West Horsley Village
West Horsley village, which featured in the Domesday Book, is accessible via the A246 between Guildford and Leatherhead, the A3 and Junction 10 of the M25. There is a direct train service to London which takes c. 45 minutes. West Horsley is known, amongst other things, for Beatrix Potter, who was a frequent visitor to her favourite Uncle’s house in the village, Sir Henry Roscoe, and cousin Dora Roscoe. She first visited in 1896 and found the place conducive to her scientific studies. She would visit by train, bringing her pets at any given time, often a rabbit on a lead! Dora and Beatrix had a painted horse-drawn caravan in the woods, where they sketched, did their watercolours or studied, and the servants brought them their luncheon. She did many watercolours for her Aunt Lucy, such as 'the Rabbits' Christmas Party. The originals sell for over £250,000.
West Horsley is home to West Horsley Place, an ancient estate with 300 acres of open land. The house, which is Grade I listed, and the eight Grade II listed buildings in its immediate vicinity, are now in a very bad state of repair. The estate and house belong now to the Mary Roxburghe Trust, a charity committed to restoring them to health. From 2017, West Horsley Place will be the home to Grange Park Opera.
St Mary’s Church, situated in West Horsley and accessible from the A246, has 2 roundels of medieval glass in the east window and a huge mural of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child. Sir Walter Raleigh’s head is believed to be buried under the St. Nicholas chapel floor at the Church. The Church has limited opening times.
The village is home to a number of open spaces including the Sheepleas (270 acres of SSSI – Site of Special Scientific Interest) with its Coronation Meadows of wildflowers and the Millennium viewpoint. There are lanes and paths from the Sheepleas leading up into the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty rising to nearly 700’ with amazing views over the Thames Valley.
The Horsley Diamond Jubilee Trail (which is around East and West Horsley, a circular 9 mile route from Horsley Station) and the Lovelace Bridges Trail (mainly in East Horsley but part is used in the Horsley Diamond Jubilee Trail). Both walks have entries on the Internet.
With the Ordnance Survey Map Pathfinder 1206 (TQ 05/15) you can plan a walk or bicycle ride from Clandon Station (stopping train from Waterloo) to Horsley Station, one stop nearer London (38 minutes by train). This could include a visit to the National Trust property Hatchlands in East Clandon (check opening times), the public paths through West Horsley Place, a visit to several pubs (the Queens Arms in East Clandon, the Duke of Wellington and Barley Mow in West Horsley) and a very useful footpath no. 99 that goes from West Horsley village to Horsley Station or vice versa.