Best Surrey Commuter Towns and Villages To London


There are plenty of reasons to consider commuter towns in Surrey, if you’re considering moving 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 on your doorstep.

Your Surrey commuter town move could also mean access to excellent 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 historic and picturesque, with some buildings dating from medieval or Tudor times. You’ll find lovely Victorian and Edwardian properties, including those designed by Edward Lutyens with their trademark tall chimneys, multiple gables and period features.

To give you some food for thought when considering locations, here are eight 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 has many lovely old pubs, chain restaurants, and 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 include Milton or Bramley, which sit 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 excellent schools and a well-earned reputation among foodies, with a choice of restaurants, gastropubs and cafes. Plus, whenever you fancy a browse, you’ll find an interesting mix of vintage and antique shops on West Street.

Lovely Box Hill is nearby, 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 film, music, theatre and comedy programme. 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 have been featured in many films.

3 Guildford

Guildford might be the perfect choice if you don’t want to give up too many of the benefits of urban living. 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 excellent facilities – an Odeon cinema, five theatre venues, a lido and the Spectrum leisure centre with an indoor 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. Guildford also has excellent state options. All Guildford’s state primary schools are rated outstanding or good by Ofsted. Guildford is a non-selective area for secondary schools with several excellent options. Guildford County School and St Peter’s Catholic School are high-achieving secondary schools for girls and boys aged 11 to 18.

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 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 near the town centre. There’s an Everyman cinema, a variety of restaurants, and 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 for an easy getaway. Schools are good, with both Reigate School and St Bede’s rated outstanding. Commute time into Victoria is 46 minutes.

6 Walton on Thames

As the name of this commuter town suggests, it is located on the banks of the River Thames, which means you can enjoy picturesque views and river walks when you choose to move to Walton on Thames.

There are also many green spaces, including Sunbury Walled Garden, Ashley Park and Elmgrove Recreation Ground, while watersports such as kayaking are popular in this area. This prospering market town lies 15 miles from the city, with a 30–40-minute commute to London Waterloo.

Walton on Thames has a range of modern amenities, including the Heart Shopping Centre, and there is an excellent choice of great eateries, with wonderful riverside restaurants, for those who like to dine with a view.

If you are a family considering moving to Walton on Thames, there are several top schools, such as St George’s College and nearby Heathside School.

7 Woking

Woking was recently ranked second in the best places to live and work in the annual UK Vitality Index 2023. It has become a top choice for commuters, with plenty of green spaces to enjoy and modern amenities such as the recently opened Victoria Place, housing a mix of residential apartments, retail, leisure and hospitality venues.

With a train journey of 30-40 minutes from Woking station to Waterloo, this growing town is the perfect location for commuting into London, heading into the city for a night at the theatre or visiting any of London’s spectacular attractions.

One of the top reasons people move to Woking is the excellent selection of schools, including several primary and secondary schools that have achieved Outstanding in the latest Ofsted inspections.

Top attractions in Woking include the New Victoria Theatre, Lightwater Country Park and the Lightbox Gallery and Museum. Woking is home to some great golf courses, and the town hosts exciting events all year round, such as the award-winning Woking Food and Drink Festival and Party in the Park.

8 Redhill

Redhill is a popular choice with families due to the abundance of excellent schools in the area, including Reigate Grammar, Dunottar and Micklefield. The town is located between London and Brighton, with direct train lines into London Bridge and Victoria taking around 30 minutes.

Redhill residents can enjoy the picturesque surroundings of the North Downs, providing the ideal combination of rural living with easy access to the city. There are also good road links from Redhill, with the M25 and M23 being right on the doorstep. Frequent flyers benefit from the proximity of Gatwick Airport, which is less than 10 minutes away.

Surrey Hills and Box Hill are a short distance from Redhill, while you can get to the seaside at Brighton in less than an hour by car or train. Average house prices in Redhill are considerably lower than in neighbouring Reigate or Dorking, which is another top reason to buy in Redhill.

If you’re thinking of leaving south west London and selling your home, we can help. We have lots of experience assisting sellers in Balham, Clapham, Wandsworth, Battersea and Earlsfield to achieve the sales that make their dreams come true. Give us a call to discuss your plans today.