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Chobham: Surrey village life

PUBLISHED: 17:49 07 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:28 20 February 2013

Chobham: Surrey village life

Chobham: Surrey village life

A highly sought after place to live, Chobham enjoys an independent, community feel, though it's not just the residents who appreciate its idyllic charms

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine May 2012

A highly sought after place to live, Chobham enjoys an independent, community feel, though its not just the residents who appreciate its idyllic charms

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Village voice
Thirty years living on its edge and I still wander into secluded corners of Chobham Common I have never discovered before, says Surrey Care Trusts Jennifer Britt. Its one of the rarest habitats in the world and the glory of Chobham. An ancient but not an unchanging countryside, the night horizon from Chobhams highest point at Staple Hill now includes a distant Wembley Stadium arch when its illuminated. And compared with 50 years ago, when my husband was growing up and the common had a sweeping, open aspect, today the vista is interrupted by far more trees.

Did you know?
In 1853, Queen Victoria watched the British troops setting out to the Crimea, including the famous Light Brigade, from Chobham Common. A monument was erected in 1901 to commemorate the event.

@ the village hall...
The Community Centre hosts a whole variety of clubs, including Little Kickers football for the under-fives; Phoenix Martial Arts; Rock Choir; Chobham Short Mat Bowls Club; Zumba; and the Terri Jane School of Dance.

Making the headlines
Formerly the site of one of the south-easts most luxurious interiors companies, Evitavonni, villagers have set up Chobham Against Tesco to fight against the supermarket giants plans for the site. Shopkeepers and residents fear for the future of their village stores.

Grab a bite
Try one of Surreys oldest gourmet restaurants, The Cloche Hat (01276 858000) on Burrow Hill. The restaurant has recently been taken over by Fernando and Kristy Stovell, the former joint head chefs of London's Cuckoo Club, and will undergo a relaunch in August. The Italian owned il Rustico (01276 858384) on Station Road is another option or, for a more informal evening, pay a visit to the neighbouring The Four Horseshoes (01276 857581).

Did you know 2?
For many years, Chobham Common was host to the British tank research centre a tank factory that was built to develop, among other things, armour for the protection of the vehicles. Chobham Armour is a material still used today.

Something to take home...
There is a long-standing joke in British humour that treacle, like coal, used to be mined in parts of the country. One location for these fabulous mines was supposed to be Chobham, but as there doesnt seem to be a huge industry digging it out and selling it, one should take ones treacle with a pinch of salt!

In the spotlight

  • You may occasionally hear Brian Blesseds booming voice he lives nearby in a house that doubles as something of an animal sanctuary.

  • Peter Gabriel, founder of Genesis and renowned solo artist, lived in Chobham and went to St Andrews school in Horsell in the 1950s and 60s.

  • Peter OToole actually comes off his bike at Chobham Common, rather than, say, Morocco, in the acclaimed film Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

Getting there...
Just off the M3 from Junction 12 of the M25. The nearest station is ten minutes away in Woking.

Get in touch
with what you love most about Chobham, as well as your photos, below...

Next month we visit: Kingswood
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