The weather forecast for Farnham is looking not at all shabby for the early May bank holiday. It doesn't look like we're going to experience the mid-20s highs we saw this Easter, but we can expect mid to late teens, sunshine and cloud. That means when it comes to planning activities, not much is off the table! Here are our top tips.
1. Farnham Park
Once a mediaeval deer park, much of Farnham Park remains unchanged in over 600 years. With its rolling landscape, ponds and streams, it's a haven for wildlife and a wonderful place for a bank holiday stroll. Look out for deer, woodpeckers, dragonflies, butterflies and wild flowers.
There's plenty else to do here though - choose from two playgrounds, including an extensive wooden castle structure, a nine-hole golf course, 'trim trail', cycling, golf and cricket. Bring a picnic or enjoy a bite to eat in the café overlooking the golf course.
Birdworld celebrated its 50th birthday last year, and is the UK's largest bird park. Home to over 180 species, the park plays an important role in protecting endangered and critically endangered birds. Visit the Humboldt penguins in Penguin Island, African penguins at Penguin Beach, and Greater flamingos at Flamingo Cove.
Birds aren't the only animals you can find here though: Underwater World is home to fish (including piranhas), reptiles and two dwarf crocodiles. The Jenny Wren petting farm is particularly popular with younger children who can get up close to all the usual farm animals, and meet Birdworld's resident reindeer.
Enjoy a great-value lunch at the park's restaurant or one of its many snack outlets.
3. Walking and Hiking: North Downs Way
There are a number of beautiful walking routes in Surrey, catering for walkers of every age and ability. One walk of particular note is the 153-mile North Downs Way, which begins in Farnham itself and ends in Canterbury, Kent. We're not suggesting you tackle the whole route in one weekend, but once you get started, you might find you have to finish the route, even if it takes a dozen future bank holidays!
The first leg of this route takes you 11 miles to Guildford and on the way, you can enjoy Runfold Wood Nature Reserve's abundance of nature and wildlife, and stop off in one of Surrey's quintessentially English villages for tea and cake or a pub lunch. At the end of the day, there are plenty of direct trains back to Farnham from Guildford.
4. Sculpture Park
The Sculpture Park is one of Surrey's hidden gems. Situated in 10 acres of glorious countryside, you can enjoy more than 600 sculptures from 200 established and up-and-coming artists, and an ever-growing eco art collection. Find a piece you really love, and you could end up taking it home with you!
This park is for all ages to enjoy, and photographers will particularly love the opportunities it offers.
5. The Lightbox Art Gallery
If we are hit by spring showers over the bank holiday weekend, you might want to pop over to Woking to visit the Lightbox art gallery in Woking. Home to paintings, sculptures and other works by 20th- and 21st-century artists, this really is a treasure trove of contemporary artwork. With free general admission and a modest charge for access to upper floors (which are free to under-18s), you really can plan your day to match your budget.
If you visit over the bank holiday weekend, you'll be able to catch the Fabrications: Transition exhibition, put together by six contemporary artists to convey 'transition' through the media of textiles, mixed media and mosaic.
At Shanly Homes, we build beautiful homes so you can build a fantastic life for your family. If your day out in Farnham has inspired you, please check out Foley Place, a collection of two, three and four bedroom family homes for sale.