A real page turner…

Dorking and the surrounding area boasts a rich literary history with writers drawing inspiration from the landscape and the colourful characters of Dorking. 

Rumour has it that Charles Dickens wrote part of The Pickwick Papers whilst staying at The White Horse and, while we can’t verify this due to the passage of time, it is not hard to imagine him tucked into a cosy corner by the fireplace, observing the comings and goings of guests of the bustling inn, quietly scribbling his observations in a notebook as life’s little dramas played out around him. 

Jane Austen was also a rumoured guest at The White Horse and we know that she was very fond of Dorking and the surrounding area with one of the most famous scenes in English Literature set at the top of Box Hill from Emma:

“They had a very fine day for Box Hill … Nothing was wanting but to be happy when they got there. Seven miles were travelled in expectation of enjoyment, and every body had a burst of admiration on first arriving”

That famous view from Box Hill remains uninterrupted today and, on a clear day, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the Surrey Hills, the South Downs and the rolling lush vines of the Denbies wine estate. 

You can imagine Jane, much like her characters from Pride & Prejudice, taking a private dining room to lunch with her family and enjoying the warm hospitality of the inn. Times may have changed but delicious food and wonderful hospitality are still very much at the heart of what we do at The White Horse. We can certainly offer more than cold meats, salad and cucumber! 

Other writers have also written about or been resident in the Dorking area from E.M. Forster who based his novel, A Room with a View, in nearby Holmbury St Mary to the poet John Keats who completed Endymion whilst residing in Dorking.  

Whether you are a budding writer or an avid reader, there is a spot for you at The White Horse to read, relax and dream whether that is in an armchair by the fire or in a bubble-filled roll top bath.