The leafy Surrey suburb of Elmbridge, when mentioned in the press, frequently gets labelled as “exclusive” and the “Beverly Hills of Britain”. There aren’t many boulevards lined with palm trees to the best of our knowledge, and our experience is the residents of Elmbridge are very inclusive and welcoming to new residents. It is true, however, that it’s a very desirable area, so you might reasonably ask “why?”
The borough includes towns and villages such as Cobham, Weybridge, Oxshott, Claygate and Esher which certainly have more than their share of “mansion” style homes owned by sports stars, celebrities from the world of entertainment and very successful captains of industry but, there are plenty of other residents who live perhaps more modest lives and are equally attracted to the area for all it has to offer.
Its convenient access to London via a number of train lines running into London Waterloo in approximately 30-40 minutes, the A3 road running through the borough into the city centre or connecting to the M25 with both Heathrow and Gatwick in easy reach makes it a great suburban location. Elmbridge enjoys beautiful countryside on the doorstep and between each town and village. Painshill Park in Cobham or Claremont Gardens in Esher are worth a visit. Just outside the borough, the gardens at RHS Wisley are a special place to visit. Perhaps all that fresh air explains the higher life expectancy enjoyed here.
There are excellent schooling options across the area in both the private and state sector with schools boasting a higher than average pass rate of GCSE’s grade A-C, superb sixth form colleges and schools seeing 90% or more passing A-Levels with grades A-C. The American Community School in Cobham also hosts pupils from around the world.
Extensive leisure facilities include golf courses, long established cricket clubs, the River Thames which offers rowing and sailing, horse racing at Sandown, sports complexes, cinemas, a great array of boutique shops, well-known High Street brands, super restaurants and gastro pubs including The Ivy Brasserie in Cobham, The Good Earth in Esher and The Plough in Stoke D’Abernon to name but a few.
Elmbridge is steeped in history, first getting a mention in The Domesday Book of 1086. The area was really put on the map by Henry VIII in the 16th century, when he built Hampton Court Palace which still attracts visitors from around the world today. Inevitably, other wealthy courtesans also built homes here. Clive of India was resident in Esher, building Claremont House in the 18th century and hosting royal guests throughout the 19th century.
The housing stock across the borough still reflects that rich history with some Tudor buildings still in existence and some Queen Anne and Georgian built homes. Increasingly, there is a choice of elegant homes from the Victorian and Edwardian era and beyond. All of these boast the same interesting architecture of London, but with better gardens.
Elmbridge regularly gets a high billing in the annual ‘Quality of Life’ survey as a top place in the country to live. We’ve barely skimmed the surface of what there is to offer locally, but it’s not hard to see why it continues to be a destination for those moving out of London and those moving internationally wanting a great place to do business and raise a family.