Over Quarantine my family and I have been lucky enough to embark on many adventures into the depths of the Surrey countryside. I am a big lover of nature and was excited to get out for some fresh air, so these hikes with my family were extremely enjoyable. And if you have a dog, what a wonderful place to go for ‘walkies!’ I believe the Surrey Hills are quite underestimated in their beauty; they hold so much history and are only a 45min drive away at most, so I highly recommend stretching your legs—after all the hills cover about a quarter of the county!

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Where to go?

 

There are so many utterly beautiful landscapes, and I’ve nowhere near been everywhere. Though there are some parts more deeply historical than others, if you buy yourself a manual (with a map of course), anywhere you go will without a doubt be lovely

One of my favourites remains the hike where we saw the pill boxes from WW2, and I have attached a picture with some information on them. We parked in Abinger Hammer and followed a loop from White Downs leading onto Blatchford Downs along the North Downs way. That just sounds like a lot of ‘downs’ I know, but it leads ironically up a high hill and there are some wonderful views across the whole landscape. I love history, and when I can find it in the most remote places it makes it even more exciting for me. There's no exhibit, no queue, just silence, trees and a beautiful view stretching for miles around and dotted all over are these wonderful pieces of the past.

The walk to St Martha’s Church is also a great one and you get to walk along the Pilgrims way, which again holds so much history. To think pilgrims in the medieval times walked that very path to Canterbury to visit the shrine of Thomas Becket! If you want to hear some of the stories pilgrims would tell (in medieval English might I add), then I recommend reading the Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer—I’m currently trying to plough through it myself.

These are just a couple of my favourite walks but honestly I’ve been on so many and they all have their wonderful parts.

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Walking isn’t your thing?

 

Never fear, there are plenty of other opportunities to spend time in the expanse of nature:

You could cycle? This is something I would never dare to do; I like my bike, but I do not trust it with my life. Most of the hills are quite steep although if you're an avid cyclist it may prove a fun challenge.

Or you could simply drive somewhere picturesque with the help of the National Trust website and bring a nice big book—that’s what I would do, but my Father doesn’t usually like to stay in the same place for too long.

Perhaps you could paint? I also love painting so that’s on the bucket list for me, there is simply so much scope for the imagination—as Anne of Green Gables would say. Photography would also be a great project; I know I’ve enjoyed that a lot.

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Camping

 

Maybe you’re looking for a trip longer than a day? Perhaps wait until it gets a bit warmer though. There are campsites scattered around all of the hills which provide wonderful places for you to stay overnight. There are of course rules that come along with each one and I would recommend keeping updated with the COVID ones to double check none are being broken, but if everything is okay that could be a very exciting trip!

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So all in all

 

            Why not go just for a day? It will be an experience you won’t forget, and if you’re a nature lover like me who feels a bit cooped up indoors it will definitely be worth it!