Visiting Mole Valley

Mole Valley is an exceptionally beautiful part of Surrey.

Mole Valley lies at the heart of Surrey, mid-way between London and the Sussex coast.

It takes its name from the River Mole, which runs the length of the district. Mole Valley covers a hundred square miles, and has a population of about 86,000 people.

Around 72% of Mole Valley’s population live in the towns of Dorking and Leatherhead, and the villages of Bookham, Fetcham and Ashtead.

Over 90% of the district is countryside, and much of it sits within the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The North Downs run across the middle of the district and include Box Hill, a popular visitor spot. To the south lies Leith Hill, the highest point in Surrey.

Dorking and Leatherhead are the two principal towns in Mole Valley; linking both towns is the Mole Gap Trail, a scenic six-mile walk along the banks of the River Mole past the great estates of Norbury and Cherkley and through England’s largest vineyard, Denbies Wine Estate.

See more of what Dorking has to offer on the Visit Dorking and the Dorking Town Partnership websites.

Find out more about what Leatherhead has to offer by visiting the Visit Leatherhead website.

Visit Surrey has plenty of information about visiting Surrey.

Coat of Arms and Town Twinning

The shield on the coat of arms is a heraldic representation of the area. Across the gold field runs a blue and white wave representing the River Mole, with the Dorking urban and rural areas on one side and the Leatherhead area on the other.

The acorns are taken from the arms of the three former authorities and that of Surrey County Council.

Behind the Dorking acorns are two stylised hills representing Box Hill and Leith Hill, two notable geographical features of the district, with a blue sky above. The hill figuration also suggests the letter ‘M’ with a ‘V’ in the middle.

Above the shield is the closed helm proper to civic arms with the decorative mantling of the basic colours of gold and blue, the traditional Surrey livery taken from the chequers of the Warennes, first Earls of Surrey.

Above the shield

Surmounting the wreath is a mural or walled crown, a familiar symbol of local government, coloured white as in the former Dorking arms and a direct reference to the prevalence of Dorking Lime in many local buildings.

The crest features a swan, prominent in the former Leatherhead arms, which alludes to the old Swan Inn of coaching days and to the river and other local waters. The swan holds in its beak a red sword, referring to the association with the City of London through the City of London Freemen’s School and to the connection between the former arms and the 1939-45 war. The Leatherhead arms was the first in heraldry to commemorate the unify of purpose of the Civil Defence Services.

Flanking the swan are two branches of oak leaves linking with the oak in the shield and are a direct reference to the former Leatherhead crest and the County shield.

The Dorking Cockerel

The supporters are two cockerels of the distinctive five-toed Dorking breed, taken from the Dorking crest and characteristic of the surrounding rural area.

Each one holds in its beak a pinecone from the former Dorking Rural District crest; the cones referring to the Weald/Leith Hill wooded area of the district.

The Motto

The motto, ‘Ministrando Vigilans’ (‘Vigilant in our serving’) which gives the initials MV, is a derivation of those of the former Dorking & Leatherhead Councils: ‘Virtute et Vigilantia’ (‘By Courage and Vigilance’) and ‘Service links all’.

Town Twinning

Dorking is twinned with two towns: Gouvieux in France and Güglingen in Germany.

Leatherhead is twinned with Triel-sur-Seine, France.