A re-generation project in 2006 saw a makeover of Walton-on-Thames, with The Heart becoming the new focus of shopping activity. A mere mile from Jubilee Meadows, this elegant centre comprises firm fashion favourites such as Jigsaw and H&M – and boulevard-style streets lined with boutiques. There’s also a Sainsbury’s for everyday convenience, while each month sees the vibrant farmer’s market set up shop outside. Here, friendly locals sell homemade wares, ranging from fluffy cupcakes and freshly-baked breads to plump, marinated olives and chunky chutneys.
Nearby, Hampton Court’s quaint antique stores are filled with vintage silverware to collectible books and paintings. Esher’s elegant High Street is dotted with designer finds, including Bernard Boutique’s unique, creative pieces for women. A few doors down, the upscale Jill Zander spa offers rejuvenating skin treatments for face and body.
Residents of Jubilee Meadows don’t have to venture far for global eats. Walton’s best-loved Italian restaurant, Prima Fila, serves up creamy porcini mushroom risotto and swordfish pasta among intimate, candlelit surroundings. Another popular spot is The Everyman, a boutique cinema showcasing the best arthouse releases and one-of-a-kind theatre productions.
At The Heart, Carluccio’s and Nando’s are ever reliable classics. But for a real taste of Walton-on-Thames living, head to the riverside pubs such as The Anglers or The Swan for scenic al fresco pints and sumptuous Sunday roasts.
Meanwhile in Cobham, an offshoot of London celebrity haunt, The Ivy, offers all-day dining and designer interiors within a beautiful grade II listed building. Esher is also a culinary destination, its High Street lined with top-class eateries including Paris inspired Côte Brasserie, the cantina style Red Peppers and The Giggling Squid, featuring Thai tapas and a modern, wood-lined interior.
Walton-on-Thames exudes a welcoming feel, yet this picturesque pocket of Surrey is close to the M3, M25 and just a 25-minute train ride from London’s beating heart. Commuters are transported directly to Waterloo from Walton-on-Thames and Hersham stations (0.5 miles and 1.3 miles respectively), with four capital-bound trains leaving every hour.
Regular bus services link Walton-on-Thames to nearby towns such as Weybridge, Hersham, Molesey and Kingston-upon-Thames. International travel is easy too: Heathrow Airport is only a 26-minute car journey from Jubilee Meadows.
Nicknamed ‘leafy Surrey’ for good reason, the county is a patchwork of vast, verdant spaces. Situated next to the green Coronation Playing Fields, Jubilee Meadows has easy access to the park’s outdoor tennis courts, play areas and sports pitches.
For some locals, the river is a scenic viewpoint; for others, it’s an opportunity to get fit. Rowing and sailing are popular in these parts, while the 184-mile Thames Path National Trail that winds its way through Walton-on-Thames is perfect for cyclists, ramblers and family outings.
Just 6 miles from the development is The Medicine Garden, a stunning Victorian walled garden complete with a restored hothouse, gift shop, art gallery, and nourishing spa treatments on offer. But more impressive still is Bushy Park, bordering the majestic Hampton Court. This world-famous royal park features wooded trails, manicured gardens and ponds. Across its expanse of grassland, herds of wild deer roam freely.