Having been a National Trust member for many years, I’ve made it a family mission to visit as many National Trust properties in Surrey and the surrounding counties. What’s not to love? A great day out for the whole family, fresh air, delicious cream teas and a chance to learn about wildlife and history, as well as explore wonderfully picturesque landscapes and gardens – some of which are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
There are over 20 different National Trust properties in Surrey, so if you’re planning on days out in Surrey with the National Trust, it can be hard to decide where to go or which one to visit first. I’ve taken the stress out of finding a National Trust property or site by listing all of them below with direct links to them, as well as some in-depth reviews and photographs of our visits. Here is the Ultimate Guide To The National Trust in Surrey.
The Ultimate Guide To The National Trust in Surrey
Polesden Lacey near Dorking is probably our most visited National Trust property in Surrey because it’s the closest (read here for a full review). It’s also one of the National Trust’s most popular houses – the former home of Margaret Greville who was known for her wild parties. The views across Surrey Hills are stunning, as are the gardens. Wander the extensive grounds, take the kids to the woodland play area or just pull up a deck chair on the lawn.
Polesden Lacey Great Bookham, near Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6BD
Claremont Landscape Garden
Another MTM National Trust Surrey favourite, Claremont Garden in Esher’s main attraction is the beautiful serpentine lake which is worth a visit at any time of the year (read here for more about a day out at Claremont). Meanwhile, apart from trying to spot the fishes, marvel at the ingenuity of the amphitheatre cut into the landscape, and explore the stunning gardens, there’s also dressing up for the kids and a great playground.
Claremont Landscape Garden Portsmouth Road, Esher, Surrey, KT10 9JG
If you’re keen walkers then Box Hill is a must – but even if you’re not, then there is still plenty to see and do (read here for more on Box Hill). There are several routes for all types of abilities – one of our favourites is to head to the stepping stones which go across the Mole River. But if you don’t fancy trekking too far or have young kids in tow, then just take in the magnificent landscape from Boxhill’s viewpoint and discover why Surrey Hills is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Box Hill also has a brilliant nature trail through the woods. Meanwhile, the ice creams from the cafe are must in summer.
Box Hill The Old Fort, Box Hill Road, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7LB
The ancient Bookham Commons is mentioned in the infamous Domesday Book and is a great National Trust destination to blow the cobwebs away and to take a stroll. Explore the wildlife in the woodland, grasslands and ponds and go bird spotting. If you’re lucky enough you may even be able to spot wild roe deer.
Bookham Commons Church Road, Great Bookham, Surrey, Nearest postcode KT23 3LT
Hatchlands Park is a Georgian estate on sprawling grounds which are perfect for family walks and exploring. Built in the 1750s for naval hero Admiral Edward Boscawen it has since housed wealthy families, World War One evacuees, a finishing school for girls and even a printing press. There is much to discover on the 400 acres of parkland including bluebells in season, as well as a bat and tree walk (read here to discover what we got up to at Hatchlands Park).
Hatchlands Park East Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7RT
Winkworth Arboretum is a National Trust in Surrey that changes with the seasons. A botanical garden which is made up exclusively of trees, we spent a lovely morning marvelling at the blooming flowers and discovering little nooks across the grounds. Our favourite spot was at the lake, watching the ducks and geese and for the kids? The wooded play area (read here about our family walk at Winkworth). Winkworth Arboretum is popular in the summer for those looking to relax with a picnic and admire the assortment of colours.
Winkworth Arboretum Hascombe Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4AD
Abinger Roughs and Netley Park
A little fact about Abinger – back in 1870 naturalist Charles Darwin walked the Roughs while staying at Abinger Hall. Abinger Roughs is a combination of woodland and grassland and home to some oak trees which are hundreds of years old. A fantastic spot for nature lovers and young explorers.
Abinger Roughs Car park on White Downs Lane, Abinger Hammer, Surrey, RH5 6QS
Margery Wood and Colley Hill
Tucked away on a hidden residential street off the A217 towards the M25 is a National Trust carpark called Margery Wood – free for all members. It’s from this point you can walk through Margery Wood, where we found a huge den and lots of beautiful trees to admire – and where bluebells like to spring when it becomes warmer. After heading over a bridge across the motorway, you’ll be met with the most stunning views across Surrey and the South Downs. We even found grazing wild cattle and the Inglis Memorial which dates back to 1909 and was once a water fountain for horses.
Margery Wood and Colley Hill Car park on Margery Lane, Tadworth KT20 7EJ
Runnymede sits on a peaceful spot by the River Thames, and with postcard-perfect scenery, rolling hills and open meadows, it makes for a wonderful walk, cycle ride or place to just enjoy a picnic. It is also an area steeped in history – seen as the birthplace of democracy, it was witness to King John’s historic sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215. As well as a monument to the democratic legacy of the Magna Carta, you’ll find further memorials to John F. Kennedy, the Commonwealth Air Forces, and a unique installation by artist Hew Locke.
Runnymede Windsor Road, near Old Windsor, Surrey, SL4 2JL (SatNav: TW20 0AE)
A National Trust in Guilford, Clandon Park hit the headlines after it was burned to the ground in 2015. Now, a huge rebuild project is underway to restore what was the country’s most complete examples of a Palladian mansion. Visitors can see the progress and visit the Saloon, State Bedroom and Marble Hall and basement areas, as well as the small gardens.
Clandon Park West Clandon, Guildford, Surrey, GU4 7RQ
Leith Hill Place and Leith Hill Tower
Leith Hill Place is the childhood home of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, and for
Leith Hill near Coldharbour village, Dorking, Surrey
With plenty of tracks to explore as well as spell-binding views of the countryside, Headley Heath is a great place for walking, cycling and horseriding. With an abundance of wildlife from deers, badgers, rare birds such as linnets and dragonflies, the open heath, woodland and chalkland is the perfect habitat for all manner of creatures. What will you spot?
Headley Heath Headley Common Road, Headley Heath, Surrey, KT18 6NN
Reigate Hill and Gatton Park
We first went to Gatton Park one Easter – and didn’t realise there was such a huge estate so close by. Situated in the North Downs, this stunning property can only be visited during certain open days throughout the year. Do try and check it out – we spent hours wandering the Edwardian gardens designed by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Meanwhile, walk up nearby Reigate Hill and head to the Fort for amazing views.
Reigate Hill Wray Lane, Reigate, Surrey, RH2 0HX
For another National Trust in Guildford, head to Dapdune Wharf (read here about our fun day at Dapdune Wharf) which is little hidden gem off the main road. Situated on the banks of the River Way – which has over 20 miles of waterways through Surrey – Dapdune Wharf pays homage to the stories of the navigations of the past and of barges which operated on the water from the 1600s. Learn about the history, take a boat ride and enjoy refreshments by this picturesque river spot.
Dapdune Wharf Wharf Road, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4RR
Shalford is a quaint medieval village where you can admire the artisan cottages and learn about the workings behind the ancient Shalford Mill, which sits on the banks of Tillingbourne stream. Although the machinery is no longer in action, visitors can learn about the mill and of the stories of the decline of traditional village work and life.
Shalford Near Guildford, Surrey, GU4 8BS
Morden Hall Park
While not technically in Surrey, we still often make the journey towards south London for a wander at Morden Hall Park. We love admiring the open expanse of land in the middle of the city and stopping at the huge watermill, which still fascinates the children. Morden Hall used to be a former deer park and is one of the few remaining estates that used to line the River Wandle during its industrial heyday. With nature trails, a woodland play area and a great cafe and lots of events, this is a great destination for the family.
Modern Hall Park Morden Hall Road, Morden, London, SM4 5JD
We came to Harewoods in Redhill for one reason – to see the marvellous blanket of bluebells and wildflowers that adorn the ground at Hornecourt Wood. You can’t fail but to be mesmerised by the colour and scents. There are also over 100 ponds which can be discovered, ranging from large open ponds to marshes, where keen bird-watchers and nature lovers will find plenty to explore.
Harewoods Outwood Lane, Outwood, Redhill, Surrey, RH1 5PW
Frensham Little Pond
Imagine lying on a beach and feeling water lapping at your feet at a National Trust in Surrey? Yes, now that Frensham Little Pond has returned to safe levels of blue algae, watery fun can resume again. We love Frensham Ponds – made up of the Greater and Little – and surrounded by handsome woodland and heathland, this really is a true beauty spot to enjoy at any time of the year (read here for more about Frensham Little Pond).
Frensham Little Pond Priory Lane, Frensham, Surrey, GU10 3BT
Hindhead Commons and Devil’s Punch Bowl
For more spectacular views over the Surrey countryside, head to Hindhead Commons and Devil’s Punch Bowl. Another Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, there are plenty of accessible footpaths and picnic spots in the open heathland and woodland. See if you can spot wild ponies – and then perhaps grab some lunch at the café?
Hindhead Commons London Road, Hindhead, Surrey, GU26 6AB
If you’re looking for a grand house then Ham House in Richmond makes for a perfect day out with the National Trust in Surrey. Ham House, which can be found on the banks of the River Thames, is full of history and an example of 17th Century life and became a place for entertaining in the 1660s. Monkey enjoyed learning about life upstairs and downstairs in the house (read here for more on what we got up to at Ham House) as well as running free in the extensive grounds and gardens.
Ham House Ham Street, Ham, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7RS
If you book ahead for one of Oakhurst Cottage’s tours – then you’ll get the opportunity to see a simple timbered framed house which has stood the test of time since the 16th century! The labourer’s dwelling has been restored to bring four hundred years of uninterrupted occupation to life. See first-hand the radical changes home life has undergone over the past few centuries, then explore the pretty cottage garden outside.
Oakhurst Cottage Hambledon, near Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4HF
Hydon’s Ball and Heath
For another National Trust in Surrey, Hydon’s Ball and Heath near Godalming is a peaceful heath and woodland, with a surprise of non-native shrubs planted by the British garden designer, writer, and artist, Gertrude Jekyll. It’s also one of the National Trust’s earliest acquisitions so there is a memorial in honour of the Trust’s co-founders Octavia Hill, who died in 1912. It is one of the highest points in Surrey – and you will be rewarded with commanding views of Sussex and beyond.
Hydon’s Ball and Heath Salt Lane, Godalming, Surrey, GU8 4BB