Ascot: A town full of winners

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

With Royal Ascot in full swing, Anthea Masey finds wealthy buyers in a commuter haven where palatial piles are routinely demolished to make way for even larger homes

Ascot, an hour by train from Waterloo, is in the London Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. This surprisingly small Berkshire town is separated from Windsor by the 5,000-acre Great Park. With its wide open spaces, its well-heeled inhabitants enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, part of a community that includes many commuters who head both west to Reading as well as east towards the City.

Its major claim to fame is its racecourse and it is still the races, and in particular Royal Ascot week in June, which bring the town alive. The Queen and other members of the royal family cross Windsor Great Park in open carriages to be greeted by the cream of London society in all its flowery-hatted, morning suited finery in the exclusive Royal Enclosure.

Ascot and its impressive surrounding neighbourhoods of Sunninghill, Sunningdale and Cheapside have benefited from a good deal of royal stardust. Prince Edward lives with his wife, the Countess of Wessex, and their two children in nearby Bagshot Park.

What there is to buy?

This is one of those corners of London's commuterland where large houses are routinely demolished to make way for even larger houses secured by electronic gates, high fences and hedges. The most expensive house currently on the market is a new seven-bedroom, 7,300sq ft mansion on London Road in Sunninghill which has an asking price of £7.25m. As well as an indoor swimming pool, there are spacious grounds and a tennis court. The estate agent is Barton Wyatt (01344 843000).

This is also an area where spacious flats are being built in blocks which mimic the area's large new mansions. Brockenhurst House, in Brockenhurst Road, Ascot is one such. In this large mansion by Millgate Homes there are 14 flats ranging in price from £695,000 for a two-bedroom flat to £995,000 for a two-bedroom penthouse. The selling agent is Edward & Elliott (01344 876363). However, the area does offer more modest homes, as average house prices indicate. In Ascot, Sunninghill and Sunningdale, there are pockets of Victorian housing where it is possible to buy a three-bedroom semi for about £450,000. There are also one- and two-bedroom flats for first-time buyers in modern blocks which start from about £175,000.

Locally based estate agent James Heron, of Knight Frank, says it is hard to categorise the property market. "Price per square foot varies from about £300 to £1,000 for the very best houses in the best locations."

Who comes and who likes to stay?

Easy access to the motorway network and Heathrow airport attracts wealthy Londoners and international buyers. The American Community School and the American School in England, both in nearby Egham, are an attraction to overseas buyers with children. Families from overseas often get posted back home but retain their UK property as an investment.

Ascot is in the postcode of SL5, which is otherwise one of the less unglamorous Slough postcodes. But that has no significance when it comes to house prices. The best roads are Titlarks Hill, Ridgemount Road, Shrubbs Hill Lane, Cross Road and Woodhall Lane in Sunningdale; St Mary's Road, Horsegate Ride, Greyfriars Drive, Coronation Road, Monks Walk and Friary Road in Ascot.

What's new?

At any one time large, one-off houses are being built by developers such as Octagon, but there are also a number of large lock-up-and-leave flats in developments aimed at empty nesters. For example, Villiers House on London Road, Sunningdale, is a development of 15 flats by Banner Homes. Prices range from £495,000 for a two-bedroom property up to £700,000 for two bedrooms and a study. The selling agent is Waterfords (01276 66566).

Also on London Road, Boxwood Grange is a development of 15 apartments by Bellway Homes. Prices range from £395,000 for a two-bedroom flat to £745,000 for two to three-bedroom properties. The agent is Hamptons (01344 627555).

Getting educated

The local state schools provide an excellent education; there is no shortage of top-performing primary schools and the local comprehensive, Charters in Sunningdale, is judged "outstanding" by Ofsted.

Leisure time and open spaces

Shops and restaurants: there are small local shopping centres in Ascot and Sunningdale offering a mix of independent shops, chain stores and restaurants, with a large Waitrose conveniently close to Sunningdale station. Fego is a popular coffee shop in Ascot and Sunningdale and the newly opened Ascot Grill has brought a touch of glamour to the local restaurant scene. For Michelin-starred dining, Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck and the Waterside Inn, run by Alain Roux, are in nearby Bray.

Open space: Ascot is separated from Windsor by the vast green space that is Windsor Great Park which includes Virginia Water, a large lake.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Alexis Sanchez has completed a £35m move to Arsenal, the club have confirmed
sportGunners complete £35m signing of Barcelona forward
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
world cup 2014
Ray Whelan was arrested earlier this week
Santi Cazorla, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini of Arsenal launch the new Puma Arsenal kits at the Puma Store on Carnaby Street
sportMassive deal worth £150m over the next five years
Arts and Entertainment
Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins
musicHolyrood MPs 'staggered' at lack of Scottish artists performing
Life and Style
beautyBelgian fan lands L'Oreal campaign after being spotted at World Cup
Arts and Entertainment
Currently there is nothing to prevent all-male or all-female couples from competing against mixed sex partners at any of the country’s ballroom dancing events
Potential ban on same-sex partners in ballroom dancing competitions amounts to 'illegal discrimination'
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice