Surrey is divided in two by the chalk ridge of the
North Downs, running east-west. The ridge is pierced by Surrey's principal tributary rivers, the
Wey and the
Mole, which join its internal section of the
Thames, which formed the northern border of the county before the 1965 redrawing of the county.
 To the north of the Downs the land is mostly flat, forming part of the basin of the Thames.
 The geology of this area is dominated by
London Clay in the east,
Bagshot Sands in the west and
alluvial deposits along the rivers. To the south of the Downs in the western part of the county are the sandstone
Surrey Hills, while further east is the plain of the Low
Weald, rising in the extreme south-east to the edge of the hills of the High Weald.
 The Downs and the area to the south form part of a concentric pattern of geological deposits which also extends across southern Kent and most of Sussex, predominantly composed of
Lower Greensand and the chalk of the Downs.
Much of Surrey is in the
Metropolitan Green Belt. It contains valued reserves of mature
woodland (reflected in the official logo of Surrey County Council, a pair of interlocking oak leaves). Among its many notable beauty spots are
Newlands Corner and
Puttenham & Crooksbury Commons.
 Surrey is the most wooded county in England, with 22.4% coverage compared to a national average of 11.8%
 and as such is one of the few counties not to recommend new woodlands in the subordinate planning authorities' plans. Box Hill has the oldest untouched area of natural woodland in the UK, one of the oldest in Europe. Surrey also contains England's principal concentration of lowland
heath, on sandy soils in the west of the county.
Agriculture not being intensive, there are many
commons and access lands, together with an extensive network of
footpaths and bridleways including the
North Downs Way, a scenic
long-distance path. Accordingly, Surrey provides many rural and semi-rural leisure activities, with a large horse population in modern terms.
The highest elevation in Surrey is
Leith Hill near
Dorking. It is 294 m (965 ft)
 above sea level and is the second highest point in southeastern England after
Walbury Hill in
West Berkshire which is 297 m (974 ft) .