In 2021, Surrey was ranked the best place to live in the South East by The Sunday Times and for good reason. Not only is Surrey home to many great shops, restaurants, bars and landmarks but the council is dedicated to continually improving the culture throughout the county.
If you’re thinking of moving to Surrey permanently, then it’s a good idea to be as informed as possible about what it has to offer. In this article, we’re going to look at the main pros and cons of Surrey as well as covering the best areas in the county to live.
Pros and cons of living in Surrey
- Great culture – Surrey is home to a lot of great culture. As well as the many great bars, restaurants and cafes, there are also attractions such as Brooklands Museum, RHS Wisley Gardens, Hampton Court Palace and Painshill Park.
- Good location for commuters – Surrey is a beautiful and highly desirable area to live in its own right but one of the major benefits it offers is being within commuting distance of London. Cobham, for example, is just 22 miles from central London and you can get there by train within 45 minutes.
- Great for nature lovers – Surrey is known for being a densely-wooded part of the country, with one-fifth of it being covered by woods. In addition to this, there are a number of great walks and parks, including Hampton Court Palace, Nonsuch Park and Claremont Landscape Garden.
- Property prices are expensive – One of the downsides of Surrey is that the property is very expensive, with the average price being £618,421. Of course, the exact price will vary depending on the area and the property type. For example, the average cost of a terraced house is £619,055 while flats are considerably cheaper, at £376,245 on average.
Now we’ve covered the pros and cons of Surrey, let’s look at some of the best areas to live in the county.
Guildford is a town with a lot of history and you can appreciate that everywhere you go, from the cobblestones on the high street to the beautiful, historic churches and cathedrals. In addition to its rich heritage, Guildford also has plenty to see and do, including plenty of great restaurants, bars and cafes as well as amenities such as Surrey Sports Park.
Less than an hour by train to London, Leatherhead is in a great location and would make a great choice to move to, particularly if you have a family. There are some great schools in the area and it’s far enough away from the city centre to avoid the hustle and bustle.
Although Leartherhead is a scenic countryside town, that doesn’t mean there’s not much going on there. As well as the shopping district, there are also various art galleries and shows and it’s just a short trip to get to Chessington World of Adventures.
Cobham is a perfect choice if you have a family thanks to the number of excellent primary and secondary schools. It’s also in a very convenient location, being just 25 miles from central London. You can get there very easily via the A3 or by train. There are some excellent schools in the area and ultrafast broadband is available throughout most of Cobham.
Because Cobham is such a desirable area, the property prices are extremely high, with the average being £1,253,936. The average price for a flat in Cobham is £586,288.
Thames Ditton is a beautiful village that’s situated along the River Thames. It’s very close to London, so it would make an ideal choice for young professionals needing to commute to the capital. Although it’s very much a village, there’s still plenty going on in Thames Ditton with Richmond Park and Hampton Court Maze nearby. It’s also very well connected to rail and road networks, so it’s very convenient to get into London as well as the rest of the UK.
Property prices in Thames Ditton are quite high, with the average being £842,783, which is a 10% increase since 2019, with the average cost of a flat being £407,382.
If you’re looking for a quiet and relaxing place away from the hectic city centre, then Bramley would make a great choice. Despite being a fairly quiet town, there’s still plenty to see and do in Bramley. There are plenty of shops, restaurants and cafes as well as art galleries and parks.
Property in the area is very affordable, with an average cost of a semi-detached home being 209,233 and the average price of a flat £123,657.
The downside to Bramley is that it isn’t particularly well connected with no train services and buses not going directly to the city centre, so you would ideally have a car if you moved there.
Farnham is a very popular area with students, being home to the University for the Creative Arts. It’s also conveniently located and you can get to London very easily via the many transportation links to the capital.
There are many parks and bike trails in Farnham, making it ideal if you’re a nature lover and the property prices are fairly reasonable compared to some other areas in Surrey, with an average cost of £576,278.
Located on the banks of the River Wey, Ripley is a beautiful village that’s home to historical monuments and fantastic parks, including Dunsborough Park. It’s also close to Guildford and London, so it’s in an excellent spot for commuters.
Although it doesn’t have many of its own schools due to low population, there are a number of excellent schools in nearby towns, such as Woking.
Being home to many excellent primary and secondary schools, Camberley would make a great choice of place to live for families. In addition to the great schools, it also has a great golf course and some beautiful natural areas for walking.
The property prices in Camberley are fairly high, with an average of £502,100 but this is still fairly affordable compared to a lot of other areas in Surrey.
Reigate is a great place to move for work, with a good number of employment opportunities and easy access to London thanks to its rail connections. There are plenty of amenities to be found throughout Reigate, including tennis courts, numerous parks, a skating area. This makes it a great place for families as well as young professionals.
Property prices are fairly reasonable for Surrey, with an average price for semi-detached houses being £625,468 and an average of £294,768 for flats.
Woking would make a great place to live if you have an active lifestyle and love sports. In addition to the local football team, there is a great sports centre and a number of golf courses. There are also plenty of shops, restaurants and bars as well as independent stores and entertainment facilities.
Property prices in Woking are quite reasonable too, with the average cost of semi-detached houses being £503,734 and £271,683 for flats. It’s also in an excellent spot for commuters, with London being accessible within 30 minutes.
If you need help with a house move or need a man and a van in we can help.
I’m Paul Smith, Founder and Director of HouseMoveHelper. I have a great love of business, marketing, the wilderness and love to travel. You can learn more about me here.