The Surrey Hills has so many hotspots that not everyone knows about, especially us students who study right here at the university?
Graduated from Surrey last July and during my last days in Guildford, I decided to spend time exploring G town and the surrounding areas. Throughout my three years at Surrey, I traveled very often in and outside of the UK, and I mean every destination from popular to more of the exotic side… except for Guildford and the Surrey Hills… I think the same applies to most of you out there, when you’re too busy going everywhere else, from shopping in London every weekend to sunny Brighton beach to enjoy the sunshine, or Budapest and Miami – some of the most popular destinations amongst many of us, there are so many beautiful places so close to Guildford that you might be missing out.
The more I went exploring Surrey the last few days, the more I wished I had done this way earlier. Shalford, Wonersh and Slinfold are three gorgeous villages in Surrey, particularly the Surrey Hills (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), because all these villages are surrounded by our beautiful nature. Shalford, Wonersh and Slinfold are all very small and easy to get to from Guildford by bus. You could even combine all three destinations on a one-day trip because they’re on the same bus route.
How to get to Shalford
- By bus: From the Friary bus station, take bus 53 (to Cranleigh) or 63 (to Horsham), stop at Shalford railway station. The journey takes some 10 minutes.
- On foot or by car: go past the Weyside pub in Guildford and keep going straight, you will be entering the area of Shalford.
Shalford is a civil parish and village in the Surrey Hills. It has pretty pubs, many large beautiful fields, St. Mary‘s Church and some cute little houses (as does every other pretty English village!)
There are quite a few recommendations for you in Shalford:
- Shalford Mill, open Wednesdays and Sunday
- The Common, right at the Shalford train station bus stop (coming from Guildford). This is a large field that you could have a picnic on.
- Shalford Park
- The big fields on the two sides of East Shalford Lane: This is a perfect spot for photography or hiking/walking. From these big fields you will easily find your way to Chantry Wood, where you’ll be have the woods all to yourself
- Explore! Best feeling in the world when you just wander and discover interesting new places!
How to get to Wonersh (from Shalford): Take bus 63 (to Horsham), stop at The Grantley Arms. The journey takes some 10 minutes and cost 2.4GBP. I found out that if you own an Arriva bus pass purchased from the university, your pass is only valid in the Guildford area and as far as Shalford. After Shalford, if you travel to other villages, you need to buy a ticket from the bus driver.
Wonersh is another village and civil parish in Surrey. What charmed me the most here are definitely the houses. Wonerh’s houses are very different from those you often see in student areas in Guildford like Southway or Park Barn, you might find them in Merrow or Burpham – the posher parts of Guildford. Since Wonersh is quite a wealthy village, the houses and cottages in the village are more well built and beautifully decorated with jardinières outside their doors and windows.
How to get to Slinfold (from Wonersh): Take bus 63 (to Horsahm) stop at Mitchell Gardens. The journey takes some 35 minutes and cost 4.2GBP.
Out of all three villages, Slinfold has got to be my favourite. The village’s calm and quaint atmosphere is so charming, and the houses here have a history dating back to the 15th century. Remember to visit the red telephone booth located in front of the post office, it’s a 24/7 library full of books inside!
A one-day trip to Shalford, Wonersh and Slinfold is an ideal getaway from busy lectures and coursework, especially for those of you who are looking for a different vibe than big cities, the countryside is definitely a must-try. Even if you’re a city person, a bit of change every now and then won’t hurt I’m sure!
You might wonder how I’ve come to find out about these places. The answer is: I literally just get on a random bus and go all the way to the end of the route. If you are an explorer like me and maybe after this article, you are inspired to do the same, don’t forget to keep your eyes open along the way! Trust me, there are gems everywhere!
I find buses a pretty easy and affordable way to travel and explore many other pretty villages in Surrey, such as Shamley Green, Bramley, Cranleigh… Based in Guildford, you have a huge advantage when Surrey Hills is such a magnificent area, hidden beauty might be right next door to you without you knowing. So make the most of your time when at university, get out there and uncover all the beauty around you.
Text and photos by Juliéy Pham
Visit https://instagram.com/julieythe1st for more travel photos