Another day we ventured to Woking, a small town about half-way between Guildford and Walton-on-Thames. We came for some squirrel watching. As we sat in our car, we saw a solitary squirrel searching for nuts in the park to our left. After a few minutes, the squirrel ran up a neighbouring tree, along to the very tip of the longest branch, and jumped across the road to another tree! He nearly didn't make it, and hung upside down for a few moments, claws clinging to a few small branches! The excitement! He then scrambled up a bigger branch and down the tree trunk, to a new selection of tasty nut treats.
The gap the squirrel jumped - close to 2 metres wide!
We also visited Dorking (great name, eh?) a few times, though the town didn't really grip us and the selection of cafes was grim. Here, except for London you don't get those classy coffee shop cafes that we have in New Zealand that are known for great coffee. They have two types of cafe here - the tea rooms that offers coffee, often with sticky melamine tables and also offering things like baked potatoes or bangers and mash for lunch, or the normal cafe - but we personally felt that the Baristas (coffee makers) weren't as well-trained as Kiwi ones, as the coffees are often over-extracted (bitter) or the milk burnt (you can usually tell this when your coffee is too hot to drink for a while). We really longed for a Trattorie/Crisp or Underground or Addington Coffee Co-op type cafe where the coffee is the main feature. (Luckily we discovered a few of those in London, with the Kiwi-owned Department of Coffee and Social Affairs winning the prize for best flat white and friendliest manager!)
Anyway, Dorking. Dorking has a church and churchyard with century-old gravestones fading into the grass. Sound like the sort of place you'd frequent if you were a squirrel? YES!
Aren't they just magical??
Another day, we went on a further squirrel-watching expedition, setting off from our historic manor accommodation in Wotton. Surprisingly, we only saw 2 or 3 squirrels off in the distance, but we did see lots of autumn scenery that reminded us of home.
The hotel we stayed at near Dorking was called Wotton House, and was once the home of 17th Century botanist, John Evelyn. It had seen better days, especially the garden, but some parts of the interior were very grand.
Bar / restaurant
Room with curved walls and doors!
And that is all I have to say about that.