well. It’s much nicer to have a chat with someone than have a receptionist here!”

Back in the 1970s, Mike used to do the school run with the school ‘taxi,’ and now finds that his former passengers are bringing their cars to him to be fixed. “Makes you feel old!” he laughs.

Although there are no shops anymore, he says: “It’s still a nice picturesque little village – it’s brilliant!”

Another well-known local resident, Geoff Ashworth has run the Royal Oak pub near the church for over three years, and he agrees with Mike. “It’s a friendly community,” he says. “And I can remember a few celebrities like DJ Mike Reid, Sam Torrence and Jodi Kidd calling in too!”


Did you know?

Hurtwood Common, right on the doorstep, is known for being one of the wildest and largest open spaces in Surrey. Apparently, the Lord of the Manor granted the public a right to use the common for ‘Taking Air and Exercise’ – something people still take advantage of to this very day.

Another spot to aim for while you are out and about is Holmbury Hill. Located just south of the village, it rises to over 850 feet and has fabulous views of the Surrey countryside. It was here, apparently, that George Harrison and Eric Clapton were inspired to write the classic song Here Comes The Sun while watching dawn break. There are also the remains of an Iron Age fort dating back to around 100BC.

Finally, perhaps not quite what you’d expect in this area of rural tranquillity, but there’s also a hi-tech space science centre! The Mullard Space Science research group, an off-shoot of London’s University College, is at the cutting edge of satellite experiments.


Grabbing a bite…

Choice here is limited but the village does have two local pubs – The King’s Head in Pitland Street (01306 730282) or The Royal Oak, near the green by the village sign just off the B2126 (01306 730120). Of course, with such gorgeous countryside you could always bring your own picnic and settle down on the top of Holmbury Hill…

What to take home...

This one’s a bit tricky actually as there are no shops left to speak of in the village, but you could always become a ‘Friend of Hurtwood’ and support the efforts of the committee that manages this fabulous area of heath and woodland. They 
need help to maintain a full-time ranger, 60 miles of tracks, wildlife habitats, educational events and more. You could even volunteer yourself if you have a bit of time on your hands. For more information, give them a call on 01306 730100 or you can send them an e-mail at


Getting there…

Turn off the main A25 from Reigate to Guildford at the village of Abinger Hammer along the B2126 – a few miles later you’ll be there. Set your sat nav to RH5 6NP and enjoy the drive! No trains nearby but there is a station at Gomshall on the A25.


Get in touch...

... with your news from Holmbury St Mary and what makes the village special to you by dropping us a line at and or at


Next month: We will be visiting the village of Bletchingley

More from Surrey Life

Fri, 10:06

We round up 10 of the most beautiful photos of Surrey shared on Instagram this week…

Read more
Thu, 11:11

This edition of Surrey Life features all the local ingredients to make this month special

Read more
Thu, 00:00

To mark the appointment of Peter Estlin, a former head boy at King Edward’s Witley, as new Lord Mayor of the City of London, Surrey Life has joined forces with the 400-pupil school to give away two tickets to the Lord Mayor’s Show on 10 November plus an overnight stay in London

Read more
Wed, 14:33

With The Great British Bake Off back on our screens the nation is falling in love with baking once again. Head pastry chef at Pennyhill Park, Sarah Frankland, tells us about what it takes to make it as a professional

Read more
Tue, 10:51

Wrap up in your favourite coat and scarf, grab your sparklers and a warming drink, and enjoy one of these fantastic firework displays taking place in Surrey for bonfire night

Read more
Tue, 10:49

Home to outstanding architecture, ambitious community projects and arts ventures that are putting these villages firmly on the map, East and West Horsley are among our county’s most desirable addresses

Read more
Tue, 10:43

Chertsey’s best-kept secret, the Great Cockcrow Railway, steamed into a half-century this year

Read more
Tue, 10:34

A taste of Korea has swept into the beautiful market town of Godalming as Bada sets out its stall with a tapas-style fusion of seafood, traditional dishes and spice

Read more
Mon, 16:06

With friendship as the central theme in Adele Parks’ new book, Zoe Richards met up with the bestselling author and her publisher, Kate Mills, to find out how these two Surrey dwellers have discovered a successful working relationship, and become firm friends too

Read more
Mon, 11:37

Great things to do in Surrey this weekend: art exhibitions, walks, concerts, theatre, places to visit and other events and ideas.

Read more
Mon, 00:00

As the twilight falls, the magic begins… There’s something for everyone at Christmas at Kew – and we’re giving you the chance to win one of five family tickets for two adults and two children to the Preview Night of Christmas at Kew on Wednesday 21 November 2018

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Good table manners have long been a source of national pride but in this modern age of social media are our longstanding traditions being left behind? Rebecca Younger visits the stately Beaverbrook estate for a lesson in British etiquette

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Whether you're looking for fine dining, pub grub or exotic dishes, eating out in Surrey has something for everyone. Here's our guide to the best local restaurants and pubs

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The spookiest time of the year is fast approaching! We pick some of the best events to celebrate Halloween in Surrey

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search