Located in the County of Surrey, Dorking is a beautiful amalgamation of town and country. An old market town (going back to occupation of Britain by the Romans) located in the lush Mole Valley, Dorking exudes all the best of England. The peak of St. Martin's Parish seems to beckon all within its gaze. The town's West Street, perhaps the oldest in this old town, seems to draw one into the past while incorporating much in the way of modern shops and boutiques. This area also happens to be the center of Dorking's antique trade, one of the finest in Britain. A score of shops holds something for everyone, including much that is rarified.
Of special pride to Dorking is the annual Heritage Open Days event, one of the largest of its kind in England. The residents here take a special pride in their heritage, and in preserving its cultural treasures. Friendly and welcoming, the visitor will feel drawn to such lovely perseverance in these times of massive cultural change. Dorking also features a trail devoted to exploring the means and ways of the town, and given the rich architecture and cultural features, can be a trip unto itself. However, don't think that the culture of this town is limited to the building and roads; Dorking has been home to a vibrant literary tradition, and many English authors either lived in or visited the Surrey countryside often near the town. An annual literary festival known as "Wordswork" continues this literary culture into the 21st Century. Broadly speaking, however, the arts have been very important to the area, and have figured deeply in its character. An annual art and music festival keep this concomitant tradition of cultural vibrancy alive.
Dorking contains much in way for those with a bent toward shopping. St. Martin's Walk, and open-air area dedicated to shopping, contains boutiques and local merchant, high fashion and simple beauty.
Food has long been a passion of the Surrey countryside, and Dorking does not disappoint. From local fare to niche cuisine, country comfort to international delicacy, there is something for everyone. The local market thrives, and beckons one to experiment in personal culinary creations.
It is said that one can easily become lost in the beauty of the Surrey hills. However, if you stumble upon this timeless town, one can virtually hear the music from ages past, and the sounds of an active future.
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