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15 Cultural Date Ideas in Surrey That Won’t Cost a Penny

15 Cultural Date Ideas in Surrey That Won’t Cost a Penny

Culture lovers can enjoy amazing dates in Surrey without having to open their wallets at all. From learning about the local history to taking in breathtaking views, below are 15 great ideas for cultural dates that will help you impress your date. Meet new people, learn new skills and expand your mind, all for free.

1. Explore Guildford House Gallery

Guildford House Gallery

    This quaint and beautiful little gallery offers changing exhibitions and is housed within a gorgeous seventeenth-century building. This gallery is sure to impress your date. In addition to exploring the Gallery for free, you can take advantage of workshops and talks for further learning. Refreshments are available for sale in a tranquil café set in the rear courtyard.

    2. Take a spin around Mercedes-Benz World

    The Exterior of Mercedes Benz world taken the evening the Star was installed.

      Mercedes-Benz World is a fantastic place to impress a car-loving date, and it is completely free. See some of the inner workings of Mercedes-Benz vehicles and take a look at some classic cars.

      3. Delve into local heritage at Guildford Museum

      Guildford House Museum

        Situated in Castle Arch, this museum is the perfect place to learn more about the rich history of Surrey. If you and your date are both Guildford residents, why not discover more about your common roots? Or, if they are coming to this town from further afield, you can use the museum visit as a way to show them a little more about the heritage of your home town.

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        4. Stand on the site of a pivotal agreement at Runnymede

          What more momentous place to take a date than the site where the Magna Carta was signed? If you really want to impress your date, why not read up on the history of the Magna Carta beforehand so that you can regale them with your knowledge when you arrive. As well as being a National Trust site, Runnymede is very beautiful spot for a picnic. This will be a successful date, signed, sealed, delivered!

          5. Learn about Victorian inventions at the Museum of Farnham

          Museum of Farnham

            This quaint and charming little museum is an ideal stopping-off point during a romantic country walk. The museum, which focuses on the history of Farnham starting in prehistoric times, is located within a beautiful Georgian house dating back to 1718. This makes it a very historic location for a date. The museum sponsors the work of local artists, so you can view local contemporary art in this museum as well. Therefore, this is a great location for a date that fuses culture from centuries ago with the art and creativity of today.

            6. Try a spot of birdwatching

            Frensham Little Pond

              Head down to Frensham Little Pond, which is a popular site for grebes, buntings, and warblers as well as romantic couples, and do a spot of bird watching with your date. Getting out into nature can be so romantic, and there is something about having to stay still and quiet with your date to avoid scaring the birds away that can be very thrilling.

              7. Show your softer side and pet some cute animals

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                Head down Head to RSPCA Millbrook to meet some cute ducklings, puppies, kittens and more. There are also usually some lovely little ponies here, too. If you choose this as a destination for a date, be prepared to fall in love with more than just your date!

                8. Go for a stroll at Virginia Water

                  This gorgeous lake is a prime location for a romantic stroll. Why not pack a picnic or simply bring along a bottle of bubbly and enjoy some quality time with someone that you have met on a Surrey dating site? If you like, you can show your date some of the key points of interest around the lake, such as a 100 foot high totem pole, an obelisk that was erected by none other than George II, and the remnants of an ancient North African city (which has been shipped over to Britain and reconstructed). This is also a lovely place for a spot of bird watching.

                  9. Get Shakespearean in Windsor Great Park

                    This beautiful park has some great cycling routes, and you can gain extra points by quoting from The Merry Wives of Windsor whilst you are there. The next time that you are chatting with Surrey singles on a dating site, why not ask them how they feel about a leisurely glide on a bike through some gorgeous park scenery? Perhaps you can also stop for a picnic on the way.

                    10. Engage with interactive contemporary art at The Lightbox

                      The Lightbox is a fresh new take on the classic museum space. It is renowned for its interactive exhibitions, which change regularly throughout the year. Boutique-like in appearance, and innovative in terms of what it presents you with, The Lightbox is the ideal location for a date with one of your fellow culture lovers in Surrey.

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                      11. Explore behind the scenes at Grayshott Pottery

                      Grayshott Pottery Gallery

                        If you meet someone in Surrey who is a hands-on, artistic type, why not take them on a tour of the famous Grayshott Pottery workshop? These tours typically take around half an hour and provide you with a fascinating insight into how pottery and artistic hand-decorated ceramics are created here.

                        12. Marvel at the history of Farnham Castle Keep

                        Farnham Castle Keep

                          This superb dating location was founded way back in 1138. Therefore, it is steeped in history and is an excellent place to bring a culture lover, especially someone who loves their medieval history. There is also plenty of Civil War material to be discovered here as well. It’s a real treasure trove of stories, artefacts, and amazing architecture.

                          13. Take an elegant stroll in Priory Park

                          Reigate Priory Park

                            You and your date can enjoy a picnic amid some stunning scenery in the formal gardens of Priory Park in Reigate, perhaps whilst discussing the finer points of garden design.

                            14. Roam through the grounds of Guildford Castle

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                              This is another fantastic option for lovers of medieval history. Guildford Castle was built not too long after the Norman Conquest, which means that it is steeped in centuries of history. It is totally free to wander around the grounds of this castle, and the castle is located very close to the town centre in Guildford as well, so you can combine your cultural visit to the castle with a trip to a museum.

                              15. Relax in the East Surrey Museum

                              East Surrey Museum

                                Treat the culture lover that you have met online to a visit to the East Surrey Museum, which has no entry fee, boasts four separate exhibition rooms, and is conveniently located near the town centre in Caterham. To finish your date, why not wander around the lovely town for some window shopping?

                                Introduce some cultural but affordable dating options into your Surrey dating life; you and your date will be sure to have fun whatever the cost.

                                Image Credit: Mercedes Benz World via businessatbrooklands.co.uk; Guildford Castle via exploringsurreyspast.org.uk; Couple with cat via pestell.com; waterfall via windsorgreatpark.co.uk; Windsor Great Park via fabriciopretti.files.wordpress.com; Magna Carta via getsurrey.co.uk; The Lightbox Gallery via coolplaces.co.uk; Pottery pieces via http://www.cbasouth-east.org; Bird flock via Stocksnap.io; Reigate Priory Park via picturesofengland.com; Noah’s Ark via farnhammaltings.com; Farnham Castle Keep via english-heritage.org.uk; Grayshott Pottery via grayshottpottery.com; Guildford House Gallery via guildford.gov.uk; Guildford Museum via gettyimages.com.

                                Featured photo credit: Unknown via windsorgreatpark.co.uk

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                                Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                                How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

                                Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life. To control your thoughts means to influence the way you live your life.

                                Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affects your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality)

                                I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive, and just a general waste of energy.

                                You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

                                Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Be someone who can control your thoughts—become the master of your mind.

                                When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

                                I currently have a few thoughts that are not of my choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

                                Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

                                Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in control of your thoughts.

                                If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

                                Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create unhealthy and unproductive thoughts.

                                1. The Inner Critic

                                This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

                                • Other people’s words—many times your parents
                                • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples’ expectations
                                • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media
                                • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

                                The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance, and lack of self-love.

                                Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is youwhy else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

                                2. The Worrier

                                This person lives in the future—in the world of “what ifs.”

                                The Worrier is motivated by fear, which is often irrational and has no basis. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

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                                3. The Reactor or Troublemaker

                                This is the one that triggers anger, frustration, and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

                                This person can be set off by words or feelings and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

                                The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control. He is run by past programming that no longer serves you—if it ever did.

                                4. The Sleep Depriver

                                This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

                                The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

                                • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
                                • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
                                • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity, and generalized anxiety
                                • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

                                How can you control these squatters?

                                How to Master Your Mind

                                You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You can control your thoughts, but you must pay attention to them so you can identify “who” is running the show—this will determine which technique you will want to use.

                                Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

                                There are two ways to control your thoughts:

                                • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
                                • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

                                This second option is what is known as peace of mind.

                                The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go-to” thoughts in applicable situations.

                                Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

                                1. For the Inner Critic

                                When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

                                You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

                                For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

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                                You can also have a dialogue with yourself to discredit the ‘voice’ that created the thought—if you know whose voice it is:

                                “Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

                                If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready.

                                This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

                                • They rile up the Worrier.
                                • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
                                • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
                                • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
                                • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

                                Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

                                Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

                                2. For the Worrier

                                Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally, and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

                                Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind, and creates anxiety in the body. This may make it more difficult for you to control your thoughts effectively.

                                You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

                                • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
                                • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
                                • Muscles tense

                                Use the above-stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time, you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

                                If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

                                Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

                                “Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

                                Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense. Both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

                                If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

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                                Now, take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like! Do it until you feel that you’re close to being in control of your thoughts.

                                Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

                                For example: If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

                                “I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place.

                                Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

                                Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

                                “Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

                                Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

                                3. For the Troublemaker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

                                Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers. But until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

                                The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain.

                                I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

                                Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds—just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

                                Breathe in through your nose:

                                • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
                                • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
                                • Focus on your belly rising.

                                Breathe out through your nose:

                                • Feel your lungs emptying.
                                • Focus on your belly falling.
                                • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

                                Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize. Now, you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior, and you’ll be more in control of your thoughts.

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                                One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

                                Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

                                4. For the Sleep Depriver

                                (They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher, and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

                                I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

                                Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

                                1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
                                2. Then I came up with a replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

                                When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and thoughts, and I choose quiet.

                                From the first time I tried this method, I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

                                For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (closed, of course). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

                                If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

                                You can also use this technique any time you want to:

                                • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon
                                • Shut down your thinking
                                • Calm your feelings
                                • Simply focus on the present moment

                                The Bottom Line

                                Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or destructive purposes.

                                You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable, and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

                                Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. You can be in control of your thoughts. The choice is yours!

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                                Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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