Area Guide: Borough of Waverley

The Borough of Waverley strikes the perfect balance of quaint English countryside and bustling market towns.

The area has always enjoyed prosperity thanks to being intersected by the major trade route between London and Portsmouth, which historically encouraged traders to set up stalls and inns for travellers to purchase goods or to rest in. The A3 and train line between London and the south coast are just as relevant today as they have ever been, allowing commuters quick and convenient access into London and the south coast.

Did You Know?

Godalming became the first town in the world to have a public electricity supply, powered by a water mill at the ‘Westbrook Mills’ site.

Did You Know?

The average life expectancy for Waverley in 1946 was 42, and 83 in 2004.

The Communities

The Borough of Waverley is a local district of the county of Surrey, bounded to the north by the market towns of Farnham and Godalming, while the village of Cranleigh is the largest settlement in the more rural, eastern reaches of the district. The town of Haslemere lies to the south of the Borough on the borders of Hampshire and West Sussex.


Home to Waverley Borough Council’s headquarters and its attractive High Street, Godalming has many historical and interesting buildings along with a good range of family-run stores. This continues its long-standing tradition of being a market town, with a butcher, greengrocer and fishmonger plus many other independent and national retailers and a selection of restaurants to suit all tastes.

Godalming is on the main train line to London Waterloo, making it a popular destination for commuters looking to move out of the city. It also has several childcare nurseries, primary and secondary schools as well as a 6th form college, making it the ideal place to raise a family.


Steeped with character and a history that can be traced back to Roman Britain and beyond the town is overlooked by the spectacular Farnham Castle. As well as a continued market presence to this day, the town centre also hosts a significant number of independent and national retailers as well as banks, supermarkets and a number of restaurants and cafes, making the town centre a bustling and lively place.


The largest village in the UK, Cranleigh is situated equidistant between the towns of Guildford and Horsham. A train line served commuters into Guildford and London for 100 years until it was closed in 1965. Today Cranleigh and the surrounding village attract people to the area for the excellent schools, local shopping and entertainment facilities and outstanding countryside. Property in Cranleigh is varied, from country cottages to both modern and character homes so there is something to suit all budgets. There is also a retirement village.


The most southerly town in Surrey, surrounded by hilly countryside and intertwined by the River Wey. The transport routes of the nearby A3 and the London to Portsmouth rail line have ensured a prosperous growth for this quaint and picturesque market town, which is the perfect place from which to explore the nearby South Downs and famous Devils Punchbowl – a 297 acre biological Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Other notable villages include Milford, Frensham, Ewhurst, Whitley and Chiddingfold, all of which offer a quaint village lifestyle, yet are close enough to the larger towns for convenience and are also surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside the UK has to offer.

Did You Know?

Cranleigh’s most famous inhabitant currently is guitarist Eric Clapton who has lived on the edge of the village for 40 years and over the years has performed and rehearsed at Cranleigh Arts Centre.

House Prices

Property prices in the Borough of Waverley vary significantly, with the towns and villages served by the train line into London Waterloo attracting a premium. Properties are more modestly priced to the south of the Borough.

Land Registery Data statistics show that the average house price of second-hand homes in Waverley has grown by 166% in the last 10 years from £177,367 to £472,352 in 2018. Compared to the rest of Surrey,  house prices in Waverley are some of the highest in the country.

House Prices

Average House Prices in Surrey (October 2018) - Source Land Registry

Did You Know?

Mike Rutherford and Peter Gabriel formed the band Genesis at Charterhouse School in Godalming in 1967, Phill Collins (from nearby Chiswick) joined the band later.

Did You Know?

Cranleigh is designated the largest village in England.

Did You Know?

Godalming is home to the largest Titanic memorial in the World, the Phillips Memorial is named after John George Phillips the senior wireless operator on the Titanic.

Did You Know?

The Shepherd and Flock roundabout in Farnham extends to just over 10 acres, is believed to be the largest inhabited roundabout in the UK.

Did You Know?

Godalming was the last town in the country to host a public hanging.

Did You Know?

In 2016-2017 film activity brought in approximately £1.9 million to the local economy.

Places Of Interest / Leisure

The Surrey Hills

The Surrey Hills are a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Some of the most beautiful spots include Box Hill, Blackdown and the Devils Punch Bowl. With extensive open common land and easily accessible picnic sites, they offer an outdoor playground for walkers, horse riders and cyclists to explore.

Farnham Maltings

Originally a tannery and later a brewery, the Farnham Maltings is now a centre for culture in the local community and home to a number of creative programmes including a theatre, cinema, arts, crafts and workshops.

Alice Holt Go Ape

With a Treetop Challenge, Treetop Adventure Plus and Treetop Adventure, Alice Holt Go Ape is ideal for thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies, full on family fun or corporate team building days out. There are super high platforms and gut-wrenching crossings on the Challenge course whereas the Adventure route is the perfect learning ground for young adventurers. You’ll find Alice Holt just four miles south of the historic town of Farnham. If swinging from the tree tops doesn’t take your fancy, you can take in the beautiful woodland view as you explore the trails by foot or on two wheels. Children will be spoiled for choice with play areas, wooden animal play structures, Gruffalo sculptures and the Timberline play trail.


On the outskirts of Farnham, just a few minutes from Alice Holt, you’ll find Birdworld a local attraction offering bird exhibits for all ages. A regular destination for educational tours by local schools and a great place to get children up close and personal with penguins, owls and many more exotic birds. As well as caring for and breeding many species of bird, Birdworld also operates a conservation fund to help both local and international initiatives.


Winkworth Arboretum

The perfect place to enjoy some fresh air, Winkworth Arboretum features many walks suitable for all age ranges and mobility levels. After a morning immersed in nature, visitors can enjoy the tea room which serves refreshments and light lunches throughout the year.

Farnham Castle

Built in 1138 by the grandson of William the Conqueror, Farnham Castle is now available for private hire for events, weddings and business meetings. Overlooking the town, the castle sits in five acres of beautiful grounds and offers visitor tours around the grounds and the meticulously maintained castle.

Sculpture Park Hindhead

Enjoy the sites of up to 600 sculptures as you meander through 10 acres of enchanting arboretum and water gardens in this picturesque site in Hindhead. Showcasing work from over 300 artists, the Sculpture Park is open all year round and almost everything is for sale.

Waverley Abbey

With a history dating back to 1128, Waverley Abbey was the very first monastery founded in Britain. Whilst today the ruins offer a spectacular tourist attraction, this peaceful spot on a quiet loop of the River Wey still offers a glimpse of the solitude and tranquillity enjoyed by the monks almost 900 years ago.

Dunsfold Aerodrome

Dunsfold Aerodrome is a brownfield site in Waverley and for many years has been home to aviation facilities and a business park. The popular TV series Top Gear was filmed here along with movies and TV series including James Bond Casino Royale, Batman Begins, The Da Vinci Code and many more. More recently, planning permission has been granted for the construction of 1,800 new homes on the Aerodrome site.

The Downs Link

Following the route of a disused railway, the Downs Link is an enjoyable way for walkers, horse riders and cyclists to enjoy the countryside along the route that connects the North and South Downs. The trail can be completed in stages and there is an off-road route from Guildford Station for walkers and cyclists only, that joins the Downs Link at Bramley.

Cranleigh Arts Centre

Formerly the local village school, Cranleigh Arts Centre offers a very diverse range of activities and entertainment. From painting and pottery classes to art exhibitions, comedy nights and live music, to theatre and a cinema, local residents always have a reason to visit.

Country Pubs

With many traditional pubs making the move to Gastropubs there are some fantastic public houses throughout Waverley, combining timeless history with some incredible food. A couple of our favourites you need to visit include: The White Hart at Whitley which serves some incredible BBQ and grilled food.  With stunning views of the South Downs and some incredible food and accommodation, The White Horse at Graffam is a hidden gem. The Mill at Elstead is a great drinks venue to spend a summer afternoon by the weir as this public house is in a converted mill. If you’re looking for a well-presented pub with a great play area for children to enjoy and get some great food at the same time, The Duke of Cambridge in Rushmoor, outside of Farnham is well worth a visit.


Transport Links

On an average weekday, there are 253 trains a day making the 63 mile journey between London and Portsmouth. The towns of Godalming and Haslemere enjoy fast and direct train services into London Waterloo with trains leaving approximately every 15 minutes. The villages of Whitley, Milford and Farncombe also enjoy a regular service to London Waterloo. The frequency and convenience of this rail service have been instrumental in the prosperity of the Waverley Borough.

The A3 is the major commuting lifeline connecting the major towns through the Borough of Waverley. The completion of the Hindhead Tunnel in 2011 has been a huge success in reducing congestion in the area as well as allowing the Devils Punchbowl to flourish as a tourist location and fantastic place to enjoy the scenery and improved air quality.

Local Schools

Please confirm you consent to us using cookies to help with your property search and improve your experience on the Curchods website.

Cookies are small text files placed on your computer/mobile device that remember your preferences and what you were searching for. Our cookies don’t collect any personal information. For more information please read our privacy policy, thank you