While we are probably all missing getting out and about in the Surrey Hills right now, we can still visit a diverse range of places as virtual escapism is just a click away. From the comfort of your own home, cup of coffee in hand, or even a glass of wine, why not explore some old favourites or try out somewhere new. Driving for pleasure may be forbidden and gardens, historic houses and galleries may all be closed right now, but we can still immerse ourselves in their beauty and often gain new insights and knowledge. Susie Turner, from our Newsletter Team, gives us some examples of what is on offer.
The National Garden Scheme highlights several wonderful virtual garden tours on its website, among them Dunsborough Park, Ripley, mentioned in our chairman’s April e-mail as it was sadly one of our postponed visits. The video is very uplifting so you may wish to take another look as it really is the ultimate tulip destination. Or why not look at video clips of nearby Wisley, exploring perhaps the wisteria walk, the walled gardens, or mixed borders to give you new ideas for your own garden.
And if you are missing those gallery visits, you may enjoy taking a 360 degree tour of the Watts Gallery, or view the extensive art collection at Polesden Lacey, or perhaps take a quick peek at the Sculpture Park near Churt, with the option to purchase a piece of sculpture online.
Surrey Day’s virtual celebration, sponsored by BBC Radio Surrey, Surrey Life and Visit Surrey, on Saturday 2 May was a great success, so there is plenty to check out on the various websites. The Visit Surrey website in particular has many other suggestions, including lots of food and drink, – why not learn about a typical day at Albury Vineyard, family owned and using only organic grapes grown in the Surrey Hills. Or what about something for all the family such as Spring at Bocketts’ Farm, the amazing British Wildlife Centre near Lingfield, or explore 16th century Loseley House and gardens, owned by Surrey’s Lord Lieutenant, Michael More-Molyneux.
Surrey Life also features a series of mini virtual tours of some of Surrey prettiest places. For those missing hiking further afield, why not navigate your path along the North Downs Way, starting at Farnham, and creating your own virtual trip. And if it’s company you are after try following the Bald Explorer, Richard Vobes, as he walks and talks his way through local places of interest, including Reigate’s Fort and Priory Park or Leith Hill and the Greensand Way.
These are often short clips lasting just a few minutes, but they often offer something new to learn and give a real taster for a future visit.
While some virtual tours have been created specifically during lockdown, others are older, but nonetheless we feel they are still worth a look.