Getting back to nature in the Surrey Hills







With Britain going staycation-mad this summer, an array of new accommodation options have popped up to meet demand, including a number of boutique glamping sites. Surrey Lakes Glamping, a new offering in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, stands out

The site is run by friendly brothers Frank and Val, who grew up on Slades Farm, which now hosts the glamping site. They have joyful memories of this beautiful pocket of countryside and decided to share it with the wider public. Although under an hour from London, this part of Surrey is a world away: the site is surrounded by rolling hills, overlooking a paddock where horses canter and graze. Birdsong fills the air and real life recedes into the background, making it the perfect staycation spot.

Five spacious glamping spots are arranged around the field, in a dip in the hills with lovely views. The tents are luxurious, with squishy sofas, proper beds, vintage furnishings and even vases of wildflowers. Outside, loungers, a picnic table, barbecue and fire pit are all you need for your evening’s entertainment (a well-stocked kitchen in the corner of the site allows you to whip up accompaniments to your barbeque feast and keep drinks cool). A tranquil site, it’s ideal for couples, small groups of friends and families who want to find a staycation spot where they can get back to nature and catch up around the campfire, roast marshmallows and tell stories.

On the edge of the site is a magical woodland garden arranged around a lake and threaded with streams and waterfalls. With banks of azaleas and rhododendrons and bursting with flowers such as bluebells, foxgloves and ranunculus, it has been lovingly created by the family over 30 years. If you’re lucky you might even spot the resident kingfisher.

The lake here is fed from a bigger lake in the famous Winkworth Arboretum, a must-visit a few minutes’ walk away. This internationally significant collection has over 1,000 different species of trees and shrubs across 100 acres, many of them rare. It’s particularly beautiful when carpeted in bluebells in spring, and viewing platforms look out over the scenic Surrey Hills. There are many walks nearby, lots of birdwatching opportunities and an array of tempting country pubs to reward you after a long walk.

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