There are countless pretty villages and cottages in Surrey but Hambledon and the National Trust preserved Oakhurst Cottage take some beating. Initially, I saw the place on one of my first visits to Surrey last January and I made a mental note to book a tour in the summer.
Oakhurst Cottage in January
You have to book a your visit to the cottage in advance. Obviously, it couldn’t cope with huge numbers abut about 6 of us turned up the other Saturday at 3pm for our volunteer-led tour.
Here’s what it says about the tour on the NT website.
Here are a few of the highlights you’ll come across on your guided tour of Oakhurst Cottage. It’s a rare glimpse into village life from many hundreds of years ago.
From anonymous to remarkable
Until the start of the last century this cottage was anonymous in all but name. It represented a type of building and way of life which had changed very little for generations, and few in rural Surrey would have paid it any attention at all. Today the cottage provides a rare glimpse into a bygone era.
Oakhurst garden – a work in progress
Over the past few years we’ve been working to restore the small garden to its former glory in the traditional style. You’ll see a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers, along with annuals like sunflowers, which we planted to reflect contemporary paintings of the cottage such as those by Helen Allingham.
The Garden in January
The tools of daily life
You can see a collection of old working men’s tools in the small barn at the edge of the garden, adjacent to the privy. This outhouse was used right up until the end of the cottage’s life, helping keep Hambledon’s last nightsoil man in work until 1994.
Don’t miss historic Hambledon
After your tour is over, why not pay a visit to the small, historic village of Hambledon? We help maintain the village, and a group of staff and volunteers often join residents for their annual maintenance of common areas.
We were advised to park outside the Village Shop and walk across the village green to the Cottage.