Around Epsom and Ewell
Epsom is a picturesque market town in the heart of Surrey, Ewell is a smaller village nearby with its own high street and small town centre. The borough of Epsom and Ewell is surrounded by acres of green belt, parks, commons and woodland.
Epsom town offers a compact and attractive shopping centre, with retailers ranging from House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer, Waitrose and the historic Lester Bowden, to the likes of TK Maxx, H&M, Monsoon, Next and W H Smith, as well as a variety of independent retail outlets. Epsom market place, watched over by the charming Clock Tower, hosts open-air markets several days of the week and a farmer’s market at least once a month.
The town also has a number of coffee shops and a wide selection restaurants ranging from Italian to Japanese, as well as pubs offering real ales, good food and live entertainment.
Ewell offers more of a village feel with its own selection of independent shops, pubs and restaurants, along with Bourne Hall library and museum.
In 2014 Epsom and Ewell was voted one of the “20 hottest locations for aspirational downsizers in England and Wales”, so if you’re looking for a new home for sale in Surrey, the Epsom and Ewell may well be a very good choice.
Getting out and about by road couldn’t be easier; the A3 and M25 are conveniently accessible from Epsom and Ewell allowing access to Heathrow and Gatwick in around 30 minutes, the south coast in about 45 minutes, and Dover and the Channel Tunnel in a little over an hour.
Crossrail 2 is a proposed new railway serving London and the wider South East of England. It will connect the National Rail networks in Surrey (including Epsom) and Hertfordshire via new tunnels and stations between Wimbledon, Tottenham Hale and New Southgate, linking it to London underground, London overground, Crossrail 1, national and international rail services via London St Pancras.
Epsom mainline station has up to eight trains an hour for a 35-minute journey to Waterloo and Victoria, or to London Bridge via Sutton. From Ewell there are options to use Ewell West, Ewell East or Chessington North stations. There are also good train services to Guildford, Dorking and Horsham.
The Borough of Epsom and Ewell has 5 infant, 4 junior and 10 primary schools, and boasts a number of excellent and sought after secondary schools; Glyn School, Epsom and Ewell High School, Rosebery School for Girls and Blenheim High School. You can find out the full details here.
In addition the borough also has two private, fee-paying schools, Epsom College and Ewell Castle School, and also contains Linden Bridge School in Worcester Park, a special school for children and young people with autism and social communication difficulties. The excellent City of London Freemen’s School co-educational day and boarding school is also close by in Ashtead.
Finally, there is also the North East Surrey College of Technology (further education) and the University College for the Creative Arts (higher education).
Out and about
Epsom and Ewell offer a number of leisure and fitness clubs including David Lloyd and the recently refurbished Rainbow Centre, which includes “Spa London”. In Epsom there is an eight-screen Odeon cinema, which together with the local Playhouse theatre provide a wide variety of film and live performances to suit every taste. Epsom Racecourse, not only home to the world famous annual Epsom Derby, also offers a wide range of events including evening races followed by live music throughout the summer months.
For lovers of the outdoor life, the borough of Epsom and Ewell is surrounded by hundreds of acres of woods and countryside, several golf courses (including the renowned RAC Golf and Country Club) and a great selection of parks and leisure facilities.
Epsom and Ewell is one of the few councils in England controlled by a group which is not linked to a national political party, being dominated by the Epsom and Ewell Residents Association since the foundation of the borough. Epsom and Ewell Parliamentary Constituency is a solid Conservative seat and contains the entirety of the borough. As the population of the borough is not large enough for a full seat, it also contains neighbouring areas of Ashtead, part of the Mole Valley district.
Epsom and Ewell history
The borough of Epsom and Ewell was formed as an urban district in 1894, but was known simply as ‘Epsom’ until 1934. In 1937 it became a municipal borough, and in 1965 the district was briefly considered for inclusion in Greater London, but was left unaltered. However, despite being outside modern Greater London the borough was in fact in the Metropolitan Police District until it was transferred to Surrey Police in 2000.
In Roman times the Roman road now known as Stane Street, which ran from London to Chichester, passed through Epsom and Ewell. Later, in medieval times the area comprised three manors: Cuddington (owned by the Codington family) Epsom (which belonged to Chertsey Abbey) and Ewell (associated with Merton Priory). In 1538 the entire village of Cuddington was demolished to make way for Henry VIII’s Nonsuch Palace and its surrounding parks. The palace was sadly demolished in 1682, although had it still been in existence today it would have been a rival to Hampton Court Palace. Nonsuch park still remains, a very large open space with multiple parks and the Mansion House café (always very popular at the weekends!).
Epsom became a spa in the early 17th century when a spring containing Epsom salts was discovered on Epsom Common. Popular with London society it was visited by Samuel Pepys and Nell Gwynne amongst others. Horse racing on Epsom Downs began during this spa period, but it was not until the Oaks was first run in 1789 and the Derby the following year that it took on its present form. The first grandstand at the racecourse was built in 1830, and the modern Queen’s Stand was built in 1995. The old 1927 grandstand was demolished in 2007 and the new Duchess’s Stand was built to replace it, opening in 2009.
In 1995 Epsom and Ewell was twinned with Chantilly in northern France, another town famous for its racing history.