CHERTSEY is reaping the commercial benefit of lying just inside the M25 – an arbitrary boundary chosen by many London companies relocating their head offices. Developments have sprouted in recent years to cope with the expansion. There is a good selection of period properties that, foot for foot, offer better value than up-market Weybridge. Next to the park and woods of St Ann’s Hill there are large detached houses with price tags rising above £1.25m. Abbey Road is an equally prestigious address. Grove Road, by the football club, offers more affordable Victorian houses, which cost between £250,000 and £400,000 for three bedrooms. First-time buyers will find a wealth of one-bedroom modern flats at £160,000. Good schools include Sir William Perkins’ girls’ independent. There is a highly regarded hospital, St Peter’s.
Lyne and Longcross are the most sought-after villages in the area, graced with large detached houses (it costs 15–25 per cent more to buy into them). Bungalows in large garden plots cost £350,000 to £450,000; a four-bedroom detached house with 100ft garden costs about £550,000. The villages lack properties of real character but the agricultural smells and lack of a bus service are still enough to make country-lovers feel at home.