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Otherwise known as Sunbury-on-Thames, this town in the borough of Spelthorne enjoys a scenic location overlooking the river. Situated only 12 miles from central London, Sunbury boasts convenient transport links to the capital. Coupled with the village atmosphere, historic charm and wide-open spaces, Sunbury is a desirable place to call home.
Two distinct areas known as Lower Sunbury and Sunbury Common are divided by the M3 motorway. Both provide a wide array of property choice, not to mention cultural and outdoor attractions. Lower Sunbury provides an insight into the past, where many of the historic sights remain intact. It gives a sense of rural exclusivity, complete with a village green surrounded by local and independent shops. Pavement cafes add to this charm, as does the small but impressive choice of restaurants.
The nearby leisure centre is a major attraction that includes gym facilities, as well as rugby and football grounds. Other outdoor treasures include the Walled Garden in picturesque Sunbury Park and the large expanse of greenery at Orchard Meadow. Residents can also take a leisurely walk along the nearby Thames or hire a boat at Wilson’s Boat Yard.
Sunbury Common is Lower Sunbury’s modern counterpart. Much of the industrial development is centred around the M3 motorway. A small shopping centre is home to several high street retailers and complements the village appeal of the south. As such, Sunbury manages to blend both old and new.
Sunbury residents enjoy an easy commute to the capital thanks to the direct train service to London Waterloo. This takes approximately 50 minutes via Kingston and Clapham Junction, or Twickenham and Richmond. Other services travel to the neighbouring towns, offering convenience for those commuting locally.
Those travelling by car have the benefit of the M3 motorway, which runs through one half of Sunbury. This links to the M25 and M4, while central London can be reached in 36 minutes following the A316. Sunbury is also well placed for the frequent flyer, with Heathrow Airport only a short 12-minute drive.
The first-rate schools of Sunbury provide reassurance for families relocating to the area. The town is home to five primaries, some of which have been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. These include the award-winning St Ignatius Catholic and Springfield Primary.
Alternatively, the nearby preparatory schools cater to children up to the age of 11. Hampton Pre-Prep is amongst the most sought-after, along with Twickenham Preparatory and Staines Preparatory.
At secondary level, many opt for St Paul’s College, which continues to achieve a 95% or higher pass rate of five A* to Cs at GCSE level. Other options include the Bishop Wand Church of England School and Sunbury Manor School. Both have academy status and a rich heritage dating back decades.
Private schools less than three miles from Sunbury centre include the esteemed Hampton School, Halliford School, Lady Eleanor Holles and Sir William Perkins’s School – the former two catering for boys, while the latter are both girls’ schools.
The Ashford campus of Brooklands College is only a short drive for those taking higher education. Students have a choice of courses, as well as apprenticeships and adult learning.
Sunbury boasts a rich heritage that dates back to the 10th century. Bronze Age funerary urns have been discovered in the area, suggesting a settlement thrived here long before its first recorded mention in the Domesday Book. During that time, the area was little more than a quaint village with a ‘meadow for six ploughs’.
It remained largely unchanged until the arrival of the railway in 1864. Putting Sunbury on the map as a desirable commuting location, the rail line was soon followed by further development, with housing built in the newly formed Sunbury Common.
Thankfully, the area managed to retain its former village charm thanks to the many listed buildings and parks of Lower Sunbury. This area is still home to some of the country houses built by wealthy merchants in the 18th century. Orchard House and Monksbridge were once frequented by royalty, while St Mary’s Church was built in 1725 and sits on the site of a 14th century church.
Whether it’s the historic and cultural sights, sports complexes or family-friendly attractions, Sunbury boasts an exciting mix of things to do. Here are some highlights from the local area:
By road: Sunbury sits at the start of the M3 motorway, offering convenient access from central London via the A316. Alternatively, those travelling from the M25 should exit at Junction 12 and merge onto the M3 before reaching Sunbury.
By rail: Sunbury station operates frequent services to London Waterloo and connects to many of the surrounding suburbs.