Top places to live in Surrey Dorking
Dorking has everything you could possibly want in a charming market town: pretty houses, great pubs, fab indie stores. Oh, and the UK's largest vineyard. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.
This historic market town in the picturesque Surrey Hills and has a buzzy scene of independent businesses that includes cafes, restaurants, clothing stores and salons.
Chains are few and far between in Dorking, allowing the independents to thrive. For a freshly made lunch and coffee, head to Capers at the Yard or perhaps Cosy Moose, which freshly bakes all its goods on site. For lovers of modern fine dining, look no further than Michelin star restaurant Sorrel. Fancy something extra fancy? Wotton House Country Estate offers dining in addition to rooms, a spa and it hosts weddings!
On the first Sunday of every month, Dorking’s Artisan Market brings together stalls selling unique gifts, arts and crafts, vintage brocante, and food and drink. For those looking to do more food shopping, try traditional sweet shop Theodore and Sephone or local favourite The Dorking Butchery. If you fancy a splurge on top quality intimates, Victoria’s Little Bra Shop is the place to go. And, not a shop per se, but we adore the local Sleepylily, a sleepover tents and party rental service for a seriously fancy do!
Head to Surrey Hills Physiotherapy to address those niggling aches and pains, or to join a yoga or pilates class, or workshop. Keen to look after yourself but fancy something more on the pampering side? Mayflower Spa offers the full experience, from facials to scrubs, massages to the less glam business of hair removal.
You can’t talk about Dorking without mentioning the brilliant Denbies Wine Estate, which you can visit simply for a scenic walk through the vines or for the full experience – a cheese and wine tasting. Nearby, Buckland Park Lake is perfect for a family day out, private event or even to join a water sports club. Dorking Halls plays host to a range of comedy acts, performances and screenings, so keep an eye on its roster.
AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE
The average price of a property in Dorking was £563,833 over the past year. The majority of sales in Dorking during this period were detached properties, which sold for an average price of £881,761. Semi-detached properties sold for about £545,586, and terraced properties sold for around £427,650.
There are plenty of independent schools in the Dorking area. Belmont School, Box Hill School and Hurtwood House are all nearby, coeducational, and offer day or full boarding. For state, there are several good primary schools: Powell Corderoy Primary in Longfield Road; St Paul’s CofE; St John’s CofE; St Joseph’s Catholic Primary and St Martin’s CofE. The Ashcombe School comes highly rated as a state co-ed secondary and sixth form school.
BEST KEPT SECRET
Head to the top of Box Hill at the crack of dawn to see the sun rise. The infamously busy spot is at it quietest then (and you’re even likely be alone on a weekday!) and the views are just breathtaking.
Trains go directly to London Waterloo and take 50 minutes to an hour. For fans of the coast, it takes a little over an hour to hop on a train to Brighton, too.
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