Of all the Surrey towns within commuting distance of London, historic Staines-upon-Thames must be one of the most underrated. While Virginia Water, Windsor and Egham often get the lion's share of attention, Staines manages to fly under the radar despite the affordable properties, relaxed riverside pubs, and thriving local community. What's more, the town has been undergoing an impressive amount of regeneration over the last decade, with investment in sleek contemporary housing, new shops and restaurants, children's play facilities and future plans for a new leisure centre.
The parks, good schools and well-stocked town centre make it a popular choice for families looking to settle down, while young professionals are increasingly drawn here for the easy London commute and opportunities to invest in property. The close proximity to Royal Holloway in nearby Egham adds a young, student ambience to the town too, with many choosing to live and socialise in Staines during their studies.
Eating & Drinking
Staines-upon-Thames residents are well-served when it comes to dining out, with a great selection of gastropubs, international and independent eateries, as well as chain favourites such as Wagamama, Prezzo and GBK.
Take a trip to the tropics at this colourful cafe specialising in Caribbean street food, including jerk chicken and curried goat.
Address: 24-26 High Street, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4EE
Gourmet food takes centre-stage at Cafee Gondola, an independent favourite serving up authentic Italian dishes to delighted locals.
Address: 168 High Stree, Egham, TW20 9HP
The stylish dining room, sun-filled garden and traditional British fare make this gastropub one of the highest-rated in the area. Just remember to book ahead for Sunday lunch!
Address: 25 Shepperton Road, Laleham, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 1SE
Treat yourself to an All-American brunch at Limeyard with everything from blueberry pancakes to maple-bacon waffles on offer.
Address: Two Rivers Retail Park, Norris Road, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4UP
Simple and unpretentious, this local institution is known for its generous English breakfast, affordable menu and friendly service.
Address: 169 High Street, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4PA
When it comes to nightlife Staines tends to be more sleepy than spirited, but there are still a good range of pubs and bars where you can enjoy a cosy pint or a classy cocktail.
Comfy sofas, elegant lighting and a vibrant atmosphere make this bar-restaurant a much-loved local hotspot for drinks and tapas on a Friday night.
Address: 55 High Street, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4QH
The London Stone Craft Ale Bar
Love your craft beers? This cool venue has an impressive range of local and international beers, best enjoyed while watching one of their regular live music performances.
Address: 14 Church Street, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4EP
Located in nearby Wraysbury, this charming 17th century pub is the perfect place to settle in with a glass of wine by the open fire.
Address: 2 High Street, Wraysbury, Staines-upon-Thames, TW19 5DB
Slug and Lettuce
Treat yourself to cocktails with a riverside view at this lively bar, where you can even sharpen your bar skills with a professional cocktail-making masterclass.
Address: Thames Edge, Units 2-4, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 4SU
The Beehive Inn
If you like your pubs traditional, there's nothing better than this welcoming, old-school establishment tucked away on a side street near the station.
Address: 35 Edgell Road, Staines-upon-Thames, TW18 2EP
Located just 17 miles south-west of the capital, Staines-upon-Thames is extremely well connected by road and rail. It’s close to the M3 and M25, while regular trains from Staines-upon-Thames Station to Reading, Windsor and London (up to four per hour) make it easy to travel for work and pleasure. Direct trains into Waterloo take just 35-40 minutes, making Staines-upon-Thames particularly popular as a commuter town for residents working in London. As for international travel, Heathrow Airport is only 5 miles away and easily accessed by train, bus or road.
With over 200 shops, there’s plenty of variety when it comes to both retail therapy and everyday essentials in Staines-upon-Thames. Two centrally-located shopping centres, Elmsleigh and the Two Rivers, offer a wide range of high street stores including TK Maxx, Topshop and Waterstones alongside popular restaurants, and a multi-screen Vue cinema too. There’s also a bustling market that takes place on the high street three days a week, as well as some brilliant independent retailers dotted around the town.
As well as an enviable position on the River Thames, Staines-upon-Thames is surrounded by picturesque green spaces and parks. These include the National Trust-run Runnymede, a historic meadow where the Magna Carta was signed and the natural beauty of Staines Moor. Conveniently located in the heart of the town, Hythe Park is a popular spot for runners and dog-walkers, as well as families enjoying the children’s playground. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for something more rugged, the vast expanse of Windsor Great Park is just a few miles away, as is Langley Country Park.
Staines-upon-Thames offers a wide range of well-regarded schools for both primary and secondary school-aged children, as well as independent options. For younger children, Riverbridge Primary School, Hythe Community School and Laleham C of E Primary School are among those rated ‘good’ by Ofsted, as are the Matthew Arnold School and the Magna Carta School at secondary level. For parents interested in independent schooling, Staines Preparatory school is located in the town and Surrey is home to a number of renowned boarding schools, including Epsom College and Charterhouse School.