East Molesey, Surrey

We all want to ensure our property search includes the most exclusive, yet understated, areas possible, to get the very best return on our investment. One such location is the surprisingly undersubscribed village of East Moseley in Surrey – near a palace which has been in favour with royalty for hundreds of years. For property finders scouring the area, it’s impossible to ignore the presence of Hampton Court. In fact, one of the other names for East Molesey is Hampton Court Village.

East Molesey lies just on the edge of Greater London. It takes just 30 minutes by train from London Waterloo to East Molesey station, sometimes referred to by property finders and others as the gateway to Hampton Court. The palace was originally built in 1514 for Cardinal Wolsey, but in 1529 King Henry VIII decided he wanted it. As we all know, whatever Henry wanted, he generally got.

If you do decide to visit the palace, then just a few of the “must-sees” are the Hedge Maze, the Magic Garden, the Tudor Knot Garden, and the State Apartments. You can also explore the Tudor kitchens and meet Shire Horses that would not have been out of place in Tudor times. Keen golfers can even play a round or two of the game in the grounds – though do keep an eye out for curious deer. The palace also scores highly when it comes to trying to make the location more accessible: there are tours for those with dementia and those caring for them, describer escorted tours, We-Go wheelchair tours, and tours in sign language. 

Keen gardeners will probably be ecstatic to learn that Hampton Court regularly hosts the RHS Garden Festival, an altogether less stressful affair than Chelsea. Meanwhile, those with a discerning eye for a truly unique motor vehicle will be equally delighted to learn that the Concours of Elegance will be hosted in the grounds of the palace until 2021. Property finders will confirm special events take place in the grounds of Hampton Court almost all the time, during the day and in the evenings.

The summer months often bring outdoor performances of Shakespeare, other classic dramas or novel dramatisations, and movie showings for adults and children. Get your timing right, and your buying agent could ensure you sample one of the best food and drink festivals in the area.

In any East Molesey property search, you’ll soon realise the importance of the River Thames. Walk along the towpath to reach Richmond in one direction or the Boat and Cricket Clubs and eventually Walton-upon-Thames in the other direction. For property buyers who’d rather take a more leisurely approach to their exploration of the area, there is also a ferry that can take you to Kingston, Richmond, and even Westminster. As well as the usual sports that you would expect to find here – cricket, cycling and more golf – there are also active rowing and archery clubs. The Thames regularly hosts regattas and boat races for all levels of participants, offering a real sense of community as well as a great day out for all.

If you’re a property buyer who enjoys sports but would rather not venture on to the river, choose from tennis, excellent gym facilities and three studios in the village itself. After you’ve thrashed your opponent on the tennis court – in the nicest possible way – the bar, lounge, or terrace offer the perfect environment in which to relax. The complex also has a swimming pool. Should you enjoy a little live music, you can often find excellent jazz performances, while regular concerts are also held at the pool. 

After all that exercise, property buyers and their buying agents who would like a bite to eat can choose from French bistros, Italian, Indian, Lebanese and Mediterranean mix, amongst other cuisines. We haven’t mentioned shopping, but East Molesey has a host of charming antique and gift shops to explore. Actually, some of them are more like emporia – think of an Aladdin’s Cave of eclectic items and you’ll get the general idea.

East Molesey is an exceptionally elegant area for a property search. It’s steeped in history, with an understated welcome for buying agents and property buyers alike. St Peters Church in East Molesey is even older than Hampton Court; it’s thought that this place of worship was built in around 1440.

And, you know, if you’re a property buyer who’s not quite sure if this is the right area for you, well, if it’s good enough for royalty….

James Nightingall