The Surrey Hills have an equal protected status as a National Park, encompassing the beautiful English villages of Albury, Holmbury St. Mary, Dunsfold, Chiddingfold, Peaslake and many more. The thriving wildlife in the area is also a home to many plants including rare orchids.
Today, the boundaries of the Surrey Hills are marked by the distinctive wooden sculptures of renowned chainsaw artist Walter Bailey. Erected in 2002, there are two types of sculpture: small wooden signs with the Surrey Hills logo and 12 totem-pole-like sculptures with varied designs, which have become something of an icon for the area.
During the Second World War, near the village of Dunsfold, the Canadian Army built an emergency landing airfield. Operating from Dunsfold were Mosquitoes, Spitfires, Mustangs and B-25 Mitchell Bombers. After the war, it was used as a flight test centre and development site for Hunter jet fighters among others.
Silent Pool is near Albury, an atmospheric and peaceful place at any time of the year. The lovely Silent Pool was where the mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie took place in 1926. Following a marital row, the famous novelist wrote to the Deputy Chief Constable in Surrey claiming her life was in danger. Her abandoned car was found, but she was discovered later, safe and sound, in the Swan Hotel in Harrogate.
An extensive gunpowder factory was once situated in the village of Chilworth, in the valley of the River Tillingbourne. The gunpowder estate was established here in 1625 by the East India Company. Today, it is a very interesting English Heritage Scheduled Monument and well worth a visit.
Witley Park was once home to a manor house that had many royal connections, but only in the 19th century did it gain notoriety. Then owner, James Whitaker Wright, developed it into a 32-bedroom mansion with three artificial lakes and a spectacular underwater ball- room. Although the house burned down in 1952, the abandoned ballroom survives.
The highest point in south-east England, Leith Hill is famed for its stunning views. From the top of its tower, built in 1765 by Richard Hull, you can even glimpse the sea. But did you know that Hull requested to be buried on the hill in an unusual manner – upside down, as he believed the world would be overturned on Judgement Day!