The first borough that greets you as you exit the Greater London constituency of Kingston upon Thames, is the picturesque borough of Elmbridge. It is the most northerly borough in Surrey County, located on the border jurisdiction of Greater London. Four South West train stations service the area, with regular trains to Central London.
Famous primarily for Hampton Court Palace, Elmbridge has long been considered important historically. It is one of the smallest boroughs in the county, contained in an area of 37.2 square miles and inhabited by 131,000 people. Just outside what is considered to be London, it provides the first taste of Surrey life, and far from disappointing, it lifts up the expectations of the county.
Certainly, the experts agree; in Halifax’s annual best place to live survey, Elmbridge was ranked 2nd, the highest ranking area in London’s periphery.
So what is it about the borough that gives it this ranking? Well, as always, the location seems to be the key: in Elmbridge’s case it is country living with an urban twist.
It is located almost entirely within the bounds of the M25 motorway and includes towns such as Weybridge, Cobham, Esher, Hersham, Walton-on-Thames, East and West Molesey, Thames Ditton, Long Ditton and Hinchley Wood, all of them well connected to London.
Because of the Dittons’ proximity to the Greater London borough, it has been considered multiple times to be enveloped in the borough, but has still maintained its connection to Elmbridge.
The further away that you travel from London, the smaller and quainter the towns become. This makes absolute sense here; the further you travel into Surrey, the more you get absorbed into beautiful country life. However, because of the Portsmouth Road, you never feel too disconnected.
The Portsmouth road runs through the entire of the borough, it is 8 miles long and is made up of the former A3 road, that was replaced in the past few years. This road provides a direct link to the urban hub of Kingston in South West London, which has been voted the best shopping area in the entire of Greater London.
As well as the roads that carve up the borough so expertly, there is also the Thames and its many tributaries. The River Mole, and the large expanse of greenery in the surrounding parkland, provides unadulterated freedom which is a surprise when the borough itself is a satellite of Greater London.
Elmbridge provides the best of both worlds: country lifestyle with many urban luxuries. With excellent travel links, as well as numerous green spaces and quaint villages, it certainly can be said that the borough just outside of Greater London is one of the best places to live in England.