The Ultimate Guide To Getting Out and About, In and Around Betchworth
There are few places that match the charm and balance of Betchworth’s modern country lifestyle – particularly if you are at home in the great outdoors.
Nestled in the beautiful Surrey Hills, between boutique Reigate and market town Dorking, Betchworth offers classic country living with contemporary comfort and connectivity.
Here, we share some of our favourite activities to do in the area.
You are not short of options when it comes to great walks for you and your dogs. These include:
a clamber up the chalk escarpment at Reigate Hill;
a ramble over the wonderful mosaic of open heath, downland slopes and mixed woodland at Headley Heath;
and a woodland walk around Leith Hill – savouring the panoramic views of the countryside surrounding composer Ralph Vaughan Williams’ former childhood home.
Food and Drink
And there are some terrific dining options in and around Betchworth.
Head chef Steve Drake, at Michelin-starred Sorrel in Dorking, has worked in some of Europe’s best kitchens and is a former winner of the prestigious Roux Scholarship.
The Grumpy Mole in Brockham offers a three-course a la carte menu in cosy surroundings.
Dorking’s Michelin-plated The Queen’s Head (named after Queen Anne) serves classic pub dishes in a refined style.
And the charmingly evocative Beaverbrook Hotel & Spa in Leatherhead has two Michelin-plated restaurants:
the Japanese Grill, Beaverbrook’s signature restaurant;
and The Garden House Restaurant, tucked away behind the hotel’s walled garden.
With plenty of outdoor seating overlooking Reigate Heath, family-run Skimmington Castle (or the Skim, as it is known) has a great choice of burgers as well as vegetarian and vegan options.
Overlooking Brockham’s picturesque village green is The Royal Oak. Brockham hosts an annual Victorian Fair weekend and a beer festival but it is perhaps most famous for its spectacular Guy Fawkes bonfire night.
In neighbouring Buckland, The Pheasant organises an annual ‘Pub to Pub’ dog walk to its sister pub in Norwood Hill.
And in Betchworth itself:
The Dolphin is a traditional 17th-century pub that serves an array of pub classics and Young’s real ales;
If you and your children enjoy an active lifestyle, you will find plenty to do in and around Betchworth.
Swimming and Outdoor Activities
The SHAC (Surrey Hills Adventure Company) offers a range of water- and non-water-based activities in five different locations across the Surrey Hills. Those include The SHAC Lagoon at Buckland Park Lake – one of the country’s safest open water swimming venues and where you can take classes in stand-up paddleboarding.
If you are more of an indoor swimmer, Dorking Sports Centre is open seven days a week. It also has a gym, sports hall, cycling studio and outdoor tennis courts.
Other tennis options include:
Reigate Lawn Tennis Club, which runs summer holiday camps for junior players;
and Reigate Priory Lawn Tennis Club, which, with four grass courts and four floodlit artificial clay courts, describes itself as Reigate’s best kept secret.
Right on your doorstep in nearby Brockham is Dorking RFC. With teams for men, women, boys and girls, the club has been home to the likes of George Kruis, Elliot Daly, Kay Wilson and other notable professionals.
Brockham Badgers FC and Brockham FC is a community club with teams from U7 through to senior football, while Mole Valley Girls FC caters for girls of all abilities from age 5 up and has a womens team.
From show jumping and dressage to cross country and gallops, Littleton Manor Equestrian Centre has some of the best training facilities in the South of England.
Described by Jack Nicklaus as ‘wonderfully pure’, Walton Heath is one of the world’s most highly regarded golf clubs.
Ranked number 6 in the world for the best 9-hole courses, Reigate Heath Golf Club was described by the late Peter Allis (‘the voice of golf’) as ‘a little gem’.
Other splendid courses include:
Tyrrells Wood, with its Grade II Listed clubhouse;
Attractions and Days Out
Betchworth Castle is just one of a host of interesting places to visit.
Polesden Lacey is a beautiful Edwardian country retreat with a number of delightful gardens overlooking Ranmore Common. In 1923, the Duke and Duchess of York – the future King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother – spent the first part of their honeymoon there.
At Reigate Hill and Gatton Park, you will find Reigate Fort – built in 1898 as part of the London Defence Scheme before Britain’s navy was considered strong enough to defend our shores.
And on a clear day, you can see the English Channel and the clock face of Big Ben from the top of Leith Hill Tower – the highest point in South East England.
Home to over 30 rides, attractions and live events, Thorpe Park is quite possibly the UK’s most thrilling theme park.
Meanwhile, Chessington World of Adventures Resort has something for everyone in the family, with a zoo, rides & attractions, a sea life centre and much more.
Tasting Experiences and Tours
Denbies Wine Estate is one of the largest producers of wine in the UK. Take a wine tasting tour, eat in one of its three restaurants or simply take advantage of the seven miles of public footpaths trailing through the vineyard.
To the rear of the main Denbies Winery building is Surrey Hills Brewery. Enjoy a pint of fresh beer straight from the cask or why not tour the brewery?
Last but certainly not least, The Gin Kitchen is a women-led, award-winning distillery. Experiences include a tasting tour and bottomless brunch in the distillery’s Orangery Bar.