Surrey

Most people would not think of renting a holiday cottage in Surrey as a place to stay when visiting this area but there are so many lovely English cottages why not give it a try. Surrey is a county within easy reach of London. It boasts a rich treasure of historically and architecturally traditional houses whose owners have featured in every aspect of English history, from Cardinal Wolseley at Hampton Court in the 16th century to Winston Churchill at Cherkley Court. Other great houses include Loseley Park, home to the 15th generation of the More-Molyneux family; and National Trust properties such as Polesden Lacey, the Winkworth Arboretum and Bushy Park, where deer roam freely.

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The Surrey Hills, which encompass an Area of Outstanding National Beauty covering a quarter of the county, offer a variety of landscape from Farnham and the North Downs with their chalk slopes in the west to the wooded Greensand Hills dominating Haslemere in the south.

The countryside is easily accessible by bicycle, on foot and by boat, when you will not be able to resist visiting the award-winning vineyards (yes, even a little wine-tasting!), or the many tea-houses offering cream teas. Sport comes into the picture too, with First Class County Cricket and golf courses set against the beautiful country backdrop. Come into the contemporary world and visit the absorbing Mercedes-Benz World at Weybridge. Finally, Surrey is awash with arts festivals and venues hosting many noteworthy events that lie alongside the equally tempting restaurants and pubs to be found within its towns and villages.