This is about Surrey, England. There are also articles about other uses of the name Surrey.
Status:Ceremonial & Administrative County
Region:South East England
- Total
- Admin. council
Ranked 35th
1,663 km²
Ranked 31st
Admin HQ:Kingston
ISO 3166-2:GB-SRY
ONS code:43
- Total (2003 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
Ranked 13th
637 / km²
Ranked 5th
Ethnicity:95.0% White
2.2% S.Asian
Arms of Surrey County Council
Surrey County Council
Members of Parliament
Peter Ainsworth, Paul Beresford, Crispin Blunt, Jeremy Hunt, Anne Milton, Chris Grayling, Philip Hammond, Michael Gove, Humfrey Malins, Ian Taylor, David Wilshire
  1. Spelthorne
  2. Runnymede
  3. Surrey Heath
  4. Woking
  5. Elmbridge
  6. Guildford
  7. Waverley
  8. Mole Valley
  9. Epsom and Ewell
  10. Reigate and Banstead
  11. Tandridge

Surrey is a county in southern England, one of the Home Counties. It is divided into a number of districts - Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, Guildford, Mole Valley, Reigate and Banstead, Runnymede, Spelthorne, Surrey Heath, Tandridge, Waverley, Woking, and borders Hampshire, Berkshire, Greater London, Kent, East Sussex and West Sussex.

Surrey has a population of approximately one million. The traditional county town is Kingston upon Thames, which was lost to the county following the continued expansion of London. The present county town is Guildford, which despite having a cathedral is not a city, and which is home to the University of Surrey. Today, the council is still based in Kingston although there are plans to move the offices to Woking.

Due to its proximity to London there are a great many commuter villages in Surrey, the population density is very high and the denizens of the county are more affluent, on average, than other UK citizens.

Much of Surrey is in the Green Belt and, since the soil is very sandy and agriculture not intensive, there are a large number of footpaths, bridleways and commons or Access lands. Therefore Surrey provides much in the way of rural leisure activities, the horse population being very large.

Much of Surrey is rolling downland, the North Downs Way being a scenic long-distance path. There are many notable beauty spots including Box Hill, Frensham Ponds and Puttenham Common.

The highest point in Surrey is Leith Hill near Dorking at 968 ft (295 m) above sea level.



Main article: History of Surrey.

The name comes from the Old English suther-ge meaning southern district, and is first recorded in A.D.722 as Suthrige.

Surrey was anciently divided into the 14 hundreds of Blackheath, Brixton, Copthorne, Effingham, Elmbridge, Farnham, Godalming, Godley, Kingston, Reigate, Tandridge, Wallington, Woking and Wotton.

Until 1889 Surrey contained the present-day London boroughs of Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth. In 1965 the boroughs of Croydon, Kingston, Merton, Richmond and Sutton were made part of Greater London, and Spelthorne acquired from Middlesex.

The 1974 local government reforms caused Gatwick Airport and some surrounding land to be transferred to West Sussex. In the Local Government Act 1972 Horley and Charlwood were also to be transferred, but fierce local protests led to a reversal of this decision.

Towns and Villages

See the list of places in Surrey.


  • Rosebery School a grant-maintained (ex-grammar) school for girls. Good academic record.
  • University of Surrey

Places of interest

National Trust properties

Box Hill just north of Dorking is woodland and chalk downland with superb views from the top of the hill. The eminent British myrmecologist and coleopterist Horace Donisthorpe frequented this location during his studies of British ants.

Clandon Park, an 18th century Palladian mansion in West Clandon to the east of Guildford. The house, which holds interesting collections, and the gardens are both attractive.

Claremont Landscape Garden, south of Esher. The gardens date from 1715,

Dapdune Wharf on the River Wey in Guildford is home to a restored Wey barge, the Reliance.

Devil's Punch Bowl at Hindhead is another common with fine views and walks.

Frensham Common home to a variety of plant, animal and birdlife. Scenic with pleasant walks (and horse rides). Frensham Great Pond houses assorted sailing activities whilst Frensham Little Pond provides family picnicing spots.

Hatchlands Park in East Clandon, east of Guildford, was built in 1758 with Robert Adam interiors and a fine keyboard collection.

Holmbury St Mary is a charming village in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, close to the Greensand Way and North Downs Way. It was developed in the 19th century and still has a mainly Victorian character as on the whole no new building is allowed. The youth hostel, constructed in the village in 1935, was the first purpose-built by the Youth Hostels Association.

Leith Hill to the south west of Dorking is the highest point in south-east England. Woods, Rhodedendrons and magnificent views from the many walks.

Oakhurst Cottage in Hambledon near Godalming is a restored 16th century worker's home.

Polesden Lacey south of Great Bookham is a Regency villa with extensive grounds. Each summer open air theatre is presented in the grounds.

River Wey & Godalming Navigations from Godalming to the Thames at Weybridge. Interesting scenery, well kept locks and well maintained towpaths make for pleasant walks.

Runnymede at Egham is the site of the signing of the Magna Carta in 1215. Attractive meadows and woodland, part of which are a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Shalford Mill is an 18th century water-mill on the River Tillingbourne.

Winkworth Arboretum south east of Godalming was created in the 20th century with impressive flowers in the spring and magnificent colours in the autumn.

Witley Common is heathland south of Godalming.

Wotton Wotton House was the family seat of John Evelyn, the 17th-century diarist and horticulturist.

Other places of interest

Youth Hostels

  • Hindhead - Devil's Punch Bowl, Thursley. This is a totally secluded cottage in a rural beauty spot and has no car access.
  • Holmbury St Mary - In wooded grounds in the hills with easy access. SE of Abinger.
  • Tanners Hatch - A cottage in the woods on the outskirts of Ranmore Common NW of Dorking.

Official county website

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