by Kelsee Jackson, dramaturg
If you travel to England, should you make a stop in Hindhead? Of course, it is up to you. If you are needing a bit of fresh air and a break from the city, it might interest you to know that Hindhead has a nickname, “Little Switzerland.” George Bernard Shaw wasn’t the only famous person to enjoy the fresh air and scenery of “Little Switzerland,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was another notable resident. Some even claim that he wrote The Hounds of Baskerville after walking the Devil’s Punchbowl.
What else makes this town notable? The people, or at least all of the ones we talked to, were genuinely kind and helpful. They talked highly about the beauty that surrounded them and were open to giving all kinds of pointers and tips. We even ran into local residents who go for daily runs on the many trails, or walk on the paths when they need some fresh air. There was a great sense of pride in this little town, and it was rather refreshing.
Since going to Hindhead, I’ve wondered if Shaw had any particular connection there. He did live there at a certain point and it obviously impacted his life, at least enough for him to make the setting of what would become one of his most well-known plays in Hindhead. I’ve wondered especially if the Tarletons, or perhaps the Summerhays or Julius Baker were characters that had some basis in real people from this small town. Who knows?
What a great place to visit for nature-lovers and Misalliance fans alike!
Brief Hindhead history, http://beaconhillhindhead.org/history/, accessed 11 November 2015.