There is something very appealing about living in a market town and Farnham is no exception. Traditional yet bustling, this town nestled on the South West corner of Surrey is steeped in history, its narrow streets lined with some of the best Georgian architecture in the South East and there is even a castle dating back to the 12th Century.
Already home to 38,000 people, Farnham is fast becoming a much sought after location in which to live with the population rising very gently. Farnham is quite simply fabulous and here are 5 reasons why you should make the move:
1. Hotspot for culture vultures
You do not need to be a culture vulture to enjoy being in Farnham but if you have an interest in history, architecture and the arts then you will not be disappointed. Historians claim that there is evidence that Stone Age Man lived here – but walking around the town you are more likely to be impressed by Anglo Saxon, Norman and Georgian periods – all very visible in the town.
The High Street is packed with antique shops and just outside Farnham sits the much loved Bourne Mill Antiques Centre which offers hours of amusement poking around its creaky ancient interior looking for treasures. 70 + dealers are spread over four floors in this unique building which has rightly been described as an Aladdin’s Cave.
And if it is music and theatre culture you are after then Farnham doesn’t disappoint. The Farnham Maltings is synonymous with theatre, craft, music, film and festivals! After a massive restoration programme 20 years ago, the Maltings provides space for many different activities including artists’ studios, galleries, the Riverside Café and Cellar Bar, Dance Studio and Nursery.
2. Market Town kudos
Market towns originated in the medieval period – it was a settlement that had the right to host markets thus distinguishing it from a village and city. In pre-19th century England the majority of the population made their living through agriculture and farmers brought their produce to markets often held on the grounds of their church after worship.
Farnham is located midway between Winchester and London and in 1138, Henry de Blois started building Farnham Castle to provide accommodation for the Bishop of Winchester in his frequent journeying between his cathedral and the capital. The castle´s garrison provided a market for farms and small industries in the town, accelerating its growth so the market town of Farnham was born.
Local estate agency, Strutt & Parker report that 24.7% of buyers relocating from London are heading to the South East of England, looking for a more rural life and only last year the Daily Mail stated that the “average home in a market town costs nearly £23,000 more than the average home in the rest of the county”. Farnham is highly likely to be a hot spot to aim for.
3. Superb schooling
From toddlers to degree students and beyond, education provision in Farnham is superb. The town offers a wide range of nurseries, primary and secondary schools, as well as an outstanding further education college and the University for the Creative Arts.
Junior schools include two state schools – William Cobbett and South Farnham or privately Edgeborough School which set in 50 acres of beautiful countryside. And if you are lucky enough to sit in the catchment area for The Bourne you are likely to land your children a place at the top middle-school in the country.
For senior school many choose the local Weydon School in Farnham – also a specialist science college or Charterhouse and Frensham Heights are extremely popular private choices.
4. Easily accessible
Known in some circles for being the start of the North Downs Way which follows the acorn signs from Farnham to the coast at Dover, passing Canterbury on the way, Farnham occupies a premium position.
Sitting just off the A31, sensible town planners designed this by-road to take the heavy traffic well away from the heart of the town maintaining peace and tranquillity whilst ensuring that there are quick access routes out. Situated just 12 miles from Guildford, 30 miles to the South Coast and affording a direct train line that takes 53 minutes to London Waterloo, Farnham is a fabulous location for those looking for an affordable commuter town.
Farnham is blessed with two golf courses, a sports centre and is packed with great outdoor opportunities. Frensham Ponds are one of the few places in the England where swimming in a lake is actively encouraged and a hot summer’s day will attract a bevy of families and picnics to its shores. Alice Holt forest is a fun packed day out for all ages – from cycle trails to a sky rainforest trail this is a must and for the more adventurous types the Go Ape heart stopping experience will have you racing down zip wires in the tree tops.
Perched on the Hampshire border, Farnham might be a market town but property pricing is competitive compared to other local towns such as Guildford and Godalming.
According to Zoopla, house prices in Farnham have risen by 4.68% in the last 12 months and by a whopping 15.77% compared to 4 years ago (2009).
On the Market:
Wykeham House is a stunning 5 bedroom detached home with generously proportioned accommodation set over three floors. This imposing country house blends traditional handcrafted refinement with innovative 21st century technology.
This modern family home has been designed and built by award winning Millgate. The ground floor mainly comprises a vast open plan living area which includes the kitchen, breakfast room, family room and drawing room. There is a separate dining room, utility and downstairs cloak.
The master bedroom has a terrace with views over the large garden, a dressing room and luxury en-suite. There are four further bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The top floor also has a spacious games/media room. Guide Price £1,685,000, for more information visit www.millgatehomes.co.uk or call the agents Strutt and Parker at the show home on 01252 792265.