When my sister-in-law suggested a day trip to Shere, just 35-miles from London, I jumped at the chance. Wasn’t that the charming English village where the film The Holiday took place? I still chuckle at Cameron Diaz finding her way down the country cottage lane, Lime Walk, with her big suitcase and high heels. And that romance that ensues with Jude Law? When they meet up at the pub, it’s filmed right in Shere at the traditional English pub, The White Horse. I was definitely keen to visit this quintessential English village nestled in the Surrey Hills.
Shere is your classic English village with all the quaint and charming stereotypes you hear about. Timber-framed homes from the Middle Ages, thatched roofs, ducks swimming in a bubbling river, a tea house serving fresh scones, and two popular English country pubs. Could there be any place more picture perfect? Clearly, Shere is a winner. Its popularity at being used as a film set countless times proves its appeal and off-the-charts charm. Sit on a bench by the River Tillingbourne. Who knows, maybe a famous actor or actress will stroll by.
Adorable Shere is the perfect place for a cozy getaway. Here are the best reasons to visit:
Stop By A Classic English Country Pub
There’s nothing like entering a historic English pub. It could be the wooden beams on the ceiling, the smell of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, or the fact that locals are gathered to share conversation and beer.
In Shere, you will find two such English village pubs: The William Bray and The White Horse. For this cozy getaway, try to visit both pubs for a coffee, drink, or meal.
The William Bray has an elegant and inviting dining room and a sunny terrace.
The White Horse, in a 15th-century former farmhouse, offers great quality pub food and you can sit exactly where Jude Law did in The Holiday!
Visit St. James Church
You can’t miss the striking tower of St. James Church in Shere. Walk up the cobbled lane and admire the traditional lych gate, the roofed gateway, as you enter the Shere churchyard. St. James Church (1190) with its thick stone walls and stained glass windows may look vaguely familiar to you as it was used in the movie, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004).
Shere Is A Great Base For Walking In The Surrey Hills
The beautiful setting of Shere adds to making it the perfect getaway! It is no surprise that the Surrey Hills are classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Plan on getting some fresh air with a walk in the countryside through open fields and woods, and alongside the River Tillingbourne. There are marked routes and trails for all levels of walkers.
Some of the routes will take you through nearby Albury or to the Silent Pool Distillers. This unique gin distillery offers tours through its renovated barns where the gin production occurs and gives away a few secrets behind its tasty gin recipe. It’s the perfect place to purchase a gift for the gin lover that you know!
Other walking routes may include Newlands Corner where some of the best panoramic views over the Surrey Hills delight everyone. You can even see the darling village of Shere from Newlands Corner!
Here are some of the best walking trails from Shere.
Indulge In Tea And Scones
When in England, one must have tea and scones, at least once! Head over to Hilly’s Tea Shop where freshly baked scones, clotted cream, and Hilly’s jam await you!
Walk The Loop Between Two Cafes
The Dabbling Duck is a popular cafe in Shere and a great place to have breakfast or lunch. Its sister cafe, The Plucky Pheasant, is about a 75-minute walk away. Follow the circular route through heathland, woods, and fields, knowing that there is a refreshment waiting for you at The Plucky Pheasant. Here is the circular walking route.
Walk To The Organic Vineyard In Albury
This family run vineyard makes wine with organic grapes grown in the Surrey Hills. A winner in the Surrey Hills Food and Drinks Awards in 2019, stop by for a wine and cheese tasting, a vineyard tour, or one of its other organized events. Check the tasting schedule here.
Dine In Shere At A Relaxed And Recognized Restaurant
Make a reservation at the Kinghams Restaurant which received the Surrey Life Restaurant of the Year award for the second time in 2019. Its welcoming ambiance in a cottage that was built around 1620 paired with outstanding food makes it a top restaurant choice in Shere. In the summer, dining in the garden is a lovely option.
Stay In A Beautiful Bed And Breakfast In Shere
Nothing shouts “British Cozy Country Getaway” as much as staying in a locally owned bed and breakfast. Right in Shere is the highly recommended Vaughans Bed and Breakfast. After a walk in the Surrey Hills, or a stop at the pub, return to the quiet and relaxing garden at Vaughans. Also situated right in Shere is The Rookery Nook, this well-loved Bed and Breakfast has just one quaint room that overlooks the main square in Shere.
How To Get To Shere
By Car: Shere is found right off the A25 between Guildford and Dorking. Parking is free in Shere.
By Train From London: Trains leave from both London Blackfriars Station and London Waterloo. The final destination is Gomshall. The trip is about an hour with one change in Redhill. It’s the perfect distance for a day trip from London. To get to Shere from the Gomshall Station, take Bus #32, a taxi, or walk for about 20 minutes.
- If you are driving to Shere, stop by the bustling market towns of Guildford and Dorking. Guildford, situated on the River Wey, is topped with a castle that has gorgeous views over the Surrey landscape. Dorking, a market town, is full of antique shops that are fun to browse.
- Shere is a very popular destination so don’t be surprised if it gets a little crowded.
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