More For Your Money: Addlestone, Surrey

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Located in a part of Surrey that is rustic but also convenient for Heathrow, Gatwick, the M3 and the M25, Addlestone is an affordable alternative to its posh neighbours Weybridge and St George's Hill.

"Property prices in Addlestone are about 15 per cent less than Weybridge, so it attracts first-time buyers and singles. It also has retirement flats," says Stuart Armstrong, who manages the local branch of Townends estate agents.

The arrival of the railway in 1848 heralded rapid growth, but Addlestone was settled by the 13th century and the name has Anglo-Saxon roots. The town's oldest building, the George pub, is about 500 years old. Its oldest tree, the Crouch Oak, is possibly 1,000 years old, and has survived village maidens stripping its bark to make love potions.

The town's most prominent residence is Coxes Lock Mill, which was originally an iron mill and is now a complex of flats and penthouses in two large buildings and one smaller structure alongside the River Wey Navigation. It also borders a large and attractive millpond.

Addlestone's blend of rusticity and practicality appealed to Chrissy Broughton after her marriage broke up eight years ago. "Addlestone has all the facilities of a town but the countryside is only five minutes away," she explains. "The area is great for walking and cycling, and I jog for miles along the canal at Coxes Lock."

Broughton had been living in Woking and she didn't want to move too far from Brookwood, where she works as a human resources manager at a digital media company. "As a single parent, I wanted to buy a property, and I couldn't afford Brookwood. Prices in Addlestone were much more reasonable than elsewhere in Surrey. I bought a two-bedroom cottage that backs on to the tracks just down from the station. My house was built in 1883 and is one of the oldest on my road."

She now knows that local school results vary sharply, and she regrets not researching them more thoroughly. "Basically, though, I'm happy where I live," Broughton says. "The motorways are great. I also fly regularly, and Heathrow is only 20 minutes away. The airport is so close that even a taxi doesn't cost much."

What is the general property story?

Stuart Armstrong says: "Addlestone has mainly Victorian and post-war properties. Flats are available for less than £150,000, Victorian cottages and three bedroom ex-council terraces for less than £200,000, and larger Victorian houses start at about £275,000."

What about flats?

Townends is selling a one-bedroom retirement flat in Crockford Park for £149,950. Gascoigne-Pees is selling a modern one-bedroom flat for £154,950 and a two-bedroom flat for £169,950, both with gardens.

What about waterside properties?

Bridge House is a luxury block of flats on the Thames. Grants is selling a two-bedroom flat with a balcony overlooking the Chertsey Bridge for £280,000. Grants is also selling a two-bedroom 928sq ft duplex penthouse flat with balconies in the mill at Coxes Lock for £299,950. Also in the mill, a split-level penthouse flat with a large balcony is for sale at £305,000 at Foxtons. Adjacent to the mill houses, a modern four-bedroom end-terrace townhouse overlooking the large millpond has a study-cum-garage. It is for sale at £320,000 at Townends.

What about houses?

On a large corner plot, a three-bedroom two-reception detached chalet bungalow with an eyebrow window on the first floor is £334,950. A three-bedroom 960sq ft detached Victorian house with a 40ft garden is £284,950 and a modern three-bedroom semi with an integral garage is £289,950; all at Townends. On the western side of the M25 in Addlestone's Row Town area, large detached houses sell for around £500,000, and Gascoigne-Pees are selling the refurbished Sunnyside Farm for £899,995.

How good are the transport links?

Addlestone station is on a spur linking Virginia Water and Chertsey with Weybridge, for connections to national rail services to Wimbledon, Clapham Junction and Waterloo.

Local shops?

Chrissy Broughton does her supermarket shopping locally and buys clothing in Weybridge, Woking and Guildford. Her favourite restaurants are the Taj Mahal in Addlestone, and Café Piccolo's (Italian) and El Meson de Los Hermanos (Spanish tapas bar and restaurant) in Weybridge.

What about recreation?

The Thames, the River Wey Navigation canal and the River Wey attract walkers, cyclists, joggers, anglers and kayakers. Addlestone is surrounded by parks with playing fields and tennis courts, and several golf courses are nearby.

How do the schools rate?

Sayes Court Junior School on Farm Drive scored slightly below the national average in English, maths and science, and Jubilee High School underachieved in GCSEs. St George's in Woburn Park, Addlestone and Hillside School in Weybridge both achieved GSCE results well above average.

And one for the pub quiz.

Which famous French writer on the lam sought refuge in Addlestone? (Hint: it was amid accusation and counter-accusation in 1898.)

Foxtons, 01932 324 324; Gascoigne-Pees, 01932 841 216; Grants, 01932 858 885; Townends, 01932 858 777