OCKLEY Ockley’s prettiness is being spoilt by traffic on the A29, but it has some strong points, including a cricket pitch (visible from the main road), a conventional green with period houses around it, and its own school. The area lies close enough to Guildford for commuters to take advantage of the fast trains into Waterloo as well as the local theatre and shops. Others commuters choose to jump a station by driving to Clandon, where it is easier to park.
Cranleigh, strung between Ockley and Guildford, would meet many people’s idea of the perfect small town. This is where the first cottage hospital was established. The main street has a story-book intimacy and, despite a population of 12,000, the town still thinks of itself as a village. Fountain Square has been pedestrianised and a beautiful avenue of maple trees leads to one of the best cricket greens in England. Shops include the well-loved department store Manns, a fishmonger, a bakery, gift and shoe shops, delicatessens and a gun shop. People travel far and wide to come to Brawlings, the butcher, for its hand-made sausages and other produce. A general market is held every Thursday and a farmers’ market once a month. A three-bedroom period cottage might cost between £600,000 and £700,000; a larger old house with three acres and a tennis court could fetch over £750,000. A modern five-bedroom house in the village is on the market for £995,000. The area is wealthy and popular with City executives, owners of successful local companies, TV personalities and ageing rock stars. Cranleigh School is the local boys’ public school; the sister school, St Catherine’s, is at Bramley near Guildford.