Most affluent of the green and pleasant Home Counties, Surrey is often spoken of as little more than a London commuter belt. But actually 70% of Surrey is classed as green belt land, meaning these rolling acres can't be built on. So this is prime country for outdoorsy pursuits, punctuated by picture-postcard-perfect pubs. Many of the best places to stay in Surrey reflect this - there are plenty of country house hotels and coaching inns to choose from.
It is true that Richmond, Surrey is only 17 minutes from London Waterloo by train, and on the London Tube network. And that Surrey's main town, Guildford, is only 33 minutes from Waterloo by train. Making Surrey a convenient place for visitors to London to commute from, as well as workers. But as well as visiting London how about seeing some of the best of Surrey?
Surrey began its sprucing up around 1900, and many market towns and villages have High Streets and Town Halls dating from the 20th Century.
As well as architectural heritage, Surrey has a number of notable museums. Quite a few are centred around Georgian market town, Farnham, also famous for its shopping. The Farnham museum has a crafts collection second only to the V&A.
Here's a selection of possibilities for your Surrey 'to-do' list:
As for the green bits the Surrey Hills are considered an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, meaning they're national park standard, but without the tourists. Box Hill is probably one of the best known 'green bits', very famous amongst cyclists, and the closest decent hill to London.
The best places to stay in Surrey are as varied as the county itself, from city pads on the outskirts of London, to country house splendour amid rolling countryside.
Sat on the edge of Chiddingfold Green this ivy clad property is a picture of English village life. Inside the 14th century building it is all exposed beams, flagstone tiles, roaring fires and four poster beds, yet with DAB radios, in room DVDs and bathroom mod-cons. The restaurant is AA rated.
Good base in attractive countryside for a weekend getaway in Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Also the area where Jane Austen got inspiration for her novels. Couples will find it cosy and contemporary; larger groups and families will appreciate the spacious rooms and communal areas.
Victorian mansion in the Surrey countryside with easy access to central London. Excellent conference facilities for business guests and a very popular wedding venue.
You won't believe that this 16th century, quintessentially English manor house is but a ten minute drive from Gatwick airport. Complete with beamed ceilings, four poster beds, plush sofas and a crackling fire in winter months.There is also an award winning restaurant. Ideal for weddings and parties.
A spectacular boutique hotel on the banks of the Thames and surrounded by Richmond Park. Beautiful Farrow & Ball painted rooms have elegant four poster beds, sumptuous furnishings, and all the mod cons. Stunning river views from the garden, terraces, and Michelin star British restaurant.
Sleek racing-themed Weybridge hotel overlooking the historic car circuit, perfect for a weekend getaway. Art Deco themed throughout, spacious rooms and suites come decked in dark wood and feature walk-in rain showers as standard. There's fine dining in 1907 and Mercedes Benz World on the doorstep.
Country house hotel with outstanding views over the Surrey and Sussex countryside. Rooms have been stylishly designed many with individual features including original artworks and feature beds. Ideal destination for both business and leisure travellers. Popular wedding venue.
Creeper clad 19th century country house hotel. Michelin-starred restaurant and award winning spa just half an hour from Heathrow. Country style with lavish facilities.