Welcome to Broomsquire Country

Broomsquire Country lies in the extreme west of Surrey and spills over into east Hampshire. An area of outstanding natural beauty, it lies only some 40 miles from the centre of London and about 30 miles from the major cross channel ferry terminal at Portsmouth.

There are no towns in the area, only small, unspoilt villages, and no major roads. To the north lies the bustling town of Farnham while to the south is Haslemere. However the villages will provide everything that a visitor needs, from shelter and refreshment to entertainment or solitude.

Frensham Pond Hotel HeathlandTraditionally the area was all heathland. This is now one of the rarest habitats in northwest Europe. Man made a living by grazing animals on this heath or using the natural resources to manufacture products needed by the residents. Today much has been cultivated or built on but moves are afoot to restore as much as possible to its former state.

Whether you like walking, nature, gardening or shopping for something unique, or indeed just soaking up the history and traditions, this area has something for everyone to enjoy. From the peace and tranquillity of the Alice Holt Woodland Park, Frensham Commons and the RSPB's Farnham Heath Reserve or the dramatic scenery and legends which surround the Devil's Punchbowl and Thursley to delightful country pubs often set alongside village cricket greens or near to idyllic lakes and rivers.

Who were the Broomsquires?

HeathlandOne of the trades of the heathland was that of broomsquire, the man who made the besom brooms like those in our logo. (That's one walking up his cottage path in the Punchbowl at Hindhead in the photograph above.)

The broomsquire used heather or birch twigs gathered from the heath to make the brooms, and also grazed a few cattle or sheep on the poor vegetation. He was made famous by Sabine Baring Gould in his novel "The Broomsquire" written in 1896.

This is based around the true story of the murder of a sailor at Hindhead over 200 years previously by fellow travellers on the road to Portsmouth which crossed these, then, desolate wastes. His body was soon discovered by a broomsquire tending his sheep and the murderers were apprehended at nearby Rake. Tried at Kingston Assizes, they were found guilty and hung on Gibbet Hill, Hindhead as a warning to other criminals.

In Baring Gould's work the story takes a different twist... the sailor had with him a baby girl who was taken in by a local family and brought up in the ways and traditions of this, then, wild rural area.

Join Us

Do you run a tourism related business within this area? Would you like to join us and help create a tourism destination for visitors and holidaymakers?

Broomsquire Country aims to promote the attractions, both man made and natural, to a much wider audience and so encourage sustainable tourism in an area so quickly and easily accessed from the south's major population centres.

If you are interested in becoming a Broomsquire Country partner please contact Chris Shepheard at the Rural Life Centre (01252 795571 email: info@rural-life.org.uk)

Frensham Church
Churt village
Grayshott village
Waggoners Wells
Elstead Mill
The Devil's Punchbowl

© Broomsquire Country partners 2006
Designed by Chris Shepheard
using a RISC OS workstation