Woking Arts and Culture
Located in the northwest corner of Surrey, Woking is a part of the London commuter belt and boasts a smaller population of about 63,000 people. This conservative town boasts a rich arts and culture scene for visitors and locals to enjoy.
Public Art Displays
Woking’s public art displays are loved by both locals and visitors alike. The town’s two well-known art pieces include:
H.G. Wells’s famous book The War of the Worlds was written right here in Woking. In fact, the sandpit in Horsell Common is the site of the Martians landing in the novel.
To celebrate the book and its success, a Wellsian Martian Tripod, designed by Michael Condron in 1998, was constructed in the city centre.
The tripod stands 7 m tall, and the legs are 17 cm in diameter. The sculpture has three parts: The Tripod itself, the Bacteria, and the cylinder that the tripods landed in.
Located next to the Big Apple entertainment complex, the Hawker Hunter sculpture is another piece of public art. The piece features a Hawker Hunter jet mounted onto a pole.
The work commemorates the last Hunter built, and was originally used to promote the former Planets entertainment complex.
Lovers of art and heritage will appreciate The Lightbox, a local arts and heritage centre. The centre, designed by Marks Barfield, sits between Victoria Way and the Basingstoke Canal.
Inside The Lightbox, guests can admire the many hanging hands from the ceiling and learn about the history of Woking. Several other exhibitions are also on display to educate visitors.
In the past, the centre has played host to a Leonardo da Vinci exhibition and a Wallace and Gromit exhibition.
The Lightbox also has the Ingram collection, which is a selection of sculptures and paintings owned by Chris Ingram, owner of the Woking Football Club.
The city hosts a farmer’s market every third Thursday of each month. The market features fresh, local foods and drinks, which can be purchased directly from the farmer or producer.
Woking Town Centre also hosts continental markets on a regular basis, which give visitors a chance to sample international cuisines and hear other languages spoken.
Theatre and Entertainment
Woking is home to one of the largest entertainment complexes in the area: The Ambassadors. Working out of the New Victoria Theatre, The Ambassadors hosts some of the top shows from West End.
The Rhoda McGaw Theatre also hosts top-quality performances from the community. The theatre boasts six cinema screens, so visitors can watch the latest film releases.
There are two main shopping areas in Woking: The Peacocks entre and Wolsey Place.
The Peacock Centre is a modern shopping centre. In 2010, it underwent development to add a new façade. An extension was also added, which features glass with coloured lights that sequentially change.
A covered walkway joins the two shopping centres, which makes them both easily accessible on foot. Guests can also access the New Victoria Theatre from the top floor of The Peacocks.
Along with a thriving arts scene, Woking boasts a number of excellent restaurants and pubs.
Chertsey Road is the main area for entertainment in the city. Along this road, visitors will find numerous restaurants serving a range of cuisines, from classic British to Japanese and Indian.
Visitors who want to stay cool all year round can visit Woking’s indoor pool: Pool in the Park.
Pool in the Park is a swimming complex, designed to look like an ancient Roman Coliseum, in the middle of Woking Park. The complex features three pools: a competition pool (25m long x 13m wide; 6 swim lanes), leisure lagoon with three water slides, and a teaching pool (16m long x 8m x 0.8m-1m).
The complex also features a wave machine, river rapids ride, water fountain and water cannons.
A number of programmes are available at the centre, including swimming lessons, water fitness classes, children’s activities and more.
Woking Park also offers numerous outdoor activities, including a skate park, a cricket pitch, football pitches, tennis courts, bowling greens, a golf course, playgrounds and more.
Just opposite the Pool in the Park is the Woking Leisure Center, which opened in 1976. The Leisure Centre offers a number of sports facilities, including three fitness studios, a park gym, an indoor gym, six squash courts, spinning studio and two halls.
The halls are used to host concerts and local events, such as the Woking Beer Festival.
A café is on-site, and guests can also take advantage of the Heatwaves suite, which features a sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi.
Woking Park’s outdoor areas are also home to wildlife, which you can admire from one of the many walking trails. Ponds and gardens can be explored by guests who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.