Surrey is one of the most sought-after UK counties in which to be domiciled. Not only is it within striking distance of the great capital of London but it also offers an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
So what are the best places to live in Surrey? Here are a few of our favourites:
Crowned by its picture-perfect 12th century castle, Farnham is a quintessentially English market town nestled into the rolling Surrey Hills. Quaint and utterly charming, Farnham boasts elegant Georgian streets, characterful historic buildings and a bustling ambience.
Known as ‘England’s Craft Town’, Farnham has a rich craft heritage dating back to the Roman era and is home to some of the world’s finest craft artists. You’ll find a wealth of independent stores and boutique shops in town, as well as cute cafes and one of Surrey’s best butchers (Michael Humphries).
Farnham is surrounded by a collection of charming country villages, including Wrecclesham which is home to Farnham Pottery, one of the best preserved examples of a working Victorian pottery left in England.
- Every month, the award winning Farmers’ Market springs to life in this historic town, offering seasonal foods that have all been grown, reared, harvested or baked within 50 miles – bringing you the freshest and tastiest of produce.
- Surrounded by beautiful green countryside, here you can quickly access an abundance of walks and the impressive 130 hectare medieval deer park in Farnham Park just a quick walk from the town centre, as well as perfect picnic spots, cycling trails and a Go Ape in Alice Holt Forest.
- With one of the oldest cricket clubs in the country, a strong community within the rugby and football club and a golf club dating back to 1896, Farnham offers a wealth of activities and sports.
Trains: every half-hour to London Waterloo (55-60 minutes).
Driving: 40 minutes to Heathrow airport, 50 minutes to Gatwick airport, 20 minutes to M3, 30 minutes to M25.
2. Virginia Water
Located in north-west Surrey, on the southern edge of Windsor Great Park, Virginia Water is a picturesque, highly-sought after village and a worthy contender for best place to live in Surrey.
Home to the prestigious 1750 acre Wentworth Estate and Wentworth Club, renowned for its three championship golf courses (one a former Ryder Cup venue), here your neighbours include the likes of Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir Cliff Richard and Sir Elton John.
A spectacle of style and fashion, Royal Ascot sits right on your doorstep – the finest horse race in Britain, referenced the world over, and an annual highlight of the elite’s social calendar. And so of course does the Guards Polo Club, hosting world-class tournaments, impressive fixtures and first-rate hospitality.
- Virginia Water is named after the adjacent Virginia Water Lake in Windsor Great Park, offering stunning walks, picnic spots amongst the beautiful gardens and a fabulous cafe in Savill Gardens.
- Rich in 900 years of Royal history, nearby Windsor is home to the magnificent Windsor Castle – the world’s oldest and largest inhabited castle in the world and the Queen’s home.
- A wide array of private airfields are all situated within a 30-minute radius. These include: Fairoaks Airport, Redhill Aerodrome, Blackbushe Airport and Farnborough Airport.
Trains: 3 per hour (peak) to London Waterloo (46-60 minutes).
Driving: 60 minutes to Central London, 15 minutes to Heathrow airport, 40 minutes to Gatwick airport, 5 minutes to M3, 5 minutes to M25.
Virginia Water offers first rate state and independent schools. Primary schools St Cuthbert’s and Trumps Green, and secondary Salesian School and Charters School were all given an Ofsted ‘outstanding’. Eton College is within striking distance.
Known for its peaceful seclusion and that comforting feeling of ‘being home’, Haslemere is wrapped up into the quiet calm of the wooded Surrey Hills and surrounded by endless National Trust open countryside.
Said to have the ‘highest number of first-class season ticket holders in the country’, Haslemere is popular amongst busy professionals retreating from their demanding London work day. Lined with Georgian and Victorian houses on leafy lanes, it offers a peaceful sanctuary of privacy, a world away from the City.
- Haslemere Hall is a hub of entertainment in the town, hosting theatre shows, films, opera productions, live music and more.
- You’ll never be short of superb food in this historic town with its own baker, fishmonger, deli and excellent farm shops, as well as the monthly Farmer’s Market selling locally produced, seasonal fare.
Trains: 3 per hour (peak) to London Waterloo (49-60 minutes).
Driving: 50 minutes to Heathrow airport, 55 minutes to Gatwick airport, 35 minutes to M3, 35 minutes to M25.
Ofsted has awarded Haslemere’s primary school St Bartholomew’s ‘good’ and Camelsdale ‘outstanding’ and its secondary Woolmer Hill ‘good’. The town also has a number of excellent independent schools.
Brimming with ‘olde worlde’ charm, the centre of Chobham village is a conservation area and contains a number of listed buildings (some dating back to Norman times). Enchanting with its old, half timbered houses, it offers a fine range of restaurants, boutique stores and antique shops, as well as a cricket and rugby club – a very popular choice for those in search of the best place to live in Surrey.
- Chobham Common is the largest National Nature Reserve in the south-east of England, a stunning 1,400 acre (6km2) area of lowland heath and home to an abundance of wildlife including 100 different species of bird.
- A few excellent pubs welcome you in Chobham, including the award-winning Stovell’s for a touch of high-end pub dining.
Trains: 11 per hour (peak) from Woking to London Waterloo (28 minutes). Drive to station: about 10 minutes.
Driving: 25 minutes to Heathrow airport, 40 minutes to Gatwick airport, 15 minutes to M3, 10 minutes to M25.
Always a popular village for commuters, they say that Windlesham was once the place where highwayman Captain Snow hijacked 16th century commuters on their way to the Pelican inn. The legend goes that Snow made a business partner of the Pelican barman, sharing his profits in exchange for his leaving the inn door open, therefore granting him easy access to midnight thievery of the sleeping guests.
Windlesham is an active village with excellent pubs and a superb theatre. It’s also home to the most expensive private home on the market anywhere in the world, Uptown Court (priced at £70 million at the time of launch in 2016).
- The Windlesham Club and Theatre is at the centre of the community and, after recent refurb obtained from lottery money, the club has a snooker room and darts, tennis courts and an Amateur Dramatics Society theatre.
- The Inn West End restaurant nearby offers excellent Michelin star dining, as does The Latymer.
Trains: 3 per hour (peak) from Ascot to London Waterloo (56 minutes). Drive to station: about 10 minutes. Bagshot train station is just 6 minutes from Windlesham.
Driving: 30 minutes to Heathrow airport, 55 minutes to Gatwick airport, 5 minutes to M3, 20 minutes to M25.
Famed for its beautiful Great Pond and Common, Frensham transports you away from the hustle-and-bustle of modern life to a much quieter, more peaceful time. The Great Pond and Common covers approximately 1,000 acres (400 hectares) of attractive countryside and beautiful beach, and is protected by the National Trust.
Picturesque Frensham has its own village shop, stocking excellent local produce, post office, cricket and tennis club and a bustling village pub.
- This Green Flag award winning site is a rare habitat that is home to a wealth of wildlife including sand lizards, Dartford warblers, nightjars, and rare plants – you might spot them if you’re lucky!
Trains: every half-hour from Farnham to London Waterloo (55-60 minutes). Drive to station: about 10 minutes.
Driving: 45 minutes to Heathrow airport, 60 minutes to Gatwick airport, 25 minutes to M3, 35 minutes to M25.
With Farnham town just 3.5 miles away, Frensham has access to a number of superb schools. The village has its own primary school St Mary’s which has also achieved an Ofsted ‘good’ and the excellent independent Frensham Heights.
7. Shamley Green
The epitome of a quintessential Surrey village, Shamley Green is surrounded by beautiful countryside and offers a myriad of walking, riding and cycling opportunities on the local Downs Way.
With a village green surrounded by period properties, a superb cricket club and great local pubs, Shamley Green is more than just a picturesque village, it’s a close-knit community. It is this strong sense of community that makes Shamley Green a front-runner in our list of best places to live in Surrey.
- Opened by local mothers, the Speckledy Hen Café and Deli is the “go-to” place for locals and has a great courtyard to sit outside with a coffee on a sunny day.
- New families are welcomed to the village in a Newcomers Evening at the Red Lion pub, whilst fathers on the early Waterloo train play a friendly five-a-side football game and there’s a popular village book club.
Trains: 4 per hour (peak) from Godalming to London Waterloo (46 minutes). Drive to station: about 15 minutes.
Driving: 50 minutes to Heathrow airport, 45 minutes to Gatwick airport, 30 minutes to M3, 35 minutes to M25.
The village has its own nursery, pre-school, C of E Infant School and a Montessori school, as well as the highly sought-after independent Longacre School.
If a village could be part of a story-book, then picture-perfect Shere would be it. With scenes from blockbuster movies such as The Holiday, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Bridget Jones – the Edge of Reason all filmed here, Shere easily wins a place on our list of best places to live in Surrey – a true Surrey gem.
Nestled firmly in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Shere has a waterside setting with ducks, medieval streets, quaint little cottages and a 12th century church.
- The village has two popular pubs, The William Bray and The White Horse, as well as the Dabbling Duck deli & tearoom (some say the best in Surrey).
Trains: 5 per hour (peak) from Guilford to London Waterloo (48 minutes). Drive to station: about 15 minutes.
Driving: 45 minutes to Heathrow airport, 40 minutes to Gatwick airport, 30 minutes to M25.
Have a look at the Kirkby Homes properties currently available in the Surrey area here. If we can be of any assistance to you in your property search, please do not hesitate to contact us.
*Please note that these travel times may not be 100% accurate and are meant only as a guide.