WRAYSBURY spreads itself rather wantonly and has several distinguishing characteristics, including two stations – Sunnymeads, only a mile away (see below), still counts as Wraysbury – and three miles of water frontage. It is surrounded by gravel pits, which have been landscaped into 60 acres of lakes, providing sanctuaries for wildlife and a magnet for birdwatchers and sailing clubs. Until recently 80 per cent of the houses were detached and individually built, though as a relatively new village it was rather looked down upon in its early days. Some of the roads are privately maintained by the residents, many of whom work at Heathrow which sends planes straight overhead. The M4 skirts the village without spoiling it, and counts as a convenience rather than a drawback. Wraysbury at one time was a weekend retreat for Londoners and there were many riverside shanties. These have given way to houses in the £650,000 to £1m bracket. There is a sprinkling of pre-Georgian cottages, a few Edwardian and Victorian terraces and some substantial small mansions. Modern three- and four-bedroom houses on a Persimmon development will cost from £350,000, with two-bedroom apartments starting at £230,000. Surrounding green belt should provide protection against future development. There is a handful of local shops, including a pharmacy which makes its own aromatherapy remedies, a post office, two pubs and a village green. One of the major features of life in Wraysbury is the number and quality of the local societies. These offer every option from cricket and fishing to history, drama, country & western and jazz – all well attended and well organized.