Things to do in Surrey
With its rolling Surrey Hills of natural beauty and easy access to London's sights and sounds there is no shortage of things to do in this County.
Located just 40 minutes from the Capital, Surrey benefits from London’s Tourist attractions and vibrant shopping, dinning and nightlife offerings with the added bonus of escaping the hustle and bustle in Surrey’s countryside boasting outstanding natural beauty.
Whether you are looking for things to do in Surrey today or at the weekend, things to do in Surrey at night or with children this comprehensive guide covers some of Surreys best sights.
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The perfect place to pick up a unique gift or for a bit of retail therapy, Two Ducks is a boutique gift shop in the heart of St. John’s Village Woking, with a beautiful collection of unique gifts, homeware and fashion accessories from some of Britain’s best designers and gift makers.
The Sculpture Park
Open all year around from Monday to Sunday The Sculpture Park is an atmospheric exhibition with around 600 sculptures being displayed over their 10 acre arboretum and water gardens. With such large grounds you can explore up to 2 miles of trails throughout the grounds and learn about everything you see from the guide book that’s provided.
Birdworld is home to over 2000 animals; beyond birds they also have mammals ranging from guinea pigs to donkeys. With something for everyone Birdworld is a great day out for families, couples or groups. Birdworld incorporates education and conservation throughout its park as well as experiences such as ‘be a keeper for a day’. You’re bound to learn something new.
The Medicine Garden
Redeveloped in 2006, The Medicine Garden is a walled garden that offers a range of activities and things to do. With a couple of cafes on site offering healthy seasonal bites, shops offering gifts, local art and soft furnishings as well as well-being activities such as relaxing in the garden itself, treatment rooms and weekly health classes such as yoga and pilates.
Under an hour away from London, take a wander through the 400 acres of parkland and woodland and explore the tranquil surroundings of the gardens. With picnic areas, a gift shop and a café available on site after you’re done walking. Perfect for families with children, if you want to learn more about Hathlands Park you can even use their audio guide to learn about the surroundings as you walk around.
Craggy Island Climbing Centre
From beginners to pro’s Craggy Island caters for a range of visitors to offer a great indoor climbing experience. As one of the largest climbing centres Craggy Island boasts 100 rope lines and over 300 climbing routes that change regularly so that you experience new challenges with every visit. With courses for adults and climbing areas designed for kids of various ages it’s a great day out for the whole family.
Woking Shopping Centre
With a huge selection of high street shops Woking shopping centre is a great shopping destination. Beyond shopping you will find an array of restaurants, a cinema and theatre. With late night shopping on Thursdays until 8pm you can grab a bargain with some late night shopping. Check out their website for a full list of shops and promotions.
Spectrum Leisure Centre
If you’re looking for one location with a selection of things to do then Spectrum Leisure centre is a great choice. With varied activities including ice skating, tenpin bowling, swimming, exercise classes, soft play as well as others it’s likely you’ll be able to satisfy all of the family under one roof. Once you’re done with the activities there's a range of food & drink options available.
Photo by British Wildlife Centre
The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden
Skilfully blending art and nature the Hannah Peschar sculpture garden is open from the first weekend in May until the end of October. The garden offers an ever changing collection of contemporary sculptures that are curated by a number of artists and award winning landscape designers.
Katherine Elizabeth Millinery
Taking hat-making to the next level, Katherine Elizabeth Millinery is the go to for any of your hat related needs. Whether you’re looking to buy or hire a hat, hold a ‘hat event’, learn about hat making in a masterclass or take things a step further with private tuition then these award winning millinery designers can help.
London Bus Museum
You don’t have to be a bus-lover to enjoy the London Bus Museum, taking you through the full historical journey of buses from horse and cart buses to the classic Routemasters, it’s the perfect place to learn about London history through the story of buses. With 3 special events being held each year its worth checking if you can attend one.
Great Cockcrow Railway
Described as small but wonderful, the Great Cockcrow Railway is great fun for all the family, riding miniature trains on surprisingly long tracks (1¼ miles) through tunnels and fields. Led by a small number of volunteers they are open on Sunday afternoons between May and Oct and Wednesday afternoons in August.
British Wildlife Centre
Home to the finest collections of native wildlife in the UK, British Wildlife Centre has over 40 different species on display from harvest mice to magnificent red deer. Providing education and entertainment about wildlife conservation through their keeper talks the centre also offers a rare experience to view species such and wildcats up close. Open at weekends and during school holidays.
Swinley Forest Bike Trails
Swinley forest is a large expanse of woodland stretching over 2,600 acres; the forest has historical links stretching back to the late 18th century with redoubts (forts) throughout the forest, but in recent times has been used for leisure and attractions such as mountain biking. You can take a relaxing walk following the nature trails or if you fancy something a bit more exhilarating then why not hire a bike.
The Antiques Warehouse
Whether you’re looking for that one special item or a country furniture set the Antiques Warehouse is a well-regarded antiques centre that’s open 7 days a week. Also featuring live piano music and home-made cakes on weekends it may be just the place to provide you with a ‘delightful Sunday’.
New Ashgate Gallery
Supporting the local art community New Ashgate Gallery has an all-year round programme of exhibitions. If you’re in the market for contemporary yet affordable art and crafts or just a walk around to take in the creations then it may be worth a visit.
Adam Aaronson Glass Studio
Open to the public on weekends or by appointment during the week the Adam Aaronson glass studio is a great space to discover and learn about glassblowing. Adam Aaronson has nearly 40 years’ experience with the blown glass art form and also offers glassblowing courses for those who want to create something special and take their glassblowing to the next level.
Thames Ditton High Street
Support the locals with a bit of high street retail therapy. Thames Ditton high street has a range of shops from a gift shop, fruit and veg shops, beauty and fitness - and when you’re done with the shopping it even has restaurants! They also hold events throughout the year, such as farmers markets, so check before you go if they have something on.
Horley Car Boot Sale
Known as ‘the friendliest car boot in the South’ if you’re looking for a bargain then Horley’s Car Boot is the place for you, running from Mid-February until Mid-December (cancelled when the weathers bad) they already have a huge following of committed buyers and sellers who attend regularly. Search for them on social media to confirm the dates!
Hailed as beautiful by many of its visitors Pains Hill is home to stunning gardens, a ruined abbey, gothic temple and gothic tower that has been fully restored. Their latest edition of a ‘crystal grotto’ includes thousands of crystals making an extraordinary sight.
Sandown Park Racecourse
Horse racing course and leisure venue Sandown Park is best known as a horse racing venue but is also a great venue for bands and other large events such as trade shows, wedding fairs and car shows, check out their website to find out what’s on.
Cigarette Island Park
Cigarette Island Park is a park in East Molesey next to Hampton Court. Described as quiet with great views the 5 acre park has great views of both Hampton Park Palace and the river Thames. Served by a local train station the park is an accessible option for a quiet family day out.
If you’ve ever visited Reigate you’ve probably heard of the caves that feature in the town centre. With ease of accessibility and tours lasting between 30-45 minutes you will be taken through the cave structures and learn about their history. Described as an excellent experience for old and young the cave experience is a great day out that will be remembered.
Quays Wake & Ski
Quays Wake & Ski offer wakeboarding, waterskiing, wakesurfing and paddle boarding on their sheltered fresh-water lake, offering some of the best conditions whether you’re just learning or a regular. With tailored events for children’s parties and corporate events you’re bound to have a fun but wet day out.
Photo by Shetland Pony Club
Happy Hands Pottery Painting
Available for a range of age groups Happy Hands is a modern pottery painting and decoupage studio in Haslemere, a fun and creative activity that anybody can enjoy it. Available for individuals, families, group bookings and parties, advance booking is recommended. They also hold events, workshops and host educational visits.
Located in Frimley, Little Street is a unique and inspirational play centre encouraging young children to explore life in the world around them. Their child-size high street includes a supermarket, construction site, hair salon, café, theatre and more. With several sessions each day offering a suitable environment for children from walking age up to 7 years old.
The Bear Garden
After being unable to find the perfect teddy bear birthday present, Andrew, the owner of The Bear Garden decided to open up his own teddy bear business. Now an award winning retailer and an Aladdin’s cave for teddy bears and other cuddly toys it’s the perfect place to visit with your young teddy bear fan for a look around or to give a bear a new home.
A short walk from Farnham town centre, Farnham park is the perfect place for recreation and wildlife. With a large adventure playground, toddlers play area, 9 hole golf course there is something for everyone. For larger groups and organised events there is cricket and football facilities available for hire.
Beaver Water World
Beaver Water World is an animal rescue centre for beavers, deer, meerkats and other birds and reptiles. While the centre relies on volunteers they are able to hold some special sessions, parties and educational talks. They also have a number of other things going on such as a reptile centre, adoption corner and café so be sure to check everything out.
Mini Me's Soft Play
Family run business Mini Me’s has a lot to offer besides soft play. With four playrooms including a toddler room, sensory room, activity and crèche facilities a range of ages and likes are catered for. Offering party packages for special occasions and a café with healthy options when its time for a break.
Hobbledown offers a unique ‘mysterical’ adventure. With various activities available such as an aerial adventure course and a field of confusion there is plenty to keep your little ones entertained for the whole day. Great for toddlers and young children the park offers a safe environment for climbing and play. When it’s time for a break they have an onsite ‘Hobnosh’ restaurant.
Thames Ditton Miniature Steam Railway
A rideable miniature railway experience that all of the family can take part in. Around since 1936 in its early form and run by an enthusiastic team of volunteers the railway has won several awards since then. As well as the main attraction of running trains that all of the family can ride on, they also run workshops and aim to promote public awareness of the society.
Shetland Pony Club
Shetland Pony Club provides pony riding experiences for children aged 2½ to 10 years old. Based at a ranch in Cobham children are safely and gently introduced to the ponies with the aid of the experienced staff so that they can get to know the ponies before riding them through the countryside. Check out their website for further details and for a what’s on guide.
Ride The Hill
A unique opportunity to ‘Ride The Hills’ in Nutfield, generally open Wed-Sun term time and all week during school holidays Ride The Hill is an outdoor adventure centre that specialises in mountain boarding and other ‘terrain’ sports. From first timers, parties, events to those interested in becoming an instructor the centre caters for a range of ages and skill levels.
Airhop Trampoline Park
With a range of trampoline activities from the foam pit to dodgeball, Airhop Trampoline Park is a perfect activity for children aged 5 and up. Sessions can be booked for as short as one hour with further options for groups, corporate events, schools and birthday parties. With the associated health benefits of trampolining Airhop is a great option if you’re looking for an energetic activity.
Bocketts Farm Park
Explore Bocketts working farm near Leatherhead set in the beautiful Surrey countryside. With animals and play areas both inside and out making the farm a great option for all the family no matter what the weather. The farm also cater for birthday parties, events as well as education and fun shows that teach all ages about farm life.
Photo by Thorpe Park
Known as the ‘Island like no other’ Thorpe Park is an innovative theme park that will keep any teenager happy. From the adrenaline fuelled rollercoasters, water rides or themed I’m A Celebrity, Angry Birds or Derren Brown attractions there's something for everyone, opening mid-March until November time.
Go Ape Alice Holt
Go Ape is an adventure for the whole family can take part in, so long as everyone’s feeling brave. Located near Farnham you can take on their Tree Top Adventure or Tree Top Junior Courses for younger visitors, rated as one of the best days out near Guildford you can take in the great views while exercising and being entertained at the same time.
Gatwick Aviation Museum
Probably not the first thing that springs to mind for a day out with teenagers but viewing some of our greatest war planes first hand is enough to wow anyone. Reopening in 2016 the museum has been improved and now includes 8 post war era aircrafts and will be introducing live aircraft days were some aircrafts will be run for the public. Check out the Gatwick Aviation Museum website for the dates.
Chessington World of Adventures
A things to do in Surrey guide wouldn’t be complete without Chessington World of Adventures, with a theme park, zoo and sea life centre to explore there’s plenty to discover. With daily shows you can get to see some of the animals close up and learn all about them. The theme park opens up near the end of March but be sure to check details with them before you travel.
Daytona Sandown Park
Whether you are a beginner or a motorsport enthusiast, Sandown Park is a great karting venue with two circuits and on site hospitality. With exclusive events, open races, championships and junior races there is a variety of ways to enjoy the karting venue, suitable for anything from a family day out to a stag do.
Delta Force Paintball
With two locations in Surrey, one in Effingham and another in Cobham Delta force is a great choice for some paintballing fun. As the biggest paintball operator in the UK and over half a million yearly visitors they are able to provide a safe and fun experience that is reasonably priced compared to other options for a day of adventure.
If you’re interested in motorsport then Lets Race is unmissable, home to the UK’s only full motion F1 racing simulators you can drive world famous circuits and experience the thrill of driving a formula 1 car. Hosting one off experiences, parties and corporate events you can choose the perfect event to suit your needs.
Situated in the heart of the Surrey Hills in Dorking, Denbies English Vineyard offers indoor wine experience tours all year round. Explore the largest vineyard in England with outdoor tours that run daily and pay a visit to their visitor centre to learn more about the wine production in the cinema, art gallery and lecture rooms. They also have two restaurants on site when you’re ready for a break.
Hindhead Commons and the Devil’s Punch Bowl
Dramatic views are guaranteed as you walk through the footpaths at Hindhead and the Devil’s punch bowl. You can follow the trails to learn about the rich history and famous connections of the area or take your own path. It even has a café and shop on site for refreshments once you’ve completed your adventure.
Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Wander through the gardens and see the wonderful array of flowers, trees and colours at Kew, or for an even better view then walk amongst the treetops with the 18 metre high treetop walkway. Perfect for couples, families and children with different attractions to suit every visitor you can easily fill your day with fun and learning!
Open 7 days a week, Mercedes-Benz World offers free admission to all visitors. Located on the famous Brooklands site Mercedes-Benz is an unforgettable day out for children, not just the big kids of the family. Put your driving skills to the test on track or allow the display team to show you how it's done. Explore fascinating exhibitions and get up close to legendary Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Within the Surrey hills area of outstanding natural beauty Box Hill received renewed interest due to being heavily featured in the 2012 Olympics cycling events. But, if cycling isn’t your thing then Box Hill actually sits within a country park owned by the National Trust, so as well as having its own car park it is also served by local and London bus routes.
Guildford Guide Town Walk
Walking you through 100 years of Guildford history these free walks focus on the towns medieval, Georgian and Victorian past as well as the general architecture of the city. Lasting around and hour and a half the walks are available from May until September, check out their website for more details and to find out times.
Kick Back Comedy
Local comedy clubs can have a bad reputation but Kick Back Comedy is rated as one of the top nights out in Guildford and only books professional comedians. Each show is compered and consists of a number of comedians that should satisfy any varied taste of comedy. With shows once a month on Saturday nights check if you can catch one.
Attracting some of the country’s top comedians, musicians and shows Epsom Playhouse offers a great night out for couples or families. Hosting a selection of theatrical events including opera, dance, drama, comedy, light entertainment and childrens you're bound to find a show to suit all of the family.
If you’re bored of bowling then topgolf is a great alternative. As an ‘entertainment venue’ you can play a variety of golf based games to test your accuracy, chipping skills and accuracy and then relax with a bite to eat. They also provide facilities for the fairly new activity known as footgolf, a fun outdoor activity that combines golf and football.
The Three Lions
Highly rated pub The Three Lions is a family pub located in Farncombe serving a great selection of food, real ales, lagers and wines in a relaxing environment. With regular entertainment on from music to quiz nights it’s a great venue to catch up with friends and family on an evening. During the summer you can take advantage of their secluded beer garden and catch some rays.
The Parrot Inn
Pub, restaurant, shop and venue The Parrot Inn at Forest Green is a great choice if you’re looking for somewhere to spend an evening entertaining friends and family. Their Sunday lunches come highly recommended along with their great views over Surreys Hills.
Award winning gallery and museum in Woking, The Lightbox has a range of modern and contemporary collections that will appeal to a range of visitors. If you’re more of a hands on type of person they offer workshops for under 5’s, children and families, young people and adults (advance booking required). And, when you’re ready to take a break you can visit their canal side courtyard café for refreshments.
The Big Apple
Offering bowling, laser quest and soft play there’s something for everyone at Big Apple. With various promotions running for the different activities its worth checking their website to get the perfect deal for your rainy day. They also offer birthday and event packages for those special occasions.
Watts gallery is an arts and crafts centre nestled in the Surrey Hills. Here you can wander through the complex and view Victorian paintings and sculptures and visit their tea shop. With a chapel setting that offers a unique atmosphere that perfectly frames the historical art offerings.
Photo by Mayfield Lavender Farm
Award winning farm shop and garden centre, Garsons Farm has everything you would want from a modern farm shop. With a spacious garden centre offering a range of items for your home and garden, speciality food, cafe and up to 40 different fruit and veg pick your own crops.
Mayfield Lavender Farm
Set against the North Surrey Downs Mayfield Lavender Farm is open every day from June until mid-September, with its picture perfect setting, wide open spaces, shop and café its a great day out for older people as well as children. While access to the lavender farm isn't free it is very reasonably priced at £1 per person.
Photo by Dorking Museum / Royston Williamson
Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre
Located on the historic West Street, the Dorking museum and heritage centre tells the story of Dorking and surrounding villages from a time when dinosaurs could be found roaming the area and right up to the 2012 Olympics when the world’s greatest cyclists battled up and down Box Hill. Great hands on fun for children and adults alike open Thurs to Sat 10am – 4pm.
Haslemere Educational Museum
With various exhibitions throughout the year Haslemere educational museum is a great destination with an extensive range of human history artefacts from around the world. With large galleries for geology and natural history the museum is one of the largest in central southern England and is an affordable day out for the family.
If you ever wanted to learn a bit more about Surrey’s history then the Shere Museum is a great place to start. Focusing on the village of Shere that lays within Surrey Hills area of outstanding natural beauty the museum has historical displays from past to present covering collections of tools, childhood memorabilia, clothing, musical instruments and many other objects from everyday life throughout history.