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Considering Surbiton

6 years ago...

Hi everybody,

I currently live in SE London with hubby and two kiddies and we are looking to move a bit further out to gain a bit more bang for our buck in property terms and also experience more of a leafy environment. I have been doing a bit of research but am feeling a bit overwhelmed. My son will need to enter Year 2 and my dtr will be in reception so aware we need to be careful with location and primary schools. Could anyone pls tell me which are the best non-faith primary schools and the best roads/areas to look at for large houses with lots of outdoor space? Ideally not more than a 15 walk to the station as well or does this kind of property not exist? We are also considering Thames Ditton although we haven't visited either place yet!

Many thx for your help :-)


We moved from Lewisham se13 to south Kingston kt1 in 2000 and then to Surbiton kt6 ditton Road Southborough side in 2007, our children are in Tiffin Boys and daughter in TD Junior School, both schools are very good, if you have a 1m you should have a fair bit of choice, we are in a detached house and our neighbours is for sale for 1.3m but way over priced and has sat unsold since February! it s a great area and you wont regret moving im sure, good luck!

I will take a look on Rightmove and have a look for your neighbours property, do you know the name of the agent selling it?

The problem with Surbiton is that it is not quite a cheap as it first appears. There are a lot of flats here which makes the average value look very cheap (especially compared to areas closer to London), but in reality a large detached house in a good area of Surbiton is likely to be quite expensive. When you come to look around the area, you will find the southern part of the area is not generally as nice as the northern part. A lot of this is known as ‘Tolworth’ but all comes under the Surbiton postcode.

I would avoid the much hyped ‘river roads’ area in your case. This is most people’s first port of call when moving from London to Surbiton, and it is attractive (short walk to the station, town and river whilst being reasonably quiet and leafy). It is the ‘urban village’ part of Surbiton with nice bars and cafes, but it really is dominated by flats meaning that the houses that do remain there are pricey. The standard 3-4 bed semis on roads like The Mall are pushing £1m now, and have small gardens. Depending on wherabouts in London you are moving from, you may find you don’t get much extra for your money at all around there.

The areas mentioned by Bloodaxe in the northern part of Berrylands are a good call with quite a few bigger houses and you get a bit more for your money around there. The further south you go, the smaller the houses become, and you get a lot further from station and facilities. Cranes Park is another nice area between Surbiton and Berrylands that has some nice houses, although may be pushing the £1m budget a bit.

Southborough is the posh, commuter belt part of Surbiton where it merges with Long Ditton and Thames Ditton and is very nice. A lot of the larger houses are astronomically expensive, but you should find a reasonably sized one for £1m.

I don’t know Thames Ditton as well, but it is a lovely area. It is much more of a proper village, quieter and more family-orientated than a lot of parts of Surbiton. The train service is slower and less frequent, but don’t get too hung up on that. It is still in zone 6, meaning that it is the same ticket price as Surbiton. Direct trains from TD take almost 40 minutes and only leave twice an hour (compared to 17-18 minutes, 10+ times an hour from Surbiton), but you are likely to get a seat on a TD rush hour service, where as from Surbiton you are sometimes lucky to physically get standing space on some trains at all! All TD trains stop at Surbiton, so you can always swap for a faster train if you need to.

The only other thing that I would miss in TD compared to (the right part) of Surbiton is the ability to walk rather than drive everywhere. Surbiton town centre is hardly a shopping mecca, but it covers all of the bases and is very useful to have within a few minutes walk. Kingston is a much bigger centre, and being able to walk there in 20 minutes from Surbiton is often preferable to taking the car meaning you will have to queue and pay for parking. With kids, driving is often easier anyway, so may not be an issue in your case.

Thanks so much for your detailed and really informative post. We are going to drive to Surbiton and TD on Saturday and do a recci and scope out the two areas. I seem to have googled the locations so many times that my brain is starting to fuzz so to get some 'real' info from locals is a blessing. Any more tips gladly welcomed ...

The only real tip that I would have is not to be put off by some of the less nice parts of the area. Although it is quite a long way out of central London, Surbiton has been part of a London borough since the 60s, and has been subject to just as much planning abuse by successive councils as the more central areas.

I am sure you will be used to it if you come from SE London, but you need to look past this if you are going to find the really nice areas. When you see pictures of Kingston & Surbiton in the old days, you realise just how much of a shame it is that all of the old architecture was razed. Some of the main roads that feel quite desolate and rough now were beautiful places all of those years ago. A lot does still exist though!

Worth noting that it is the Surbiton Festival on Saturday, which means Victoria Road (the 'High Street') will be closed. This shouldn't cause too much of a problem as I doubt you are considering moving here for that, but the traffic will be much heavier on the surrounding roads that it is usually. Most Saturdays, traffic is fine around here.

Great, thx v much.

It might be worth a decko around KT5 near Christchurch School and the Surbiton Tennis Club,good roads like Pine Walk,Crest,Ridge Regent often have house around the £1 mark,probably nearer £1.25 but worth checking.

Both are great places to live and have their own merits but but based on your criteria, Thames Ditton may be better suited. TD Infants school is Ofsted outstanding and it is a very leafy environment within zone 6. Naturally, this makes it a popular destination for young families exiting S.London so the path is well trodden and you'll still need a lot of bucks for your bang. HJC estate agents are very active in both Surbiton and TD so worth registering with them to get some good comparables.

Hi Jerry,

Thanks so much for your post. Are you able to say which areas we should concentrate on and which to avoid, for eg any areas of TD that may be prone to flooding? TD may be a bit out of our reach but we have a budget of about £1m although keen not to go over this but could slightly if necessary. Have you any idea of schools etc? Cheers

It depends on what type of house you are looking for. If you want a large detached house, I'd not look at the very best areas as they are likely to exceed the budget.

As mentioned, Cranes Park is a good area, because it is quite leafy, but still remains within 15 minutes walk of Surbiton and Kingston centres. There are only two houses on the market there at the moment, and both are £2.5m+, but the slightly smaller ones a bit further down the hill should be nearer £1m when they come on.

The Southborough area is excellent, but a lot of the very best roads will be well in excess of £1m. If you look at areas on the fringes, they are often a little bit cheaper, but still nice houses e.g.:

As mentioned previously, the town centre is now mainly flats and is populated by younger people priced out of London. There are some houses there, but they are either small and expensive (think £700k for a 2-up 2-down, £1m for a 30s semi) or huge and many millions.

Long Ditton is a bit out of the way, but nice and leafy and you get bit more for your money e.g.

Good luck with the search!

There are no undesirable areas really. Homes in Thames Ditton remained relatively unscathed by the flooding of the Thames earlier this year (despite all the news coverage). Just a couple of houses at the very bottom of the river roads were affected (the ones on the Island are all on stilts). Bear in mind that Hampton Court way marks the boundary for the catchment area for the local schools and may edge back from there . £800k+ should be a sufficient budget for a family home with garden. If you're on Facebook check out the 'About Thames Ditton' page for a sense of the area.

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