AROC Surrey Section Picnic – Sunday 14th July at Painshill Park, Cobham

26 June 2024

For this years’ annual Surrey Section picnic, scheduled for Sunday July 14th, we return to Painshill Park which has proved so popular on previous occasions. Located just off the A3 at Cobham, Painshill is England’s most elegant 18th century landscape garden, created by the Honourable Charles Hamilton between 1738 and 1773.

There are many things to interest all the members of the family, from the John Bartram Heritage Collection of North American Trees and wildlife to the Gothic Tower where you can climb the 99 steps to take advantage of some refreshment from the pop-up cafe at the top and take in the amazing views. On a clear day it is possible to see as far as Canary Wharf. As you wander around you can discover the Turkish Tent, Waterwheel, The Hermitage or the many other attractions set in the gardens.

With the prospect of a lovely summer’s day enjoy a walk beside the large lake with its ‘ruined’ Pavilion reflected in the water, or continue along to the unique Crystal Grotto – unique because grottos are usually made with shells – built in 1768 and re-opened after years of extensive restoration costing over £1.5 million. Painshill Park has been seen on screen in series such as ITVs Vanity Fair and Bridgerton (series 3 has recently gone live on Netflix,) as well as scenes in Amazon Primes Good Omens.  It was also seen in the 2015 film Suffragette. Music videos have also been filmed there.

At the Visitor Centre you will find Mr Hamilton’s Tea Room serving light lunches, afternoon tea, delicious cakes and ice cream. Here you will also find an outside seating area, toilets and the Painshill Shop.

Further details of Painshill and its rich history may be found on their website at

Entry to this event is by advance purchase of tickets only, as we will be parking inside the grounds and will use a separate (dedicated) entrance for this. We have secured discounted entry to the venue at a price of £10 per adult and £6 per child aged 5-16. This offer is open to AROC members and their family and friends. Tickets are available from where you will also find full directions for joining the event.

Note that we have been requested to make sure that all cars are parked by 10AM. Bar-b-ques are not permitted on site. Dogs are permitted on short fixed leads.

Although you are free to bring your own picnic, there is the opportunity to pre-order a ‘grab’n’go’ lunch bag from Mr Hamilton’s Tea Room consisting of a homemade sandwich, bag of crisps, chocolate bar, piece of fruit and a bottle of water for £9.50. Please contact me or another member of the committee (copied) for details if you would like to take advantage of this offer. 

Guided tours of the gardens for groups of up to 20 are also available at a cost of £3.00 pp and lasting about an hour. The tours could be arranged for the morning or afternnon or both depending on demand. These also need to be booked in advance and are subject to demand and availability of the volunteers who provide them. Please contact me or a member of the committee if you are interested in this opportunity.

Note that as part of the ongoing reconstruction of J10 of the M25, the M25 will be closed from J10 to J11 that weekend and you should plan your journey to avoid this section of the M25 if possible. The diversion route also makes use of the A3 between the M25 and Painshill Junction on the A245 which may be busier than usual as a consequence. Please factor this in when making travel plans.

I look forward to seeing you at what has become one of the highlights of our year for members and their families.

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