Dorking Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more with our comprehensive travel guide to Dorking, Surrey.

Introduction to Dorking

Located in the heart of the Surrey Hills, Dorking is a picturesque market town rich in history and charm. Known for its rolling hills, stunning vistas, and charming architecture, Dorking is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. Whether you’re looking to explore its cultural heritage, get your heart racing with outdoor adventures, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside, Dorking has something for everyone. In this comprehensive travel guide, we’ll show you all the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more.

List of Places to Visit in Dorking

Dorking has a wealth of attractions and landmarks that are waiting to be explored. Here’s our list of the top places to visit:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Dorking Museum & Heritage Centre: Learn about the rich history of Dorking, from the Roman occupation to the modern era.
  • Denbies Wine Estate: A popular attraction for wine lovers, this estate offers a tour of its vineyards and winery, as well as wine tastings.
  • Box Hill: A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Box Hill offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside, as well as walking and cycling trails.

Natural Attractions of Dorking: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Surrey Hills: With rolling hills, fields of wildflowers, and dense forests, Surrey Hills offers some of the most breathtaking scenery in the region. You can take a leisurely walk or cycle through the area, or simply sit back and enjoy the views.
  • Bocketts Farm Park: This working farm is home to a variety of animals, including cows, pigs, goats, and chickens, and also features a play area and petting zoo.
  • Leith Hill: At over 1,000 feet above sea level, Leith Hill is the highest point in the South-East of England. Climb the tower at the summit to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Hiking/Biking Routes in Dorking

Dorking is home to a range of stunning hiking and biking trails, offering visitors the chance to explore the area’s natural beauty up close. Here are some of the best routes:

  • Box Hill Hike: This 7-mile hike takes visitors through beautiful woodland, past viewpoints with views out over the Surrey hills, and to the top of Box Hill for stunning views.
  • North Downs Way: This 153-mile trail runs along the North Downs ridge and offers stunning views of the adjoining countryside.
  • Surrey Hills Cycle Route: This 86-mile cycle route takes visitors through picturesque countryside, quaint villages, and historic market towns.

Best Things to Do in Dorking: Activities and Tours

Dorking has something to offer visitors of all ages and interests. Here are some of the best things to do in Dorking:

  • Visit Dorking Brewery: A great place for beer lovers, this brewery offers tours and tastings.
  • Explore the Town Centre: The town centre is home to a variety of shops, restaurants, and cafes, perfect for a spot of retail therapy or a tasty bite to eat.
  • Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride: Take in the stunning views of the Surrey Hills from above with a hot air balloon ride.

Week-Long Itinerary for Dorking

If you’re planning to spend a week in Dorking, here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your time:

Day Activity
1 Visit the Dorking Museum & Heritage Centre and learn about the town’s history.
2 Take a hike around Box Hill, enjoy stunning views out over the countryside.
3 Explore the town centre and sample some of the local cuisine.
4 Visit the Denbies Wine Estate and enjoy a wine tour and tasting.
5 Take a cycling tour of the Surrey Hills.
6 Visit Bocketts Farm Park and experience life on a working farm.
7 Take a hot air balloon ride over the Surrey Hills and enjoy the stunning views.

Food and Drink Scene of Dorking

Dorking is home to a vibrant food and drink scene, with a wide range of restaurants, cafes, and bars serving up delicious local cuisine. Here are some must-try dishes:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Surrey Pie: A traditional pie made with beef, onions, and ale.
  • Bangers and Mash: A classic British dish made with sausages and mashed potatoes.
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding: A delicious dessert made with dates and served with toffee sauce.

Local Beverages

  • Denbies Wine: Produced at the local Denbies Wine Estate, this wine is known for its rich and fruity flavor.
  • Dorking Brewery Ales: This local brewery produces a range of ales, including the popular DB One and DB Showcase.

Where to Stay in Dorking: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Dorking has a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some of the best places to stay:

  • Mercure Box Hill Burford Bridge Hotel: A luxurious hotel located in the heart of the Surrey Hills.
  • The White Horse Hotel: A historic coaching inn located in the town centre.
  • YHA Dorking: A budget-friendly hostel located just outside the town centre.

What to Buy in Dorking: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Dorking is home to a range of local products and souvenirs that are perfect for bringing home as a reminder of your trip. Here are some ideas:

  • Denbies Wine: Take a bottle (or two) of this delicious wine home with you.
  • Surrey Lavender: This locally grown lavender is used to produce a range of products, including essential oils, soaps, and candles.
  • Handmade Chocolates: Dorking has a range of local chocolatiers, producing delicious handmade chocolates in a range of flavors.

Local Culture and Customs of Dorking

Dorking is a traditional market town with a rich history and heritage. The local culture is characterized by a love of the outdoors, with many residents enjoying hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities. The area is known for its excellent food and drink scene, with many restaurants and cafes serving up delicious local cuisine.

Best Time to Visit Dorking

The best time to visit Dorking will depend on your interests and preferences. For outdoor enthusiasts, the spring and summer months are a great time to visit, when the weather is warm and the countryside is in bloom. For those interested in the local food and drink scene, the autumn and winter months are ideal, when the local pubs and restaurants are serving up hearty comfort food.

Do’s and Don’ts of Dorking

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when visiting Dorking:


  • Take advantage of the stunning hiking and cycling trails in the area.
  • Sample some of the delicious local food and drink.
  • Take in the views of the Surrey Hills from the top of Box Hill.


  • Leave litter behind when exploring the countryside.
  • Forget to bring appropriate clothing and footwear for outdoor activities.
  • Forget your camera - the views in Dorking are too beautiful to miss!

Safety and Health

Safety in Dorking

Dorking is a relatively safe town, with low crime rates and a friendly local community. However, as with any destination, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take appropriate precautions to ensure your safety.

Health in Dorking

Dorking has a range of medical facilities, including a hospital and several GP surgeries. Visitors are advised to ensure they have adequate travel insurance before arriving to cover any medical expenses that may be incurred.

Getting to Dorking: Transportation Options and Logistics

Dorking is easily accessible by a range of transportation options, including:

Airports Near Dorking

  • Gatwick Airport: Located approximately 12 miles away, Gatwick is the closest airport to Dorking.

Bus Stations Near Dorking

  • Dorking Bus Station: This centrally located bus station offers services to a range of destinations in the local area and beyond.

Other Options

  • Train: Dorking is served by two mainline railway stations, Dorking and Dorking Deepdene.
  • Car: Dorking is easily accessible by car, with several major highways running nearby.

How to Get Around in Dorking

Dorking is a relatively small town, and most of the main attractions and landmarks can be easily reached on foot. However, for those wanting to explore further afield, it may be worth considering hiring a car or taking advantage of the local bus services.

Where to Go Next from Dorking: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Dorking is located in the heart of the Surrey Hills, and there are plenty of other nearby destinations and excursions to explore. Here are some ideas:

  • Guildford: A historic market town located just a short drive from Dorking, Guildford is home to a range of shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions.
  • London: The UK’s capital city is just an hour’s train ride away from Dorking, offering a wide range of world-class museums, galleries, and landmarks.


Dorking is a charming and historic market town, perfect for visitors looking to explore the stunning scenery and rich cultural heritage of the Surrey Hills. With a range of attractions and landmarks to explore, as well as excellent food and drink options and outdoor adventures, Dorking truly has something for everyone. We hope this comprehensive travel guide has given you all the information you need to plan an unforgettable trip to Dorking.