With characterful towns located well within commuting distance of London, an outstanding range of beautiful houses, stunning woods and heathland, and
With characterful towns located well within commuting distance of London, an outstanding range of beautiful houses, stunning woods and heathland, and the lowest crime rate of any county in England, it’s no wonder Surrey is one of the most desirable places to live. Dakota Murphey, independent content writer working alongside professional homebuyer survey reporters Brian Gale Surveyors, take a closer look at the reasons for moving to Surrey, just southwest of London.
Surrey is home to several charming local towns including Guildford, Godalming, Dorking and Leatherhead. Many Surrey towns – Farnham, Guildford, Haslemere and Reigate in particular – have retained their warm, friendly, small-town atmosphere. There are many cultural pursuits and a good choice of retailers including large department stores and trendy boutiques. Guildford, in particular, has a thriving and very sophisticated shopping precinct.
Surrey is a busy, bustling county in which you’ll find seven villages and towns which made Country Life’s list of best places to live near London: Haslemere, Farnham, Chobham, Windelsham, Frensham, Shamley Green.
Haslemere is a small market town with a charming centre with antique shops, boutique stores, coffee bars, a monthly farmer’s market and an interesting museum that was started in 1888. The stock of property here perhaps weighs heavily in the direction of 1930s semis, but some good Victorian villas with walled gardens do come up from time to time. The county has some of the prettiest villages in England, most of which are set around a village green – Chiddingfold, Dunsfold, Shere and Brockham are just a few. And you needn’t worry about schools, because Surrey has a plentiful supply of state, private and international schools all with excellent OFSTED ratings.
Road and rail connections are excellent. There are links to the M25 and A3 and other major arteries. In addition, Surrey is within easy reach of Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Eurostar, at St Pancras Station in London, is just a short train journey away from most towns.
Rail links from most parts of Surrey to London are good. Waterloo, Victoria, London Bridge and Charing Cross stations can all be accessed easily from the county. There’s a limited service offered by Virgin Trains that connects the Midlands and the North, and Portsmouth and Gatwick.
Stretching from Haslemere to the Kent border, the Surrey Hills AONB provide wonderful walks and stunning views of the county. For public enjoyment, there are thousands of acres of woodland and heath. Did you know that Surrey is the most densely-wooded region in all of England?
It’s here where you’ll find more golf courses than in any other county, including the famous Wentworth Club, as well as many other outdoor activities such as horse racing, horse riding, running, cycling, tennis and village cricket.
Property in Surrey
In the Surrey countryside and around Guildford, Weybridge, Esher, and West Byfleet, large properties in the Lutyens style – sweeping roofs, high chimneys, exposed beams, leaded lights, and handcrafted details – are available but come with a hefty price tag. There’s a better supply of Victorian houses in the county, dating from 1837 to 1901, especially late Victorian villas and small terraced properties. There are also many 1930’s semis. However, most of Surrey’s housing stock was constructed in the late 20th century and there’s a good supply all over the county.
It used to be the case that areas closer to London were priced much higher than those in the south of the county, but lately this appears to have changed. Properties further south are now costing almost as much as those in the north. Cheaper buying options can be found in the east of the county and areas along the western boundary. Of course, Surrey’s bigger towns have a surfeit of flats and new apartment blocks, but there are also Edwardian semis, some charming garden cottages and a good supply of modern two and three bedroom homes.
Towns like Chertsey, Leatherhead and Guildford, close to the M25, are now major business centres in their own right. Surrey has a high global profile when it comes to computer and technology industries and many major businesses have moved into new headquarters in Surrey.