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Off the beaten path

If you love an outdoor adventure look no further. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, Dorking has a wealth of outdoors beauty spots, hiking trails and cycling paths. You’re going to need your energy, so let’s start with a hearty breakfast at Musette Cycle Caffe, where you can hang your bike (if you’ve got one- not essential!), take a look at your maps and get a hearty breakfast inside you.

You’ve got some options!

Cyclists might like to head up to Box Hill, Leith Hill or onto Ranmore Common, or take your pick from the best cycling trails in Dorking. There’s something for all levels of experience and enthusiasm.

Walkers might like to check out the Stepping Stones and the path to Box Hill, or drive to Friday Street and wander along the woodland walk to Leith Hill and it’s fabulous views, or see what pursuits are on the cards in our local rambers group. Or try the new Deepdene Trail, a brand-new trail just 15 minute’s stroll from Dorking’s town centre.

The Deepdene Trail really is one for all the family. If you’d like a guided tour you can download a handy app (take a look here: App Store or Google Play), or you can just play it by ear and plot your own way to the Deepdene estate, one of the country’s most historically significant gardens. Privately owned since their creation in the 17th Century, the recently opened trail explores the area’s connection to the famous cursed Hope Diamond, the tragic reason behind the Hope family Mausoleum, and how this unique landscape has changed over time.

Back in town you could have a swim or get to the footie… we have a brand new football stadium with a fabulous restaurant called the Healthy Kitchen too, with good eats for afters.

The countryside around Dorking is acknowledged to be one of the finest for outdoors pursuits. Make the most of it on your trip to Dorking.


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Shopper's Delight in Dorking

If you have just one day to get your fill of Dorking’s fabulous shops, cafes and sights, begin by downloading the Dorking LoyalFree for special offers and discounts, and then get ready to explore!

 

A Foodie’s Escape

Dorking is food enthusiast’s dream, with a whole host of cuisines to satisfy your every hunger. From Michelin stars to dining under the stars, Dorking has something for everyone – as well as an array of shops to help you take some fabulous local fare home with you.

Independent Spirit

You might have heard it before, but we’re very proud of our independent spirit here in Dorking. The town has a unique vibe because of our inhabitants, their visions, their creativity, and their passion for making their own dreams come true.

Art Fanatic's Adventure

Dorking has a buzzing local art scene, and it’s gained a reputation as a hub of artists, ideas people and creators. This independent spirit has helped build the town we know and love, and there’s no better way to reveal the true depths of a place than meeting the creators themselves and the galleries that host them. Let us introduce you!

A family-friendly weekend break to Dorking

If you’re a practiced mini-breaker who has already found Dorking, we salute you. For those who haven’t found our secret? Let us share something special; when you’ve more than a few hours, the doors to all things Dorking start to open.

Off the Beaten Path

If you love an outdoor adventure look no further. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, Dorking has a wealth of outdoors beauty spots, hiking trails and cycling paths.

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You are here: Off the beaten path

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Independent spirit

You might have heard it before, but we’re very proud of our independent spirit here in Dorking. The town has a unique vibe because of our inhabitants, their visions, their creativity, and their passion for making their own dreams come true.

If you like a little of the unique yourself, then you’ve come to the right place. Dorking is the perfect match of small town, big ideas. Let us share some of the best of our recent, upcoming and annual independent events…

Coming with the family? Pippfest is a free annual festival that takes place each Summer at Pippbrook House. There’s live local music, an artist’s colony, healing fields, craft stalls, plus some exquisite food stalls (as well as some bars for the adults). It’s fun for the whole family, with children’s games aplenty, and you don’t even need a ticket.

More of an independent film buff? The Dorking Radical Film Festival is your chance to revel in some lesser known masterpieces in the Green Room Theatre in the heart of our town. Often the screenings are accompanied by poetry readings, or a topical guest speaker joins the evening, or the organisers will link the event with the work of local charities. Supporting this festival is high on our list.

If racing cars and motorsports are more your thing, we hope you didn’t miss the Rob Walker Centenary Festival this autumn! We celebrated this local racing legend, who was based with his team at the local Pippbrook House in the 50’s & 60’s, by showcasing nine of his historic racing cars for the day. The town was a bustle of activity, with book launches, automotive tours, family activities and Johnnie Walker RaceDay cocktails (lucky us – Rob is heir to the Johnnie Walker whisky fortune). But the finale beat it all, when the cars were taken on a noisy but fabulous parade lap of the town. Unmissable.

And we haven’t even described our independent family-run shops yet. Families build businesses, and businesses build towns, and we’ve got them all; from S C Fuller, est. 1892 and still run by descendants of the original man, through to Mullins Coffee shop which is in the ancestral home of Williams Mullins, one of North America’s Pilgrim Fathers via his daughter Pricillia Mullins Alden…visit Dorking and there’s a treasure around every corner.

Finally, we can’t let you go without mentioning Ralph Vaughan Williams, a former resident of Leith Hill Place and a composer with a conscience. Dorking Nursery School and Children’s Centre is located in Ralph Vauahan Williams’s House and it is fitting that the school was founded in 1939 to serve children evacuated from London during the Blitz – it still serves children and families today. It’s no coincidence Williams’s famously beautiful ‘Lark Ascending’ (1920) composition was suggested by a poem by George Meredith of nearby Box Hill. If you visit on a quiet day, you might even see one yourself.

Shopper's Delight in Dorking

If you have just one day to get your fill of Dorking’s fabulous shops, cafes and sights, begin by downloading the Dorking LoyalFree for special offers and discounts, and then get ready to explore!

 

A Foodie’s Escape

Dorking is food enthusiast’s dream, with a whole host of cuisines to satisfy your every hunger. From Michelin stars to dining under the stars, Dorking has something for everyone – as well as an array of shops to help you take some fabulous local fare home with you.

Independent Spirit

You might have heard it before, but we’re very proud of our independent spirit here in Dorking. The town has a unique vibe because of our inhabitants, their visions, their creativity, and their passion for making their own dreams come true.

Art Fanatic's Adventure

Dorking has a buzzing local art scene, and it’s gained a reputation as a hub of artists, ideas people and creators. This independent spirit has helped build the town we know and love, and there’s no better way to reveal the true depths of a place than meeting the creators themselves and the galleries that host them. Let us introduce you!

A family-friendly weekend break to Dorking

If you’re a practiced mini-breaker who has already found Dorking, we salute you. For those who haven’t found our secret? Let us share something special; when you’ve more than a few hours, the doors to all things Dorking start to open.

Off the Beaten Path

If you love an outdoor adventure look no further. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, Dorking has a wealth of outdoors beauty spots, hiking trails and cycling paths.

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public

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You are here: Independent spirit

Download :

Art fanatic’s adventure

Dorking has a buzzing local art scene, and it’s gained a reputation as a hub of artists, ideas people and creators. This independent spirit has helped build the town we know and love, and there’s no better way to reveal the true depths of a place than meeting the creators themselves and the galleries that host them. Let us introduce you!

Start your day in Dorking with a visit to meet the infamous Gillian Gladrag, owner of the Fluff-a-torium and avante-guard artist of all things woolen and felted. This is not your average store; instead you’ll be transported into a carnival-style land of colour, creation and wonder. Chat to the artist herself, maybe join a workshop upstairs (book early!), and feel first-hand the energy and passion of this well-known local artist.

Next, change the pitch and revel in the fine art galleries of the town. Wander up to Bourneside Gallery on North Street for ceramics and limited edition prints, then swing by The John Arthur Gallery at 11 High Street to see the most fabulous Turner-inspired paintings. Carry on down to Sandstone Studios where Dorking boasts two artists-in-residence; Landscape painter Chris Forsey, who works in a semi-abstract style and is a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, and ceramicist Stephanie Wright who creates abstract sculptural work in stunning colour and following forms. Both artists sell work from their studio / gallery, so don’t forget your wallet!

Your final, unmissable stop (if you’re visiting between April and October) is the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden, a wonderful space where plants and mature trees support and frame a collection of stunning contemporary sculptures. Take your time, sit back and contemplate, and revel in the harmony of this 35-year old growing space.

And for the ultimate artistic retreat? Stay on for the night at the adjacent Summer House at Black and White Cottage. This self-catering B&B is nestled in a divine secluded woodland setting, and has a simple country chic style that we can’t resist. Fling open the doors, take up a spot on the decking, pop the complimentary Prosecco and just take it all in. The birds, the babbling stream, the natural light… and when it gets cooler, just head inside and get cosy in front of your own log fire! There can be no better way to unwind.

'Fallen+Deodar'+Jilly+Sutton
‘Fallen+Deodar’+Jilly+Sutton – Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden

Shopper's Delight in Dorking

If you have just one day to get your fill of Dorking’s fabulous shops, cafes and sights, begin by downloading the Dorking LoyalFree for special offers and discounts, and then get ready to explore!

 

A Foodie’s Escape

Dorking is food enthusiast’s dream, with a whole host of cuisines to satisfy your every hunger. From Michelin stars to dining under the stars, Dorking has something for everyone – as well as an array of shops to help you take some fabulous local fare home with you.

Independent Spirit

You might have heard it before, but we’re very proud of our independent spirit here in Dorking. The town has a unique vibe because of our inhabitants, their visions, their creativity, and their passion for making their own dreams come true.

Art Fanatic's Adventure

Dorking has a buzzing local art scene, and it’s gained a reputation as a hub of artists, ideas people and creators. This independent spirit has helped build the town we know and love, and there’s no better way to reveal the true depths of a place than meeting the creators themselves and the galleries that host them. Let us introduce you!

A family-friendly weekend break to Dorking

If you’re a practiced mini-breaker who has already found Dorking, we salute you. For those who haven’t found our secret? Let us share something special; when you’ve more than a few hours, the doors to all things Dorking start to open.

Off the Beaten Path

If you love an outdoor adventure look no further. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, Dorking has a wealth of outdoors beauty spots, hiking trails and cycling paths.

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public

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You are here: Art fanatic’s adventure

Download :

A foodie’s escape

Dorking is food enthusiast’s dream, with a whole host of cuisines to satisfy your every hunger. From Michelin stars to dining under the stars, Dorking has something for everyone – as well as an array of shops to help you take some fabulous local fare home with you. Here is our favourite day-in-the-life of a food and drink enthusiast in Dorking…

Start your day with a Mullins Coffee Shop breakfast, on a site where food and history combine. It’s the only remaining Pilgrim Home in the whole of the UK, and a beacon of the local and historic life of Dorking Town. Well worth a visit.

Get in the foodie mood and pick up some of your own fine local produce at the unmissable Dorking Butchery. Alex, Gary and the team have created THE most fantastic butchery for miles. Their outstanding service and first-class produce means that this shop is packed out 24–7. If you’re really lucky, they might have their cheese & marmite sausages on, but if not, splash out on the Cote de Boeuf. It is to die for…

And don’t forget the drinks! Pop into The Vineyard, Dorking’s independent wine merchant, where John and the team stock a variety of wines, gins and spirits. If it’s Saturday there are usually a couple of treats open for tasting too. Or if you’re more of a brewery fan get over to Cobbett’s Real Ales, where you can sample some of Dorking’s finest offerings in their cool micro-brewery at the back – and then buy in the shop to re-sample later!

For lunch, you could head across the road to The Star pub, a real Dorking institution which is tiny, quirky and almost always packed with locals spilling out onto the pavement tables. Or for more of a restaurant experience, walk a couple of minutes to Rialto on South Street to sample some delicious Italian cuisine for all the family.

In the afternoon, take a trip around Dorking’s very own vineyard, Denbies Vineyard, home of some of Britain’s award-winning wines. Take a tour, learn about the estate, and then join a tasting session – we love the “Wine and Food” experience. Perfect for locals and visitors alike, we never tire of a wander through these impeccable British vineyards (eat your heart out Bordeaux!).

Dinner in Dorking can go one of many ways; for incredible, fine dining, Michelin star, award-winning food head to Sorrel. Treat yourself to the a la carte or go for the straight luxury of their tasting menus. The food, customer service and attention to detail is spot on. Just make sure you book well in advance! For something a little livelier, we suggest the Red Bar & Lounge. Tucked away in Dene Street you’ll find incredible flavours in this atmospheric bar and restaurant, and it’s the perfect spot for a relaxed but fun night out.

If you feel more like a British-inspired menu with a focus on sustainability, freshly sourced ingredients and excellent cocktails too, you can’t get better than Salt Pig Dorking on West Street. This independent local favourite is also a destination spot on the region’s food map.

Or if you just want something a little more spicy and aromatic, take your pick from The Dorking Brasserie, Tandoori Nights or Mirch Mahal. You can’t go wrong.

And finally, if you’ve space for a nightcap, it’s got to be the newly refurbished White Horse on the High Street. Warm, welcoming, with a rich history dating back as far as 1278, what better way to round off your day in Dorking.

Shopper's Delight in Dorking

If you have just one day to get your fill of Dorking’s fabulous shops, cafes and sights, begin by downloading the Dorking LoyalFree for special offers and discounts, and then get ready to explore!

 

A Foodie’s Escape

Dorking is food enthusiast’s dream, with a whole host of cuisines to satisfy your every hunger. From Michelin stars to dining under the stars, Dorking has something for everyone – as well as an array of shops to help you take some fabulous local fare home with you.

Independent Spirit

You might have heard it before, but we’re very proud of our independent spirit here in Dorking. The town has a unique vibe because of our inhabitants, their visions, their creativity, and their passion for making their own dreams come true.

Art Fanatic's Adventure

Dorking has a buzzing local art scene, and it’s gained a reputation as a hub of artists, ideas people and creators. This independent spirit has helped build the town we know and love, and there’s no better way to reveal the true depths of a place than meeting the creators themselves and the galleries that host them. Let us introduce you!

A family-friendly weekend break to Dorking

If you’re a practiced mini-breaker who has already found Dorking, we salute you. For those who haven’t found our secret? Let us share something special; when you’ve more than a few hours, the doors to all things Dorking start to open.

Off the Beaten Path

If you love an outdoor adventure look no further. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, Dorking has a wealth of outdoors beauty spots, hiking trails and cycling paths.

road

public

footpath

You are here: A Food Enthusiast’s Dream Get-Away

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A weekend break to Dorking

If you’re a practiced mini-breaker who has already found Dorking, we salute you. For those who haven’t found our secret? Let us share something special; when you’ve more than a few hours, the doors to all things Dorking start to open. The town centre starts to reach outwards, and the stunning Surrey Hills open up before you. Life here is paced to match you, so don’t hurry – enjoy the views, the atmosphere, the lifestyle.

Take a weekend, and let us show you around!

Friday

Whether you arrive by train or car, you can’t fail to see the lush landscape opening out before you as you arrive. Start to breathe, set down your bags, and then get in the mood by taking in a little culture at the volunteer-led Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre.

So now you’re starting to unwind, let’s grab a welcoming aperitif in the newly refurbished White Horse on the High Street. Those in the know book a room here too, but either way it’s a great base to begin your weekend away, especially if you go authentic and try out our local gins from Silent Pool and the Gin Kitchen.

Time for some pampering? A little refresh ready for the evening? We’ve a host of stylish salons at your disposal; pop in to Dare DorkingEssensuals, the award-winning Teresa Weller Hair Art, Unparalleled Hair, or Barbers@136 the High Street for a quick men’s trim and old fashioned wet shave.

Afterwards, head down the High Street into South Street to the fabulous Queen’s Head for dinner. If the sun is shining, you can grab a table in the garden or, if it’s a little chilly, snag a cosy table inside in the corner (number 7 is our favourite). They serve up pub classics with a modern twist and the portions are hearty and generous. There’s always a terrific atmosphere in here and the bar staff are first class. Head back to the White Horse for a nightcap and a restful night’s sleep to set you up for the weekend ahead.

Dorking Deli
“It’s the Dorking Deli all day long for us. It’s just my favourite little hangout! Plus they gave a great selection of herbal teas.” — Kate

Saturday

There’s always a great buzz on a Saturday morning in Dorking and there’s a range of breakfast options available to you. The Dorking Deli does a delicious smashed avocado or butcher’s choice breakfast (as well as gluten-free options), and they serve a mean fresh coffee that comes from beans from the local Box Hill roastery. If last night was a good one, you might want  to try Pepe’s instead, where they will cook you up the works or a terrific sausage butty on floury doorstop bread.

Get your shop on for the rest of the day with a bit of retail therapy with shopper’s delight, or partake in the foodie escape, or go on an art adventure around Dorking. The choice is yours. Just remember to make dinner reservations!

“The Stepping Stones! That picture rivals any exotic location you see on Instagram. But then, having grown up in Brockham, near Boxhill, I may be biased!” — Sally

Sunday

We love Sundays in Dorking. One of the joys of living here is that within minutes of the bustling town, you can step out and find yourself in the surrounding countryside of the Surrey Hills.

Grab yourself a bite at Too Many Cooks on South Street, historic Mullins Coffee Shop on West Street, or Cake Rider Café, all of which offer a delicious selection of coffee, tea and CAKE — it’s just a case of finding an available table amidst the weekend bustle.

And then go off the beaten path for the day. Discover the Deepdene Trail, hike to Leith Hill, check out the Stepping Stones or pick your own adventure in our glorious part of the Surrey Hills. You won’t regret it.

You can also search all our shops using our handy category listing:

Shopper's Delight in Dorking

If you have just one day to get your fill of Dorking’s fabulous shops, cafes and sights, begin by downloading the Dorking LoyalFree for special offers and discounts, and then get ready to explore!

 

A Foodie’s Escape

Dorking is food enthusiast’s dream, with a whole host of cuisines to satisfy your every hunger. From Michelin stars to dining under the stars, Dorking has something for everyone – as well as an array of shops to help you take some fabulous local fare home with you.

Independent Spirit

You might have heard it before, but we’re very proud of our independent spirit here in Dorking. The town has a unique vibe because of our inhabitants, their visions, their creativity, and their passion for making their own dreams come true.

Art Fanatic's Adventure

Dorking has a buzzing local art scene, and it’s gained a reputation as a hub of artists, ideas people and creators. This independent spirit has helped build the town we know and love, and there’s no better way to reveal the true depths of a place than meeting the creators themselves and the galleries that host them. Let us introduce you!

A family-friendly weekend break to Dorking

If you’re a practiced mini-breaker who has already found Dorking, we salute you. For those who haven’t found our secret? Let us share something special; when you’ve more than a few hours, the doors to all things Dorking start to open.

Off the Beaten Path

If you love an outdoor adventure look no further. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, Dorking has a wealth of outdoors beauty spots, hiking trails and cycling paths.

road

public

footpath

You are here: A weekend break to Dorking

Download :

A day in Dorking

If you’ve just a day to spend with us, make sure you spend it wisely. Begin by downloading the Dorking LoyalFree for special offers and discounts, and then get ready to explore!

 

Families with young children

Start your day by heading to Dorking Museum, the small ones will love the dinosaur bones and fancy-dress hats and you can learn about the town’s history through some beautifully curated local artifacts.

Once you’ve an appetite, continue the historic tour by going a few doors down to Mullins Coffee Shop, the only remaining Pilgrim Home in the whole of the UK. Or head for a hearty lunch at the Old House at Home, the Queen’s Head or Dorking Deli, all within walking distance of the Museum.

Ready for a run around? Meadowbank Playpark is a safe and friendly spot, with a state-of-the-art outdoor playground themed around local landmarks, as well as an indoor soft play in case it rains.

When you’re ready for a warming tea break, or fancy something a bit more filling, Healthy Kitchen and Cafe Rialto are nearby and they both offer children’s meals – the former offers a range of cocktails too, and the latter has a play space for the children. It’s your call.

Shopper’s delight

Pull out your biggest tote because you’re going to need it! In Dorking we have the most glorious independent boutiques, stocking exclusive brands as well as unique and hand-made products that you just can’t find elsewhere.

Prep like you mean it and start at a fortifying café like Two Many Cooks or the Dorking Deli. Once you’ve got the coffee down (and maybe a homemade pastry or two), get yourself onto the streets and let the fun begin. May we suggest a morning of fashion with these stylish stores:

Victoria’s Little Bra shop— a teeny, tiny, perfectly formed, lingerie boutique with the most divine chemises and sets.

Notebook— stop by for some beautifully simple fluid jersey investment pieces for your perfect capsule wardrobe. The collection changes seasonally and you will literally want to buy everything in the shop. Caroline has started a partnership with Liberty of London and you’ll fall in love with the prints.

Bakehouse— a colourful boutique stocking an eclectic mix of brands (hello great Unisa shoes and Falke hoisery).

Aya Boutique — the impossibly stylish Deborah will guide you through her fab selection of European clothes and seriously cool accessories. Her service, style, and approach to fashion is impeccable.

Westdaw – calling all gents and when you need to dress up (or casually dress) the man in your life? You’ll find elegant selection of menswear and accessories, as well as the quirky stock of Happy Socks!

It’s now got to be lunchtime. Try some British-inspired cuisine at Salt Pig Dorking, feed your inner desires by stopping at Superdish Fish and Chips, or stay familiar in Cote Brasserie, Cafe Rouge, Ask Italian or Pizza Express.

After lunch, might we suggest a little light wander along St. Martin’s Walk for some retail therapy with an interior design theme:

Calliope Gifts is unmissable for their inspiring and eclectic range of homeware, stationery and of course gifts.

The antique shops of West Street will make you reconsider your home décor just to fit in one of their pieces.  The street’s reputation in the industry is renowned, attracting interest from dealers around the world. If antique furniture or objet d’art are your thing, this street is a must see.

And if you are still standing, you really need to get yourself to the famous Fluffatorium where you’ll see the most marvelous wool and felt creations, Harman’s tailor-made furniture where you can peruse the handmade British furniture and accessories, and finally No 5 Interiors where you can put the finishing touches to your newly (mentally) redecorated home.

Shopper's Delight in Dorking

If you have just one day to get your fill of Dorking’s fabulous shops, cafes and sights, begin by downloading the Dorking LoyalFree for special offers and discounts, and then get ready to explore!

 

A Foodie’s Escape

Dorking is food enthusiast’s dream, with a whole host of cuisines to satisfy your every hunger. From Michelin stars to dining under the stars, Dorking has something for everyone – as well as an array of shops to help you take some fabulous local fare home with you.

Independent Spirit

You might have heard it before, but we’re very proud of our independent spirit here in Dorking. The town has a unique vibe because of our inhabitants, their visions, their creativity, and their passion for making their own dreams come true.

Art Fanatic's Adventure

Dorking has a buzzing local art scene, and it’s gained a reputation as a hub of artists, ideas people and creators. This independent spirit has helped build the town we know and love, and there’s no better way to reveal the true depths of a place than meeting the creators themselves and the galleries that host them. Let us introduce you!

A family-friendly weekend break to Dorking

If you’re a practiced mini-breaker who has already found Dorking, we salute you. For those who haven’t found our secret? Let us share something special; when you’ve more than a few hours, the doors to all things Dorking start to open.

Off the Beaten Path

If you love an outdoor adventure look no further. Nestled in the Surrey Hills, Dorking has a wealth of outdoors beauty spots, hiking trails and cycling paths.

road

public

footpath

You are here: A day in Dorking