Our News Blog

Weekend Walk – Barns Green, West Sussex

This is a calming walk through quiet green meadows and woodland, with one or two surprises, especially the church at the tiny village of Itchingfield. This walk is taken with permission from www.fancyfreewalks.org. 1. Directly opposite the pub, take a narrow path signposted as a bridleway. In 200m or so, …

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Giggling Squid review

On Friday 1st June a couple of the VantagePoint team went for lunch at the Giggling Squid in Guildford.  It was a sunny afternoon, so we decided to sit at a table outside by the cobbles of Chapel Street, which was reminiscent of eating outside a restaurant on holiday in …

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Surrey Cricket in the Community

I must confess that although I’ve personally never taken a particularly active interest in cricket I was genuinely bowled over by what I was to experience during my visit to The Oval Cricket Ground. I’d seen images of The Oval of course on television, but to experience for the first …

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Join the Wine Club at Albury Vineyard

Are you a local wine lover? Then the Albury Wine Club is for you!  Albury Vineyard is located in the beautiful Surrey Hills just outside Guildford and produces award-winning English wines from its 12 acres of organic grapes. Membership of the wine club for 2018/2019 starts on 1st May and …

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Weekend Walk – Peaslake, Coldharbour and Westcott

This is a walk of extraordinary variety showing you many different aspects of the Surrey countryside between Dorking and Guildford. There are just a few nettles around the stiles but little mud and the route is fine for a dog. The stile count is moderate. It is a bit text …

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Surrey Hills Society is 10!

This little society is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2018 and they have much to be proud of, says Diane Cooper. From tentative beginnings at their inaugural meeting in Denbies, they have developed into a robust, well-managed, volunteer-led group that gets involved in many local initiatives and is now well-recognised …

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Behind the scenes at The Surrey County Show

Phil Kemp meets the show organisers to find out what makes this agricultural event so popular On the 28th May, Guildford’s Stoke Park hosts the country’s biggest one-day agricultural show welcoming visitors from far and wide – visitors who not only want to enjoy the excitement of watching competitive events …

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Lest We Forget

In the first of two articles to commemorate 100 years since its end, Andy Thompson reflects on WWI. When the guns of WWI finally fell silent at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 Britain began to count the cost. Of the 6 million …

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Chichester Cathedral’s Festival of Flowers 2018

The 12th Chichester Cathedral Festival of Flowers takes place from 31st May to 2nd June, when the Cathedral will be transformed with over 80 stunning flower arrangements using over 50,000 blooms. Over 60 arrangers from the Petworth, Midhurst, Petersfield and Haslemere area (including the Midhurst Flower Club) are working together …

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Weekend Walk – Farnham Lines and Trails

This walk explores some hidden and unusual aspects of Farnham’s history and celebrates the launch of the town’s second free walking festival which runs from May 20th-June 3rd. Farnham has an interesting part in ensuring walkers’ rights of way, played a key part in the 1940 invasion defence preparations and …

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Motorhome Heaven

With sales increasing, Stefan Reynolds borrows a motorhome for a weekend to check it out Meet ‘Henry’. He is an Autotrail Imala 715 2-4 berth motorhome which I borrowed for a long weekend just before Easter, when I headed up to the Cotswolds for a couple of nights to check …

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National Garden Scheme

The National Garden Scheme (NGS) is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country, donating over £50 million so far. They help garden owners open their beautiful gardens to the public, sharing their passion and raising impressive amounts of money through entry fees, teas and slices of …

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Silent Pool Garden by Neale Richards at Chelsea Flower Show 2018

Ahead of Chelsea next week, we revisit this article we first published in March! VantagePoint’s gardening writer, Beth Otway interviews David Neale from Neale Richards Garden Design, a long-time advertiser in VantagePoint, about his garden for Silent Pool Distillery. Beth Otway: I’m so excited for you David!  When I last …

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Godalming’s Music in the Park has started!

Summer must be on the way as we can now announce the programme for Music in the Park 2018. You can look forward to over 18 concerts on Sunday afternoons, starting from 13th May. All the regular concerts take place from 3pm to 5pm at the bandstand in the Phillips …

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Fabulous British Asparagus

British Asparagus & Cheese Brunch Muffins Ingredients: 12 spears of British asparagus, 400g self raising flour, 200g Cheshire cheese, cut into small cubes, 125g butter, 1 small bunch chives, snipped into pieces, 150ml milk, 100ml plain yogurt, 1tsp English mustard, 2 eggs, salt & freshly ground black pepper. Makes 12 …

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Weekend Walk – Lod Valley: Lurgashall to Lord’s Wood

Lurgashall Mill © Copyright Keith Edkins Quintessential rolling English countryside, following a river course with lakes, wetlands and wildflower grassland to an ancient woodland. This walk leads you on a very pleasant circuit through typical Sussex countryside, with part of it following the River Lod running south from Mill Pond. This …

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Motoring Update

Don’t be a car badge snob! How many of us stay loyal to one particular brand of car, perhaps because it is built in Britain, or maybe it’s seen as being of higher quality than lesser makes? Yet, the increasing globalisation of the car industry means that brands associated with …

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The Sandals 2 for 1 sale is now on!

  The Sandals 2 for 1 sale is now on Fantastic Caribbean All-Inclusive offers for 2018 and 2019. For details and your own personal quote contact Tony Chant at Not Just Travel on 01428 748440, tony.chant@notjusttravel.com or www.facebook.com/NotJustTravelTonyChant  All holidays are ATOL and ABTA protected.

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Greyfriars Revisited

Phil Kemp visits the award-winning vineyard on the Hog’s Back The chalky south-facing slopes of the North Downs provides a perfect setting to reward a small group of pioneering vineyard owners for their forward-thinking adventure, this being to establish English wine as not only a popular choice for wine-lovers but …

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Beware the perils of gardening!

By Mike Stockbridge of Elstead Chiropractic and Therapies Clinic Hard to believe, but every year, chiropractors, osteopaths and masseurs are inundated with victims of gardening injuries!  “As the weather begins to warm up and we head out into our gardens again, garden–related injuries are not uncommon but, as a multi-disciplined …

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Weekend Walk – Capel figure of 8

This walk is in a figure of eight, both roughly 5 miles, so if you want a shorter walk, you could do one leg at a time. The walk description is provided by Guildford Rambling Club and readers are welcome to join them on their walks (guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). 1. Walk down …

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The wonder of watercress

Watercress Soup Ingredients: 1.5 onions; diced; 3 cloves garlic; peeled and crushed; 3 medium potatoes; peeled and sliced; 300g watercress; 1 vegetable stock cube; 125ml double cream; 75g unsalted butter; salt and pepper; 1 tbsp olive oil; 2 litres boiling water. Serves 5. Method: 1. Heat the olive oil in …

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Time to spring clean!

Spring has finally sprung, and for us at Expert Home Tips, this means one thing and one thing only: it’s time to Spring Clean. These two short words and the encompassing large tasks that lies ahead can be surprisingly intimidating, but they needn’t be. Spring Cleaning should be seen as …

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The Godalming Run

The countdown starts to the annual Godalming Run on Sunday 13th May and organisers are calling on you to enter a 1K Fun Run, tough 5k race or challenging 10k. By taking part you will help to raise funds for Sport Godalming’s Go for Gold Champions Fund, benefitting aspiring Olympians …

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Surrey Hills Sculpture Garden

Surrey Hills is one of England’s finest landscapes, covering a quarter of the county of Surrey. It is a spectacular landscape, rich in wildlife and heritage. In 2018, Surrey Hills celebrates the 60th anniversary of its designation as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Celebrations include a range of events …

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Weekend Walk – Puttenham

Puttenham lies on the dividing line between the chalk downs to the north and greensand to the south, and was referred to in the Domesday Book of 1086 and called Reddesolham. To the west of the village is Puttenham Common, the remains of what was once a large area of …

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Beth Otway’s Gardening Hints and Tips

I am so excited now that spring has arrived!  There a choice of so many lovely jobs that you could do over the month ahead to set you and your garden and allotment up for a successful year ahead. Prune Figs. The latex that figs readily emit when you prune …

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Weekend Walk – Chiddingfold to Haslemere

This walk has very little in the way of ups and downs and passes over downs and through pretty woods and fields. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). 1. Cross the green and the A283 and enter the road signed to Grayswood. After a few yards …

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Happy New Houseplant by Beth Otway

Now that the Christmas decorations are long gone, if you find yourself wondering how to add a renewed freshness to your home, if you dream of an energising, yet relaxing sanctuary, then you might wish to consider growing some new houseplants and bringing some living greenery to your home. It’s …

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Weekend Walk – Peaslake to Shamley Green

This walk takes you through woods and fields with several ups and downs, to a lunch stop in Shamley Green. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). Visitors to these walks are welcome. 1. Go out of the right-hand side at the back of the car park, …

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Road Test – Volvo XC60, the safest car in the world!

Volvo intend to make their cars among the safest on the road and have pledged that by 2020 nobody will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo. This quest has been so successful that safety experts Euro NCAP have just assessed the recently launched Volvo XC60 SUV as …

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Dogs – watch their weight!

Obesity rates are increasing for our pet dogs, says Zoe Blake So it’s that time of year when we all make those New Year’s resolutions. Lose some weight, eat better and try and have a healthier lifestyle… sound familiar? But what about our dogs. Is it time for them to …

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Craft Inspiration – make a reusable bag

Reusable bags these days are more and more becoming a trending alternative to single-use plastic bags. Giulia Mauri shows you how to decorate an ordinary blank canvas bag to make it into something special to be carried around the high street with pride. It’s an ideal project to be done …

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Local Walking Groups

If you would like to walk with a group, here are some suggestions: Walking for Health Walking for Health is England’s largest network of health walks with over 400 active schemes, helping people across the country lead a more active lifestyle. For more information on all their walks, please visit …

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Guildford Rugby Club – Give Girls Rugby a Try!

In light of the continued successes of the Guildford Gazelles Women’s Rugby Team as well as the fast growing sport of girls rugby across the UK, Guildford has started a dedicated girls rugby development group at the club. The club is rightly very proud of The Gazelles who play in …

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10 Reasons to Love Walking

Could you find time for a brisk 30 min walk daily? The benefits can be truly inspirational, says Linda Routledge In general terms we all know that walking can be a great form of exercise, and the majority of us may well concede that we don’t walk nearly enough. Whilst …

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Weekend Walk – Black Down Temple of the Winds walk

1. Follow the track up from the car park on Tennyson’s Lane and make your way through a gate onto Black Down. Following the track up, you will pass the National Trust (NT) donation box and notice board. In autumn, the steep banks on either side of the track are …

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Weekend Walk – Cranleigh

Cranleigh is Surrey’s largest village and the locals are justly proud of it. This panhandle walk begins from near where the railway station once stood, but that sadly was lost to the village during the infamous Beeching cuts of 1965. Since then the track has been transformed; nowadays it leads …

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Winter Safety

Andy Goundry with tips for safe winter motoring The winter may be upon us, but most of us will need to use our cars, even though the seasonal weather could bring hazardous driving conditions. So what can you do to make driving safer? First, let’s start with correcting a widely-held …

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Gardening Gifts for Christmas by Beth Otway

I treasure the joy I experience when I find the perfect gift for a special person. I will share this joy with you by mentioning the best products that I have tried and tested this year, to help you find superb presents for your loved ones this Christmas. There are …

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Celebrate Christmas with culinary delights from local producers

Phil Kemp has his Christmas palate tantalised and teased by Kevin Depree of The Godalming Food Company Every year in the run-up to Christmas, we invariably suffer from a promotional tidal wave of publicity from the large manufacturers and national retailers who want us to fill our homes with their …

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Weekend Walk – Climping Beach

This is a lovely walk along a great and unspoilt beach, just perfect for some post-Christmas exercise with the family and dogs. Just one factor that might influence your choice of date: it may be best not to go during a high tide. This is because the shingle on the …

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Shall we get a cat?

Zoe Blake looks at some of the things to consider before getting a cat In recent years the cat has overtaken the dog in being the most popular pet in the UK. There are an estimated 11 million cats living in households, so why the sudden surge in cat ownership? …

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Dreaming of that powder day?

Now is the time to prepare for your winter sports holiday, says Naomi Dinneen from Physio 1to1 in Godalming A week in the Alps, or your favorite alpine destination, is great fun… but also hard work. Unless you are an endurance athlete, this is the only time you will exercise …

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Weekend Walk – A couple of National Trust walking trails

Woolbeding Landscapes This is a gentle walk taking in wildlife, riverside views, and wide open landscapes. Gentle, easygoing underfoot, some stiles and slopes. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Please note that there may be livestock in some areas. Face the signboard, take the path to your right; cross a …

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Artist in Stone

Phil Kemp is inspired by stone carver Simon Keeley’s introduction into how even beginners can transform a rough block of stone into a work of art. The art of stone carving can be traced back over thousands of years and has laid an inspiring and fascinating trail throughout human history. …

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Weekend Walk – Beare Green to Charlwood

This 10-mile walk takes you through woods and fields to a lunch stop in Charlwood. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). 1. Continue along the Newdigate Road for about ¼ mile, passing Palmers Farm, to find a footpath, left, by the start of the track to …

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Speciality and Themed Cruising

Andy Church, from GoCruise, looks at some of the themed cruises that are now available In a previous article we discussed cruising for the first time, and why cruising can be for everyone. In this article, we will look a little closer at cruises which are designed to attract those …

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Weekend Walk – Holmbury and Pitch Hills

Two hills for the price of one! This walk shows off some of the best views in Surrey from two of its best hilltops overlooking the Weald of Sussex. It seems longer than it really is because of the enjoyable ups and downs. It is a fine walk, well worth …

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Attention Gardeners and Garden Designers

Ian Coult tells us about Godalming In Bloom Each summer, the committee of Godalming in Bloom runs a friendly, light-hearted competition for those in Binscombe, Busbridge, Farncombe and Godalming who love gardening and are willing to show their pride and joy. Whether it is a small patio overflowing with plant …

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New Premises, Great Offer This October at Neals Store & Workshop

Celebrating nearly seven years of success and moving to new larger premises, Neals Store & Workshop are offering 20% off all furniture and repair and restoration services in October. There is a wide range of upcyled, antique and painted furniture to choose from, with some stunning unique pieces. The repair …

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No Seven Year Itch for Neal!

Neals Store & Workshop, is one of the area’s hidden gems, in fact it is a best kept secret that many would happily keep to themselves, a throwback to an age when affordable quality and customer service really mattered. The business is one of the community’s success stories, a small …

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The Meath is 125 years old!

The Meath Epilepsy Charity, Godalming, is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. That’s quite a remarkable feat in itself; at a time when some of our biggest high street names launched around the same era have bitten the dust, the Meath continues to grow from strength to strength! The charity …

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Haslemere Art Society 123 Annual Exhibition

Haslemere Art Society will be holding its 123 Annual Exhibition of members’ recent work next month. The Society was originally founded in 1894 to promote art and the interest in arts in Haslemere. These founding members included Margery Allingham, Axel Haig and Walter Tyndale. The current exhibition will cover two …

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Festival of Fine Food & Drink

Love local food? Then you will love this! G Live, Guildford’s busiest arts and entertainment venue, is holding its first ever Festival of Fine Food & Drink on Sunday 10th September. It has joined forces with Local Food Britain, the food network of London and the South East, to showcase …

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YOUR HEALTH IN YOUR OWN HANDS

‘Genomics’ has arrived and if it hasn’t yet fully registered on your consciousness, it will do soon. The NHS recognises the huge benefit of understanding and forecasting medical issues before they become critical and will no doubt commit ever-increasing financial resources to this area in future years. HealthAssessUK (HAUK), launched …

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Handmade Musical Instruments

Phil Kemp meets local craftsman and musician Mervyn Mewis We have many opportunities to enjoy live music at local venues. From blues, rock and pop through to jazz, folk and choral – and everything in between. And for the more adventurous have-a-go music fans there is also a vibrant community …

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MADHURST 2017

From 20th to 29th August this year, the Midhurst Arts and Drama Festival (MADhurst) will celebrate its seventh successful year of bringing the local community together in a creative extravaganza. Although the focus is on celebrating local creativity, almost all Midhurst and local community groups are involved in one way …

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Summer Motoring

Andy Goundry’s hints and tips for safer driving this summer With the winter months firmly out of the way, most of us will be looking forward to leisure drives, either around the country or perhaps even further afield. Often, the car used for these trips will have been only used …

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Weekend Walk – Family walks with the National Trust

Box Hill Stepping Stones 1. From the visitor centre at the top of Box Hill, follow the surfaced path away from the visitor centre. Ignore the track going off to your right and continue along the surfaced path running parallel to the road and you’ll see the view opening out …

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Bake with Jack

We have a couple of recipes from Jack Sturgess, who runs Bake with Jack. He hosts private courses and also runs classes in Surrey. You can book him to entertain friends with an evening’s bread making demonstration in your own home, or celebrate together with a bread making party with …

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VantagePoint is recruiting…

For the 8 years since starting publishing in 2009, our magazine VantagePoint continues to hold to its original values of being ‘the local magazine produced by local people for the local community’. Now delivered by the Royal Mail to over 117,500 homes in Surrey and West Sussex, we have an …

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Extraordinary changes are underway at RHS Garden Wisley

For more than 200 years, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has been the force behind the nation’s love of gardening, backed up by its core vision to ‘enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place’. A shining example of this is the charity’s …

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Motoring News

The motor show season is now in full swing, having kicked off with the Geneva show in early March, and Battersea Park hosting our own London Motor Show from 4th to 7th May. It’s clear from all the shows that after years of little real change, car technology is now …

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Weekend Walk – Waggoners Wells and Ludshott Common

Lakes strung like a necklace; a glistening heath strewn with crimson toadstools in autumn; majestic limes and maples; three historic villages. There is no other walk quite like this quiet and peaceful wander. Waggoners Wells is a famous beauty spot, popular with weekend families but large enough to absorb them …

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Thinking of buying a new SUV?

SUV sales are booming. It’s easy to see why, given their lofty height offering a commanding view over the top of lesser motors, together with perceptions of improved safety and grip, say Andy Goundry. Prestige brand manufacturers seem to have capitalised on this booming market by pushing prices ever higher. …

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My favourite cut flowers… with Beth Otway

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite cut flowers; these beautiful, easy-to-grow flowers don’t require any cosseting. You can sow these flowers from seed this month directly where they are to flower, so there’s no messing about with potting seedlings on, and no need for a greenhouse …

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First-Time Cruising

Plenty of people know lots of friends and family who have cruised or are considering a cruise and think it might suit them too. But they then do some homework and are bewildered by the choice available. In this article, Andy Church and Olivia Chapman will help you decide if …

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Sally Howard Hypnotherapy

Does your willpower need more power? Are you ready to make that important change for you? Your powerful subconscious mind could hold the answer to your problems. How Hypnotherapy Works Using hypnotherapy it is possible to make changes to your subconscious mind which will enable you to make changes in your …

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Choosing the right school for your child

Kay Goldsworthy looks at some of the considerations when it comes to making your choices Having worked in both the state and independent sector, I know that finding the right school for your child is one of the most important decisions that you will make as a parent. There are …

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Gastro – reviewing Jackson & Rye in Guildford

A new opening from a small restaurant chain owned by Côte is always going to be worth a visit. While hardly ground-breaking, I think Côte offers a good value dining experience with service that tends to be a notch above others. So when Marcus and I were asked to review …

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VantagePoint Property News

We talk to a few local estate agents about the year ahead and its effect on the property market How do you see the future of the traditional independent estate agent, when we notice the increase of online estate agents offering to sell a house at the fraction of the …

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Why are relationships so difficult?

It is our experience at The Eaves that the number of individuals and couples seeking help with their relationships increases markedly following the Christmas break. Relationships can be difficult at the best of times but spend a moment to think of the different types of relationships that you are currently …

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An ideal holiday

What do you want from a holiday and how do you get it? Andy Church offers a solution… It’s that time of year when many of us start to plan our holidays for next summer and beyond. In my day it was always in the depths of winter that you …

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RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch

Life can be busy and stressful. It is not always easy to make time to stop, relax, and appreciate the beauty of nature. If you’re looking for some time out, a lovely and relaxing activity that you can take part in this month is the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch – …

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Weekend Walk – Frensham Great Pond to Thursley

This is an interesting walk through woods and heathland with some ups and downs.  A good workout for your January health kick! The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). 1. Walk clockwise around the pond keeping about 100 yards in from the edge. You will reach a …

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Kick Start your Health Campaign!

After the festivities are over and the Christmas decorations are packed away our minds always turn to New Year’s Resolutions and intentions of creating healthier habits for the coming year. We want to lose weight, stop creaking at the joints, sleep well, get rid of our digestive bloating, and generally …

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Super Sparklers

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Hangover Cures

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Grape Expectations

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Chocolate delights

So who does not love chocolate? It is one of those magical things – in small doses of course. My step-father used to swear by Cadbury’s, something my French mother never really understood. So convinced was she that French or Belgian chocolate was vastly superior, a few years ago she …

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Too hot to handle

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Weekend Walk – Petworth Park Through Turner’s Eyes

1. To start the trail turn right as you enter the Pleasure Ground and follow the path through the gate to the park, past the kennels (on your right) and towards Lower Pond. 2. After an early morning sketch Turner would go fishing at Lower Pond. While the 3rd Earl …

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The Return of Rosé

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Weekend Walk – Leith Hill Woodland Walk

1. From either of the Windy Gap car parks, head south using the track adjacent to the cottage, following the orange waymarkers. 2. This track leads you down through the woodland where, in the autumn, you can hear roving flocks of woodland birds including nuthatches, coal tits and treecreepers. The …

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Beth Otway’s Gardening Gifts for Christmas

I feel such an uplifting, happy sensation when I find the perfect gift. I have been busy testing out products, searching for special gifts for gardeners. Here are my recommendations: Membership of a horticultural society would make a super present. There are many friendly gardening societies who meet regularly across …

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Matching food with wine

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Christmas GLOW at Wisley

Back for a second year, Christmas Glow (1st December-2nd January 2017) promises to be bigger, brighter and better than ever. Designers of cultivated illumination, Jigantics will be creating a captivating light installation with giant, botanically inspired blooms, set to spark the imagination. This event offers the ideal opportunity to enjoy …

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Champagne Styles

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Thoroughly intriguing chocolate from a local chocolatier

Everyone loves chocolate don’t they? Whether it’s as a ‘thank you for inviting me’ gift, a present for a special person – or just sheer self-indulgence. But there’s chocolate and there’s very special chocolate, and the handcrafted chocolate produced in rural Sussex by Noble & Stace Chocolatiers is simply mouth-wateringly …

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The Story of Port

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Wines for the Festive Season

In advance of the three VantagePoint Wine Festivals next year, we are revisiting some of our past wine articles. Tickets to one or all of the Wine Festivals, taking place in Farnham in April, Guildford in May and Dorking in September. Tickets are on sale now at www.vantagepointevents.co.uk and make great Christmas …

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Spiced Hot Chocolate

This is a magical recipe for a rich, silky, creamy, smooth, luxurious and enchanting hot chocolate treat! The combination of spices and raw cacao create a truly heartwarming drink that is a staple drink during the cold winter months. Ingredients: 60g of arriba nacional or other high-grade, sustainably sourced raw …

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Sitting Disease

In this article, Naomi Dinneen, a Chartered Physiotherapist at Physio1to1 in Godalming discusses the risks of sitting, pain at the desk and how to sit well. Firstly and most importantly, should you be sitting at all?  Global studies show, on average, we sit for 7.7 hours a day at work, …

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The Mini

The Mini was first launched in 1959 and has become a motoring icon. Andy Goundry charts its development. The original Mini, launched way back in 1959, took the world by storm, being taken to people’s hearts in a way unique in motoring history. It found favour with every age group, …

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Weekend Walk – Dunsfold to Hascombe

The walk takes you through woods and fields with some short climbs, one quite steep. You could refresh yourself either just over half way around, at the White Horse in Hascombe, or at the end, at the Sun at Dunsfold. The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). …

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Making wine very special

In a continuing series promoting our great local businesses, Phil Kemp visits three independent wine merchants in the area Over thirty million British people regularly drink wine so it’s perhaps not surprising that even a quick visit to a supermarket will reveal shelves stacked high with wine, and a quick …

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Sandhurst

Many people have heard of Sandhurst but do not know much about the Military Academy. Here is a potted history and information about its role today. Over 200 years it has built an unrivalled reputation as a world class centre of excellence in the theory and practice of leadership. It …

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Sweet Peas by Beth Otway

For me, sweet peas are one of the real joys of summer. The sweet pea’s frilly flowers have a powerful yet serene fragrance, which gently envelops the garden in its loveliness. The scent of sweet peas can fill your home too; they’re very floriferous plants that produce excellent cut flowers. …

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Hydon Hill – Leonard Cheshire DisABILITY

Hydon Hill is one of the very many Leonard Cheshire DisABILITY services in the UK and throughout the world which Leonard Cheshire, VC, one of the most decorated pilots of WWII, developed to care for disabled people of all ages and conditions with the aim of “giving each individual person …

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Kathy’s Pecan & Pumpkin Tart

Every year at Secretts they grow a range of different varieties of squash and pumpkin which are prized for their use in all sorts of culinary preparations. They also grow a field of pumpkins for their famous tractors rides to pick a pumpkin too. These are mostly used for carving …

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Nicola’s Spicy Pumpkin Cake

Every year at Secretts they grow a range of different varieties of squash and pumpkin which are prized for their use in all sorts of culinary preparations. They also grow a field of pumpkins for their famous tractors rides to pick a pumpkin too. These are mostly used for carving …

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Dawn’s Asian Style Pumpkin Soup

Every year at Secretts they grow a range of different varieties of squash and pumpkin which are prized for their use in all sorts of culinary preparations. They also grow a field of pumpkins for their famous tractors rides to pick a pumpkin too. These are mostly used for carving …

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Weekend Walk – Lurgashall and Lickfold

This is a gentle walk through the open pastures and woodland of this lesser-known part of West Sussex. The centre point of this walk is one of the best gastropubs in West Sussex which charges Mayfair prices but will be happy to pull you a pint when you relax on …

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Roast Pumpkin Hummus

Pumpkins are not just good for sweet recipes or soups. They can be used in chillis, curries, stews, quiches, pasta bakes and much more. Try spicy oven baked pumpkin chips or add cubes to oven roasted vegetables to accompany your next roast. Roast Pumpkin Hummus Chop 250g of pumpkin and …

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Planning for Care Fees in later life

One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is Britain’s ageing population. Improvements in health, diet and preventative care mean we are living for longer. In 2012, the number of over 65’s in the UK surpassed 10 million for the first time. The ‘oldest old’, which describes those aged …

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Weekend Walk – Chawton to Bentworth

This walk starts and ends in Chawton, well worth a visit in its own right and the home of Jane Austen. Her house is opposite the village car park. The walk description is provided by Guildford Rambling Club, see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk. 1. Walk back to the A31 roundabout and cross into …

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Oakleaf

Oakleaf reaches out for mental health with wellbeing in the community Oakleaf Enterprise is the only mental health charity in Surrey working as a social enterprise offering support to people who suffer from severe and enduring mental health issues in regaining the skills and confidence required to get back into …

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Weekend Walk – Milford to Brook

This is an easy walk across heathland and through fields and woods with very little up and down.  The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk). 1. Go back through the tunnel and immediately fork right reach the road and cross to the Thames Water water treatment building …

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A day of fizz and fun in the Surrey Hills

There’s nothing quite like a glass of something sparkling to make an occasion feel special. As a former professional hot air balloon pilot, I have been used to opening a bottle of Champagne after every passenger flight as part of the ballooning experience. Words and pictures by Dani Maimone. It is …

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The West Surrey Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers

The West Surrey Guild was started in 1979 by a group of like minded people who enjoyed the crafts of spinning, weaving and dyeing and wished to share their skills and joys with everyone and anyone. Since then, 100’s of members and visitors have enjoyed learning and practising the ancient …

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Weekend Walk – Peaslake Circular

This is a very charming walk, with some majestic views and lovely houses guaranteed to give you house envy! The walk takes you through woods and fields with hardly any ups or downs. It is dog friendly (although there are two stiles which a very big dog may struggle with) …

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Guildford Walking for Health

Love this life! Lead the way and enjoy the great outdoors with Walking for Health, says Annelize Kidd. I love being a walk leader with Walking for Health. It’s lovely to meet and greet my walk friends, to welcome newcomers, and to see new friendships developing. We have our weekly …

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How to stay independent in later life

Carol Martin talks to people making different choices about how they live as they get older Eighty-year-old Keith Swindells leads a very full life. A keen walker, he can take the disused railway either way to Guildford or Cranleigh from his rented flat in Bramley. Books line his lounge so …

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Craftsman in Iron

Phil Kemp talks to one of our local blacksmiths at his forge in Forest Green The ancient art of transforming hard metal into practical, tactile and beautiful objects has its origins through the far distant mists of time. And indeed this almost mysterious art has remained largely unchanged over many …

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Artventure Trust

People with learning difficulties come to Artventure Trust to express themselves through the visual arts. They are a registered charity and operate from our Studio in the grounds of St. Peter’s School in Merrow, GU1 2TN. Staffed with professional artists and volunteers, we aim to provide a safe, sociable and …

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River Wey Navigations

Seasonal notes from Robert Craig, St. Catherine’s Lengthsman, River Wey Navigations It is always enjoyable watching the transition from winter to spring on the river. I keep a look out during the first three months of the New Year for indicators, such as particular flowers, that herald the beginning of …

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Barnett Hill – Surrey’s Hidden Gem

Hidden away in the small village of Wonersh, just outside Guildford, sits one of Surrey’s most beautiful country houses, Barnett Hill. Set in 26 acres of beautiful grounds and woodlands, Barnett Hill is as rich in history as it is in splendour.  The site upon which the grand house sits …

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Wonderful local asparagus…

British Asparagus starts to appear in the shops around May time. Locally, Secretts of Milford are famed for their asparagus, which they pick when it’s perfectly ready to eat. Harvested every day for the farm shop and restaurant trade, they have become famous throughout the region for this lovely vegetable. Delicious …

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First-time Camping

Have you heard the news? Camping’s grown up. Once the domain of boy scouts, backpackers and festival-goers, camping has shed its hiking jackets and mud-caked wellies, and now mixes with a more mainstream crowd, says Laura Sands. But although it’s grown up, it’s true to its roots; a cost effective, …

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Bank Holiday Walk – Chiddingfold and Ramsnest Common

Here is a peaceful rural ramble through the meadows and woodlands of southwest Surrey. It starts in Chiddingfold, one of Surrey’s most picturesque villages which offers good chances for a rest and refreshment. Near the end, it takes you through some spectacular wooded terrain. There are no ploughed fields along …

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In Accord – the a capella group

Most people have heard the term ‘a capella’ and will know it means ‘without accompaniment’. Those involved in a capella groups would say that it can be one of the most challenging but rewarding ways to sing. A capella singing can boast a long history as it was no doubt …

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The Therapy Gardens

I do enjoy the view from my office window. I am watching our horticulturists work with a group of students to replant the raised beds in the garden, on a crisp, sunny morning. Not that we let the rain stop play; activity continues in heated poly tunnels, where seeds are …

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Haslemere Museum – an aladdin’s cave!

Children visiting the galleries at Haslemere Museum for the first time should be forgiven for thinking they’ve stumbled upon Aladdin’s Cave! Even for adults the incredible variety and extent of exhibits is amazing. But it also begs some questions: how does a local museum in a small town come to …

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Farnham Art Society

Farnham Art Society is one of the largest and most successful in England, with around 400 members, many of whom are professional artists. This makes for a very high standard at our exhibitions. Currently they are redeveloping the profile of the Society. The first step in this is an investment …

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Gourmet Vegetables

I love April, it’s such a super month in the garden and there are so many beautiful vegetables that you can sow now. Did you know that it’s just as easy to grow a purple coloured carrot, as it is to grow an orange one? Carrots come in an array …

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Dennis Brothers – the second chapter

Britain’s oldest vehicle manufacturer was established in Guildford. In the second in a series, Andy Goundry continues the story. The end of the Great War brought a sudden and dramatic change to the fortunes of the Dennis company. From working almost flat-out producing trucks for the War Department, the order …

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Shed loads of fun at Bourne Buildings on their 21st anniversary

In a continuing series helping to promote some of our great local businesses, Marcus Atkins talks to this iconic Farnham based company One of the most famous sites in Farnham is the Shepherd and Flock roundabout; it’s recognised as perhaps the largest inhabited roundabout in the UK, and anyone who …

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The wonder of maple

The maple sugar season has just finished in the south and eastern part of Québec. For the last two weeks of March, maple syrup producers have returned to their rustic wooden cabins and have been harvesting the sweet maple water. Once again, the boiling process has given the woodlands a …

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Weekend Walk – Tilford to Elstead

This walk has an almost six mile initial section which has in it a strenuous climb but it will reward you with some spectacular views.  The second section is much shorter and more or less flat.  The description was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club who will be walking it in …

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Woolbeding Gardens – a modern masterpiece

Quietly tucked away in the valley of the River Rother lies one of the most beautiful gardens in Sussex.  Woolbeding is a modern masterpiece featuring colourful borders, a landscape garden and a collection of follies.  Woolbeding Gardens is a world away from many of the grand historic gardens the National …

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Dennis Brothers – the first chapter

Britain’s oldest vehicle manufacturer company was established in Guildford. In the first in a series, Andy Goundry tells the story. Most folk enjoying a quiet drink in the Wetherspoons pub at the bottom of North Street in Guildford will be unaware that they are relaxing on the site of Britain’s …

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The Bourne Conservation Group

The Bourne Conservation Group (BCG) is a voluntary organisation working for the benefit of the natural environment and residents of South Farnham. Founded in 2002, BCG’s work is focussed on the enhancement of biodiversity throughout the local area, spread over a number of sites. Its work also assists local authorities …

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The Haslemere Players

The Haslemere Players is an amateur theatre company which has been delighting local audiences for over 110 years. It is dedicated to staging popular musical theatre productions of the highest possible standard and regularly wins awards of excellence from NODA (the National Operatic and Dramatic Association). Audiences, performers, musicians, technicians, …

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Haslemere Walks for Health

As part of Waverley’s Walks for Health scheme (in conjunction with Places for People Leisure), Haslemere Walks for Health provide free organised walks with trained leaders around Haslemere and the adjacent countryside. Following the recent retirement of Martin Osbourne, the two new co-ordinators are Elizabeth Holland and Susan Hitchen both …

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Guildford Wey Valley DFAS

Hooked on the Antiques Roadshow? Enjoy listening to experts on topics ranging from paintings to history, architecture to ceramics and much much more? Then Guildford Wey Valley Decorative and Fine Arts Society (DFAS) may be perfect for you. Formerly The Wey Valley DFAS, the Society has recently been relaunched with …

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Baking at Easter – Easter Egg Biscuits

Easter is always a great time for baking and this extract from Quick Cakes for Busy Mums by Karen Taylor, £14.99 (B. Dutton Publishing) offers you a couple of colourful recipes. Easter Egg Biscuits Ingredients 200g (7oz) unsalted butter 200g (7oz) caster sugar 1tsp vanilla extract 1 egg, lightly beaten …

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Baking at Easter – ‘Hoppy Easter’ Cupcakes

Easter is always a great time for baking and this extract from Quick Cakes for Busy Mums by Karen Taylor, £14.99 (B. Dutton Publishing) offers you a couple of colourful recipes. ‘Hoppy Easter’ Cupcakes Ingredients 175g (6oz) butter (or margarine) 175g (6oz) caster sugar 3 medium eggs 175g (6oz) self-raising …

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Weekend Walk – Reigate Heath to Ironsbottom

This walk takes you through woods and fields to Ironsbottom and the Three Horseshoes.  The walk was submitted by Guildford Rambling Club  (see guildfordramblingclub.org.uk).  1. From the car park on the right-hand side of the road (walking away from the A25), walk further along Flanchford Road, taking a path just …

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A plant for your palm

Bonsai is the art of growing dwarf trees and shrubs from seedlings or rooted cuttings. It requires careful training, pruning and container restriction. The latter gives bonsai its name as it translates as ‘tray cultivation’. This is a fun and beautiful way of cultivating plants on a miniature scale. Shohin …

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Container plants for bees and butterfiles

By VantagePoint’s local garden writer, Beth Otway Whether you’ve got a garden, patio, balcony, or a windowsill, remembering to choose flowering plants that produce pollen and nectar that bees and other pollinating insects can access is a wonderfully worthwhile thing to do. By encouraging nature into your area you can really …

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Petworth Community Garden

Petworth Community Garden is an organic garden project, grown for the community by the community, and has its roots in the ‘Organic Food for all’ scheme which was set up to help local people with limited means learn to ‘grow your own’ and have access to free fresh organic fruit …

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Godalming Lawn Tennis Club

Godalming Lawn Tennis Club (GLTC) is going from strength to strength. Last year saw the formal opening of its brand new multi-purpose clubhouse by Jeremy Hunt MP. The new building has a striking contemporary style, complementing the adjacent leisure centre. It features a large activity room, kitchen/breakout space, showers and …

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Guildford Art Society

Celebrating 90 years of art in the borough, Guildford Art Society started back in 1926 as a small sketching group. Since that time it has flourished and developed into a thriving and active society with over 300 members, welcoming all levels of ability from experienced professionals to absolute beginners, with …

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Farnham & District Museum Society

Those lucky enough to live in Farnham will be well aware of its vibrant artistic and cultural life with a wide range of organisations catering for a myriad of interests. One such body is the Farnham & District Museum Society, which was created to support the work of the Museum …

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Weekend walk – Artington and Loseley

This is a very pleasant and fairly short walk which goes through some lovely, peaceful countryside at the foot of the Hog’s Back. It then doubles back through the grounds of Loseley Park before meeting the river Wey for a brief final stroll along the towpath. I walked it in …

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Our enterprising Surrey Hills

Surrey Hills Enterprises is a not-for-profit organisation which runs local and popular events and brings together organisations, independent companies and artisans based within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) via a membership scheme. Their vision is to promote the Surrey Hills as a national asset for the …

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Is Pilates just for women? No…!

Men equally benefit from Pilates workouts. A man did invent the concept after all, so says VantagePoint. Joseph Pilates came up with the idea that core muscles were key, way back in the 1920’s. Joseph Pilates was a professional boxer who was born a sickly child and he overcame his …

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