Surrey also has lots to offer families, including a number of children's farms. Brocketts Farm Park is just south of Leatherhead on the Norbury Park Estate and has lots of friendly animals, daily events, an indoor play area and mini tractor. Godstone Farm is also popular, with petting areas and indoor and outdoor play equipment. Secretts Farm, near Milford, may be of more interest to adults. It includes a garden centre and large shopping area in the old stables, with a specialist cheese counter and fresh produce available throughout the year.
Bordering Greater London to the north and Hampshire and Sussex to the south, Surrey is a county which combines plenty of action and entertainment with the tranquil charm of quintessential rural England. A holiday cottage in Surrey will satisfy a range of tastes and interests.
The Surrey Hills were one of the first designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and is now one of thirty-seven of these specially protected landscapes in Britain. It stretches across a quarter of the county from Farnham in the west for Oxted in the east and down to the wooded Greensand Hills. The varied landscape is rich in wildlife and makes good walking or cycling terrain.
The Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden Gallery in Ockley is a must for art enthusiasts having a holiday in Surrey. The beautiful garden contains six large ponds surrounded by grasses, reeds, ferns, mosses and a constantly changing array of contemporary sculpture and ceramics, which is all for sale. There's also the Pride of the Valley Sculpture Park, set at the foothills of Devils Jump near Farnham. This atmospheric spot also mixes natural beauty with man-made works of art. Farnham itself is a pretty town with impressive Georgian architecture and a medieval castle and there is lots of self-catering near Farnham.
Set high on the North Downs, Polesden Lacey was originally a regency villa, and hosts open-air theatre and other events in the extensive grounds. In Dorking, you can explore a labyrinth of caves which run right underneath the town. Dorking and Leatherhead both have a good range of accommodation to rent, restaurants, cafes and bars and monthly farmers markets.
Surrey's county town is Guildford, set in the west of the county where the River Wey cuts through the North Downs. There are some great restaurants and the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre offers an impressive range of classical and contemporary drama (which often ends up on the West End) as well as children's events, music, comedy and contemporary dance. The striking cathedral also hosts concerts by Guildford Philharmonic Orchestra. If you're looking to entertain older children there's ice-skating and tenpin bowling at the Spectrum Centre and summer swimming in the Art Deco lido. Self-catering cottages near Guildford range from large Surrey houses to rent to small country cottages. If you enjoy a day out at the races then choosing a self-catering cottage in Surrey will give you access to the famous Epsom Downs racecourse. The racing season is in full swing in the summer, and events includes ladies day and the Epsom derby (make sure you check the dress code before you go!). Outside the main racing calendar the racecourse acts as a venue to some of the biggest names in music and has a family fun day on August bank holiday. Surrey offers some great places to rent for a self-catering holiday and easy access to the south east of England.