surrey pub walks

Surrey Pub Walks

Surrey Pub Walks

Author Matthew Ogborn tells us about his favourite discoveries, which inspired his new book Surrey Pub Walks…

Which are your favourite pubs and why?

The Star in Godalming has made itself an integral part of that charming town thanks to its award-winning ales and ciders, while The Plough Inn at Coldharbour is idyllic and became a crucial community hub during the pandemic. Finally, The Royal Oak in Guildford might not look much from the outside but is a homely throwback to another age once you step inside.

Which pub has the most fascinating history?

There are a couple of pubs that ooze historical appeal. The Nelson Arms in Farnham is an atmospheric, timber-beamed pub that was originally three farm cottages on the Farnham Castle estate that takes you back in time with the stained glass inside. Meanwhile, The Crown Inn at Chiddingfold is one of the oldest inns in England that boasts an impressive stone fireplace where the original deeds from 1383 hang above it and beautiful oak beams.

Some of your routes take in Kingston and Surbiton – where are your top spots?

The Antelope in Surbiton used to be the local pub for my wife and I, so it will always hold a special place in our hearts as it is a buzzy, innovative pub for all age groups – rare these days.

What is the most scenic pub route you found?

Frensham blew me away from start to finish, a mix of intoxicating scenery and pleasant undulations that has Frensham Common, the Little Pond and Great Pond at its core. After I undertook that walk with my good friend Steve, I discovered that both my parents used to go on holiday down there when they were children, my father Terry all the way from the East End of London and my mother Cynty from Stoneleigh in Surrey. Parts of that area feel like you are in the south of France too with the mix of sand and trees.

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