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Counties > Surrey > Woking


WOKING is a busy commercial town, with a rapidly expanding artistic and cultural life centred on the new museum and gallery, The Lightbox, designed by the creators of the London Eye, which won the Art Fund Prize in 2008. It also has the New Victoria Theatre, the Rhoda McGaw Theatre and six cinema screens. The rail service is frequent, even if available seats may be few, and it is conveniently placed for access to the A3, M3 and M25. The north side of the town is mostly given over to council houses and the south tends to be more sought after. A neo-Georgian three-bedroom house on a small development would start at around £240,000; a new four-bedroom detached would cost £360,000 upwards. Hook Heath is where the wealthy gather, in mini-mansions on large plots that sell for over £750,000. For lower prices, but a vast range of choice, you could look at Goldsworth Park, where 8,000 homes have been built over the last three decades and a two-bedroom terraced house costs £175,000 to £200,000. New developments by the station come with concierges and private gyms.

Horsell, on the outskirts and separated by the canal, tends to be slightly more expensive than Woking proper. H.G. Wells lived in Woking for a time, and in The War of the Worlds he described the Martians landing on Horsell Common. A Thirties’ detached house with three bedrooms would cost from £360,000.

For a vintage Home Counties village there is Chobham, two miles to the north-west, no weakling in the Best Kept Village stakes. Lorries have been banned from the High Street, which is very much a conservation area with antique shops, eateries and a pretty hump-backed bridge over the Bourne brook. Chobham Common is a precious green lung in this part of Surrey, providing wooded bridleways for pony-lovers. People from outside the village run the football and tennis, but the cricket, Brownies, Guides and WI are domestic affairs. The village is very sought-after, so a small period cottage will cost at least £230,000. For a larger period house, perhaps with a paddock, you must expect to pay £900,000.

Good for: M25, M3, nippy commute.
London terminal: Waterloo
Journey time: 24 mins
Season ticket: £2496
Peak trains: 12
Off-peak trains: 8 per hour