Travel from Esher to Guildford High/Royal Grammar?(49 Posts)
We're thinking about moving to Esher and wondered if anyone knew what the school run would be like to Guildord High and Royal Grammar Schools? Both by car and train. We don't know the area very well so would love some insider knowledge if anyone can help us.......
I wouldn't want to do it by car, personally.
You want to be on the Waterloo - Guildford via Clandon line. London Road for the girls school, Guildford for the boys.
The service is half-hourly from Hinchley Wood, Claygate, etc.
Forget the car, just get the kids to walk to the station.
You realise you already posted this a few days ago!
I'd say London Road station for both schools, that is the one most RGS boys use (maybe because they don't have to climb the hill?).
Yes I suppose if you are on the London Road line as it is, then you'd just get off a stop earlier.
The line via Woking will take you to Guildford station only, which is fine for the boys, but the girls would need to take a bus after that, so really to be avoided if you have the choice.
Claygate is cheaper than Esher but much more villagey in feel and altogether nicer. Kids could walk to the station then.
I know! But no one replied and then it didn't register that I'd posted it any more.....
Thanks for all this info CarolService!
Girls often swap onto a train for London Road if they are on a mainline train (lots of young people at Guildford Station in the morning and evening, for 3 private and 1 of the state schools, never mind those leaving for schools in other places).
Be warned it is an early train. Not many boys travel in from beyond Walton and at Walton it is the 7.24 that they catch
Walton is on the line via Woking (doesn't go to London Road) happilyconfused, and because it's a minor stop there are relatively few trains especially in the peak, but registration is at 08:45 for RGS and 08:30 for the GHS.
From Claygate there's an 07:34 arriving London Road 07:58 and a 08:04 arriving 08:28. Presumably the latter is too late for the girls school albeit that it is adjacent to the station.
From Walton if you don't catch the 07:24 then you have to change at both Woking and Guildford for London Road, so a bit of a PITA.
Horsley is a lovely village only 10 minutes from London Road by train and with four trains per hour to Waterloo/Guildford. I would have a look there. Very expensive/exclusive, though not really more than Esher I shouldn't think, albeit that the train to London is a lot slower.
My boy used to run up and down the High Street from Guildford Main. I pity the poor shoppers at 4.10.
However closer the better is good - especially if your boy is in any of the school teams
Why are you considering living in Esher specifically? Cobham is also on the right line to get to London Rd, Guildford. I also echo Horsley being a lovely village.
The traffic is mad anywhere near the M25/A3 junction in the morning, so I would avoid driving to Guildford like the plague.
Thanks everyone! We are thinking of Esher as we have friends there but we'll definitely look into Horsley and Cobham etc. I really don't want a nightmare school run........it's a shame the Claygate trains to London Road aren't 15 minutes later..... Thanks again x
There's also the issue of getting to the station, Ldddpg. Claygate station is walkable from most homes; others aren't, which means you dropping off the kids and picking them up, fighting rush hour traffic. You wouldn't want to take them individually to the station in the morning either, so realistically, one of them will be catching a non-optimal train if you're dricing them..
There is also a bus from Esher:
I think it would not be fun to rely on that bus though - definitely try and get the train.
Esher station isn't very close to most of Esher.
Pick almost any other station on the line(s) to Guildford and your DC will be able to walk to the station.
Many many years ago I used to do the journey to school from one of the stations listed above towards Waterloo, rather than towards Guildford. I knew people who travelled from Horsley, Claygate, Walton, Weybridge etc to the school I attended. (There are two railway lines there in that list). I don't think any of my classmates actually travelled from Esher station as it isn't really 'anywhere', iyswim.
Thanks. We're veering off Esher now and leaning more towards somewhere closer, with a relevant station, as you suggest. We'll be doing lots of weekend trips coming up to find out where's best for us. Really good to get info from local people, and past pupils! Thanks x
I think that is a good idea, and don't forget Guildford itself. It is much easier to travel from Guildford to Esher "off peak" (evenings and weekends etc) so easy to see your friends.
Assume you have places at those schools? Where are you now?
Many years ago, aged 10, I travelled daily from Hinchley Wood to GHS by train. No problems really.
We're actually in London now and are making the move out!!! My DD had her assessment at GHS yesterday.... My DS will do an assessment for a RGS feeder prep in March. They mightn't get in, of course, so we're looking at other schools too. We're excited to make the move out now!
I stayed in Guildford on Wednesday and Thursday (because of my DD's assessment) and I really liked it. Is Guildford itself a nice place to live?? (although I think we'd probably rather a prettier place like Cobham etc.)
Guildford is a good place to live, and I would recommend it with teens as it is big enough for them. Living in Cobham they will probably travel to Guildford or London quite a bit for their social lives.
If you want to look at properties, if you can afford it, then I would look at the Pewley Hill/Warwicks Bench area (v. close to the Downs), or Warren Road/White Lane or Merrow Downs area, or for slightly less the Mount area. This is all close to the countryside, reasonable access to the High Street, all walkable to school (except maybe Merrow).
There are a lot of good alternative Girl's schools in the area, and an increasing number of boy's ones (as long as you can get to the Station). Some of the State schools are very good too (a reasonable number of Prep school boys at George Abbot each year for example).
You don't have to take the bus from Guildford mainline up to GHs - just change to a train for London road! Easy - they all do it.
Guildford central can be ludicrously overpriced compared to prices round and about.
It really does have very good train connections, and I would look at these carefully.
In the villages without a train station you get a lot more for your money (with some exceptions, such as Cranleigh), but then transport will be pretty shit for teenagers with no car.
The line south of Guildford towards Portsmouth gets leafier, and you've still got the direct link to Waterloo.
Godalming is a posher, smaller version of Guildford, and only two stops from Guildford mainline, 15 minutes to London Road. (Farncombe is essentially north Godalming, but the shops are near Godalming station).
South from Godalming you've then got Milford and Witley, which are super-posh villages with nothing going on and fewer trains that Godalming.
The next stop is then Haslemere, which is a bit smaller than Godalming, but with a good train service.
North from Guildford is Woking, which is fugly but very convenient for trains to London, and has a good number of shops and the like. Worplesdon station, in between, is in the middle of nowhere essentially.
On the Reading - Gatwick line you could consider Dorking or possibly Wokingham.
Continuing joan's guide to the train stop possibilities, kids a also come in on the Camberley and Farnham lines but given a choice I'd recommend neither: my three have always commuted from Farnham and for the girls they take 3 trains - changing at aldershot and Guildford up to London road. My son walked up from Guildford central.
The journey takes half an hour to do all three trains if it runs like clockwork in the morning - 7.28 gets into GHs at 2 mins past 8; and 4.15 gets in at 4.55. But the days it doesn't work on the changes are a pain.
And the Camberley girls have to catch the 7.02 in the morning - a really early start.
If I were you OP and choosing a location for the school, I'd choose Claygate or Horsely. Such an easy journey for the kids. Although if I could afford walking distance to school, I'd do that in a heartbeat.
apologies if your dc are already at these schools, but if they are not, can I gently remind that entrance to both is extremely competitive, I have known supposedly 'dead certs' not get in from preps. I would think about 'back up' options and accessibility to those. Boys schools in particular. I'd agree Horsley is well placed as you can use G'ford line as well as Epsom line - which would give direct train access to St johns, CLFS and Epsom College.
Thanks holidaysrcoming, that's a really useful tip and something we will really take in to consideration now.
There is King Edward's at Witley, which is just south of Godalming as mentioned above. Fees are quite high, because it's a boarding school as well as day, but an easy journey from the right parts of Guildford.
It's a rural school with nice grounds, but not particularly academic I believe. Quite a number of foreign boarders, and co-ed, which both will make the atmosphere less macho - definitely not a full-on public school like Charterhouse.
St George's has a bus from Guildford via Horsley and Cobham and is another co-ed, but a day school. www.stgeorgesweybridge.com/pages/bus-routes/
Reeds is another school if you didn't get into your first choice, and again they have buses from Guildford via East Horsley www.reeds.surrey.sch.uk/userfiles/PDFs/CurrentPupils_BusTimetable_ver2_Autumn_2012.pdf Boys only, quite pricey, not the most macho.
Thanks JoanByers. All noted down!! X
Can I chip in to say go easy on thinking Reeds is an automatic entry school?
I know at least 6 boys from our local state primary alone for whom it is a first choice school, before Claremont and Halliford etc. It has an outdated reputation for being the school that takes anyone who didn't get into Hampton or RGS, but I'm getting the impression that it's rather more popular these days.
Applications for Reeds are definitely up.
They have had to introduce a pre-test this year because of the level of applications. There are a lot of parents in DS's prep that are looking at it seriously. I am one of them, it's a really nice school. Not as pricey as you think once you look at what is included in the headline fees - 3 meals a day, end of year school trip etc.
It probably is still a back-up option for Hampton and RGS but only for those who have a fighting chance of getting an offer from those two, not for those applying who really don't have a prayer.
Good to hear positives about Reeds, ds headmaster has recommended it for ds so he'll do the 13+ pre test September/October time I believe. The registrar is also very helpful and friendly with helping with bursary forms etc. Does anyone know a bit more detail on the Reeds pre test as ds hasn't really done any NVR (seem to remember reading they use this) and which practise papers would be best to use?
We live in central Guildford. In fact I think the 'RGS Feeder Prep' to which you refer is three doors down from us!
There are huge advantages to living so centrally: I can walk or cycle to the High Street, the London Road or mainline station, the Downs, the theatre/G-Live, the Spectrum leisure centre and a shocking number of good to excellent state and private schools. In the last year or so (Y6 and Y7) DD1 has started to walk to the High Street with her friends and I think that opportunity for independence will be massively helpful as she heads into her teens.
But, as JoanByers said: "Guildford central can be ludicrously overpriced compared to prices round and about."
I stand on the London Road platform most mornings and I can confirm that the London Road train is a huge social experience for the RGS boys and the GHS and Tormead girls!
Labro, Reeds is lovely. It's one of our choices, and although the other schools we're looking at are more academic, it is by no means our third choice school. If they offer we will consider it as seriously as any other offer. I love what they are doing at the school, with the new Design and Tech block which is out of this world.
And the boys are so delightful. DH and I were talking about this only last night. Reeds' boys will leave that school feeling happy in themselves, confident and secure. Long term, there's an awful lot to be said for instilling a happy and humble rock-solid self-confidence in a young man. I think that's worth more than A*s in a host of subjects he has little interest in.
Its only ended up as '2nd' on my list as the location isn't as easy to reach as RGS and as I don't drive would probably need a house move. I also work Cranleigh side of Guildford. Where are good places to live for connections to Reeds as the connection from guildford in the morning on the school bus is 7.15am!!
Reeds fees (for y9 and up): £20,370 per year.
Hampton: £16,011 with lunches
RGS: £14,760 with lunches (they have been rising steeply from what I see)
Labro there is a train from Guildford station at 7:37 arriving at Oxshott at 08:01, on the London Road line. You then walk through the woods to get to Reed's school, less than 10 minutes.
There is also St John's at Leatherhead, which is also on the London Road line.
Labro, a lot of boys including my ds get these early buses to Reed's; it's quite a social thing in spite of the early start and makes after-school activity organisation easy as the buses leave when the activities have finished (except for a couple like sailing which are done off-site). The list of bus routes on the website is very handy for giving ideas for areas to live.
Racingheart, your comments about Reed's are why we chose the school ahead of the outwardly more academic ones that ds got into, and we are all very happy with it.
Tried St Johns Joan but was told before Christmas that their list for 2015 entry was closed.
JoanByers, Reed's fees also include lunches, which you didn't put down.
And breakfast, and often tea.
And a residential trip at the end of term.
I see lots of boys walking from Oxshott through the woods to school in the morning, though they tend to be third years and up.
I think the residential trip is annual rather than termly? Might be wrong though.
Other local fees:
St Johns £20265 (inc. lunches)
King Edwards £18375 (inc. 'extras')
St Georges £16125 (inc. lunches)
City of London £15396 (inc. lunches)
LVS £13950 (inc. lunches)
Salesian (£9210 (not inc. lunches))
Yes, annual, towards the end of the summer term
Thanks Issy. We've decided to look in Guildford now, although it does depend on schools..... We should hear from GHS next week then my son's feeder prep (near you!) in March.....aah.... I love the fact you can walk everywhere. My DH works in London: is the train journey from Guildford to Waterloo a nightmare in the mornings, does anyone know? Would he be able to get a seat???
I think that the service from the mainline station in Guildford to London is a crush and it's definitely touch and go getting a seat, but you should check with someone who does it regularly. I'm sure it depends what time you go in.
I go in from the London Road station (very close to the two schools you mention) and I always get a seat. In fact I always get my seat. It's a slower stopping service but there are semi-fast trains at 7:20 (arrives 8:13) and 8:11 (arrives 9:01). The fast train from the mainline station is much faster (30-40 minutes) but much less civilised.
The stopping train stops at Horsley which, as someone else on this thread said, is a very popular village for GHS/RGS pupils to come in from, but also a good location for other boys' schools. Guildford is awash with good girls senior schools, but for boys, if RGS doesn't work out, you are looking at much further flung options such as St Johns, City of London Freemans. Definitely worth thinking about when you move.
I come back on the one semi-fast train to London Road (18:48) or return to the main line station and walk back or catch the stopping train one stop home. I nearly always get a seat coming home.
Hi mums / dads! Just to add a comment about Reed's: I am a teacher there and it is a lovely school. The boys are delightful. Demand for places is greater than ever and we had a record number of boys sit 11+ pretests the Sunday before last. I interviewed some lovely little boys and lots of them had chosen RGS or Hampton as their first choice. Clearly those schools are far more academic but it is good to see Reed's as the second choice behind these top-performing schools. Deservedly so. Good luck to all of your sons / daughters sitting secondary school entrance tests at the moment!
There are beginning to be more options for boys post 11/13, eg. Royal School and Duke of Kent; a friends son also commutes to Petersfield for Churchers.
DH commuted to London for years from Guildford and either went viaLondon Road for a seat, or went in a bit earlier.
I should have provided a caveat about boys' schools! I don't know that much about them as I have two daughters.
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