Best Surrey Commuter Towns and Villages To London


There are plenty of reasons to think commuter towns in Surrey, if you’re considering a move out of South West London. Relocate a few miles down the A3, and you’ll be close enough to work in the capital, but with stunning rural scenery right on your doorstep.

Your Surrey commuter town move could also mean access to great state and private schools, and a quieter pace of life in an attractive market town with every amenity. Even better, despite its proximity to London, you’ll get more for your money – perfect if you’re looking for the space to accommodate a growing family.

Many of Surrey’s commuter towns are as historic as they are picturesque with some buildings dating from medieval or Tudor times. You’ll find lovely Victorian and Edwardian properties too, including those designed by Edward Lutyens with their trademark tall chimneys, multiple gables and interesting period features.

To give you some food for thought when considering locations, here are five top choices when it comes to commuter towns in Surrey

1 Godalming

Choose quaint Godalming if you’re looking for that cosy historic market town vibe. It’s compact but with plenty of nice old pubs and chain restaurants as well as lots of independent shops. Set on the banks of the idyllic River Wey, it’s also within easy reach of the glorious Surrey Hills and the South Downs, with Devil’s Punchbowl and National Trust Winkworth Arboretum close by. Notable independent school Charterhouse is just out of town and there are plenty of good state options at primary and secondary level. Direct trains to Waterloo take around 44 minutes, and all the amenities of Guildford are just four miles away. Nearby villages to consider include Milton or Bramley, which sits within an area of outstanding natural beauty.

2 Dorking

It’s pretty and cute and bang in the middle of the Surrey Hills with a commute to London Bridge, Victoria or Waterloo in 53 minutes – via one of three local stations. Dorking has great schools and a well-earned reputation among foodies, with a choice of restaurants, gastropubs and cafes. Plus, you’ll find an interesting mix of vintage and antique shops on West Street, whenever you fancy a browse. Lovely Box Hill is close by, as is Denbies vineyard which offers regular tours and the striking National Trust property Polesden Lacey. For more cultural pursuits there’s Dorking Halls with a programme of film, music, theatre and comedy. Properties include Victorian manor houses, arts and crafts-style Edwardians and new builds. Just outside Dorking you’ll find attractive villages including Mickleham and Shere, which has featured in many films.

3 Guildford

If you don’t want to give up too many of the benefits of urban living, Guildford might be the perfect choice. It’s a larger town than our other options – but an attractive one, with its cobbled streets and iconic overhanging clock. As the largest town in Surrey, you’ll have access to a good range of shops – from high end to high street – as well as markets, cafes and restaurants. There are great facilities – an Odeon cinema, five theatre venues, a lido and the Spectrum leisure centre with a year-round ice rink. As with everywhere in the county, there’s easy access to those areas of outstanding beauty, plus you’re halfway between London and Portsmouth for the south coast. The schools are good too. Guildford High School and the Royal Grammar are in the Times’ Parent Power top 10 independents for the south east, with good state options. Travel times vary with the fastest commutes taking just 33 minutes into Waterloo. If you’d like the benefits of the town while living somewhere smaller there are plenty of attractive villages around Guildford including Worplesdon, Shalford, Albury and West Clandon.

4 Epsom

Closer to London, Epsom also offers a quick commute (from 36 minutes to Waterloo) – and it’s on the Oyster system. There’s a regular market and a busy high street with a mix of big chains and independents. Housing is great for families with plenty of leafy roads of Edwardian and 1920s and 30s semis and detached homes. And again, it’s close to some areas of beautiful countryside. Schools are, however, a big draw with well-regarded independent Epsom College. In the state sector Glyn and Roseberry schools are both outstanding.

5 Reigate

Reigate has plenty to recommend it – the attractive high street has boutiques and cafes and there’s a good choice of period homes close to the town centre. There’s an Everyman cinema and a variety of restaurants as well as a couple of microbreweries. You’ll find ample green space on Reigate Heath and the castle grounds, plus you’re close to the North Downs – and Gatwick Airport too, for an easy getaway. Schools are good with Reigate School and St Bede’s both rated outstanding. Commute time into Victoria is 46 minutes.

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