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Dorking

From Academic Kids

Dorking is also a type of chicken breed.

Dorking is a market town nestling under the North Downs approximately 25 miles south of London. Dorking began life as a small staging post on Stane Street, the Roman Road which linked London to Chichester on the English Channel. The town has undergone somewhat less modern development than its neighbours. Dorking is also the administrative centre of Mole Valley District Council.

Just north of the town the River Mole cuts a steep-sided valley through the North Downs. On the left bank is Denbies Vineyard, the largest vineyard in the UK. On the right bank is Box Hill, owned by the National Trust and Britain's first Country Park. The hill has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, because of the large number of rare orchids which grow there in the summer. Further north is Norbury Park which contains the Druids Grove - a forest of ancient yew trees, some of which are more than 1000 years old. The Burford Bridge Hotel on the banks of the river is reputed to be the place where Lord Nelson spent his last night before boarding ship for the Battle of Trafalgar.

To the south west of the town, is Leith Hill, also owned by the National Trust, the highest point in the south of England. The Leith Hill area, along with the adjacent hills of Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill, as well as the nearby escarpment of the North Downs from Box Hill to Newlands Corner, is becoming known as one of the best areas in southern England for mountain biking. As a whole this area is known as 'The Surrey Hills'.

Dorking is home to a modern leisure centre, a good library, general hospital, and a theatre and cinema known as the Dorking Halls.

Each year in April, the town plays host to the Leith Hill Music Festival for choirs which was founded by the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Laurence Olivier was born in the town.

A new species of fish-eating dinosaur - Baryonyx walkeri was discovered in clay pits just south of Dorking. The creature had a long curved claw in each hand and remains of its last meal were discovered fossilised in its ribcage. The skeleton can be seen at the Natural History Museum in London.

It is the site of the fictional "Battle of Dorking" written by Lt. Col. Sir George Tomkyns Chesney in 1871.

On June 15, 2004, Dorking was granted Fairtrade Town status.

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