If you are deliberating where to live in the Surrey Hills, Garrington’s expert local knowledge will provide valuable insight to guide you in your search.
The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) takes a prominent position as the most sought-after place to reside in the South East. Conveniently close to London, the area is perfect for commuters who yearn for green surroundings while enjoying convenient access to the city.
The region offers top-notch educational opportunities and great transport links and is the perfect place for young professionals, families and retirees alike.
Boasting charming villages and historically significant market towns, the Surrey Hills are highly appealing for those seeking an ideal place to call home, whether you are looking for a quaint cottage or a substantial family home with land, you’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding where to Live in the Surrey Hills.
Here we take a closer look at where to live in the Surrey Hills, with seven villages that offer quiet, country living in an idyllic location.
Abinger Hammer takes its name from its water-powered forge and is situated halfway between the market towns of Dorking and Guildford. It is the quintessential English village, with a small shop, pub and a village green. The latter is popular for summer picnics, watching cricket and paddling in the River Tillingbourne that flows through it.
For those looking to stretch their legs further, then the nearby Oxmoor Copse – an AONB – offers three acres of beautiful woodlands. Or visit Abinger Roughs – an area of ancient woodland and footpath-edged fields with lots of trails accessible for families of all ages.
Nestled between the towns of Guildford and Dorking, Shere is a picturesque English village, with roots back to the Domesday Book. It has tea rooms, a bubbling stream, shops, an infant school (dating back to 1852), two pubs, a quaint museum, and beautiful timber-framed houses.
Shere is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and is close to scenic wonders like Newlands Corner (popular with hikers and runners) and the Silent Pool (a still water pond surrounded by evergreen box trees).
Shere is a sought-after location for filmmakers – scenes from Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and The Holiday were filmed against the backdrop of Shere’s quaint beauty.
Ockley is a rural village close to the Sussex/Surrey border and sits in the shadow of Leith Hill – the second highest point in South East England and a popular spot for walkers. If you prefer something more sedate, then the Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden has ten acres of green space and ponds where you can relax and get back to nature.
Ockley has a long history – a stretch of the A29 that runs through the village is part of an old Roman Road – and there is evidence that the area was a settlement right back to the Iron Age.
The village has a medieval parish church, a village hall, a Doctor’s surgery, and two lively pubs. Once a month there is the Ockley Farmer’s Market selling local produce.
Hambledon is a pretty, rural village south of Guildford with a cricket green, thriving village shop (that also hosts the Post Office) a SEN school, a pub and lots of community activities to enjoy, such as book clubs, cricket, and rambling.
Tucked away amongst fields and woodland, and with roots back to the Domesday Book, this village church offers scenic views of the surrounding rolling farmland and the National Trust-owned Hydon’s Ball, with its wonderful walks, peaceful heath, and woodlands.
With an abundance of tracks and bridleways offering panoramic views of hills and woodlands, the area is perfect for walkers, horse riders, and cyclists.
Hambledon, with its historical roots, scenic landscapes, and natural biodiversity, beckons to those who appreciate the beauty and tranquillity of the English countryside.
Chiddingfold lies near Haslemere and the West Sussex border. It has a lovely, picturesque village green with many pretty Georgian houses overlooking it, a forge, and a pond. It boasts one of the oldest inns in England – The Crown Inn pub – and a village hall that offers lots of events, including a bi-monthly cinema.
During the 14th and 17th centuries, Chiddingfold was an important centre for glass-making.
Chiddingfold Forest lies mainly within the village boundaries, offering over 1300 acres of woodlands for walks, and the chance to spot some of its rich birdlife.
Betchworth is an historic village at the foot of the North Downs, sitting between Reigate and Dorking. With beautiful chocolate-box cottages, a working forge, a thriving pub, a school and a post office/village shop, Betchworth is idyllic. The village centre sits on the pretty River Mole.
There are 22 listed buildings in the area, including the local church and Betchworth House Estate – which has around nine miles of agricultural land that can be walked around by the public. In nearby Brockham are the ruins of Betchworth Castle, a fortified medieval stone house.
Because of its location right in the heart of the countryside, Betchworth has plenty of trails for walkers, cyclists, and runners.
Frensham is around 13 miles from Guildford and three miles from Farnham. Situated on the River Wey, this quaint village has a cricket green, a great village shop, a friendly pub and a school.
It is also famous for having two sandy ‘beaches’ at Frensham Great Pond (which is set within Frensham Common, an area of 922 acres of heathland). These artificial beaches – where you can swim and enjoy sailing and angling – are set on a small 13th-century lake, with a cafe and toilet facilities.
There is also a smaller pond – Frensham Little Pond – which does not allow swimming. Surrounded by heathland where you can enjoy long walks and picnics, it is also a sanctuary for wildlife.
Because of its quite unique offering (a quintessential English village, deep in the countryside but with a ‘beach’), Frensham is a popular film location, even doubling as the River Nile in the 1999 film “The Mummy”.
Schools in Surrey Hills
The Surrey Hills have excellent educational establishments, including some SEN schools. There’s also a choice of higher education facilities, such as The University of Surrey, The University of Law, University for the Creative Arts (UCA) and, The Guildford School of Acting. So, when considering where to live in the Surrey Hills you can rest assured that your children’s educational needs will be catered for.
Primary Schools in and Around Surrey Hills
North Downs Primary School, Betchworth;
Trinity Oaks C of E Primary School, Horley;
Surrey Hills All Saints Primary School, Dorking;
Secondary Schools in and Around Surrey Hills
Woolmer Hill School, Haslemere – a co-educational comprehensive academy with around 860 students aged from 11 years upwards;
Farnham Heath End School, Farnham – a co-educational academy for students aged 11 -16;
King’s College Guildford is a co-educational academy for students aged 11 – 16 years. It has a partnership with the University of Surrey offering students a pathway towards post-16 education or training;
Independent Schools Near Surrey Hills
Cranleigh School, Cranleigh, a co-educational independent school, offering boarding and day education for pupils aged 13 to 18;
Hurtwood House, Dorking, co-educational boarding school and sixth form for pupils aged 15–19;
Frensham Heights School, Farnham – a co-educational independent school for pupils aged 3-19, with boarding and day school options.
Surrey Hills Transport Connections
If convenient travel links to London are a factor for you when considering where to live in the Surrey Hills, over 80 train stations serve the county of Surrey as a whole, and the Surrey Hills area is very well connected. If you’re travelling from London to the Surrey Hills, trains run from London Waterloo to Box Hill – taking less than an hour. Direct routes also depart from Clapham Junction and Wimbledon.
Depending on which village you live in, you can also get trains from London Bridge, changing at Redhill and Gomshall (for Abinger Hammer) or direct from London Victoria to Ockley.
Some of the smaller villages that do not have a train station can still access London by rail, by using a nearby station (e.g., Frensham village is served by Farnham station – around a ten-minute drive away – which goes into London Waterloo).
The M25 serves Surrey Hills giving easy access to London by road, and the A3 takes you to Portsmouth, Where to Live in the Surrey Hills.
The nearest airports are Gatwick (around a 30-minute to one-hour drive away depending on where you live) and Heathrow (approximately one hour by road).
Where to Live in the Surrey Hills
Whether you are looking for a vibrant town or a tranquil, secluded spot away from the hustle and bustle, the Surrey Hills has it. These seven villages all offer a relaxed way of life, with tight-knit communities, all the green, open spaces and amazing views you could want, plus easy access to London.
If you are considering where to live in the Surrey Hills, then at Garrington we will be delighted to help you find the perfect property. Please contact us today.