Surrey Hills star in Olympic cycle road race
The picturesque villages and countryside around Dorking in Surrey will be in focus this weekend as the Olympic cycle road race passes through en route to the zig-zag roads on Box Hill, designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and under the stewardship of the National Trust. Jackson-Stops & Staff Dorking is launching the sale of The Old Vicarage in Betchworth this week, just a short distance from the cycle route. Situated in the heart of the village, the lovingly converted Victorian vicarage is rich in history and boasts an impressive 5,387 square feet of accommodation, providing an elegant space large enough for the whole family.

Although meticulously converted to a high modern standard, the house still retains some of its defining period features such as the bell tower, gothic arched front door and paupers hatch. There is a traditional vestibule that leads into the grand reception hall with a beautifully restored pitch pine staircase and access to the formal reception rooms, including a graceful dining room, drawing room and study, with high ceilings and large windows characteristic of the era, ensuring a flood of natural light throughout the day. Upstairs, the property has eight bedrooms that all provide picturesque views over the grounds 1.75 acres in total - as well as views further afield to the North Downs Ridge.

The village of Betchworth itself is peaceful, well connected and provides a thriving sense of community, with St Michaels Church the setting for the country wedding scene in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral.To the east is Reigate, an historic market town with a plethora of stylish shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars. To the west, Dorking has a Waitrose supermarket, a range of restaurants, sports centre with a swimming pool and for cultural events, Dorking Halls, with its concert halls and cinema.

Reigate also benefits from being particularly well served by a mixture of state and independent schools for all ages, including Holmesdale, The Priory, Dunottar, Micklefield and The Hawthorns. The Old Vicarage is also ideally situated for the commuter, with Betchworth Station under a mile away, with Reigate, Dorking and Redhill stations all being easily accessible providing connections to London Bridge, Victoria, and Waterloo.

The M25 Junction 8 is around five miles to the north with links to London and the wider motorway network. Frequent fliers can also benefit, with Gatwick Airport around 11 miles away and Heathrow Airport 30 miles away. Dorne House, a handsome family house in Dorking, close to the road race route, is also being launched to the market by Jackson-Stops & Staff this weekend. The Olympic Rings on Box Hill can be seen from the upstairs windows.

Alan King, Director at Jackson-Stops & Staff in Dorking, said: The countryside around Surrey has a lot to offer and there are some spectacular properties here. The Olympic cycle race will certainly help raise the profile of our pretty villages particularly to those who had not considered it as an option before.