Living in Surbiton
What is life like in Surbiton
The area is green and leafy, with a good mix of homes and excellent facilities. What's more, it offers easy access to central London, making it the ideal home for commuters who wish to remove themselves from the hustle and bustle of the city at the end of the day.
Surbiton sits on the southern bank of the River Thames, so many local people choose to relax by taking a stroll along the water's edge. It neighbours Kingston, which adds to the number of shops, restaurants and other amenities within a short distance for Surbiton residents.
Its role in the popular television show The Good Life is arguably Surbiton's greatest claim to fame. Although the programme was never filmed there, it was the home of lead characters Tom and Barbara Good.
Today, Surbiton offers a high standard of living, with its many fine roads lined with large houses. Much of its architecture dates to the Victorian period, while there are also plenty of detached and semi-detached properties from the 1920s and 1930s.
Surbiton owes its existence to the railways. After Kingston Council rejected a proposal for a London to Portsmouth line, it was re-routed just south of Surbiton, leading to the creation of a station in 1838. At first it was named Kingston-upon-Railway, but the area soon became known as Surbiton.
This decision has tremendous benefit for all those commuters who live in Surbiton today, as their station is on a main line into London, meaning they can reach Waterloo in around 15 minutes. Over the years, Surbiton continued to grow and its population rose as more people realised it is an ideal base from which to travel to London, while living in green and leafy surroundings.
Perhaps the most famous person to have been born in Surbiton was comedian Julian Clary. Horse racing pundit John McCririck is another celebrity to have been born in the area.
Although originally hailing from Northern Ireland, legendary footballer George Best was known to have lived in Surbiton prior to his death in 2005.
Entertainment, sport and days out
One of the best ways to spend time in Surbiton is to get outdoors and enjoy its open spaces. These include the famous Hogsmill Valley Walk, which runs to the east of Berrylands through to Kingston. Residents can also catch a ferry from The Harts Boatyard to Hampton Court Palace, which is well worth a visit and boasts beautiful grounds.
The Rose Theatre in Kingston is a cultural hub within the region and it also includes a cinema. The Nuffield Health centre is a great place to exercise, with its swimming pool and other facilities available to members. Alternatively, there is a council-owned pool at the Kingfisher Leisure Centre in Kingston.
Hampton Court Palace Golf Club is the perfect place for 18 holes, while the Thames Sailing Club is the oldest such organisation in the world and continues to race vintage boats.
For a great day out, people in Surbiton may wish to consider heading to either Bushy Park or Richmond Park, both of which are nearby. Or they could look a little further afield and visit the magnificent Surrey Hills, which are an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Eating, drinking & shopping
The French Table is a hugely popular local restaurant and arguably the best in Surbiton, and there is now a café next door named The French Tart. The Press Room and The Pickled Pantry are two local independent coffee shops that have long been a hit with local people.
Wilders Delicatessen, Surbiton Brasserie and Foodie are just some of the other establishments it is worth looking out for.
While there is always the option of hopping on a train or bus and visiting the shops of Oxford Street or one of London's large Westfield malls, there is plenty going on in Surbiton to keep people happy. The town centre boasts a number of stores, including a large Marks & Spencer outlet.
Schools & healthcare
Surbiton offers a high standard of education to local youngsters, with almost all of its state primary and secondary institutions rated highly by Ofsted. St Andrew's and St Mark's, Christ Church CofE, Tolworth Infants and Our Lady Immaculate RC are among the very best schools available to little ones.
The highest-performing secondary schools include Holyfield School, Southborough High and Tolworth Girls, all of which are rated as good by Ofsted. For a private pre-prep school, parents are best advised to look towards Shrewsbury House.
Surbiton Hospital is located just a short distance from the train station and provides expert medical care to anyone who requires it. There is also a large hospital in Kingston, as well as many smaller surgeries in the area.
One of the most common reasons to live in Surbiton is its excellent train links to London. It takes just 15 minutes to travel between the district and the city centre and passengers can make use of an incredibly modern, art deco station. Rail links to other parts of the south-east are also extensive and fast.
The local road network is similarly impressive, with Surbiton located close to the A3, which provides easy access to the M25 and the south coast. Some people may wish to take advantage of the excellent London bus service that is in operation.