Why the snootiness about Staines-upon-Thames?

(48 Posts)
FortunesFavour Sun 30-Aug-20 23:15:44

Hi All

I’m considering moving to Staines upon Thames - moving out of small London flat, desperate for a garden etc.

I’m a bit baffled by most people’s response -generally along the lines of “ew no, not Staines”.

I don’t understand where this is coming from. To me it seems like a bustly town, good transport links, pretty river, modern shopping centre. I really like it. What am I missing?!!

Is it just the old Ali G association? I thought that was ironic, ie he and mejulie had naff all to do in a quiet town. Am I wrong, is it in fact choc full of wannabe gangsters hanging out by the town hall?!

Any experiences of living in Staines welcome, plus of course anyone who can shed light on Staines’ dirty little secret that causes people to sneer as they do? Personally I think it’s snobbishness and Ali G misunderstandings, but am ready to be corrected.

Thanking you!

OP’s posts: |
FiveFootTwoEyesOfBlue Sun 30-Aug-20 23:20:34

Staines-upon-Thames - LOL - I didn't know it had changed its name (just had to google to check). Yeah it was a shithole in the 80s when it was just Staines. Maybe it's improved since then, I don't know.

StealthNinjaMum Sun 30-Aug-20 23:20:34

Placemarking, I grew up nearby and used to go shopping / to the cinema in Staines when I was a teenager (30 years ago). I used to like it and am curious as to why it has such a bad reputation.

FortunesFavour Sun 30-Aug-20 23:29:06

grin Oh yes, upgraded to Staines upon Thames dontchyerknow!

Also, I was told they had they chance to have tube line extended, and actually turned it down!! Don’t want to attract too many hoi polloi from London grin. However this could well be DP telling porkies.

Aha so a shithole in the 80s. Interesting, thanks. I’ve only been there over the past couple of years (to visit Thorpe Park Halloween extravaganzas, saddo that I am!). I thought it was really nice and detected no shittiness. Maybe I looked in the wrong bits.

OP’s posts: |
JoJoSM2 Mon 31-Aug-20 04:19:43

I don’t know the town at all (other than the Ali G reference) but I’ve just had a look at some stats. It isn’t deprived or unsafe. State schools are average, though, so you’d do better in some other towns. I’d also have a look at areas within Staines as it’s right by the M25 so you’re likely to get a hum on some days in places. Have you looked at flight paths? Researched green spaces and leisure facilities?

JoJoSM2 Mon 31-Aug-20 04:33:53

Actually, not even a flight path as it’s right next to Heathrow.

Nikori Mon 31-Aug-20 04:42:54

I had a friend who went to Royal Holloway in the 90s, so we visited Staines. I don't remember much about it, but I think a lot comes from the name, maybe.


BEANBAG765 Mon 31-Aug-20 04:54:23

Brother moved to Staines from London two years ago.
He loves it. We love to visit.
Great shopping and places to eat out.
Good for family life.
Re schools - do your research as you would anywhere you move.
Commute to London Waterloo is 30min.

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 Mon 31-Aug-20 04:58:07

Is it really called Staines Upon Thames now? grin. Nest things you'll be telling me Hounslow has been gentrified!

MsLumley Mon 31-Aug-20 05:06:02

I don't live in Staines itself but very close by. It had a bit of a crappy reputation in the 80s and Ali G definitely didn't do much to help, but I think there's a lot of legacy snobbery attached to Staines. The Two Rivers shopping development was built in the 90s and totally transformed the place. It's actually a decent town. I go out there shopping during the day and go to the pubs and restaurants in the evening with no more fears for my safety than I would have anywhere else.

Richmond Road and Gresham Road have some lovely houses and are close to the station. If you go a little further towards Laleham along the river there are some beautiful houses. The area around Worple Road heading out towards Fordbridge Park is ok and you'd get more for your money there. Around Lammas Park there are some nice houses but very close to the M25 and as you get closer towards Wraysbury although there are some nice and good sized properties it's directly under the Heathrow flight path so avoid if plane noise bothers you.

I don't know about the tube extension but train links are very good, about 30 mins into Waterloo on a fast train and you can get to Reading, Windsor and across to Woking on direct trains.

If schools are something you're thinking about then Thomas Knyvett is good. Matthew Arnold doesn't have a great reputation. There are some decent private options in the area too.

Two Rivers is the main shopping area and it's pretty good (despite the irritating lack of shoe shops but that's just my personal gripe) - Vue cinema, big TK Maxx, M&S, the usual stuff. There are a lot of decent restaurants but the high street has really taken a bashing over recent years and when I went in today I saw loads of places had closed down.

There lots of lovely green spaces nearby at Runnymede and Windsor Great Park and also Bedfont Lakes.

I'd say go for it!

HeronLanyon Mon 31-Aug-20 05:16:33

I didn’t know it had rebranded itself either !

I always assumed it had its poor reputation because of being too close to the airport and by not being Walton esher ascot Hampton court Hampton etc. Ie surrounded by or close to more expensive places. Suffered by comparison ?
Grew up thinking it was a bit grim but have never been so I can’t comment. Some of the love in above posts is interesting !
Good luck op.

Chicchicchicchiclana Mon 31-Aug-20 05:38:00

Another lol for Staines Upon Thames grin. I had a Saturday job there as a waitress when I was a student at Royal Holloway. It was in a big steak and fish restaurant attached to a chip shop, next to the cinema. Anyone remember it? Just remembered its name ... it was called The Viking. I can't remember anything about Staines town centre but was aware it had a slightly off reputation. But this was many decades ago and probably not at all relevant now!

ShaunaTheSheep Mon 31-Aug-20 07:12:05

It's perfectly fine, if fairly unremarkable town, good community feel and lots going on for kids there and nearby (scouts/guides, cadets, sports etc).

Location is great, easy access to M25 and M4, M3 and Heathrow and trains (although annoyingly not in the TfL travelzone for trains but can use Oyster on the London buses). And handy for Windsor, the great park, Hampton Court and Bushy Park and riverside parks etc

Decent shopping centre for day to day - would add Hobbycraft and brand new Lidl to those mentioned previously. Windsor has a better choice of shoe shops and clothing. Kingston is a short-ish drive if you want more shops, John Lewis etc. Waitrose is nearby in Egham.

Widen the search area slightly to include Egham, Ashford, Shepperton, Sunbury, all pretty decent places for normal family life.

FortunesFavour Mon 31-Aug-20 11:20:08

Thanks for the insider info everyone. I think I will indeed go for it since nobody seems to share the Staines distain (try saying that quickly 5 times!).

Perhaps I should also look at Hounslow West Upon Thames or Royal Hatton Cross grin

OP’s posts: |
CatkinToadflax Mon 31-Aug-20 11:29:48

Next there’ll be London-upon-Thames, Barnes-upon-Thames and Hammersmith-Bridge-upon-Thames! grin

FortunesFavour Mon 31-Aug-20 11:35:06

The Royal Borough of Brentford!

OP’s posts: |
BumBurnerBum Mon 31-Aug-20 11:38:55

I too was snobby about Staines with no particular reason. I moved there two years ago and it is lovely. Great shops, convenient town centre, market, beautiful green spaces and the river itself.

My DD goes to a lovely school.

The reputation does have some good points, one being that we live in a large detatched house on the river with about an acre of garden. Such a thing is unthinkable in many other places.

The other thing is that it is quite down-to-earth and subsequently far friendlier than other towns nearby.

As with all places there are not-so-nice areas (I don't like Stanwell). Other nearby places such as Egham, Engleford Green and Virginia Water are also worth considering.

CasuallyMasculine Mon 31-Aug-20 11:46:46

You light also want to have a look at Woking though, OP.

It’s more diverse than Staines, lots of investment right now, lovely woods, leisure centre, great shopping (I go to both towns and Woking is better imo). Also 20 minutes to London by train and not near the airport.

CasuallyMasculine Mon 31-Aug-20 11:51:30


Englefield Green has one of the largest social housing estates in the south-east, if that would bother you. Also no train station (you have to walk to Staines for the nearest one).

Virginia Water is a very small town - nothing really going on there and property is expensive because it has good train links to London but little else.

Egham is nice but again, a small town and not a huge amount going on there.

ShaunaTheSheep Mon 31-Aug-20 12:46:52

Englefield Green has one of the largest social housing estates in the south-east, if that would bother you. Also no train station (you have to walk to Staines for the nearest one).

Most of what was council housing is now privately owned and let to Royal Holloway University students.

And Egham station is just down the hill.

ShaunaTheSheep Mon 31-Aug-20 12:52:42

Heathrow website has flight path maps. Staines is barely overflown, the places that get the worst noise are in line with the runways - Windsor, Datchet, Wraysbury, Stanwell Moor, much of Hounslow and Richmond.

Mind you, it is hard to tell at the moment because there have been so few flights recently.

MsLumley Mon 31-Aug-20 13:15:48

Englefield Green has one of the largest social housing estates in the south-east, if that would bother you. Also no train station (you have to walk to Staines for the nearest one).

Virginia Water is a very small town - nothing really going on there and property is expensive because it has good train links to London but little else.

Egham is nice but again, a small town and not a huge amount going on there.

Off topic slightly but much of what you've said is very misleading.

Englefield Green also has some of the most expensive properties in the south east. As PP has said the nearest station is Egham not Staines.

Virginia Water property is expensive because much of the housing there sits on the Wentworth estate and the whole area is beautiful and highly sought after.

Egham is a small town but is currently being redeveloped to include an Everyman cinema and various shops and restaurants. Excellent schools, tons of history, beautiful green spaces. Not somewhere to live if you're after a bustling London-style nightlife but that's not generally why people move to the suburbs.

TheFaerieQueene Mon 31-Aug-20 13:19:38

Where in Englefield Green Is the huge housing estate?

MsLumley Mon 31-Aug-20 13:28:39

Around Bond Street/Magna Road/Northcroft Rd.

dooratheexplorer Mon 31-Aug-20 13:59:53

I grew up near Staines. Laughing that it is now called Staines-upon-Thames.

I don't remember it being awful, and haven't been there in years, but it's a bit more upmarket than it was. My Dad always used to go to Debenhams to do his Christmas shopping. grin

It is a very very busy area due to M25 and Heathrow so I would consider very carefully your tolerance of noise and traffic. I go back to that area to see family and have no absolutely no intention of going back purely for those reasons.

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