Haslemere (/ˈheɪzəlmɪər/) is a town of about 17,000 people in the borough of Waverley in Surrey, England. It is at the tripoint with Hampshire and West Sussex, approximately 12 miles (19 km) southwest of Guildford, and is the most southerly town in Surrey.
Haslemere lies just east of the A3, the major road between London and Portsmouth, while the south branch of the River Wey rises just to the south of the town, on Black Down in West Sussex. The town has a small commercial district with service and retail amenities.
Its High Street is wide because of its use as a cattle market before the 1920s and characterises the heart of Haslemere, with the Town Hall standing at its southern end. The White Horse and the Swan Inn are the two public houses along the main street. Along the High Street, West Street and Charter Walk are a mix of shops (mostly independent), restaurants, cafes, banks and estate agents.
To the west of the High Street, separated from it by the railway station, is an area known as Wey Hill. Here, there is a bank and a public house, shops (again, mostly independent), restaurants and takeaways. The town library is in Wey Hill.
The earliest record of Haslemere was in 1221. The name describes hazel trees standing beside a mere (lake). The lake does not exist today, but there is a natural spring in West Street which could have provided its source. In the 14th century Haste Hill, also called East Hill, was the main settlement at Haslemere. Haslemere was granted a charter by Richard II in 1394. This right was confirmed by a new charter issued by Elizabeth I in 1596. Today, this special status is celebrated with the Charter Fair, held once every two years in the High Street. There is a bust of Elizabeth I in the newly developed Charter Walk, linking West Street with the car park alongside Waitrose.
The town was one of the rotten boroughs, returning two Members of Parliament until the Reform Act of 1832: one was Carew Raleigh the son of Sir Walter Raleigh. Haslemere's borough expanded into the surrounding Haslemere parish and recovered with the construction of the Portsmouth Direct Line, which connected Haslemere with London Waterloo and Portsmouth Harbour railway stations. In Victorian Britain Haslemere became a fashionable place to live and continues to be a commuter town for London, and to a lesser extent Portsmouth, served by Haslemere railway station.
Haslemere's main attraction is the Haslemere Education Museum, a large natural history museum founded by surgeon Sir Jonathon Hutchinson so he could display his specimens.
- 1 Haslemere Education Museum, 78 High St, GU27 2LA, ☏ . Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su-M closed. A large natural history museum.
- 2 St Bartholomew's Church, Tanners Ln, Church Hill, GU27 1BW, ☏ . Built a chapel of ease for Chiddingfold, and probably dates from as early as the 16th century. It was rebuilt in 1871. The bell tower is the only remaining part of the original building. The church contains memorials to many of the most prominent local residents, including Alfred Lord Tennyson, who lived south of Haslemere at Aldworth House and is commemorated in one of the stained glass windows, featuring Sir Galahad and the Holy Grail.
- 3 Ramster Gardens, Petworth Road, Chiddingfold, GU8 4SN (4 miles West of Haslemere), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. March to June. £7.50.
- 1 Haselmere Hall, Bridge Rd, GU27 2AS, ☏ . The town's theatre, cinema, and concert venue. Performances are held by local theatre groups including the Haslemere Thespians and the Haslemere Players. Haslemere Musical Society Symphony Orchestra and Chorus also hold performances and there are popular music concerts. Films are shown shortly after their general release.
- 2 Swan Barn Farm, Black Down Estate, Collards Lane, GU27 2HU, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Dawn until dusk. Land managed by the National Trust. The buildings are opening only occasionally.
- Walks. Haslemere marks the western end of the Greensand Way footpath which extends for 110 miles (180 km) to Hamstreet in Kent via the high Greensand Ridge, and is one end of the short Serpent Trail which connects to the Sussex Border Path.
- 1 The Georgian Hotel, High St, GU27 2JY, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. From £63 per night.
- 2 Lythe Hill Hotel & Spa, Petworth Rd, GU27 3BQ, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. From £85 per night.
Local news is provided weekly by the Haslemere Herald.
|Routes through Haslemere|
|London ← Godalming ←||NE SW||→ Petersfield → Portsmouth|
|Milford ← Brook ←||N S||→ Midhurst → Chichester|