With its popular market, busy High Street and picturesque riverside, Staines is one of Surrey’s most vibrant towns. It is a highly sought-after location among property buyers thanks to its proximity to London – the city centre is just 15 miles away – and plethora of green spaces.
Despite being so close to the capital, Staines boasts all the amenities of a self-sufficient town. The bustling market is held three times a week (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday) on the High Street, selling everything from fresh food to clothes and jewellery. For larger stores and big-name brands, check out the Elmsleigh and Two Rivers shopping centres. The latter is home to some of the town’s most popular restaurant chains. Or for a dining experience with a view, head to the riverside and visit one of the many smaller eateries.
Away from its shops and restaurants, Staines offers plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation. From the pretty Colne Valley Park to the beauty of the Thames Valley National Trail, the area is a walker’s delight. And with its superb access to London and Heathrow Airport, it’s easy to see why property in Staines is in high demand.
Transport links in Staines
The town lies within the western boundary of the M25. Junction 13 of the motorway is just two miles away, offering drivers easy access to Heathrow and the rest of London; the north (via the M40 and A1(M)); the south (via the M3 and M23); and the west of England and Wales (via the M4).
For commuters, central London can be reached in just over half an hour by train. Staines railway station lies east of the town centre on the Waterloo to Reading line. At off-peak times, six trains per hour run from Staines to London Waterloo, with additional services offered during weekday peak times.
Primary and secondary schools in Staines
Staines is home to several highly rated primary and secondary schools. Some of the best primaries include Our Lady of the Rosary RC, St Michael’s Catholic and Manorcroft. Among the town’s top secondary schools is Sir William Perkins, the Salesian and St James’ Senior.
While there are no further education institutions in Staines itself, Brooklands College – formerly Spelthorne College – is only three miles away in neighbouring Ashford. Also three miles away is the highly acclaimed Royal Holloway, University of London.
History of Staines
The first evidence of people living in the area came during the Neolithic period. In 43 CE, the Romans invaded Britain, building a settlement in Staines during the same year. Within a decade, they erected the first ever Staines Bridge, a key river crossing on the so-called Devil’s Highway from London to Silchester.
The town was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Stanes”. Further evidence of Staines’ existence during medieval times comes in the form of the London Stone, a local boundary marker indicating the western limit of the City of London’s jurisdiction over the Thames area.
Staines grew in prominence during the 17th and 18th centuries as a regular staging post for journeys by horse and carriage, with numerous coaching inns situated in the area.
In 1864, the town became a major producer of the floor covering linoleum. This quickly became the area’s main industry, with the Staines Lino Factory employing upward of 300 people at its peak. The factory closed around 1970 and is now the site of the Two Rivers shopping centre. This industrial heritage is celebrated with a bronze statue on the High Street depicting two factory workers carrying a roll of lino.
Things to do in Staines
Whether you want to take a countryside stroll, hit the shops or enjoy something a little more high-octane, Staines and the surrounding area offers plenty of attractions. Some of the most popular places of interest include:
- Thorpe Park
- Spelthorne Museum
- Old Town Hall
- Staines Bridge
- Thames Path National Trail
- Colne Valley Park
- Spelthorne Leisure Centre
- Runnymede Air Forces Memorial
- Roll out the Lino statue
- Vue Staines Cinema
- The London Stone
- Penton Hook Island
- Two Rivers Shopping Centre
- Elmsleigh Shopping Centre
How to get here
- By road: Staines is just two miles from junction 13 of the M25. Leave the motorway and take the A30 eastbound, then take the A308 London Road toward Staines town centre.
- By rail: Staines station is on the Waterloo to Reading line. It marks the railway’s junction with the Windsor line, and is also reached by services from Waterloo to Chertsey via Hounslow.