Something about Sunbury

Antiques as far as the eye can see

The Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park is the largest and oldest antiques market in the country. Considered one of the premier antique markets, it takes place the second and last Tuesday of the month. The items featured by the 700+ indoor and outdoor stallholders, include new and vintage:

  • furniture
  • garden items
  • household decor
  • jewelry
  • paintings
  • and just about everything else in between
For hardcore collectors and traders, the doors open at 6:30 am — and even at that hour you can count on there being a queue. Although the market officially closes at 2 pm, it is not uncommon for stallholders to be packing up as early as 11 am (depending on how sales for the day are going or the weather).

Stallholders are from all over Europe and buyers are both local and from overseas. While shopping is overwhelming with the number of things to see, the stallholders are friendly and always wiling to share the back story on what they are selling.

Even if you go home empty handed, you can't beat the price of free admission and parking — and how easy it is to get your steps in for the day! 1932 230946
Kempton Park Racecourse, Staines Road East, Sunbury-on-Thames TW16 5AQ

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Refurbished Pubs

Refurbished pubs worth a try

As fond as I am of traditional pubs like King Henry IV (Mickelham) and The Withies Inn (Compton), I am happy to patronize ones that have had a facelift in the last year or two, including:

  • The Bear (Esher)
  • The Cock Inn (Headley)
  • The Cricketers (Cobham)
  • Plough Inn (Cobham)
  • The Victoria (Oxshott)
  • The Wheatsheaf (Esher)
If you haven't been (or been in a while), these pubs are worth visiting. Hopefully The Bear in Oxshott can be added to this list when it re-opens.

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A View to Thrill

Slide down the world's tallest and fastest slide

Unveiled at the 2012 Olympics, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is the UK's tallest structure and as of this summer is now home to the world's longest tunnel slide. The ride takes a full 40 seconds (longer than the elevator ride to the top of the structure). On your way up, the walls of the elevator feature some interesting facts about the Orbit, including:

  • It is taller than the Staute of Liberty
  • If you stretched the orbit like a rope it would be more than 560 meters (one-third of a mile)
  • 19,000 litres (5,000 gallons) of red paint was used
  • When it is clear out you can see as far as 20 miles
Your ticket is a timed-entry and despite all the details on their website of what you should wear, they actually supply all the gear to cover and protect you. You'll slide through both clear portions and also in complete darkness (which was more disconcerting for me). When combined with the quick twists and turns, the slide does not disappoint.

After your ride (or if you are not a thrill seeker), it is worth a trip to their observation level for views of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and London. In addition to signage detailing the Olympic Park sports facilities, there is also information on the regeneration of the area.

Now that the slide experience is done, next on my list is to abseil down the ArcelorMittal Orbit! 3338 008099
3 Thornton Street, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London E20 2AD

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Best Surrey Farm Shops

Surrey boasts some of the best quality locally sourced food

While Garsons Farm Shop (Esher) is likely the most well-known, there are four more farm shops in the area:

  • Five Butchers Hall & Country Grocer (Forest Green)
  • Priory Farm Shop (South Nutfield)
  • Tanhouse Farm Shop (Newdigate)
  • Secretts Farm (Milford)
Beyond the shop itself, each includes a place to get a bite to eat as well. With so many shops to choose from, the distance between farm to fork hasn’t been shorter!

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