Farnham

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Castle Street, Farnham

Farnham is an ancient medieval town in Surrey, full of interesting historical sites and beautiful Georgian buildings. The town

Understand[edit]

With evidence to suggest that Farnham has been a settlement for tens of thousands of years, the town is rich in history. Taking in the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age, the Romans and Saxons also settled in Farnham. The town boasts an intact Norman castle and keep, built for the Bishop of Winchester as a half-way point between his home in Winchester and London. Part of the castle and its keep are now open to the public. Farnham and its castle played a major part in the English Civil War, with visits from King Charles I and Oliver Cromwell. Following this period, the town became known for its market, which the author Daniel Defoe described as the greatest after London. Industries in the town have included the production of pottery, wool, crops, flour, and beer.

Farnham borders on the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the North Downs Way long-distance path starts here. Alice Holt Forest is nearby, as are Frensham Ponds and many heaths and downland scenery.

Farnham School of Art, associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement, was opened in 1866, and is now part of the University for the Creative Arts [1].

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

Buses run from Farnham to surrounding towns and villages usually every hour. Contact Traveline for bus information on 0871 2002233 or visit the Traveline website: [2].

By plane[edit]

Farnham is well served by London airports. For travellers coming directly to Farnham, the most convenient are:

  • Heathrow Airport [3], about 35 minutes drive along the M25 motorway then the M3 motorway. Alternatively, the airport is linked directly to Woking rail station by the RailAir [4] express bus service.
  • Gatwick Airport [5] is about an hour and 15 minutes drive via the M23 (northbound), M25 (clockwise) and M3 (southbound) roads.

Southampton and Bournemouth airports are also nearby and easily accessible.

By train[edit]

Farnham main line station is served by commuter and regional train services from many different directions. There are regular services to and from London Waterloo which take approximately one hour. The trains from Waterloo to Farnham are timetabled to Alton (two stops beyond Farnham), and normally leave Waterloo from platforms 8-12 (but do vary).

Train times can be found on the National Rail website [6] or by calling 0845 7484950.

By coach[edit]

Coach services are available from Heathrow to Farnham, via London Victoria. For more information visit the National Express website: [7].

Get around[edit]

Farnham is very easy to navigate on foot and most places are easily walkable. The train station is about 10 minutes walk from the town centre.

By taxi[edit]

Taxi ranks are situated at the railway station and at the bottom of Castle Street. For a list of taxi companies, visit the town council website: [8].

See[edit]

  • Farnham CastleCastle Street +44 1252 721194. A Norman castle permanently lived in for almost 900 years with buildings reflecting the changing architectural styles through the centuries.
  • Farnham Museum38 West Street +44 1252 715094. Visit the museum and understand the extensive history of the town, from prehistory to today. Features exhibitions of art, crafts and writing produced in the town. Check the website for information about temporary exhibitions and children's activities. Free.
  • Gostrey Meadow. Gostrey Meadow is a public park, through which the river Wey flows. There is a children's play area and a large grassy area ideal for a summer picnic. Gostrey Meadow was created in 1910 as a recreational area for the residents of Farnham. The name comes from the 17th century meadows, now part of the Bush Hotel estate, which were known as Gostreeds.
  • Lion and Lamb Yard Award winning shopping village in the town centre, named after a former coaching inn.
  • New Ashgate GalleryWagon Yard (off Downing Street) +44 1252 713208. The New Ashgate Gallery is a non-profit organisation, promoting and selling contemporary fine art and craft. The gallery holds regular exhibitions.
  • St Andrew's ChurchChurch Lane +44 1252 715412. St Andrew's is the parish church of Farnham. There was a church on the same site as the present St Andrew's some five hundred years before the present building was built in the eleventh century.
  • Waverley AbbeyTilford Road +44 870 3331181. The nearby Abbey in Waverley is about 10 minutes drive from Farnham town centre. The first Cisterian monastery in this country, the Abbey was built in the 13th century. Free.

Do[edit]

  • The Barn +44 1252 266196. 3b The Borough (down an alleyway - follow the signs). The Barn is popular locally for its creative events, which include the Knitter Natter knitting club, life drawing classes, and games nights. This little cafe of mainly vegetarian food, in the centre of town, also holds live music nights featuring local bands and DJs. Check the website for a full list of future events.
  • Country MarketUnited Reform Church (opposite Sainsbury's supermarket), South Street +44 1246 261508. Held every Friday from 9:30-11am. Established in 1950, this market offers quality handmade crafts, plants, fresh flowers and vegetables when in season, eggs and honey and a selection of traditional home cooking and preserves.
  • Farnham Beer ExhibitionThe Maltings, Bridge Square +44 1252 718001. Annual charity beer exhibition (the longest running in the country) with 35-40 breweries exhibiting real ale, bitter, cider and perry.
  • Farnham MaltingsBridge Square +44 1252 718001. Farnham Maltings is a lively community arts centre housed in Farnham’s historic Maltings buildings on the river Wey. The centre offers a vast array of activities for both adults and children, including touring theatre productions, film screenings and craft events. Check the website for a full list of future events.
  • Farmers MarketCentral Car Park (off Victoria Road). A local farmer's market selling traditional food, flowers and other produce is held on the fourth Sunday of each month. Many of the stallholders offer free samples before you buy.
  • Maker's MarketThe Maltings, Bridge Square +44 1252 718001. This market is one of the oldest and largest in the area, with around 200 stalls selling vintage and handmade items, as well as food. The market is held on the first Saturday of every month, from 9:30am-4pm.

Buy[edit]

  • Colours +44 1252 733476. Lion and Lamb Yard. A bright, fun shop established in 1986 packed to the brim with eccentric, colourful items.
  • Squires Kitchen Shop. Broomleaf Road (opposite the railway station), 01252 260262. Sells all kinds of cooking and baking equipment, connected to the cookery school.

Eat[edit]

  • Cafe Rouge. 4-5 Town Hall Buildings, The Borough, 01252 733688. Classic French-style food in the town centre.
  • Caffe Piccolo84 West Street +44 1252 723277. Small local restaurant serving traditional Italian meals, with a focus on seafood.
  • Caffè Uno7 Castle Street +44 1252 721193. 6–. Contemporary Italian food and drink in this small bar and restaurant. Open for light lunches and coffee during the day.
  • The Darjeeling23-25 South Street +44 1252 714322. Luxurious authentic Indian restaurant close to the train station. Also does takeaway food.
  • The Gorge 10 The Woolmead, 01252 726483. The Gorge is a small local "greasy spoon"-type cafe which does very affordable all-day breakfasts. The cafe is popular with students due to its bizarre cave-like walls.
  • The Mahaan13 East Street +44 1252 718171. Contemporary authentic Indian and Bangladeshi cuisine with a modern twist. Also does takeaway.
  • Maison Blanc +44 1252 821606. 4 The Borough. French-style patisserie and chocolaterie with coffee and cakes to take away, as well as cafe with wi-fi.
  • The Nelson Arms50-52 Castle Street +44 1252 712554. 17th century pub, formerly part of the castle, with a long and interesting history. Serving traditional British food and drink with generous portions.
  • Pizza Express 74 Castle Street, 01252 733220 [9]. Contemporary Italian food and drink in a converted Georgian school. Plenty of seating in the conservatory at the rear of the restaurant, where you can watch the chefs make your pizza. Plenty of discounts and offers available here: [10]. Also does takeaway food.
  • Prezzo +44 1252 737849. 7 The Borough. Contemporary Italian food and drink in the centre of town.
  • Starbucks +44 1252 714099. Lion and Lamb Yard. Small branch of the coffee chain in the pretty Lion and Lamb Yard shopping village. Be prepared to sit outside as there are often no tables free inside.
  • Thai Lotusland East Street, 01252 716584. Recently refubished, offers traditional authentic Thai food in pleasant surroundings.
  • Zizzi68 Castle Street +44 1252 719231. Contemporary Italian food and drink in a beautiful old building.

Drink[edit]

  • The Barn. 3b The Borough (down an alleyway - follow the signs), 01252 266196. Low-cost drinks and snacks in a creative arts club, popular with students and arty types.
  • The Coach and Horses2 Castle Street +44 1252 724520. Classically styled comfortable establishment serving fine ales in the heart of Farnham.
  • The Plough74 West Street +44 1252 728057. Traditional pub food and drink in a pleasant atmosphere. Offers free wi-fi, live music, pool, quiz and supper nights.
  • The Queens Head The Borough. Also with Pie nights on Mondays and Steak nights on Wednesdays.
  • Nelson Arms50-52 Castle Street +44 1252 712554. 17th century pub, formerly part of the castle, with a long and interesting history. Recently under new management.

Sleep[edit]

  • Mercure Bush Farnham +44 1252 715237. The Borough. This 17th century coaching inn provides a 3-star retreat retaining much of its period grandeur, surrounded by it's own grounds in the town centre. Double rooms from £72 per night.
  • Hotel De Vie +44 1252 823030. 22 Firgrove Hill. Small child-free boutique hotel (highest rated in Farnham on TripAdvisor), aimed at business and luxury-seeking travellers. Double rooms from £95 for two people.
  • Farnham House Hotel +44 1252 716908. Alton Road. Traditional 3-star hotel around 10 mins drive from the town centre. Single rooms from £54, double rooms from £74.
  • Hotel Daniele +44 1252 728608. Lower Hale. An attractively styled 17th century barn conversion, set in 40 acres of secluded parkland, with ample off road parking. Formerly known as Farnham Park Hotel. Single rooms from £45, twin or double rooms from £55.

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