Egham Local Area Guide

Overview

Egham is a university town in the northeast of Surrey, 19 miles west of London. Only a mile from where the Magna Carta was signed, this quiet town has a history spanning thousands of years. This home town of Royal Holloway University gives a pleasant ambience and friendliness, with a buzzing high street packed with shops, pubs, and restaurants. Further regeneration to Egham High Street will bring a brand-new cinema, shops, and affordable modern homes.

Theme and aqua parks are a short drive away for never-ending family fun and days out. There are also countless quirky places to discover on nature walks including ancient trees from Tudor times and scenic boat rides along its neighbouring River Thames. The town’s proximity to the city and nearby airport makes Egham the perfect convenient location for all the action when you need it while keeping loyal to its historic land and space.

History of Egham

People have been living in Egham for over 12,000 years since the late Stone Age period. In the 1st century BC, the Celtic tribe known as the Atrebates were the dominant tribe. When the Saxon settlers arrived, Egham got its Saxon name which meant ‘Ecca’s Ham’ or ‘land in the bend of the river.’ The Domesday Book of 1086 stated that Egham had 57 households which was a very large community back then, and a value of £30.50 to its lord.

By the medieval period, the Black Death was rampant, and in 1349, St John’s Church lost two vicars in close succession. Egham Station opened in 1856 with a first-class train ticket costing 3 shillings and 8 pence. The line soon extended to Reading, and the electrification of the line took place just before the outbreak of the second world war. During the war, 1,800 evacuees were received into the area.

Today, Egham is famous for the Royal Holloway University, set in 135 acres of parkland and forest, which teaches over 11,000 people every year. Its notable alumni include George Elliot, with halls of residence named after her.

Property Types in Egham

The most popular demographic is ages 20-29 as there is a large student population who share the town with the residents. Investors benefit from rental properties that are rarely empty for long. There is a mixture of large houses and estates with affluent properties and those for lower-income families. Semi-detached homes are the most common, and homeowners have options for Victorian houses or more modern built starter homes and apartments.

There are plenty of 3 bedroomed houses to buy or rent, and their long gardens offer potential for extension for a first-time buyer project. Clarence Street is a great location next to the centre and university, while Huntingfield Way offers more contemporary housing nearby to local schools for families.

There are cul-de-sacs of deceptively spacious bungalows, 4 bedroomed homes close to the station, and near Hythe Park, there are some eco-friendly, energy-efficient homes.

Currently under construction is Magna Square, which will have 101 affordable homes and market-rate apartments, ranging from one to two-bedroom spaces and studios. The development will benefit the local community with its mixed tenure housing, and there will be many new retail and leisure facilities on the premises.

Schools & Colleges in Egham

Egham has some great schools, and ASC Egham International School has the accolade of being the only school in the UK authorised to offer all four International Baccalaureate (IB) programmes. As well as renowned independent schools, Egham is home to The Royal Holloway University, ranked number 20 in The Times University Guide 2020.

Nurseries & Pre-schools

Playbox nursery - Good
Bright Horizons Englefield Green Nursery and Preschool - Good
Milton Hall Montessori Nursery School - Good
Bizzkidz day nursery - Good
Oaklands Littlebrook Nursery - Good

Primary Schools

St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School - Outstanding
Manorcroft Primary School - Good
Thorpe Lea Primary School - Good
St Jude's Church of England Junior School - Good
Thorpe CofE Aided Primary School - Good

Secondary Schools

St Peter's Centre - Outstanding

Independent Schools

Bishopsgate School (primary)
ACS Egham International School (primary and secondary)
TASIS The American School in England (primary and secondary)

Local Universities/Colleges

Strode's College
Royal Holloway University
Kingston University

Things to do in Egham

Magna Carta Monument
An approximate 2-mile drive into Runnymede brings you to the Magna Carta Monument, which marks a huge historical event. You will be able to view the monument built in the exact location of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John in 1215. King John was at Windsor Castle, his barons in Staines, and Runnymede was the midway point between them where an agreement was made to stop a civil war from happening. There is also a memorial to John F Kennedy you can walk to after you’ve visited the Runnymede site. It is a beautiful yet educational experience where you can enjoy a riverside walk.

Egham Museum
Egham Museum on the High Street is an independent community museum that serves the communities of Egham and nearby areas and is open 3 days a week and free of charge. The museum explores the history of the local area from its earliest settlers to the present day. There is valuable information on nearby historical events like the Magna Carta and how the Royal Holloway University came about. The museum also includes archaeological items of historical significance, such as clocks, paintings, photographs, and documents. A visit is in order if you want to learn more about Egham.

Boat Hire at the Runnymede
On Windsor Road in Egham, you can hire boats to travel the River Thames for 6 months of the year. Whether you’re looking for a family day out, a romantic outing or a trip out with friends or colleagues, there are riverboats to suit every need. On your boat trip, you’ll be taking in sites such as Eton College, Windsor Castle, and Hampton Court Palace. There are diesel-powered boats with removable roofs, Bluetooth stereo, and a drinking cooler, and the electric boats allow the children to navigate. There are specialist options for celebrations, including a champagne reception and riverbank barbecue.

The Ankerwycke Yew
Conserved by the National Trust, the Ankerwycke Yew is an iconic tree around 2,500 years old. According to legend, it was beneath this tree King Henry VIII romanced Anne Boleyn and perhaps even proposed. The 1km walk to the tree is signposted and takes around 30 minutes. It remains a tranquil spot away from the busier tourist attractions. The countryside in Ankerwycke has much wildlife with woodpeckers in the woods and dragonflies by the ponds. In Spring, the ground there is covered with snowdrops, planted in Victorian times.

Air Forces Memorial
On Cooper’s Hill, the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede commemorates all the lives lost in the Second World War who have no known graves. These fighters came from all parts of the British Commonwealth, serving on land, coast, and sky. In the courtyard, you will see thousands of names inscribed onto panels. The memorial is at the top of the hill, which provides stunning views over Runnymede and further. The designs and etched glass windows are remarkable, and the planes flying overhead from Heathrow add to the atmosphere. Further on past Runnymede meadow and down a lane, is Langham Pond where you can see the swans.

Top 3 Things to do for Children in Egham

Runnymede Pleasure Ground
Next to the River Thames is Runnymede Pleasure Ground, a 5-minute drive from the town centre. Situated next to the Runnymede memorials, the park is popular all year round and is the starting point for many walks along the Thames Path National Trail. There is modern play equipment, a paddling pool, children’s amusement rides with an adjacent café. The River Thames is a stunning backdrop and is an excellent place for family picnics with a car park and toilets on site.

Thorpe Lakes Aqua Park
Just over 3 miles south of Egham is a must-visit destination, Thorpe Lakes Aqua Park in Chertsey. The park is full of inflatable climbing walls, floating islands, rope swings and slides where you can take on this water-based adventure course. Anyone over the age of 8 is welcome, and children as young as 6 can partake with an adult present. The 150-acre site even has a small beach area to make you feel like you’re in an exotic location. Go pros are allowed so you can capture your highlights, and life jackets are included, with wet suit hire available for the day.

Thorpe Park
A ten-minute drive to Thorpe Park is the place where every child wants to go. With over 30 thrill rides to choose from, live events and attractions, and home to the fastest rollercoaster in the UK, it is a park that is like no other. The Thorpe Park Shark Cabins let you stay overnight and gives you plenty of time to fit in all the attractions. The park has its own beach and paddling pool with beach huts you can rent. The park includes the new Derren Brown’s Ghost Train: Rise of the Demon ride, which Derren Brown himself designed.

Shopping & Leisure in Egham

Shopping
On Egham High Street, you will find the Tesco superstore and Iceland Foods, and there is a Waitrose & Partners on Church Road. Also on the main high street is Egham essentials homeware shop and M&Co men and women’s fashion clothing. The Boots beauty retailer and pharmacy and Holland & Barrett are next to each other. There are independent shops including the Thorpe Lee Nursery family business plant shop that also serves as a farm shop with free Wi-fi and drinks. At Genevieve’s Gallery on Victoria Street, you can purchase personalised pottery, and the Tangerine & Green Florist have beautiful bouquets.

Restaurants
The high street is brimming with delicious, highly rated places to eat, such as the classic Italian restaurant, Villa Rosa. The Eat Thai that serves classical and modern dishes, and a must-visit for Persian dining is the Polow Restaurant. The Cups and Yang Guang have glorious Asian food to take away, and The Big Fry Fish & Chips is always busy with satisfied customers. After a night out, the Egham Charcoal Grill is ideal to pop in for a cheeky kebab, and the next day perhaps the aptly named Egham on Toast is the place for you. Station Road also has the Curry & A Pint and the highly esteemed Mira Chinese restaurant.

Pubs
As a university town, Egham is certainly not short of entertaining pubs. If you’re looking for a village pub with a modern feel, The Barley Mow is the place to be, or if daily specials and a beer garden are more to your taste, the brewery-owned boozer, The Beehive it is. On Englefield Green, The Happy Man is a CAMRA award-winning pub with traditional British grub and a genial atmosphere that has been going for 100 years. The Kings Arms on the high street has a dinner party atmosphere perfect for intimate conversations with friends and family. Also on the High Street is the Red Lion, a charming tavern with live sport and outdoor seats.

Cinemas & Theatre
As a part of the revitalisation of Egham high street under the Runnymede Regeneration Programme, a 4-screen Everyman Cinema will be built on the corner of Station Road North and Church Road. In the meantime, you can visit Vue Cinema in Staines, which is only a 7-minute drive away. For theatre fans, The Edge Venue in Englefield Green offers a vibrant community space with theatre programmes, pantomime, comedy, and music. Another option is The Caryl Churchill Theatre, which is part of The Royal Holloway University, which has seats for 175 people to enjoy performances by drama and music students throughout the year.

Gym & Health
Keeping fit is easy in Egham, with Egham Orbit sports centre offering football pitches, a gym, a 25m eight-lane pool, spa, kids soft play, and more. A range of sports clubs run by external clubs meets at Egham Orbit, including Football, Tennis, Ballet, and Martial Arts for both children and adults. There are plenty of private gyms like Core Personal Training Studio, The Fitness Pod, eActiv, and Mind Over Body Gym, each offering a unique gym experience. And there are also opportunities to get fit and socialise with Egham Cricket Club, Egham Bowls Club, and Egham Hollowegians Rugby Club.

Golf Clubs
Wentworth Golf and Country Club is only a 10-minute drive from Egham into Virginia Water. It has been known as the home of golfing champions since the precursor to the Ryder Cup was played here in 1926 and has three stunning 18-hole courses. Another golf club close to Egham is a 15-minute drive into Ascot, the Sunningdale Golf Club. It has two 18-hole courses, and the oldest, designed by Willie Park Junior, has the honour of being known as one of the World’s most aesthetically pleasing inland courses.

Other Entertainment
Only a five-minute walk from Egham train station is Egham United Services Club, a great social club for real ales, regular beer festivals, hot and cold food, and live music. For youngsters, Egham Youth Centre has facilities which include an indoor sports hall, pool table, football, basketball, TV/DVD, computers, kitchen, arts, and crafts. Making the most of Egham's riverside location, Wraysbury Skiff and Punting Club provides coaching for skiffing and punting and hosts the Egham regatta each June.

Travel Connections
Travel has never been easier in Egham with easy access destinations at your fingertips. Cities are a train ride away at Egham Railway, and close by are the M25, M3 and A-roads. The Egham Bus service travels through the centre, to nearby villages and the university. Local, European, or international travel has never been faster with 3 nearby airports included London Heathrow, 11 minutes away.

Trains Egham Railway Station, run by South Western Railway, offers the frequent London-Waterloo train journey. Most Waterloo trains take 43 minutes, and you don't have to change platforms. Other frequent trains include the train to Weybridge by the River Wey and the Reading train, which takes 44 minutes and stops at 10 locations before reaching its destination.

Road In around 7 minutes, you can be on the M25 and can navigate around Greater London through the M25. You can access the M3 in the Runnymede District in just over 10 minutes. The major A30 road is only 6 minutes away. Windsor is an 18-minute trip via the A308, and Slough takes 23 minutes.

Air London Heathrow is just over ten minutes by car via the M25. For destinations in Europe, London City Airport is just under 1hr 30 minutes by car and train. For local flights, Fairoaks to the south of Egham is a quick 16-minute car journey away.

Bus The Egham Bus & Coach Station provides the two main bus routes on the 556 and 567 buses. These two buses pass major villages such as Stroude, Thorpe, and Staines. In Egham town centre you can catch the number 8 bus to Heathrow Terminal 5 in less than 30 minutes. The 441 and 500 buses operate to and from Royal Holloway to Egham. And the 500 bus travels a further distance out to Sunningdale and Camberley.

5 fun facts about Egham
  1. Insanity Radio is a local radio station run by students and volunteers in Egham and is on-air for 18 hours a day during term time.
  2. Co-creator of the Oxford English Dictionary, Frederick James Furnivall, was born in Egham.
  3. In 1215, the Magna Carta was sealed by King John at Runnymede, to the north of Egham.
  4. Royal Holloway, founded by two social pioneers, Elizabeth Jesser Reid, and Thomas Holloway, was among the first places in Britain where women could access higher education.
  5. Matches have played in Egham Cricket Club since 1750!

You can download our Area Guide here.

Go back to the area guide