The 'underrated and unpretentious' suburb near Surrey with stunning parks and excellent transport links

Images captured on a cloudy autumn evening. A passing boat creating a reflective wash in the river.
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

Surbiton finds itself in a unique position - technically part of London's Royal Borough of Kingston, but retaining a distinct Surrey village feel. This idyllic suburb manages to blend the best of both worlds - the tranquility of leafy residential streets with easy access to central London.

It was once described by The Telegraph as "neither London nor Surrey, neither ultra-middle class nor confusedly “gritty”. Somehow it has an equilibrium, a yin-yang quality". The paper added that it feels like a template for how a liveable place should be and gives feelings its "unpretentious, hard-grafting, self-made."

For those making the daily trek into the capital, Surbiton's excellent transport links can't be beaten. Just a 20-minute train ride to Waterloo, the commute is often quicker than from many more central London neighborhoods. The area falls in Zone 6, making it an affordable option for commuters. The station even recently underwent a £6.7m upgrade.

Surbiton station, Surbiton, Kingston upon Thames
Network Rail has completed the works at the station to tackle overcrowding -Credit:Tom Williamson

The Great Outdoors

Despite its proximity to the City, Surbiton offers no shortage of green spaces to explore. While the main high street is nothing to write home about, the riverside is where it comes into its own.

The Thames riverside Queen's Promenade is perfect for a weekend stroll, lined with independent cafes and restaurants. Just a short journey away lie the Royal parks of Bushy Park and Hampton Court, providing acres of wilderness to escape the urban bustle.

Bushy Park is the largest of London's Royal Parks at 445 hectares. It is home to herds of both red and fallow deer. And it was where the first ever 'Park Run' began - which spawned a global initiative whereby thousands get together for 5k run every Saturday morning, More info here.

Surbiton cultivates a charming village atmosphere while providing all the amenities of a trendy London suburb. The bustling high street offers chic boutiques, gastropubs and coffee shops galore. Yet you're just a stone's throw from Kingston's ancient market town and lively shopping district.

Queen’s Promenade was opened by Queen Victoria in 1856 -Credit:Geograph
Queen’s Promenade was opened by Queen Victoria in 1856 -Credit:Geograph

Home to celebs

While relatively under-the-radar, Surbiton has had its moments in the Hollywood spotlight. The train station featured in Harry Potter and an episode of Poirot. But the area is best known for serving as the setting of the classic BBC sitcom The Good Life, which humorously depicted a couple attempting self-sufficient living amidst suburban surroundings.

The area boasts a long list of celebrity residents - including Spiderman actor Tom Holland, children's authors Enid Blyton and Jacqueline Wilson and rapper Stormzy lives just down the road.

The housing market

From contemporary city flats to stately Victorian manors, Surbiton caters to a wide range of buyers. The town center offers Art Deco apartments and new builds, while areas like St Andrews Square and The Crescent boast expansive period properties and million-pound homes overlooking Claremont Gardens.

According to RightMove, properties in Surbiton had an overall average price of £646,982 over the last year.

The majority of sales in Surbiton during the last year were flats, selling for an average price of £383,279. Semi-detached properties sold for an average of £769,919, with terraced properties fetching £631,555.

Overall, sold prices in Surbiton over the last year were 2% up on the previous year and 11% up on the 2020 peak of £584,385. According to Foxtons, the average place to rent is £532 per week


There are a number of well-regarded primary and secondary schools both in and around Surbiton. Some of the top-ranking schools in the area include St Andrew’s and St Mark’s CofE Junior School, Tolworth Junior School, Southborough High School, and Tolworth Girls’ School and Sixth Form.

In terms of higher education, there are a number of high-ranking schools to choose from throughout the capital, including the nearby Kingston University and the University of Roehampton.

Surbiton truly offers a quintessential slice of London living with a taste of Surrey village charm. This underrated gem provides the ultimate balance for those seeking more space and greenery, while keeping the capital's buzz within easy reach.

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