Guildford has a pretty cobbled high street with a great range of shops and excellent restaurants. Good theatre, cinema and arts events make this a cultural centre for the county. The train gets you into Waterloo in 40 minutes with only one stop at Woking. And its fantastic schools are among the best in the country.
Beautiful villages Shere, Ewhurst and Albury surround Guildford. Whilst not quite so easily commutable they are set in breathtaking countryside. Farnham (just under an hour to Waterloo) is an old market town. Castle St leads up the hill to the old castle, lined with pretty georgian houses. the park at the top is popular for cricket and cross country and there is a good community feel, not least due to its schools – a great secondary Academy, Weydon, and South Farnham School, one of the leading primaries in the country. A separate infant and junior schools system runs here and the Bourne and Lower Bourne (where S. Farnham is situated) are particularly desirable places to live. Again it’s surrounded by beautiful countryside with the glorious Frensham Common and Ponds offering acres of wonderful heathland, woods, swimming and a sailing club.
Haslemere (55 mins to Waterloo) is an attractive little town with a Waitress and boutique-y shops. it has good transport links for a range of local secondary schools, from RgS to Portsmouth Grammar. Godalming (regular trains to London take 50 mins) has a real mix of housing and is home to one of the best sixth form colleges in the area (along with Alton and Farnborough). A number of families send their kids to private schools until they are 16 and then move to one of these three colleges. the national trust’s Winkworth Arboretum is nearby and beautiful to visit at any time of the year.
Cobham/oxshott/Ef ngham (train times take 40–50 mins) are in the north east of the area, by the m25. There is a cluster of good schools here and it has a more glitzy feel, perhaps because Chelsea’s training ground is nearby. The high street in Cobham is very chic.