Dorking nestles at the heart of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is a delightful market town steeped in history, yet offers excellent shopping facilities and a wide selection of restaurants, cafes and bars.
On our suggested day out you can either enjoy the sights of the area on foot, by completing the Mole Gap Trail, or visit the larger attractions in the area, including Polesden Lacey, Box Hill, Denbies Wine Estate and Bocketts Farm Park. There are a host of other attractions around Dorking – see further details below.
One of the best ways to see Dorking is by taking the Mole Gap Trail from Leatherhead to Dorking. Starting from Leatherhead train station the walk takes in the countryside sights leading up to Dorking, finishing in the Town Centre, so you can enjoy the best of both town and countryside and leave the car behind. The walk will take approximately three hours, depending on your pace, and a route description and map can be downloaded from this site.
Alternatively, why not visit Polesden Lacey, an exceptional Regency house owned by the National Trust. Set in a 1400 acre estate, Polesden Lacey is situated on the edge of the Surrey Hills and commands some of the finest views in Surrey. The Edwardian Garden extends to 30 acres with ten acres of lawns and elegant grass terraces, including a walled rose garden, summer border and winter displays. There are currently nine show rooms open to the public, which have been restored to how they would have looked in Edwardian times.
Enjoy your lunch in one of the many pubs surrounding Box Hill or take your own picnic and enjoy the stunning views from either Box Hill or Ranmore Common. Or continue on to Denbies Wine Estate, where you can enjoy a meal in either the Garden Conservatory or Gallery restaurant.
Take time to enjoy Denbies Wine Estate, the largest vineyard in England. Why not take the guided train trip around the Estate to learn more about the vines and the wine that is produced, or watch the 360° film presentation which will help you delve deeper into the process of wine making, or simply browse around the delightful gift shop.
From here you can complete the Mole Gap Trail into Dorking’s Town Centre where you can enjoy afternoon tea or browse around the antique shops located in West Street.
Younger visitors may enjoy a trip out to Bocketts Farm Park, which is situated in the Norbury Park Estate, just south of Leatherhead. It is a working family farm, with old and modern breeds of animals and lots of other attractions.
The Dorking Halls has a range of entertainment so why not stay longer and check out what is showing whilst you are in town. The Visitor Information Centre is located here (staffed during the day time).