Surrey, England: the Denbies Wine Estate

Why go there?

Not only is this the largest-scale, open-to-the-public wine operation in the UK, it is also astonishingly close to central London (just 27 miles from Trafalgar Square). Denbies was the first UK vineyard to really embrace visitors, demonstrating all aspects of the wine-producing process to young and old.

The tour

This is a huge, 627-acre site, of which 265 acres are vines. There are three indoor all-weather tours, all lasting one hour: the Classic (£9.95, still wine), the Sparkling Wine Tasting Experience (£14) and the Wine and Food Tasting Experience (£16). There’s also a 45-minute outdoor train tour (£6, or £10.50 with glass of sparkling wine). If you’re looking to sit down to eat, the more informal Conservatory Restaurant is in a glass atrium, while the third-floor Gallery offers a £15.95 lunch menu and panoramic views. The gift shop sells not just wine, but scarves, beer, handbags and jewellery.

3.1-surrey-1_

Where to stay and eat

The estate has its own farmhouse bed-and-breakfast accommodation with seven en-suite rooms and bicycle hire. From £70-£120 per night.

How to get there

From Junction 9 of the M25 follow the A25 towards Dorking. At the Denbies roundabout (you can’t miss it), take the third exit onto Bradley Lane.

RAC route planner