While Woking lives in the shadow of the frankly more attractive and better-known neighbouring town of Guildford, Woking is well worth considering for those who are thinking of moving to the UK. Woking is a big town in the northwest part of Surrey, England and it offers cheaper home prices than Guildford.
Is Woking a good place to live? The town of Woking is a wonderful place to relocate to. It has a vast and fascinating history, including the Woking Palace and being the town where H.G Wells wrote his well-known novel “War of the Worlds”. This town also offers great homes at reasonable prices.
Whether you are moving to Woking for work, family or just looking for a change in the UK, you have come to this page probably because you want to know more.
- What are the best neighbourhoods in the area?
- Are the schools great?
- What is the transport system like?
Read on further for more information.
Is Woking a good place to Live?
As of September 2018, the crime rate in Woking according to Surrey Police was higher than for the Surrey force area. However, the crime rate was lower than for 2017. Neighbourhoods with the lowest number of reported crimes in the year ending September 2018 were Sheerwater, Pirbright, Worplesdon, Jacobs Well and Normandy. On the other hand, Woking Town, Knaphill & Brookwood and the Six Villages saw the highest level of reported crimes.
Commuting in this town is very easy as the town is served with the A3, M25 and M3 motorways. There are also frequent trains from the Woking railways station which take about ½ an hour to Waterloo. More railway stations can be found at Brookwood and West Byfleet. London families who cannot afford the nearby Guilford town are attracted to Woking and its villages because it offers an easy commute to the city.
There are plenty of schools in Woking. Some of the best schools are Freemantles School, The Knaphill Lower School, Valley End CofE Infant School, and West Byfleet Infant School with respect to Ofsted ratings. Woking College offers post-16 education. The town also has independent schools such as Hoe Bridge, Oakfield School, St. Andrews and many more.
Social life in Woking is very vibrant. There are plenty of excellent restaurants, cafes, pubs, supermarkets, grocery stores and shops. Green spaces are also in plenty for health and wellness activities.
Is Woking a good place to Work?
Woking is a flourishing town for business with over 3,000 companies. The Woking town centre is a wonderful place to work as there plenty of eateries and shops within easy reach for office workers during break hours. Travelling into this town using public means is possible from a variety of locations throughout Surrey because Woking has one of the most connected train stations in the UK. There are also several multi-storey car parks for those commuting to work by car.
Local employment here is mainly in the private sector, as a matter of fact, Woking is one of the UK districts that are least dependent on public sector employment. The biggest employer in this town is the McLaren Engineering Group, which is responsible for McLaren Racing and McLaren Automotive. Alent plc and the Ambassador Theatre Group are some of the companies that have worldwide headquarters in Woking.
There is a huge concentration of office accommodation in the town centre. IT, FMCG, Engineering, Automotive Manufacturing and Charities sectors are especially well represented and offer plenty of highly-skilled jobs. Some significant local companies are Capgemini, Fidessa Corporation, Petrofac, WWW UK, John Wood and SABMiller.
Woking has a low unemployment rate of 2.6% which is significantly lower than the national average of 4% (end of 2018). The average salary for a person working in Woking is £30,415. The most popular job titles here are Design Engineer, Software Developer and Project Engineer.
Is Woking a good place to buy a House?
As it might be expected, the good areas in Woking are also the most expensive areas. Some of the eastern areas are considered rougher by the locals, but they are cheaper when it comes to buying or renting a home.
There are several new high rise flats clustered around the railway station, which are aimed at the people who commute and do not need cars. Woking has properties from almost all eras; from the amazing period homes in the villages, Victorian homes, Edwardian properties constructed in the arts and crafts style, interwar and post-war homes, to modern city centre flats.
In April 2019, the average property price in Woking was £512,659. Flats in this town sold for an average price of £276,590 whereas terraced homes went for £354,232.
A single-bedroom house in Woking goes for an average of £165,450, a 3-bedroomed house goes for an average price of £471,584 and a 5-bed home sells for an average cost of £1,113,468. The average price of a 1-bed flat for sale is £213,108 and a 3-bed flat sells for £402,987.
There are also plenty of rental properties for those who are not planning to settle in Woking for long. The average rent for a 1-bed house here is £867 per calendar month, £1,650 per calendar year for a 3-bed house and £3,540 per calendar month for a 5-bed house. Average rent for a 1-bed flat is £970pm and a 3-bed flat has an average rent charge of £1,377pcm.
Is Woking a good place to Retire?
In 2017, Woking was rated the 8th happiest place in the United Kingdom in a wellbeing survey conducted by the Government. Retiring in Woking is not a bad idea as the area offers a good cultural scene, good food, great scenery and reputable healthcare.
Amenities are well-distributed around the town. Moving to Woking as a retiree is not a bad idea, as the area has plenty of desirable retirement properties. The price for retirement properties varies according to size and location.
£750,000 is a realistic price for a 3-bedroom retirement property in Mayford Grange, Woking. A one-bedroom flat in the Horsell neighbourhood can go for as high as £515,000 while a 1-bed retirement property can go for £200,000 in Beaufort Lodge, Woking. Larger retirement properties with more than three bedrooms are scarce.
Rent for a 1-bed retirement property in Horsell Moor, Woking is roughly £2,049 per calendar year while a 1-bedroom retirement property in Mount Hermon Road, Woking goes for £895pcm.
Is Woking a good place to Visit?
Woking is home to some enchanting attractions suitable for the whole family. For those moving to UK soon, Woking is a good place to live and visit with family and friends.
Enjoy a fun day out in RHS Wisley garden on Wisley Lane. It is the ideal place for a relaxing walk, with vibrant colour and fragrance at every turn. There’s a packed programme for fun events for people of all ages, from flower shows and schools campaigns to fact-packed community outreach programmes.
Mizens Railway is a miniature railway located in a scenic 10-acre venue in Knaphill. This railway offers visitors a choice of runs and is open on Sunday afternoons from May to September and Thursday afternoons in August.
Ambassadors Theatres in Woking hosts dramas, operas, comedies, pantomimes and musicals. These theatres host the best of West End shows and amateur productions. For those who love cinemas, there are 6 blockbusting digital screens available.
H.G Wells penned his classic novel while living in Woking over 150 years ago. Visitors can follow the heritage trail on foot or bike in the town, or look at the legacy of the town’s anniversary celebrations in H.G’s honour.
For the food lovers, Woking offers authentic, artisan dishes from around the world. Here there is Cantonese, Bangladeshi, Malay, Bengalese, Thai and so much more. A prominent café in the town is Creams Café, which offers ice-cream and extravagant sundaes for those who have a sweet tooth. Another café that is worth visiting is situated at The Lightbox. This café offers quiches, wraps, fresh salads, flatbreads and a tantalising array of scrumptious cakes. The Lightbox also has 3 galleries, a museum, a gift shop and workshops for both children and adults.
Woking is also home to some fantastic undercover malls where visitors can shop freely and also enjoy some food in the wonderful cafes. WWF-UK’s Living Planet Centre is also in Woking and it offers a free visitor centre and many events all year round.
Cycle or walk along the picturesque waterways of the Basingstoke Canal. This canal is considered the richest waterway in England because of the wildlife. Moreover, the town is surrounded by the green belt; therefore it has a large number of recreational opportunities for the visitors including the golf courses and indoor/outdoor amenities at Woking Park.
Goldsworth Park is a great pace to stretch, have a romantic picnic or take the children out for some fun exercises. There are several shops such as Waitrose a short walk away from the park where visitors can buy ice cream and cold fizzy drinks.
The Red Lion is a casual Horsell pub that offers yummy freshly prepared meals all day such as crispy bacon, tomato sandwiches, chips, salads, soups and steak. Staying overnight is not a problem as the DoubleTree town centre hotel, which is a branch of the Hilton family, offers visitors luxurious treatment.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.