Living in Godalming
What is life like in Godalming
Godalming is a small, historic town located in south-west Surrey, around four miles south-west of Guildford. It is a prime commuter town, with many of its residents choosing to live in upmarket surroundings and travelling to central London for work each day.
The town is around 30 miles from central London and with excellent transport links in place it is easy to reach at all times of the day. Godalming is frequently mentioned in polls and studies as one of the most desirable places to live in the UK.
While the area's proximity to London might be regarded as its most attractive feature, it is also worth remembering that Godalming is just a short drive from some of the most beautiful countryside in the south-east.
Godalming was renowned as a popular market town from as early as the 13th century, with its major industry for many years being woollen cloth. This allowed the area to become extremely prosperous, with the local population's skills later put to good use in the knitting and weaving industries.
By the time the 19th century arrived, Godalming was larger than Guildford and by 1850 it had shown its first signs of becoming a commuter town. Rail connections to London and the south coast followed and cemented this reputation.
Perhaps Godalming's biggest claim to fame is the fact that it was the first town in the world to install a public electricity supply, with this step being made in 1881.
Godalming's most famous resident is Ashley Cole, who lives in a house just outside the town. He previously lived there with ex-wife Cheryl Cole before their divorce in 2010.
Entertainment, sport and days out
Borough Hall Cinema in the town centre is a great option for all those who want to catch a film. There are more than 130 listed buildings, of which more than half are in the town centre, so taking a closer look at these is a good idea, especially for those interested in architecture.
There are plenty of great ways to spend time in Godalming, whether people have an hour or an entire day to spare. One of the most popular options is to take a boat trip on the beautiful River Wey that runs through the town.
Alternatively, there is a town centre walking route mapped out that begins in Mint Street and takes about 90 minutes to complete. It could be the ideal way for people new to Godalming to get to know their new home town.
Heading to the Godalming Bandstand, particularly on a warm summer's evening, is another popular pastime as live music is frequently performed there.
Eating, drinking & shopping
When it comes to dining in style, Godalming is certainly the place to be. In keeping with the town's elegance and high quality of life, there is a wide range of restaurants that adhere to incredibly high standards.
Fleurie is one of the most highly recommended eateries in Godalming, while Grills & Greens is another popular venue. There are also chain restaurants such as Prezzo, Pizza Express and the Slug and Lettuce, which only serve to increase the choice available to locals.
Godalming's High Street is a great place to start a spending spree, with some of the UK's largest retailers found there. The likes of Boots, Robert Dyas and Waterstones all have stores in the centre of the town.
Schools & healthcare
Godalming is particularly well served by schools, with several institutions located in the town. Busbridge Infant School is the nearest school for youngsters to the town centre, before they progress to Godalming Junior School.
For further education opportunities, teenagers should consider enrolling at Godalming College, which runs a number of courses across a wide range of topics. It prides itself on being a modern and ambitious learning community that meets the needs of students in the 21st century.
Milford Hospital lies on the outskirts of Godalming and provides high-quality medical care to anyone who requires it. There are also a number of other smaller surgeries in the area that can offer treatment for more everyday concerns, including the Mill Medical Practice.
As with all commuter towns, Godalming enjoys excellent transport links that allow its residents to reach London and other parts of the south-east quickly and easily. It is located just a few minutes from the A3, which runs straight into central London. The A3's junction with the M25 is about 12 miles north of Godalming, while taking this road southbound will lead people to Southampton and the south coast.
There is a direct train service from Godalming station to London Waterloo, with this journey taking around 45 minutes to complete. Other services connect the town with all parts of Surrey and the wider south-east.
In Godalming, there is a local bus network that runs an extensive timetable including Haslemere and Guildford.