Things to see and do in Reigate
PUBLISHED: 06:38 12 December 2019
Credit: Chris Dukes / Alamy Stock Photo
An historic market town with streets full of boutiques, stylists and coffee shops, Reigate is a cosmopolitan town at the foot of the North Downs
To get a bird's eye view of Reigate, a trip to the top of Colley Hill and Reigate Hill can never be recommended highly enough. Stroll along the North Downs Way, grab a hot chocolate from the café and just settle down at a viewpoint to admire the panoramic views over the town. With a bit of effort you can even walk there and back from the town centre, and Reigate is surrounded by beautiful countryside to explore.
Another option is Reigate Heath, where you'll find the windmill (possibly the only windmill in the country which is also a consecrated church), the golf club (where you'll find chef Tony Tobin's new Ranmore restaurant, which opens to the public Thursdays to Sundays) and the Skimmington Castle (a hugely popular pub which recently welcomed a new and independent plant nursery and garden boutique called Grow to its site).
Back in the town centre itself, you'll find Priory Park where families, sports teams and people escaping the office for their lunch break enjoy a break in the fresh air. It was once a priory for Augustinian Canons, who worshipped and worked there for some 300 years. The main building you'll see today is now a highly regarded school.
Just off the High Street, there are many historic places of note including the Castle Grounds (which hide the town's caves below), Tunnel Road (which was said to be Europe's very first road tunnel) and Brewery Yard (which hints at a beery history that can be explored via the Reigate Beer Walk).
As well as the many boutiques, stylists and coffee shops that make it a go to town for shoppers of a certain persuasion, Reigate has also become an excellent place for a drink - particularly if you're a beer or wine lover. While there are a number of historic pubs, there are also unique destinations such as Hop Stop, The Vineking tasting rooms and Pilgrim Brewery tap room to explore.
Looking for a meal out? Well Reigate is home to one of the oldest independent restaurants in Surrey, La Barbe, which has been under the same ownership for nearly 40 years now. There are also a number of chain restaurants, as well as some interesting Thai, Nepalese, Korean and tapas options. One of the newest places to try out is the Monte Forte pizza restaurant, which is a cool place to grab a slice of Neapolitan style pizza.
For a lighter nibble, try the Surrey Life award-winning Beryl and Pegs up by the station, the long established Chalk Hills Bakery (who bake their own bread down the road in Horley), Monty Bojangles truffle bar (yes, really!) or the new kid on the block, Canakin, where they make amazing macarons.
In the coming weeks, Reigate will be transforming into its festive finery with the annual Christmas Fayre officially launching things on Saturday November 30 and featuring the switch-on of the town's festive lights, stalls and music through the town centre. There will also be Reigate on Ice, which transforms a corner of Priory Park into an ice skating rink and fair, from Thursday November 28 to Saturday January 4 and a late night Christmas Shopping evening taking place on Thursday December 12, making this picturesque market town a must visit during the festive season.