THE Surrey Hills is an area of outstanding natural beauty with lots to see and do… and a perfect base for that short break getaway is the recently refurbished White Horse Hotel in picturesque Dorking.
Just a few miles from the hustle and bustle of London, Dorking is a world away with a relaxed atmosphere, lots of pubs, bars and shops – the perfect place to unwind and explore.
We took a weekend break at the historic hotel, which boasts 56 boutique bedrooms alongside a lively restaurant and bar. Housed in an 18th century coaching inn, parts of which date back almost to the Middle Ages, it features unique character and atmospheric charm.
Owners bespoke hotels spent £4 million on the refurbishment and it shows with tasteful yet quirky boutique facilities and accommodation. All the rooms have top quality fixtures and fittings en-suite showers, complimentary water, security safes and high-speed Wi-Fi.
And with its concept The Dozen restaurant featuring the finest products and ingredients from the local area the food also leaves guests with a truly lasting impression, thanks to a versatile and locally sourced menu that promotes Dorking’s finest products.
After exploring the town centre, including one whole street which is mostly made up of antique shops, we enjoyed a terrific and reasonably priced meal at The Dozen. I tucked into delicious fish and chips while my much better half enjoyed her chicken salad, all washed down with some excellent local beer and a bottle of very acceptable house white.
Following a great night’s sleep in our comfortable and spacious room overlooking the busy High Street, we set out to explore what the Dorking area has to offer. As well as some great walks and cycle trails along the North Downs Way there are historic houses like nearby Polesden Lacey Estate and Gardens, Chartwell and Hampton Court Palace or if it is a trip to top up on your favourite tipple that takes your fancy then the likes of Denbies Wine Estate or GreyFriars Vineyards are recommended.
There are also local breweries which open to the public – all within a short drive are the Dorking Brewery, Crafty Brewing Company and Pilgrim Brewery and if gin is your thing then why not try visiting Silent Pool Gin, The Gin Kitchen or Elstead Village Distillers.
There’s also lots of history here with Dorking being the home of one of the original Pilgrim Fathers families who set off for the New World on the Mayflower almost 400 years ago. The Mullins’ house on West Street still survives and special events are planned next year to mark four centuries since their historic and epic journey.
Dorking also has a quaint museum for visitors to enjoy and there are historic trails to trod plus local caves to explore.
Also waiting to be explored are areas of natural beauty in the rolling Surrey Hills including Box Hill, Mayfield Lavender and Leith Hill.
We found Dorking and the White Horse to be the perfect place for a relaxing get away from it all short break with lots to see and do and beautiful countryside on your doorstep.
The White horse offers bespoke walking, getaway or wine and dine breaks and for the latest offers check out their website at www.bespokehotels.com/dorking-white-horse
Steve Howarth’s short break stay at the White Horse Hotel in Dorking cost £154 per night for 2 sharing a comfy double room with dinner and breakfast.