As I have already said, there is plenty to see in this beautiful country and on a clear and sunny (albeit cold) day last week we decided to take a short drive to visit the villages of Gomshall and Shere which are only about half an hour away from Dorking, where we are staying.
I chose a slightly longer route, "off the beaten track" and we drove along narrow, twisty country lanes through shady forests with moss covered boughs on either side. I love these drives but things can get a bit difficult if you meet someone coming the other way!
It wasn't long before we were back on roads easier to navigate and passing through the picturesque vilage of Abinger Hammer. The trouble with these villages is that they are all so wonderfully picturesque that one runs out of superlatives, bear with me.
Next was Gomshall and we stopped in a roadside pub for a cold pint,
from our refreshment stop we could see this older building next to the river, note the old red telephone box on the corner. We finished our beer and browsed through a nearby shop where I saw this rather unusual table;
made from parts of an old Royal Enfield motorcycle, I was torn between whether I liked it or not, whether I would have it in my house or not, Janet was adamant "No!" she said, but anyway I could not afford the price and the shipping so I left it.
Literally just around the corner is the tiny village of Shere with its beautiful old church and graveyard and we briefly wandered the narrow streets, braving the chilly wind,
by then it was lunchtime and I was hungry, as luck would have it there was a lovely old pub in the village; the White Horse and we found a seat close to a roaring fire,
this delightful looking place was originally built in 1425 as a farmhouse and was converted to an Inn during the 1700s, this ancient history just blows my mind!
Apparently the area in those bygone days was the wildest in Surrey, with numbers of sheep thieves, poachers and smugglers who all found refuge in the nearby hills. The link with smugglers was confirmed during restorations in 1955 when a hidden cellar filled with casks of brandy dating back to 1720 was discovered!
In Victorian and Edwardian times the Inn was a meeting place for writers and artists and in 2018 I sat there and had a lovely lunch!
Seabass fillets on a bed of prawn risotto, delicious! Accompanied, of course, by a pint of lager. Another lovely day out and still plenty more to see.