Esher, Surrey

The Town

Esher in Surrey marks one limit of the Greater London built-up area. If you’re keen on checking out the exact location of your property search on a map, your property buyer will help you locate it. Esher is just east of the River Mole, and less than 16 miles south west of Charing Cross. It’s a very prosperous area, and property finders will be able to confirm it regularly comes top in lists of the most expensive places to live in England.

Travel

Esher is just 20 minutes away from London by train, and a typical train journey to Waterloo takes around 30 minutes. It’s an ideal base if you need easy access to the City of London or the M4 corridor. It’s 2 miles by road to the A3 Esher/Oxshott junction; 5 miles to J10 of the M25. Buying agents will be pleased to point out that Heathrow is just 24 miles away, and Gatwick 26 miles.

The History

Esher has been a very desirable location for many years: just ask your property buyer. The town appears in the Domesday Book. In the 16th century, Henry VIII annexed several manors to what was the Honour of Hampton Court, in order to form a royal hunting ground. Esher grew in importance as a stagecoach stop on the main London to Portsmouth road, and property finders may point out places where this legacy can be seen in many of the historic pubs which were once stops on the coaching route. (We’d definitely suggest looking for Bears on the High Street.)

In the 18th century, Clive of India, responsible for founding the British Empire, bought what is now Claremont House, knocking down the old house and commissioning Capability Brown to build the elegant Georgian manor we see today.  Clive himself never lived in the house; instead, it was given to George IV’s daughter Princess Charlotte when she married. Your property finder may well mention other regal connections, of which there are many in the area.

Leisure and Events

If you enjoy sport, buying agents will tell you you’re spoiled for choice in Esher. Sandown racecourse is in the heart of town, within easy reach of the railway station, so for those who enjoy getting dressed up for day out at the races, this would be an ideal location. One of the major events is the annual Royal Artillery Gold Cup, which is preceded by soldiers marching along the high street.

If racing’s not quite your cup of tea, then your property buyer can reassure you of the football, cricket and lawn tennis opportunities in town. There’s also excellent golfing nearby, at Moore Place, St George’s Hill and the Wisley. And if you’d like to get some practice in before hitting the slopes for real each winter, or just as a break from your property search, then Sandown Ski Centre is right on your doorstep too.

While Sandown is known for horse racing, this isn’t the only type of event you can enjoy at the racecourse: it often provides the backdrop for musical concerts and other events. If gardens are your passion, you’ll love the well-established annual flower show; it’s also great fun for all the family, with arts and crafts, a dog show, local charity stalls, traditional fairground stalls, and events for children. Esher is also close to Chessington World of Adventure for those who prefer a different kind of theme park.

Education

Your buying agent will help you discover the mix of state and primary schools in town.  Esher College, in nearby Thames Ditton was rated outstanding by Ofsted and provides sixth form and vocational courses. The college is non-selective.

Celebrity Connections

The town has connections with the Beatles and the Bee Gees amongst others, and if you’re a football fan, Chelsea FC’s training ground is literally just around the corner in nearby Cobham.

Foodies’ Corner

Whether you’d rather have a “full English” breakfast before you start your property search for the day or your tastes tend more towards cosy little brasseries, you’ll find something to enjoy in Esher. Choose from Nepalese, Lebanese, Columbian, seafood, and Mediterranean cuisine, or old favourites like Italian, Chinese, Indian, and hearty carveries. There’s a farmers’ market on a Saturday one week each month – it moves forward one week each month.

Fun Fact

While you might associate the phrase “pick your own” with strawberries and other soft fruit, in season, you can also pick your own sunflowers and dahlias at some of the nearby farms.  

James Nightingall