The South England county of Surrey takes its name from the old English, simply meaning ‘southern district’. Perhaps most famous today for its horse racing, Surrey hosts some fantastic days out at the races. Amongst its many horse racing events is The Derby, which has been held at Epsom Downs Racecourse since 1780. The first horse race to take place at Epsom Downs was in 1661, making this well-established venue a historic site.
This area of the south of England is home to some stunning parks and gardens. The most famous of these is Kew Gardens. Kew Gardens features glass houses and landscapes, and continues to be a scientific institution containing a vast knowledge of plants from around the world.
Kew Gardens is also a great place to visit during the half term break. At the last count there were 24 badger setts occupying these gardens. Though it is difficult to spot the badgers during the day, a human sized sett has been built to show visitors what life is like for the badgers who live here. Other attractions at Kew include talks, guided tours, a changing calendar of exhibitions and a treetop walkway.
Amongst the many animal parks and centres you can visit while on Surrey holidays, Birdworld and Godstone Farm and Playbarn stand out as being the most unique. Birdworld in Farnham puts on some fantastic outdoor flying displays and the Heron Theatre Show is an amazing indoor display of the natural behaviour of birds.
Don’t miss the penguin feeding which takes place twice a day at around 11am and 3.30pm. Godstone Farm and Playbarn is an attraction for younger children. The farm is home to an array of animals and also has playgrounds, sandpits and runs daily tractor and trailer rides.
Historic buildings in Surrey, such as Loseley Park and Guildford Castle attract many visitors in the half term dates, and these fascinating buildings are well worth a visit. Perhaps the most stunning of all these is Hampton Court Palace. Hampton Court Palace is the oldest Tudor palace in England and was a favourite with Henry VIII.
The private apartments have been lovingly refurbished, last being occupied in 1797. Explore these and the state apartments, where costumed guides bring the history of this magnificent house to life.
Surrey holidays offer some beautiful walks, interspersed with pretty market towns and villages. This county is made up of unspoilt countryside, woodland and downland with distinct differences in landscape. The Devil’s Punch Bowl is the largest spring-eroded valley in Europe and gives visitors the chance to see the results of this natural phenomenon. In contrast, Leith Hill is the highest point in south-east England and features an 18th century tower at its summit. The tower offers stunning views over London and the English Channel.
Being in easy reach of London and the south coast, Surrey offers a wide variety of things to see and do in the UK school holidays.