I’m thinking of moving to Dorking. Id really like to go back to riding from my door.
I’d still need to commute to London every day.
Rent is a lot cheaper than where I am in Hackney. (Even with the extra in train fare)
Obviously the trails.
That’s about all I know about Dorking. Anyone with any local knowledge?
I ride bikes, I love good Restaurant and don’t mind the odd pint.
CheersPosted 8 months ago
plenty of pubs there. My eldest boy (28) lives there. He loves the location but finds the train journey quite tiresome.
the riding is the best.Posted 8 months ago
Lived in Dorking (north Holmwood) for a couple of years, loved the town. Decent enough selection of shops, pubs and eateries, a smallish Sainsbury’s, a new Waitrose and now a Lidl.
You get a much nicer property for the money than somewhere within the M25 and we had the bonus of having woodlands literally directly out our backdoor.
Trains took bang on a hour to get to Victoria/Waterloo, guaranteed a seat in the mornings.
Would gladly move back to the area in future.Posted 8 months ago
There’s doorstop riding from Epsom and Ashtead if you want a shorter commute.Posted 8 months ago
We stayed in Dorking at Mrs Dubs folks house whilst we were having our extension built.
Nice enough town, not too many yobbos.
Riding is pretty good, and on your doorstep.
Commute can be a bit wearing if one of the train cos is on strike (fairly regular occurrence) but otherwise straightforward. Bear in mind the trains go to Victoria or Waterloo and factor that into your commute if you work in the city. I was about 90 mins door to door on a good day, so 3 hours out of your day every day.Posted 8 months ago
Zippy has it, Though you’d be lucky getting anything in Ashtead, silly prices! I’d like to move further to Dorking or out to Holmbury way if I had my way.
Dorking has plenty o pubs, and lots of very good riding all accessible from other Villages close by..Posted 8 months ago
Thank you all for your replies.Posted 8 months ago
The main reason for wanting to move to Dorking is the riding.
It being a decent town is a bonus.
The riding is excellent from the door. I think that few other places in the UK can match it. For variety, quantity and accessibility to trails.
The train is OK, a bit slow but lots of options and you’ll always get a seat. Better to spend 55 minutes sat down from Dorking every morning than 45 mins standing up from Epsom. Trains go direct to Victoria, Waterloo, and there are direct trains to London Bridge timed for commuting.
If the trains are really messed up, you can take the route via either Guildford or Redhill and the North Downs line as an alternative.
Quite a few people cycle in to London, a bit far to do every day but it is a good way to break the monotony of the train and takes a similar amount of time door to door. Can even get most of the way in to London offroad.
The town itself is good, with enough shops, pubs, restaurants and takeaways to keep you satisfied. Some great places to eat and drink in the surrounding villages which are easy to ride to both on road and offroad.
I’ve lived here for six years now and love it.Posted 8 months ago
I’ve just moved out of Ashtead, for me it was too suburban, lots of traffic and rapidly becoming an Epsom/Leatherhead/London suburb. The doorstep riding was ok if you like muddy bridleways, and such trails that existed seemed to be coming under pressure from landowners when I left i.e. Mickelham. I wouldn’t rush back.
Dorking’s nice, all the comments above I’d agree with. Ticks my main criteria for a place to live, which is that you have to be able to see the hills from the high street!Posted 8 months ago
Thought the Redlands rule applied to Dorking town: you don’t talk about how good it is 🤫Posted 8 months ago
Dorking is right beside XC mountain bike heaven. I am told there are other places in the UK just as good, but I find it difficult to believe.Posted 8 months ago
Thought the Redlands rule applied to Dorking town: you don’t talk about how good it is 🤫
shut up about Redlands 🙂
@lcj – i agree with you, if my kids werent at the local schools we’d be off further out as well. I did live in Pixham for a while too, that’s nice but tiny and no shops anymore.Posted 8 months ago
Do it. Riding from your doorstep makes a huge difference to your ability to get out for short or cheeky rides. I have kids now so can’t head over to Peaslake for a whole morning/day anymore.
Commute is a pain when it is hour(s), like mine, but good time to read, work, listen to music.Posted 8 months ago
I’ve never Dorked.
I’ve Nerded, Dweebed and Spodded in my younger days.Posted 8 months ago
Also, someone is trying to fix the Dorking BMX track (up by Dorking West Station) – he could do with some help by all accounts as the Council have effectively said, if you want it you do it but don’t ask us for help.. (that may or may not be strictly true, but i dont like the council so am happy to embellish)Posted 8 months ago
What are house prices like in Dorking these days? Specifically what are we talking about roughly for a 3 bed semi or detached? It is a lovely town and the area round it is great. I live down on the edge of the South Downs National park, 2 miles or so from Ditchling Beacon but always liked Dorking whenever we ride up there.Posted 8 months ago
I’ve lived here for 16 years now. Grew up on the outskirts of Leatherhead and moved around a fair amount. I was in Poole and looking at moving to London for a job and thought: I don’t want to live in London again. I miss green stuff. At the time, pre-family, I was doing a lot of sailing (racing keelboats out of Hamble) and lots of mountain biking. I looked around and Dorking was just the right balance, and I’ve never regretted it. The fact that many of my good childhood friends have moved back here over the years says quite a bit, I think. There’s a good community here, and lots of green space. I’m WFH today and will probably go for a quick run over at the vineyard at lunchtime. There’s a dad ride tonight, and even if it’s only a couple of hours, we’ll get in some cracking trails, whether we go a little north or a little west of town. If you like a run, there’s tons of offroad routes as well (check out the Mini Munro!) and there’s a parkrun in the vineyard every Saturday that is a fantastic experience.Posted 8 months ago
There’s lots of local riders around in the evenings during the week, and it’s pretty easy to find someone to go for a spin with; the Udderlet’s primary school, for example, has a load of mums and dads who ride as well as lots of other outdoors things; it’s probably one of the more outdoorsy towns around here. With the Greensand hills (Holmbury, Leith and Pitch) there’s lots of well-drained trail action in the winter and plenty of good stuff elsewhere as well. I rode Summer Lighting with some old friends who moved away the other weekend; we’d all pitched in with building it about 18 years ago and it’s amazing how well it’s held up with pretty minimal maintenance over the years.
Part of the reason for the outdoorsyness and year-round riding is the green belt setting: there’s little scope for greenfield housing development, so there has been a lot of development of brownfield sites of late, with quite a lot of one and two bed flat developments. As you move up into houses and so on, this can be tricky – the housing stock is restricted for both rental and buying, but it’s still better than Ashtead.
The commute can be a pain if you travel into London. At the moment I’m lucky to work in Guildford three days a week and London for one. If you’re in an industry that embraces remote working, then a day or two WFH can make a massive difference to your quality of life. I used to work in magazines, and a five day commute to the centre of London was pretty hellish – bear in mind a few drinks after work can mean you get home at midnight or some such horror.
The downsides? It’s the south, so a high cost of living, there can be some pretty stuck up eejits at times and it can feel a bit crowded. But the pros outweigh the cons.
Also, someone is trying to fix the Dorking BMX track (up by Dorking West Station) – he could do with some help by all accounts as the Council have effectively said, if you want it you do it but don’t ask us for help.. (that may or may not be strictly true, but i dont like the council so am happy to embellish)
Ooh – drop us a line about that, Sui. Might have a few parent volunteers up for that. I seem to remember there being some passable lines under all that scrub, and a usable pump track would be a great addition…Posted 8 months ago
BU – it’s from a Facebook group – i’ll PM you as not sure he wants his name plastered everywhere.Posted 8 months ago
Bare in mind that you can get from Waterloo to London Bridge by just walking up to Waterloo East – the trains are pretty regular as there are two platforms for trains that will go to London Bridge, and it will be covered by the same ‘London Terminals’ ticket so there is no need to buy a tube extension ticket.
Taking the waterloo & city line at peak time can mean missing several trains before you can get on, so depending on where you have to get it it can be preferable.
Or take a brompton up. Cycling can be a good way to counter the drudge of the commute.Posted 8 months ago
I used to live in a village close to Dorking and the commute into London became too much of a grind in the end. It made sense for me to move 25 mins away from the “Surrey Hills” to save 1hr a day on my commute. I now have the North Downs for my riding out of the door and the Surrey Hills a short drive away, with more time to ride both.Posted 8 months ago
I really like Dorking and would definitely move back now I no longer work in London if the family weren’t so settled.
Dorking and surrounding villages are a good place to live. I lived in Guildford for a long time. I wouldn’t have lived there for so long if the riding (and employment opportunities) wasn’t as good. If I were to move back to SE England, I’d want to live somewhere around Dorking. Very busy, though.Posted 8 months ago
I’ve lived in Dorking for over 25 years. I’ve lived in two roads, both of which were/are great little communities. The town itself has good shops and eateries for its size and the local country pubs are ace. As has been said, I doubt it’s possible to find anywhere in the UK with the same quality, volume and variety of riding accessible from your doorstep. The commute is OK when the trains are running. Occasionally it is a right ****.Posted 8 months ago
Thanks again for the replies.Posted 8 months ago
I think I’ll have to wait till end of January now. Although I’ve seen a perfect flat available end of November.
I’ve never Dorked. I’ve Nerded, Dweebed and Spodded in my younger days.
These put-downs are due another run. Gonna educate my kids. Spod – not heard that since 1987.Posted 8 months ago
I got torn a new bumhole about a year ago on STW (I hadn’t returned until now) for suggesting we were considering a move from Aberdeenshire to the SE. Well it’s been 11 months since we moved to Dorking and I have to say our social lives have improved dramatically in that time. We’ve both made some really good riding buddies…and just really good friends in general, and our 4 year old has no shortage of play dates and activities (and riding). The volume and variety of trails accessible from out front door is just incredible. Clearly don’t have access to the same elevation as is available up North, but how often do we ride actual mountains anyway? The Alps are close enough for real mountains. Even with the occasional “we can’t ride XXX any more” or “xxx is being felled”, I can’t see there ever being a problem finding something to ride…or someone to ride with to that point. I really love the town itself too. Plenty of great pubs that are child/dog friendly, green spaces (watch out for the MiCAFs – Middle-Class And Friendly’s – hanging out in the park with their wacky baccy and polite conversation) and the leisure centre & Dorking Halls are fantastic facilities too (Dave Gorman played there recently). Our son is off to school next year, so I guess we’re in it for the long haul, which is just as well as I’d struggle to choose somewhere better.Posted 7 months ago
Glad to hear that you are enjoying it spitspatspot. Dorking and the Surrey hills have their frustrations and limitations but as a MTBer it does offer a great place to ride.Posted 7 months ago
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