Our ‘big five’ Surrey’s best commuting towns
We’ve chosen our top five Surrey commuting towns and given you our low down on what we think of as our ‘big five’.
We hope that it helps you if you’ve never heard of any of them and are trying to decide where to start your house hunt.
Our ‘big five’ offer fantastic schooling options for your children, commuterbility and are all within easy reach of countryside that have been designated ‘AONB’ Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Which makes them wonderful places to bring up your family. All houses shown are currently on the market.
Guildford is Surrey’s county town and a firm favourite with us. It’s one of the few large towns where you can stand in the High Street and see the rolling hills beyond. It has an extremely pretty cobbled street centre that is hugely popular with locals as it offers all the retail shops and restaurants you’ll ever need. What’s more, there are exciting new plans afoot to transform the area along the River Wey into a buzzing pedestrianised area with restaurants and cafes.
For house hunters, the mix of Victorian, Edwardian and Arts and Crafts houses offer buyers a choice of family homes in walking distance of both the town centre and the glorious countryside that surrounds the town. Due to the unique nature of the green belt restrictions the town very quickly becomes countryside. Many houses on the edge of town, especially those on the hills to south and east, enjoy country views for as far as the eye can see, so it really can be the best of both worlds.
Guildford schools including Guildford High School and Royal Grammar School (RGS), Lanesborough, St Catherine’s and Tormead score highly in independent school league tables, whilst George Abbot and Guildford County School offer outstanding education in the state sector.
Dorking is famed for its antique shops but it’s practical too with a choice of supermarkets and plenty of familiar high street favourites for every day needs. For culture and leisure the town is home to Dorking Halls, a theatre and cinema complex, and Dorking Sports Centre, both of which are located on the High Street. Dorking is blessed with beautiful, rolling countryside around it. There are lots of pretty villages tucked away in the hills such as Abinger, Holmbury St Mary and Shere.
Dorking’s schools have an excellent reputation with North Downs Primary School and Surrey Hills CofE Primary serving the villages, while St Paul’s CofE Primary School and St Joseph’s RC Primary School can be found in the town. At secondary level, Priory School and Ashcombe School are the popular state options. Near by Belmont Prep School and St Teresas School at Effingham are amongst the independent options.
Haslemere is definitely the type of place you imagine when you think of an English county town, with its timbered and tile hung houses and cottages. The high street is lined with boutiques, independent shops and fabulous cafes which together make Haslemere the ideal place to while away a lazy afternoon.
We always say that moving to Haslemere and the surrounding area is a proper move to the countryside. Bordering on to West Sussex and a stone’s throw from the South Downs National Park, the area definitely has a rural feel with miles of open countryside stretching south all the way to the coast. But don’t get the impression it is a backwater: as well as a buzzy vibe in the town itself, there is plenty going on in the villages such as Brook, Grayswood and Lurgashall, all of which have a great sense of community.
Godalming is an old market town, which has a good range of facilities including a choice of supermarkets, several useful high street retailers and an eclectic mix of independent shops. A particular draw for families is the excellent selection of both state and independent schools such as Charterhouse, St Hilary’s, Aldro, Busbridge Infant and Junior Schools and Godalming College for sixth formers. Rail links are also excellent and it served by two train stations, Godalming in the centre of town, and Farncombe on the fringes. The A3 is only a short drive away for those needing access to good road links.
What we love about Godalming is the glorious countryside right on its door step with a choice of beautiful villages, meaning you can live the country dream but still enjoy the spoils of a good commute. Nestled amongst these hills you’ll also find a number of child friendly attractions including Winkworth Arboretum (National Trust), Loseley House and The Watts Gallery.
We love Farnham for its Georgian beauty, its 12th Century Castle and proximity to lots of pretty villages. It’s a hub of activity with a cool cafe culture, which has earned it the name ‘mini London’ in the press.
On its doorstep you’ll find plenty of fun places to hang out with the family, with Frensham Ponds, the Bourne Woods and Alice Holt Forest all close by. The Maltings is a hub for the creative arts with a jam packed programme of courses and events, all year round.
David Lloyd, Farnham Rugby Club and Aldershot and Farnham Hockey Club, The Bourne Tennis Club, Frensham Pond Sailing Club and Farnham Leisure Centre, will keep the active families busy too.
Farnham offers fantastic educational opportunities for your children with lots of ‘outstanding’ village infant schools, great junior schools and Weydon School, one of the best secondary schools in the country.
For more information on schools, commuting times etc – visit ‘our locations’ section on our webiste www.propertypotentialsurrey.co.uk and you’ll find an interactive map full of helpful stuff.