Woking - Surrey Life Towns & Villages 2013
PUBLISHED: 12:04 11 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:04 11 November 2013
Plans are afoot to regenerate Woking and there’s plenty of attractions nearby to make it a truly desirable destination
Extraterrestrials Woking shoppers may have got used to the sight of the town centre Martian a tribute to the author HG Wells who lived in the town for a brief period and his most famous work, The War of the Worlds, which was written here but newcomers still get a shock. Woking’s two main shopping centres, Peacocks and Wolsey Place, have joined forces to create what they claim to be Surrey’s largest covered shopping destination.
With records spanning all the way from a parchment deed dating back to the reign of Henry II to the hair and teeth that a distant relative of Napoleon Bonaparte sent to a housekeeper at Claremont, the Surrey History Centre on Goldsworth Road is always well worth a visit. It has nearly six miles of document stacked shelving in its strongroom!
Though merely ruins these days, Woking Palace has an illustrious past. In its heyday, during the Tudor period, it was a hunting lodge of sorts for passing royals. Although little now remains of the palace itself, its heritage lives on.
The Lightbox is an award-winning art gallery and museum. Located in a state-of-the-art building on the Basingstoke Canal and costing £7million, it was the culmination of over a decade of community efforts.
A semi-finalist on MasterChef: The Professionals, Ben Piette’s London House restaurant (07930 113809) in Old Woking has taken the plaudits.
The independently owned Red Lion (01483 768497) at Horsell, which also gives you the chance to visit Horsell Common (the site of HG Wells’ first Martian landing) and the impressive Pegasus statue.
Gorse Hill (0844 980 2306) on Hook Heath Road is probably the pick of the bunch.
Easily accessible by rail, there is a direct service from London Waterloo. The M25, M3 and A3 are a ten-minute drive.