If you head to the quaint little village of Frensham, near Farnham in Surrey, you’ll happen upon a stunning expanse of heathland and a beach which is owned by the National Trust, where, during the summer months, it’s not unusual to see swathes of sunbathers, children building sand castles and families cooling down in the gentle laps of the water.. Yes, you did read that right the first time… Surrey. Nowhere near the coast. However, although not technically a ‘beach’, Frensham Great Pond has all the quintessential ingredients of one, which is why it’s so popular to those in the know.
History of Frensham Ponds in Surrey
Originally created in the 13th century to provide fish for the Bishop of Winchester when he stayed in Farnham Castle, the ponds which are part of 1000 acres of an area of outstanding natural beauty, are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including endangered and rare species and has a restored medieval dam.
From the Frensham Great Pond car park there is a short walk through a dense forest, before you reach the edge of the lapping water. We visited on a beautiful, spring day and at times it felt like we were the only people there.
Not only did we stroll along the shore and skim stones across the water, we fed the ducks and meandered through the footpaths which took us around the little pond.
Meanwhile, Monkey was fascinated by the flora and fauna, and in some areas, he used his imagination and pretended to build a camp, and play hide-and-seek behind the fallen trees. He also helped me search for the benches dotted around which were all dedicated to someone special.
Frensham Little Pond
We only spent a couple of hours exploring the little pond, but we saw plenty of hardcore walkers who were geared up to make a trek around the 37 acres. I hadn’t realised it was such a large site – otherwise, I would have packed us a picnic and happily spent the whole day taking in the natural beauty of the area.
Alas, I didn’t have the foresight for a packed lunch and Monkey’s growling tummy meant we had to find a Frensham pub and enjoyed a long lunch… the hardships we have to endure! We were lucky enough to get a table at The Holly Bush nearby which served British pub classics.
As we’ve only touched the surface of Frensham Ponds, it would be rude not to go back, and back, to discover more of what this wonderful landscape has to offer. And hopefully, I’ll go a little more prepared this time, rather than have Monkey constantly ask where the cafe is!
Things to know before visiting Frensham Great Pond and Frensham Little Pond.
• Frensham Great Pond address is Bacon Lane, Churt, Surrey GU10 2QB – head there early if you want to get a parking spot. The car park is usually full by midday.
• The water is currently deemed safe to swim in! So after recent testing, the blue-green algae is causing no harm to humans or dogs.
• At Frensham Little Pond – which is run by the National Trust – there is a cafe serving refreshments.
• The address for parking at Frensham Little Pond is North of Haslemere off A287; head past Frensham Great Pond and Oaklands farm and then east along Priory Lane