Sunday, December 17

Britain’s Beverley Hills is Elmbridge in Surrey.

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Elmbridge is a borough of Surrey famous for its footballers and celebrities.  It has just been named the best place to live in the country for a third year in a row.  Why is this?  What does it have to offer?  Read on to find out.

Esher is the hub of Elmbridge as well as Claygate, Weybridge and Cobham.  The Halifax has completed a survey which had these areas coming top of the poll of the place to have the best quality of life in the country.  It is situated just half an hour from the capital and has a lower crime rate, better school results and better life expectancy with people living to the grand old age of 81.4 years.  The area has better employment with many of the people regularly earning over a thousand pounds a week.  The area has much better weather and they have more rooms in their homes than most.

The reason that the area is so middle class is because of the stockbroker belt, it has been associated with this for decades.  In the seventies it became known as the Rockbroker belt but now the footballers and the celebrities have moved in to town.  In Esher a mansion will regularly set you back £5million.  Many of the Chelsea football players live here, Sandown Park racecourse is situated just by the train station.  However agents say that the footballers do not buy in the area but simply rent at around £5,000 to £10,000 a month due to the fact that they could move clubs quickly.  Around 97% of the inhabitants are reasonably wealthy people.

So why is it so popular?  The location of Elmbridge matters a lot.  There are two airports nearby and as mentioned London is near.  The M25 is near and housing stock is limited so prices reflect this.  On the high street a kitchen shop is selling a kitchen for £95,000.  Locals say that during the day the area is still a village but becomes glamorous at night.  Whilst others call Elmbridge Knightsbridge but with gardens and one of the entrepreneurs of Elmbridge approached someone from the Beverley Hills Chamber of Commerce to talk about twinning them both.

Maybe it is because the West End is only fifteen miles away or because apparently the famous do not get hassled in Elmbridge which holds the appeal.  Many of the footballers live in Oxshott, it is near their training ground and the roads have many gated entrances along them.  These homes are situated within around an acre of grounds and command big money.  Many of the original fifties homes have been pulled down and replaced with new mansions, the area is said to be driven by developers.  However Oxshott is also said to be a divorce hotspot too.

Only one hundred years ago the area was associated with pig farms rather than the mega money lifestyle but times have changed.  Now if you have not got a couple of million spare there is not much hope of buying a property here.

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