Saturday 14 May 2011

Surely not Surrey

I've always liked Lonely Planet travel guides until the shock and awe of this week's news that they have branded Surrey a "dull" and "uninspiring" county, whilst Manchester has been deemed "truly special". (??)

Come again? 

Surely, Mr Lonely Planet writer David Else, we can't be talking about the same Surrey!  Judging by your ill-informed conclusions, I bet my bottom dollar that you dont have the privilege to live in this charming, lively, beautiful county.  Let me fill you in on a few things you must have missed during your research trips to leafy Surrey ...

Perhaps you have forgotten that Richmond which is home to the expansive Richmond Park, Kew Gardens and the only view iEngland to be protected by an Act of Parliament.  Thats right - the view from Richmond Hill is protected by the Richmond, Ham and Petersham Open Spaces Act to preserve the beauty immortalised in paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds and J.M.W. Turner, which was once described by Sir Walter Scott as "an unrivalled landscape".... In Surrey. 

View from Richmond Hill
Photo: Mine
Polesden Lacy
Photo: National Trust
Did you somehow miss a visit to Hampton Court Palace, Polesden Lacey and Loseley Park when you did your "research?".  You cannot honestly say that these beautiful buildings are "uninspiring"! 

Have you ever heard of the Magna Carta, Mr Else?  Look it up and you may find that the super important document was signed in Runnymede, just outside Egham in Surrey.  The memorials that are there today were even worth a visit from John F Kennedy!  After a visit to Runnymede, you can drive down the A30 toward Egham and look to your left where you'll see Royal Holloway University.  Not even the most hungover student would call this amazing building "dull". Major photo opportunity! 
Royal Holloway University
Photo: Quadnetics

Because I'm a nice lady, I'll give you some insider information - the best part about Surrey are the lovely, charming villages dotted around the county, especially those in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (you know about those special areas, don't you?).  The villages of  Elstead, Seale, Tilford and Shere are reason enough to visit Surrey.  

Need more? Surrey has the most golf courses of any county in England, the lowest crime rate, the most area of densely wooded land and is home to the likes of Pete Townshend, Dame Judi Dench, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr and me!   Now, don't be hatin' Mr. E -  I realise that not everyone is lucky enough to live in Surrey, but everyone (other than you, I'm afraid) is welcome to visit. 


  1. That IS strange, isn't it? Surrey is lovely. We used to live there and loved all the greenery and beautiful houses.

    And Manchester? I probably wouldn't have chosen that at Surrey's rival!! But I haven't been there so maybe it's suddenly got awesome and I didn't realise!


  2. I can't believe his comments on Surrey... it's well known for being one of the most lovely places to live! Its really beautiful and safe as you said... whereas in Manchester (which is a fun place, and somewhere i also love) there is not so much green, a terrifying crime rate and just a general 'city' feel. You cannot compare to the nature and countryside of Surrey!!!

  3. Well, I guess you told for me, i have never been a fan of Lonely Planet...Surrey sounds quite lovely!

  4. Maybe he lives in Manchester and an old girlfriend from Surrey dumped him? XOL

  5. I've lived in both, weirdly. Surrey is beautiful and not dull! That writer has a grudge for sure.

  6. I'm an American expat living in Englefield Green and fortunate enough to be working at Royal Holloway. I <3 <3 <3 Surrey!

  7. Very nice Denise! Englefield Green is lovely!