Living in Cranleigh
What is life like in Cranleigh
Cranleigh is a quiet and beautiful village in the heart of the Surrey countryside, about eight miles south-east of Guildford. Indeed, one of its major claims to fame is that it believes itself to be the largest village in the UK.
Anyone who lives there is treated to a vast amount of green space in every direction, with the Weald lying to the south and Winterfold Forest to the north. It makes for a relaxed way of life and idyllic views, not to mention ample potential days out.
The village itself assumes the appearance of one that is sleepy, but in reality it has much to offer and plenty of character. The locals are proud of their charming surroundings and do all they can to keep them in shape.
New housing developments have become more common in recent years as more people flock to Cranleigh in search of a desirable lifestyle within easy reach of London.
Records show the first building in the Anglican parish church of St Nicolas dated back to 1170, before it was built again in its present form in the middle of the 14th century. Cranleigh itself is thought to take its name from the cranes that were once said to be prevalent in the area.
Although there is no mention of Cranleigh in the Domesday Book, there must have been a settlement there before 1200. Its existence in the early years was largely based on easy access to forests, which provided timber that fuelled the ironworks.
In the 20th century, Cranleigh became an increasingly desirable place to live, with its excellent location and semi-rural surroundings making it a hit with families and young professionals alike.
Beatles drummer Ringo Starr is the most famous resident of Cranleigh having moved to the area several years ago, while Eric Clapton also lives nearby.
Entertainment, sport and days out
Cranleigh has a strong affinity with the arts, and there are plenty of groups and clubs in the village that cater for this need. Acting Up Surrey, CentreStage and the Cranleigh Arts Centre are just some of the organisations that provide opportunities to amateur dramtists.
The village benefits from its own leisure centre, which boasts a swimming pool, a fully equipped gym and a timetable of workout classes. Anyone who fancies getting fit in Cranleigh would be well advised to sign up for membership.
Golfers will be delighted to find the Cranleigh Golf and Leisure Club is just a short distance from the village, while the Top Gear test track is also nearby.
The beautiful Surrey Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty, is also found close to Cranleigh and makes for the ideal relaxing day out. In the opposite direction, the South Downs National Park is well worth exploring.
Eating, drinking & shopping
As a village, Cranleigh does not have a vast selection of restaurants and bars, but those it does have tend to be high in quality and service. Restaurant 107 and Rania are two of the favourites, while some of the main pubs in the area include the Richard Onslow, the Three Horseshoes and the Cranley Hotel.
The highlight of the village's shopping scene is the independent department store Manns, which is unique to Cranleigh and has been trading there since 1887.
Many other independent stores can be found in the centre of Cranleigh, with clothing, jewellery and toy shops among those found in this area.
Schools & healthcare
There are three primary schools in Cranleigh – Cranleigh C of E, Park Mead and St Cuthbert Mayne Catholic. These are complemented by Glebelands Secondary School and Cranleigh School, which is an independent institution for pupils of various ages.
In terms of healthcare, Cranleigh Village Hospital provides treatment for local people and another option for everyday medical needs is Cranleigh Medical Practice.
Cranleigh is positioned in the heart of rural Surrey, so its transport links are not extensive. Nonetheless, its proximity to London means it is still the ideal place for commuters, as it lies less than 20 miles from the M25. It is a similar distance to Gatwick Airport, providing excellent links to the continent.
There is not a train station in Cranleigh itself, but it is just a few miles to various stations that offer services into London. Ockley is around seven miles east of the village, while Witley is approximately ten miles east, with both offering a station.