The Best Things to Do in Surrey
Fun and exciting things to do in Surrey for all the family.
With ample green space, a genteel feel and excellent transport links to London, Surrey is an all-round winner of a destination. Whether you’re looking to escape the capital and have some time in the countryside, you’re checking out somewhere that you might like to live or you’re on a day trip, there are great things to do in Surrey for everyone. At Plum Guide, we're travel and accommodation experts – let us show you around.
Get to know Guildford
The beautiful and popular Guildford is well worth a visit when you’re looking for things to do in Surrey. A market town, it has exceptionally pretty buildings - the downside is that sometimes it can feel as though the whole of London is here visiting their parents at the weekend (you don’t count, of course).
Guildford Castle is a particular highlight if you're looking for historical places to visit in Surrey. Thought to have been built following 1066 and William the Conqueror’s invasion of England, you’ll get a true sense of the history of the place here, as well as giving your kids the chance they’ve been waiting for to attempt to ambush you from behind a large stone wall. The grounds of the castle are well-kept and a great spot for a picnic, and don’t miss the best possible view of the town from the roof platform.
There are markets and festivals galore in Guildford - July sees Guildford Fringe festival happening and a renowned farmers’ market is held on the first Tuesday of every month, where you’ll find all that local, organic food that you secretly dream about at night.
Run wild in Richmond Park
‘But Richmond Park is in London!’ we hear you cry. Well, technically, it’s actually in Surrey. But you shouldn’t let a little thing like a postcode come between you and this deer-filled, truly wild green oasis. 2,500 acres in size. You can bring your family, your friends and your dog (just don’t let them chase the deer, as that is most definitely not allowed) and finally feel as though you have space to breathe.
Originally created by Charles I when he moved the Royal court to Richmond Palace in 1637, now the only royalty you’ll find there are the undeniably impressive 600 red and fallow deer, whose ancestors were hunted by actual Royals. Special mention goes to the Isabella Plantation, a truly breathtaking ornamental garden hidden in woodland, full of ferns and violet azaleas. This would be a great spot to take your Christmas card photos, in fact.
If you’d like to spend more time in this part of the world, consider staying in this art-filled paradise. A discerning person such as yourself deserves the best accommodation, and here at Plum we can give that to you. With bay windows, books stacked on every surface and art galore at this property near Richmond Park, you can even take some of the art home with you (at a price, of course) if it takes your fancy.
For a bigger crowd, consider this comfortable yet chic family home, also near the park, which will sleep twelve. That’s the next family gathering sorted.
Have fun at Thorpe Park
Yes, we know you don’t like theme parks. Occasionally, however, one must bow to the will of the party and head off for a day filled with rollercoasters, crying in the queue for a hot dog and paying too much for a souvenir photo. It’s just part of being an adult. And don’t lie – we know that you secretly love pretending to your terrified children that you weren’t scared at all on the rides.
Thorpe Park is one of Britain’s premier theme parks; it’s been open since 1979 and is still going strong. Water rides and Halloween ‘fright nights’ are its speciality, although it’s good at any time of year. If your family insists on being the first through the front gates in the morning, there are even themed hotels you can stay in on the ground. Go on, let yourself go a bit and enjoy the fun.
Float down Godalming Navigations
It might sound like the name of your new sat nav, but Godalming Navigations is in fact a beautiful waterway which runs for almost 20 miles through Surrey. Owned by the National Trust (we know you don’t feel as though you’re old enough to willingly visit National Trust properties, but they’re starting to look awfully tempting…), it’s located close to Guildford.
A quiet, tranquil waterway, Godalming Navigations is ideal whether you’re traveling it on water or on land. It was practically designed for canoeing and kayaking, and there’s also a trail for ramblers or joggers that runs alongside. You can even make a day of it on the river, Mole and Rat-style, with a boat trip. For those who consider themselves to be more avant garde than that (we see you and we like it), there are also Tai Chi classes you can take.
Smell the flowers at RHS Garden Wisley
If you’re looking for some peace and quiet, head to Wisley. A perfect day trip from the hustle and bustle of London, your little terrors can run wild here. It's the second most popular garden in the UK (Kew takes first place, but Wisley’s a close second). A huge 240 acres, whatever your gardening passion, you can find it here. Model gardens, fruit fields, vegetable gardens, a walled garden, an arboretum, decorative gardens, multiple glasshouses and even a canal home to a display of water lilies.
If all of the flowers start to blend into one after a while, pop down the road to Byfleet Manor, where you’ll feel as though you’re a 13-year-old seeing their favorite band for the first time because this is where Downton Abbey was filmed. The staff here even dress up in period costume. Definitely one for the album.
There you have it: the best things to do in Surrey. If you're looking for somewhere to stay, look no further than Plum Guide's professionally vetted homes. We only list the top 3% of properties we inspect, so you know you're in for a great night's sleep in a Plum Guide home. If you're wanting to holiday elsewhere in the country, our homes in England range from cosy treehouses to understated city apartments, so you're bound to find something to suit your fancy.