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Situated within the green and idyllic county of Surrey, Woking is both a base for commuters working in London, but also a town with very much its own identity.
Boasting relaxing country walks in stunning surroundings and a rich cultural scene of its very own, Woking is a town full of surprises.
Whether in blazing sunshine or a frosty winter’s day, a walk on the Pyrford Lock towpath can be enjoyed in any weather. Walk alongside the Wey Navigation and watch colourful canal boats negotiate the traditional lock gates.
Pyrford Lock also provides a great starting point for exploring other beauty spots in the area, such as the atmospheric ruins of Newark Abbey and picturesque Wisley Village. Rest your legs by grabbing a drink at The Anchor pub and watching the world go by from one of its outside tables.
Opened in 1992, the New Victoria Theatre is an impressive venue able to seat up to 1,300 people in the main theatre. As it’s a newer theatre, seating is more comfortable and less cramped than in many older venues. It also attracts a high calibre of visiting performers, from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Scottish Ballet.
Touring musicals coming in from London’s West End have included Chicago and Cats. There’s also an eclectic day-to-day billing, from top TV comedians to tribute nights to just about every popular artist imaginable.
Housed in a distinctive wooden cuboid, the Lightbox runs exhibits from local sculptor Sean Henry to prominent British artists of the 20th century. Bright, well-ordered exhibition rooms give visitors a real sense of tranquillity, meaning that pieces on display can be enjoyed at leisure.
The permanent free exhibit should also get you up to speed with Woking’s history, while the gift shop has plenty of unique artistic gifts to take home. For those more interested in the culinary arts, there’s also a great canal-side café.
Woking may be a medium-sized town but, in Brookwood, it has the UK’s largest cemetery.
Founded in 1852, Brookwood Cemetery has also been dubbed London Necropolis and is the resting place for many of the country’s great and good. Indeed, a number of London graveyards were relocated here during massive 19th-century engineering projects, such as the London Underground and Charing Cross Station.
Within over 500 acres, you can find the graves of 10th-century King Edward the Martyr, American artist John Singer Sargent and Titanic survivor Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon. Grand classical mausoleums sit alongside humble headstones. The field of stark white crosses that make up the grave site for the American soldiers of World War I makes for a moving experience.
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