Surbiton – in search of the ‘good life’

words Alexa Wang

Now more than ever, many of us are on the move (or planning to be) in search of a better way of life. Enter Surbiton, whose peaceful, leafy depiction in the 1970s sitcom “The Good Life” isn’t a million miles from reality even today (although the show itself wasn’t actually filmed in the area!).

11 miles south west from Charing Cross, Surbiton is located in Greater London in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. In the past 15 years there has been a mass exodus of buyers from central London seeking a less urban setting with plenty of green, outdoor space where their money will go further, which Surbiton has to offer whilst still being within a short commute of the city. 

Surbiton good life

Indeed, the fast train from Zone 5 Surbiton Station will have you at London Waterloo in a breezy 15 minutes and trains to Clapham Junction allow you to connect with London Victoria and other central mainline and underground stations. The station is also included in the planned Crossrail 2 route. In addition, Surbiton has a number of bus routes to local areas such as Kingston, Chessington, Hounslow and Tolworth and the nearby A3 connects Surbiton with London and Portsmouth or you can reach the M25 in half an hour.  

Families are drawn to the area by the numerous parks and outdoor space like Victoria Park and the Hogsmill River Trail and the excellent selection of highly rated local schools. This includes St Mark’s CofE Junior School, Tolworth Infants and St Andrew’s Primary School plus secondary schools Tolworth Girls’ and The Kingston Academy. Surbiton is also home to popular private schools Shrewsbury House for boys, Holy Cross Preparatory for girls and co-educational Surbiton High.

Surbiton guide

The town’s location on the banks of the River Thames also makes it a popular destination for rowers. For other sport enthusiasts the area is home to numerous recreation grounds, Tolworth Recreation Centre and Surbiton Racket and Fitness Club. Keen cyclists will also appreciate Surbiton’s many cycle routes.

For those less sporty types, there is still plenty on offer with a buzzing high street full of popular high street and independent retailers and eateries. Highlights are Bosco Lounge, Surbeanton (like what they did there?!) and The French Table and in terms of entertainment local theatre the Rose Theatre and arts centre the CornerHOUSE always have an impressive roster. Award-winning Surbiton Farmer’s Market is also a big hit with locals.

Local events like the family-friendly Surbiton Festival are also a big hit, and the town’s strong sense of community and village-like ambience is reflected in some of the lowest crime rates in London which is a big draw for homebuyers.   

In terms of properties, there is certainly something to suit every taste in Surbiton, ranging from new build developments and purpose-built apartments to Art Deco, Edwardian, Victorian and post war terraces, semi-detached and large detached properties. Many larger period properties have been converted into spacious apartments as well, particularly in the town centre. The South West of London remains popular with homebuyers, with property prices rising 10% between 2019 and 2020, however the Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames had the most affordable house prices in South West London in 2020, with an average house price of £607,498. With an average house price of £579,549, Surbiton is also one of the more affordable options in the Borough compared with nearby Berrylands, Malden and Coombe Warren. 

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