HomeLifestyleTravelDiscovering The Tourism In Surrey Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Discovering The Tourism In Surrey Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The Surrey Hills an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) located in Surrey, England. It is approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of central London. It contains rolling hills, woodlands, heathlands, and attractive villages.

Are you interested in spending your holidays in an area full of natural beauty? Give a glance at this article!

Outstanding Natural Beauty Of Surrey Hills Area 

The Surrey Hills was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1958 to preserve and protect its unique landscape and cultural heritage. Here are some key features and information about the Surrey Hills AONB.

  • The area is full of diverse and scenic landscapes, including hills, deep valleys, and chalk downs. 
  • It features a patchwork of fields, woodlands, heathlands, and meadows, offering a rich natural beauty.
  • The Surrey Hills is home to various flora and fauna, including ancient woodlands, rare orchids, and different bird species. 
  • The Surrey Hills AONB is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. 
  • The Surrey Hills is also known for its rich history and cultural heritage. It has historic sites and landmarks, such as ancient churches, manor houses, and historic market towns.
  • Several attractive towns and villages within or near the Surrey Hills AONB serve as gateways to the area. Some notable examples include Guildford, Dorking, Farnham, and Haslemere. 

What Recreational Activities Can Visitors Enjoy At Surrey AONB?

Visitors to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can enjoy a variety of recreational activities. Here are some popular options.

Walking and Hiking

The Surrey Hills offer an extensive network of well-maintained footpaths and trails, allowing visitors to explore the picturesque countryside on foot. There are trails suitable for all abilities, ranging from gentle strolls to more challenging hikes. Some popular routes include the North Downs Way, the Greensand Way, and the Pilgrims’ Way.


Cycling is a fantastic way to experience the area. It offers a mix of on-road and off-road cycling routes suitable for all levels of riders. Cyclists can enjoy scenic rides through the countryside, tackle challenging hill climbs, or explore designated mountain biking trails. Bike hire facilities are available in some towns for those who don’t have their bicycles.

Horse Riding

The Surrey Hills provide excellent opportunities for horse riding enthusiasts. Rides and horse trails traverse the AONB, allowing riders to explore the beautiful landscapes on horseback. Some riding centers offer horse riding lessons and guided hacks for both beginners and experienced riders.

Nature Exploration

The Surrey Hills is a haven for nature lovers. Visitors can engage in birdwatching, as the area is home to a variety of bird species, including vultures, woodpeckers, and nightingales. The woodlands and meadows are also teeming with wildlife, making it an excellent spot for observing flora and fauna.

Photography and Painting

The scenic beauty of the Surrey Hills makes it a paradise for photographers and artists. The rolling hills, vibrant woodlands, and charming villages provide endless inspiration for capturing beautiful landscapes and rural scenes.

Picnic and Relaxation

Many areas within the Surrey Hills offer idyllic spots for picnicking and relaxation. Visitors can find tranquil picnic areas, meadows, and viewpoints to enjoy a leisurely picnic while taking in the stunning surroundings.

Events and Festivals

It hosts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year, showcasing the region’s culture, local produce, arts, and crafts. These events attract visitors and provide opportunities to immerse themselves in the local community and experience the unique aspects of the area.

Partnership and Collaboration

The AONB collaborates with local businesses, tourism organizations, and communities to promote sustainable tourism practices. 

Marketing and Promotion

The Surrey Hills AONB actively markets and promotes itself as a tourism destination through various channels. It utilizes websites, social media, brochures, and other marketing materials to showcase its attractions, activities, and accommodations. The AONB also engages with travel media, influencers, and tourism organizations to raise awareness and attract visitors.

Does Surrey Hills Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty Offer Hotels?

The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is rich in several towns and villages that offer a range of accommodation options. Here are some suggestions for hotels and accommodations in and around.


Guildford is a vibrant town located on the edge of the Surrey Hills. It offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, guesthouses, and bed and breakfast establishments. Some notable hotels in Guildford include the Mandolay Hotel, the Guildford Harbour Hotel, and the Holiday Inn Guildford.


Dorking is a picturesque market town in the heart of the Surrey Hills. Accommodation options in Dorking range from traditional inns to boutique hotels. The White Horse Hotel, Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel, and The Running Horses are popular choices.


Farnham is a historic market town located to the west of the Surrey Hills. It offers a charming setting and a range of accommodation options. The Bush Hotel, Princess Royal, and Farnham House Hotel are a few hotels that cater to visitors in Farnham.


Haslemere is a picturesque town situated on the edge of the Surrey Hills. It provides a peaceful setting and access to the surrounding countryside. Some accommodations in Haslemere include Lythe Hill Hotel and Spa, Georgian House Hotel, and The Station House.


Cranleigh is a village near the Surrey Hills and offers a quieter retreat. The town has a few guesthouses and bed and breakfast options, such as The Cranley Hotel and The Richard Onslow.

How Does Surrey AONB Influence Art And Literature?

The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty has significantly influenced art and literature throughout history. Here are some ways in which the Surrey Hills have influenced art and literature.

Landscape Painting

The beauty of the Surrey Hills has attracted landscape painters for centuries. The rolling hills, woodlands, and meadows have been captured on canvas by renowned artists, such as John Constable and J.M.W. Turner. 

Literary Inspiration

It serves as a muse for many writers and poets. The timeless beauty and tranquility of the Surrey Hills have featured in works of literature, evoking a sense of place and setting for various stories.

Romanticism and Nature Poetry

The Romantic movement in art and literature strongly emphasized nature and its ability to evoke deep emotions. Poets like John Keats and William Wordsworth found solace and inspiration in the area’s natural beauty, expressing their thoughts and feelings through their poetry.

Local Folklore and Legends

The Hills are rich in folklore and local legends, which have found their way into various literary works. These stories often revolve around mythical creatures, ancient burial sites, and supernatural phenomena associated with the landscape. 

How Does Surrey AONB Contribute To the Local Economy?

The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) makes a significant contribution to the local economy in several ways.

Tourism Revenue

The AONB attracts a significant number of tourists each year. These visitors contribute to the local economy by spending money on accommodation, dining, shopping, and various tourism-related services. 

Employment Opportunities

The tourism industry in the Surrey Hills AONB generates employment opportunities for residents. The demand for hospitality, tour guiding, outdoor activity instruction, and retail provides jobs to individuals living in and around the AONB. 

Local Businesses and Suppliers

It creates opportunities for local businesses and suppliers to supply the needs of visitors and tourism-related establishments. Accommodation providers, restaurants, shops, and activity providers often source their goods and services locally, supporting the local economy.

Cultural and Heritage Sector

It is rich in cultural heritage, including historic sites, museums, and traditional crafts, and contributes to the cultural tourism sector. Visitors interested in exploring the area’s heritage engage with local attractions and experiences, generating revenue for these establishments. 

Farming and Agriculture

It includes agricultural lands that support farming activities. Farming in the area, including livestock rearing and crop cultivation, contributes to the local economy by providing income for farmers, keeping the food and beverage industry, and preserving the rural character of the landscape. 

Supporting Secondary Services

These services include transportation, maintenance and repair services, marketing and advertising agencies, event management, and other business services that are required to support and sustain the tourism industry in the area. These services contribute to the local economy.


The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is a beautiful and cherished landscape that offers a peaceful retreat from urban life. Its natural and cultural significance, coupled with a range of recreational opportunities, make it a popular destination for both locals and visitors seeking to connect with nature.


  1. Can I go boating in the Surrey Hills AONB? 

The Surrey Hills AONB does not offer boating options within its boundaries due to the absence of large bodies of water. However, there are nearby locations, such as the River Thames, Basingstoke Canal, Frensham Great Pond, and Virginia Water Lake, where boating activities are available.

  1. What is the best time to visit the Surrey Hills AONB?

The Surrey Hills AONB can be visited annually, as each season offers its unique charm. Spring and summer are famous for vibrant blooms and pleasant weather, while autumn showcases stunning foliage colors. Winter can be a quieter time, offering a peaceful and atmospheric experience. The best time to visit depends on personal preferences and the activities you plan to engage in.

For more details also read this article: Why Are Historical Places Important? A Journey Through Time


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