"blanketed the Surrey sky"

Box Hill on Surrey's North Downs
Creative Commons AttributionBox Hill on Surrey's North Downs - Credit: lostajy
The tower at Guildford Castle
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe tower at Guildford Castle - Credit: Dobowet
 Surrey is one of England’s ‘home counties’, in the south-east of the country. The name derives from its original settlement by Saxons in the 5th century, from ‘Suthrige’, meaning simply ‘southern region’. Due to its proximity both to London and the coast, Surrey was home to various strategic castles as well as to the magnificent summer residences and country palaces of the Tudor nobility, such as the now-destroyed Nonsuch Palace.

Divided by the North Downs, Surrey is a county in which agriculture has never been the mainstay of the economy (it was important for its cloth, paper and gunpowder industries). Its current population is around 1.1 million and it is the wealthiest county in England. Guildford is the county town and other cultural attractions include manor houses such as Loseley Park, the historic Runnymede and the Royal Horticultural Society Gardens at Wisley.