Of the 11 districts that make up the county of Surrey, Mole Valley is certainly one of the most beautiful. It takes its name from the River Mole which, from its source in Sussex, meanders north across the district through one of the few natural gaps in the long line of the North Downs and eventually flows into the River Thames at East Molesey. Some of the most beautiful parts of the North Downs, including Box Hill, come within the Mole Valley district, whilst to the south, and extending to the Sussex border, is Wealden country and the Greensand Hills, a beautifully wooded area around Leith Hill. Across the district's 100 square miles are many pleasant villages and residential areas with, at either end of the Mole's gap through the Downs, the towns of Leatherhead and Dorking.
The River Mole
Mole Valley District has some 80,300 residents, almost two thirds of them living in Dorking and Leatherhead. The remainder live in the villages which are now linked into 13 parishes. The Mole Valley District Council, with its attractive headquarters in Dorking, has 41 councillors from the district's 23 wards. Six county councillors represent Mole Valley divisions on the Surrey County Council.
Situated midway between London and the Sussex coast, Mole Valley has good road and rail links to the capital and various south coast resorts, as well as the many towns, villages and countryside areas in between. The Reading-Tonbridge rail route gives access to Wales, the West Country and the Midlands without having to go via London. Heathrow and Gatwick Airports are close at hand, as is the M25, with Junction 9 at Leatherhead giving access to the national motorway network.
Whilst most of the district lies in the Green Belt and its built-up areas are mainly residential, there is a good range of employment opportunities - mainly office based, although there is some light industry and a number of research establishments.
The natural beauty of the Mole Valley countryside, much of it now cared for by the National Trust, is not only a great asset to the people who live here but is also popular with visitors from London and surrounding areas. Box Hill, Leith Hill, Friday Street, Abinger, Polesden Lacey - there are plenty of beauty spots and interesting places to visit. Many of the villages are places of great charm - this being especially so of the Wealden villages where mellowed clay tiles and weatherboarding enhance the scene. Old churches, too, are a characteristic feature of most villages.
South Street, Dorking
The town areas successfully accommodate modern developments without losing their own individual character, and their shopping centres draw people from far around. Both Dorking and Leatherhead have interesting museums and offer excellent recreational amenities. At Leatherhead there is a Leisure Centre offering a wide range of leisure opportunities and water park whilst Dorking, an important centre for the antiques trade, boasts the fabulous Dorking Halls and a swimming and sports centre.