Dorking is the best-kept secret of the home counties.
You might not see us featured often in the national press, or travel guidebooks, but don’t let that deceive you. Dorking has a charm, vitality, rich history, and unique spirit that makes ours a true destination town. Watch our promotional video and then Escape to Dorking and see for yourself!
What makes Dorking so special?
We’ve gathered below a list of some of the local attractions that really mark us out from the crowd. We think you might be surprised.
Let’s start with our famous South Street Caves. This unique set of manmade tunnels that weave under the streets connect many of the shops and houses of Dorking. Originally owned by various private brewers and thought to be used to house wine at a constant 14°C, they are now in the hands of the Dorking Museum who run tours every May to October. You should book in advance as the tours are heavily subscribed, but it’s well worth a visit.
Next up – the Dorking Museum and Heritage Centre. With temporary and permanent exhibitions of beautifully curated local artefacts, as well as a painting exhibition, you’ll have the chance to explore work by local artists, historians, photographers and community groups. The museum brings the town’s heritage to life, through children’s activities, gallery talks, guided walks and so much more.
For an outdoor experience not to be missed, The Deepdene Trail, Box Hill and Leith Hill really all go hand in hand. These trails have truly stunning views of the rolling Surrey Hills, and recognition by the National Trust cements Dorking’s status as an area of outstanding natural beauty. Plus the Deepdene trail has ties to the area’s famous and cursed Hope Diamond. Intrigued? Visit and we’ll explain all.
Dorking is also proud to be home to two theatrical attractions; Dorking Halls is an entertainment venue inside a stunning art deco building from 1931, where you can take in live shows, event screenings and the latest films. And the Green Room Theatre, home to the Dorking Dramatic and Operatic Society, puts on a variety of plays and small-scale musicals. These creative hubs have attracted the likes of Ralph Vaughn Williams in the past, so you’ll be in great company when you visit.
Football is a feature of Dorking life that you might not expect. The Surrey Football Association is based here, at the multi-million pound Meadowbank football stadium and ground, and they’ve been governing football in Surrey since 1882. We’re not kidding when we say we’ve got heritage (and investment). And at the same site you’ll find The Dorking Wanderers Football Club, our own semi-professional club that has been steadily climbing the leagues since it’s inception in 1999.
And finally, football to wine – not the most obvious link, but just around the corner is the internationally acclaimed Denbies Wine Estate! Visit the home of some award-winning British wines, tour the vineyard, take in the landscape and then join a tasting session afterwards (or visit their restaurant for some spectacular views of the estate). There’s nothing quite like it.
Be sure to check out our special itineraries section, chock full of ideas and inspiration for local art, local shops, and local entertainment.
Whatever piques your interest, escape the city and explore Dorking’s independent spirit, heritage and culture.
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