VIRGINIA WATER Brushed by the M25, Virginia Water has seen two enormous new developments in recent years: Virginia Park and St Anne’s Park. They are both super-luxurious gated estates, each with a communal pool, gym, Jacuzzi and tennis courts to suit the new rich. Their very presence has pushed prices up. A two-bedroom flat here will cost £350,000 (compared to £225,000 in the village). A five-bedroom detached house with a double garage will cost upwards of £1m. The grand estate lifestyle all began with the Wentworth Estate, built around the famous golf course by a speculative developer named Tarrant in the Twenties. Celebrities flourish in its prosperous atmosphere – the pantheon of names has included Russ Abbott, Bruce Forsyth, Nanette Newman and Bryan Forbes. A five-bedroom family house on the Wentworth Estate will start at £3m and can easily reach £10m. Similar houses in half an acre in Lower Wentworth, which does not overlook the golf course, will fetch £2m. The atmosphere is quiet and rural – the first breath of real countryside outside London – but there is little sign of rural hardship. There are two parades of specialist shops, boutiques, a delicatessen and several excellent preparatory schools. Less expensive houses are few in number. For a two-bedroom Sixties’ semi you would pay around £290,000 – which represents a small premium over the next most prestigious area, Sunningdale.