This classic English county on the capital’s doorstep is ripe with summer-ready lidos and wildlife-loved lakes.
Head southwest of London, and you’ll find yourself in the charming county of Surrey. Here, dotted around the countryside, are picturesque villages, English sparkling vineyards, historic towns and fascinating day-trip locations. With everything from classic castles and wetland centres to Guildford galleries and motoring museums, there’s plenty to keep you coming back.
This hub of conservation, sustainability and environmental activities is run by the World Wildlife Fund. With a mission to educate its visitors on the works of the WWF and what everyone can do to help some of the world’s most endangered species, the Living Planet Centre makes for a fascinating day out. Open to the public, it’s located in the heart of Woking and offers a range of tours, workshops and talks, with special events, such as food festivals, planned over the school holidays.
Guildford Lido, a purpose-built 1930s Olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool, is one of the true treasures of this Surrey county town – surrounded by over 4 acres (1.6ha) of land, including carefully crafted gardens, paddling pools for younger ones and even a miniature golf course. Only open from April to September, it’s a surefire summer hit, especially refreshing on a hot day, with waters warmed to a balmy 24 degrees, and ad-hoc events held – from outdoor concerts to pool parties and barbecues.
Built nearly a thousand years ago, around the time of William the Conqueror, Guildford Castle is a fantastic reminder of Surrey’s rich history. On top of interesting exhibits and panels showcasing the castle’s history, there is also a viewing platform to take in amazing views of surrounding Guildford. Tickets are reasonably priced, and the castle gardens are well worth a visit, too.