Antiques, Cockerels and a Thespian all in the lush Surrey HillsThe many surprises in Dorking
We were staying in the heart of Dorking nestled in the Surrey Hills and home to one of southern England’s largest vineyards.
Dorking sits along the ancient Roman Road of Stane Street built by the Romans to connect London with Chichester.
Dorking’s history doesn’t stop there; however, it has tales of a Pilgrim Father, a Dickensian coaching inn and is the birthplace of a thespian of note, to mention just a few.
Where is Dorking?
Need a car?
Dorking and Charles DickensThe Pickwick Papers
Dorking's Heritage trailStepping through the town's history
Just so you know, there are two self-guided trails signposted around the town.
As you stroll through Dorking, you’ll come across the informative plaques that give you a little bit more of the local history.
Also, an insight into who would have frequented these streets and lanes in years gone by.
Dorking Museum & Heritage CentreDiscover more on the town
For just a couple of pounds take a wander around the Dorking Museum & Heritage Centre.
It may look relatively small, but it is full of plenty of local history, interactive exhibits and great insight into the folk of Dorking.
Discover DorkingAnd its Antiques Quarter
Where have you been?
Explore DorkingAnd its architecture
Notable residents of DorkingA few famous locals
Amongst other local people of prominence was the architect Thomas Cubitt.
Notable for the building and design of some of London’s historical and beautiful squares, around Bloomsbury and Belgravia.
Just opposite the statue for Thomas Cubitt stands a sculpture of Ralph Vaughn Williams, the English composer and conductor.
The figure takes pride of place outside Dorking Halls Theatre, where Ralph Vaughn Williams staged some of his performances.
Where to eat and drink in DorkingIt's time to take a rest
Or if you’re in the heart of the High Street pop into The Dozen bar in the White Horse coaching inn.
Themed with all things equine and a nod to Charles Dickens ”Pickwick Papers”.
Discover more of SurreyJust out of town
How to get to Dorking
You can catch a train from London Victoria or Waterloo direct to Dorking (Main) Station, which takes around 50 to 55 minutes.
Our chosen transport option was to drive, as it gave us the freedom to tour around. Pop in your location details then Rental Cars will search well-known car hire brands and discover the deals that suit you the best.
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I lived there as a kid from 1937 to 1957 in Rothes road,just off what we used to call the rec which was home to the surrey senior football club called “The chicks”.It hasn’t changed a jot and,as a kid in the war there are not many parts of Dorking I do not know,the market place on monday was memorable ad there were some pipes you could crawl into which featured waterfalls and the waterfall was a swimming pool past pixham lane.Ah,at 83 I still miss it.
Ahh you have such fond memories, that’s wonderful. There are so many fascinating stories that we hear with kids growing up through WWII, we’re from Kent and have heard some great exploits from our relatives.
Kids didn’t seem to have any fear clambering over bombsights or going off in search of some memorabilia.
We only spent a day in Dorking and found it really interesting. It isn’t until you dig a little deeper into a location that you discover more and more.
Where do you live now?
Your mention of bombsites remind me of those halcyon days when we actually used to count down to when bombs fell.The missile would come over,the engine would stop and then fall to earth as we counted.Strangely enough I spent some time in the army attached to the gurkhas and never suffered an accident but,during the war managed somehow to embed myself on some spikes.Still got the scars but it’s a small reminder.
I live with my wife in Eastbourne now but unfortunately she is very poorly and I have certainly seen better days but my memories will always be with me of which there are plenty.Ciao.mike savell
I can’t imagine what it must have been like during that time. When I hear people chat about it, there are so often tales of folks coming together and a sense of a strong community and such fond memories too.
I bet you have some incredible stories from your time with the Gurkhas, my grandfather was in the 8th Army around north Africa and Italy. He used to relay some fascinating encounters.
Thanks for sharing your memories, take care Mike and to your wife.
I was born in Marlborough road in January 1943,went to St Pauls school. remember the Milk Bar where I think the ex military people used to hang out. opposite was the Market where all kinds of animals and merchandise was sold..For the Queens Coronation, everyone was given special mugs (still got mine!) and we watched a firework display on the Nower…sledding on the Nower was our spot for winter sledding down the big hill sometimes getting air on the jump midway down the slope..I used to watch army dispatch riders try to get up the knarly and rooted hill on their motorbikes way over on the west side what we called the second Nower…we would take our bicycles down to the Rec (Meadowbank)? and get chased off for riding on the grass!! I always looked forward to the annual fair on Cotmandene because I had an Uncle who would always give me a coconut that he won. Sundays was special. we had to go to the Baptist church in Junction? road then get home for Sunday dinner and then walk down to the roundabout and sit on the wall to watch the traffic going home .Mom would give me 3 pennies One bought a bag of broken biscuits from the bakery shop at Pump Corner.Then another would buy one Woodbine cigarette from a packet of five!..No Kidding!!and the last penny should have been for the collection at the Sunday School (church)…I would imagine times have changed since I left in 1971.at the age of 28 bound for the USA….Fond memories
Wow, such great memories, I’m so pleased this post has taken you for a walk down memory lane. I love hearing people’s tales from their hometown it brings the place to life.
It’s amazing what you can buy for a few pennies, it’s a shame that so many of the little local corner shops have disappeared. I was brought up around Sidcup and it also had a wonderful community feel.
Where in the US are you now?