Where to live in Surrey
Where are the best places in Surrey to live? The best place for a retired couple looking for quiet village might not be ideal for a young professional seeking a good commute and a choice of bars and restaurants on their doorstep.
Are you moving to Surrey or within the county itself and want to know where to live?
- Towns in Surrey
- Commuter spots in Surrey
- Country villages in Surrey
- The top 25 best places overall to live
We’ve ranked the best towns to live in Surrey with our Locality Reality mapping tool, which scores postcodes based on seven key criteria, including education, safety, noise, grocery, lifestyle, public green spaces, and transport. All information is collated from over 70 publicly available data points.
Here’s the top five:
- Guildford (8.10) – this market town combines historic features such as a castle and cathedral with a wide choice of modern amenities that includes national prizewinning sports centre. Residents can enjoy cobbled streets lined with historic buildings that offer a range of independent shops, department stores, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Families also benefit from a great choice of excellent state and private schools.
Commutable into London in under 40 minutes, Guildford is on the edge of the North Downs, while closer to home is the woodlands of Stoke Park and the quaint River Wey. Find out more about Guildford.
- Woking (8.09) – closer to London and situated in the Surrey commuter belt, Woking has plenty of local amenities, including two shopping centres, a theatre, lots of schools to choose from, good transport and many restaurants and bars to go to. Though it isn’t factored in our ratings, when it comes to historic charm and looks Woking doesn’t match Guildford, though property is more affordable.
- Epsom (7.92) – due to its proximity to the capital, this market town is a prime commuter spot, though it still has good access to the countryside of the Epsom Downs and the Thanet Beds. The town is well known for its Grade 1 listed racecourse, while it also has a theatre, a leisure centre, a choice of restaurants, and a shopping centre that houses a selection of chain stores. Epsom also has a strong choice of schools, allowing families to stay in the area long term.
- Worcester Park (7.79) – Close to Epsom, this commuter town has good links into London and plenty to offer families with its good independent and state schools, as well as its low crime rates.
- Dorking (7.62) – this attractive market town is situated between the beautiful countryside of the North Downs and the Greensand Ridge. Benefiting from good access to green spaces, a range of quality schools and low crime rates, it’s not surprising it attracts families looking to move out of London for a quiet, but not too quiet, life. The town also has a sports centre, many pubs to choose from, chain and independent restaurants and shops (including many antique shops), and a theatre and cinema venue.
Rounding up the rest of the top ten:
6. Godalming (7.40) – this historic market town has good schools, lots of green space and is quiet in comparison to other towns in Surrey.
7. Banstead (7.11) – some call it a village, others a town, though it is a post town and on the high street there are enough coffee shops, restaurants, pubs and independent and chain shops to be a town – despite the town centre being referred to as Banstead Village.
8. Reigate (7.11) – many will be surprised this historic town in the Surrey commuter belt doesn’t rank higher with its choice of schools and restaurants, pubs and shops to go out to. For some it’s the best place to live in the South East.
9. Staines Upon Thames (7.02) – a town popular with commuters as it has decent public transport and plenty of local amenities, including a good choice of supermarkets, chain shops and restaurants, and pubs. Families also benefit from having Thorpe Park on their doorstep.
10. Weybridge (7.01) – a commuter town with green spaces aplenty, a good selection of schools and quality local amenities, including independent and chain shops and large grocers.
Where do you think is the best town to live in Surrey? Please do let us know in the comment section.
All of these places overall have a lot of benefits, but if you’re looking for something more specific, read on.
Please be aware, your results are only an estimate and should not be considered as a mortgage quote.
Want no more than a 35-minute commute in to London from a Surrey town with a station? Here are the top five places (these are NOT the best commutes, but based on our Locality Reality mapping tool’s seven key criteria as stated above):
- Woking (8.09) – the second best place to live Surrey in general based on our data is the best commuter spot. In terms of the commute alone, this town is the best in the top five in terms of the sheer number of trains, though it’s also the priciest commute. With up to 14 trains an hour all into London Waterloo, Woking has great connections into the capital.
The fast service takes around 28 minutes, though the stopping service takes up to 49 minutes. However, the stopping service does start at Woking for residents who want a better chance of getting a seat in the morning.
Annual Standard Train Ticket from £3,248
- Worcester Park (7.79) – with its good schools and low crime rates, it’s a good place for families. Worcester Park Station is situated in Fare Zone 4 and provides the cheapest commute in the top five. There are six services an hour during peak hours that all go into London Waterloo and take around 30 minutes. On its way into the capital this service takes around 10 minutes to get to Wimbledon, where the London Underground’s District Line service begins and Tramlinks are also available.
Annual Standard Train Ticket from £1,320
- Ewell (7.63) – Ewell is one to consider for families looking to live close to the Surrey Hills, while it also benefits from low crime rates and a good choice of schools. It’s one of the slower commutes in the top five, but is a relatively flexible place to commute from. With two stations both in Fare Zone 6, commuters can choose to head directly into three different London terminals. Ewell West has four direct services into London Waterloo during peak hours taking around 35 minutes, while Ewell East has services into London Victoria and London Bridge both around 40 minutes.
Annual Standard Train Ticket from £1,916 (East) and £1,912 (West)
- Weybridge (7.01) – As mentioned in our top 10 towns list above, this town has plenty to offer and is an established choice for commuters heading into the big smoke – where the town is located is often referred the ‘broker-belt’. The local station has up to eight services during peak times into London Waterloo, with the quickest train taking between 30 and 35 minutes into the capital.
Annual Standard Train Ticket from £2,696
- Esher (6.97) – this picturesque rural town has a range of local amenities, including lots of independent shops and restaurants, a good choice of public green spaces and a selection of quality schools to choose from. It’s one of the quicker commutes in the top five, but property does come at a price.
The station has the choice of up to six services into London Waterloo during peak hours with journey times around 25 minutes. Similar to Worcester Park, residents can take a 13-minute train to Wimbledon for further connections.
Annual Standard Train Ticket from £2,152
- Walton on Thames (6.96) – an attractive town set next to the River Thames with lots of leisure facilities, green spaces, and shops, including shopping centre The Heart – there’s a lot to keep residents entertained during the weekend. During the week, there are four to five trains per hour during peak hours to choose from. Residents can get into London Waterloo in around 30 minutes or to Wimbledon in around 16 minutes.
Annual Standard Train Ticket from £2,460
Where do you think is the best place to live and commute from? Please do let us know in the comment section.
Naming the best villages in Surrey is very subjective, but here’s a run-down of the highest rated based on our Locality Reality mapping tool’s seven key criteria:
- Knaphill (7.52)
- West Byfleet (7.52)
- Godstone (7.25)
- Farncombe (7.14)
- West Molesey (6.80)
These villages listed in the top five score highly not because they are pretty but because they are practical – as practical as villages can be. The joint-highest rated are Knaphill and West Byfleet.
Knaphill is a large, functional village with a high street offering a few local grocery shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs, charity shops, a bank, post office, and library.
Unlike Knaphill, West Byfleet has a rail station with trains into London Waterloo taking around 40 minutes. On the River Wey, this commuter belt village has low crime rates and has plenty of public green spaces for good walks. In the centre of West Byfleet is a good selection of shops, restaurants, pubs, a Waitrose supermarket, and its own golf club.
Please do leave us a comment and tell us about your favourite village.
Many people reading this will likely disagree on the best or nicest place to live in Surrey. Ultimately, it’s a subjective choice. It’s one often based on personal connections to an area or often whether a place is picturesque and quaint.
However, if you’re looking to move somewhere you’re not familiar with, using data can be incredibly helpful for creating a shortlist of places to see in person.
Here’s our overall best places to live list based on our Locality Reality mapping tool’s seven key criteria (education, safety, noise, grocery, lifestyle, public green spaces, and transport):
- Guildford (8.10)
- Woking (8.09)
- Epsom (7.92)
- Worcester Park (7.79)
- East Molesey (7.78)
- Ewell (7.63)
- Dorking (7.62)
- Knaphill (7.52)
- West Byfleet (7.52)
- Godalming (7.40)
- Godstone (7.25)
- Long Ditton (7.22)
- Farncombe (7.14)
- Banstead (7.11)
- Reigate (7.11)
- Staines Upon Thames (7.02)
- Weybridge (7.01)
- Shepperton (6.99)
- Esher (6.97)
- Addlestone (6.97)
- Walton on Thames (6.96)
- Farnham (6.94)
- Redhill (6.85)
- West Molesey (6.80)
- Leatherhead (6.77)
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