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November What’s On - Winter Magic Special

RHS Wisley Glasshouse with lights

Experience magical winter events this festive season

Firework events may be on the back burner this year, but there are plenty of venues in Surrey to make you say 'ooh' and 'aah' this November. From llama trekking to winter wonderland walks, festive town markets and train rides with Santa, you won't feel like hibernating just yet. And there is more to discover on the Visit Surrey website.

Photo credit: RHS Wisley Glow 2020

1. Go on a Snowfari at Painshill, Cobham and 'track down' polar bears, penguins and the elusive snow leopard. Enter four different realms across the Painshill landscape and spot all the incredible animal statues as well as Christmas trees, giant gingerbread men, and even glittering snow! The event runs from Saturday 21 November until Sunday 3 January.

2. All aboard for the Santa Express at Denbies in Dorking and enjoy a ride through the vineyard with the big man himself, then receive a gift from his elves. The Santa Express timetable starts from Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 November, then every weekend throughout December as well as Wednesday 23 December and Christmas Eve.

3. Book early and bring your social bubble to The Rural Life Centre where you can explore its Christmas wonderland, enjoy a magical train ride and meet Santa. The Santa Specials take place over the first two weekends in December.

4. Take a llama for a winter walk! The Merry Harriers country inn, Hambledon, has a herd of eight lovely llamas and you take them for a trek through the Surrey Hills, an Area of Outstanding natural Beauty, and soak up the calming vibes of these gentle creatures.

5. Discover the delights of Dorking town centre and its Christmas market on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November 21, from 11am to 4pm. A one-way system will guide you to stalls with homewares, jewellery, vintage items, cakes and pastries, deli food and much more.

6. Snap up the chance to have unrivalled access to some of Britain's native animals with the British Wildlife Centre's winter photo days. From November until February, on scheduled dates when the centre is closed to the public, you will be given special access to the animal enclosures where you can photograph red squirrels, foxes, Scottish wild cats, mink, weasels and much more.

7. Enjoy the spectacle of RHS Wisley and its Glow 2020 which starts from November 21 until January 4. The festive event has been reimagined this year with a new route, captivating lightshows and musical accompaniment designed by an in-house team to highlight some of the garden's best-loved sights, with spectacular moments en route and vibrant displays to be found both inside and outside the Glasshouse.

8. Pick up an early Christmas present or gain inspiration for the festive table with Epsom town centre's specialist Sunday markets this month. There is a Farmers' Market on 1 November, a Crafts and Gifts Market on 8 November and a Vegan market on 22 November.

9. Take a glide on the Beaverbrook winter ice-skating rink from 1 December while listening to festive music and enjoying warming treats. Beaverbrook on Ice will be available to guests who are dining, enjoying a spa day or staying over in this luxury hotel.

10. Grab your wellies and woolly jumper and head outdoors for a winter walk around Woking. H G Wells wrote his classic novel 'The War of the Worlds' whilst living here just over 150 years ago and you can follow in his footstep with the 'Wells in Woking heritage trail' – a circular two hour route which takes in Wells House and the bronze statue of the author in the heart of the town.

Visit Surrey is supporting Visit England's 'Know Before You Go' campaign which encourages the public to find out what is open and when, and any restrictions in place. So, before you head out for a wonderful day in Surrey, 'Know Before You Go' and check your favourite venue's website to see if it is open, or if you need to book in advance.