Welcome to Hidden Britain ladies and gents! We will be unearthing those little hidden gems off the beaten path around our glorious country! So lets kick it off with wondrous walks and scenic views in the breathtaking Surrey, and these five hidden secrets are very close our own Tilford Woods Lodge Retreat, a peaceful place to use as your base. So lovely readers, read on and find some hidden gems to explore…
Located on a very peaceful loop of the River Wey the ruins of Waverly Abbey are stunning. This Monastery was founded over 900 years ago, the resident monks farmed the land, provided shelter and even ran an infirmary. The ruins are so hauntingly beautiful that even Hollywood has come knocking, filming scenes from the cult classic Hot Fuzz (2007), the musical Into The Woods (2014) and brand new blockbuster The Huntsman (2016). So go and enjoy the history at this outstanding location.
A brilliant and interactive family fun day out, meet the llama’s, goats, ducks, pigs, ponies and bunny rabbits! Have blast at the animal handling, feeding the farmyard animals and petting the babies too (I love baby animals, so cute). Pick your favourite Hog and cheer them around the Hog’sticle course, follow the Dino Trail and dig up some bones and make sure to pose for a T-Rex toothtastic photo! Loads of climbing frames, indoor and outdoor available for all ages too! Family fun day out!
mother ludlam’s cave
This little hidden cave in the woods has beautiful and intricately made gates at the entrance, the little known spot has a charming walk in the woods before you reach the naturally formed cave. The cave is said to have been home to the White Witch of Waverly, also known as Mother Ludlam, and legend has it that the Devil, in disguise, came to borrow her cauldron one day but the witch recognised him as the Devil and refused. The witch then hid the cauldron in the nearby Frensham Church to keep it safe, the cauldron in question is still in the church to this day and was used to brew ale by the monks. See the local wildlife and the surrounding woods on a trip to the cave!
Birdworld has over 100 species of birds to marvel at, including many unusual birds, penguins and even reindeer! You can pet the pair of reindeer, visit the Underwater World zone with over 30 exhibits to see, and watch the two species of penguins being fed. Join the Owl Trail and let the keepers take you on a feeding trail of the birds of prey – if you aren’t too squeamish! Explore from the jungle swamps to the warm tropical reefs, see a shoal of piranhas, the mini crocodile and don’t forget to visit Godfrey the grumpy turtle!
the watts gallery
The gallery was purpose built in 1904 to house the works of Victorian artist GF Watts, who was popularly adored in his home country as well as abroad and with over 100 paintings on permanent display it’s easy to see why! There is also a full programme of temporary exhibitions to watch out for too, as well as the Watts Studio that brings the process of making art in the Victoria era back to life for you to witness! Through displays and demonstrations you can see how it all happened, and join in the Learning Studio to create your own art through the workshops and relax in the tea room after your busy day!
So enjoy exploring these hidden gems whether it’s spending a fun filled day at Godstone Farm or a relaxing walk around Waverley Abbey.
Happy adventuring folks!