Your First Week

your-first-week
So, you know where you’re living, you know where the office is and possibly where the school is. Now where is everything else?There are four main towns you need to get to know to help you settle into your new area:
COBHAM
OXSHOTT (a village rather than a town)
ESHER
WALTON-ON-THAMES
(Leatherhead also features but more for specific services rather than a town you’ll need to go to for shopping)These towns are where you will spend most of your time if you’re not at work or home. The shops and services the four of them offer should provide you with all your basic needs… and then some. For more varied or specialised options, Kingston and Guildford are the next largest towns, each about a 20 minute drive away.
Another great way to help you find your feet is the fantastic New Neighbours pack. Filled with useful information about services and businesses in your area, New Neighbours may have already delivered a pack to you but if you haven’t yet received one please email Kay at kayeadams_63@hotmail.com who will gladly call on you to deliver one. 

 

So let’s get started. What are you going to eat at home?

Visit the Shopping page for a full list of supermarkets and specialist food and wine stores.

Congratulations, you’ve moved to supermarket heaven! The main supermarkets in Southern England are Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose. There’s also Marks and Spencer which sells high quality food, clothing and homeware (the others sell clothing, homeware, electricals etc but they are usually of a slightly more functional, lower-priced nature. Definitely not to be sniffed at though).

Supermarkets are generally open from early morning (7am, 10am on Sundays) to late at night (10pm, 4pm on Sundays).

So, you’ve got some food in. Now for the other bits to help you get settled. For those spare lightbulbs, batteries and washing lines you’re going to need at least one visit to a DIY store.

DIY and Home Improvement
B&Q Leatherhead: Kingston Road, Leatherhead, KT22 7QB. This is listed as a ‘Mini Warehouse’. It’s big enough to have two floors plus an outdoor area and it’s opposite Tesco Leatherhead so you can stock up on bread and milk while you’re there.
New Malden: Shannon Commercial Centre, Beverley Way, New Malden, KT3 4PT. A couple of junctions up the A3 towards London is New Malden and one of the biggest B&Qs you will ever need. It has a pretty good cafe upstairs to make your trip really worth it.
Homebase My personal preference because you can collect Nectar points but there really isn’t much in it between B&Q and Homebase (although Homebase might have the edge on quality. And Nectar points).
Walton-on-Thames: New Zealand Avenue, Walton-on-Thames, KT12 1XA
New Malden: Kingston Road, New Malden, KT3 3RU. This is on the outskirts of Kingston on the London side of town. A much bigger store than Walton.
Transport – DrivingWith the best will in the world, you will spend most of your time getting around the area in your car. Buses do exist but they are infrequent and routes are limited (and timetables are probably based on myths and hearsay).So you’re going to need to know where to park.
CobhamThere is a large pay and display car park on Downside Bridge Road, opposite Waitrose. A handwash car cleaning service is available here.
My favourite options are on Cedar Road – a small pay and display on the left hand side and a free-for-all-no-one-has-ever-got-a-ticket (as far as we know) car park on the right hand side behind the library.
You can also get lucky on the High Street itself or try the small car park behind the shops on the High Street, accessed by the turning between Boots and Evie Loves Toast. It used to be a nightmare to get a space in there but it’s recently become Pay and Display so much easier to get parked now.
If you’re going to be at the top of the High Street, around Anyards Lane, you could try Oakdene Parade too. It’s a handy spot if you’re not going to the main drag of the High Street (‘main drag’ – it makes it sound like Vegas!).
Waitrose has a two storey car park which is free for 2 hours to customers. You can usually always get a space there if you don’t mind keeping your eyes peeled and being patient. Access is from Oakdene Road.
OxshottThere isn’t a huge amount of parking in Oxshott, but then it doesn’t need much. There is street parking by Swan dry cleaners and a lay-by (officially for loading so I’m not officially endorsing it obviously) outside the florist, Lloyds Pharmacy and Clay Salon and Spa. There is also a small pay and display car park accessed from Steels Lane. There is parking outside The Victoria pub but it’s a bit cheeky to park there if you’re not going to the pub wouldn’t you say?
EsherThere is a large pay and display car park behind the Civic Centre, off the High Street on the way out of Esher towards Kingston.
There is also parking on the High Street itself but they are tricky spaces to get into and you can really only access them if you’re going towards Cobham rather than away from it (I know this from bitter experience with a tight turn, a high curb and a dented side spoiler).There are two more pay and display car parks at the top of the High Street, one accessed from Claremont Lane (the nice name for the A244 going from Esher to the A3 roundabout) and the other accessed direct from the High Street on the way out of Esher towards Cobham.Waitrose also has a small car park which is free for two hours to customers.
Walton-on-ThamesThere are a few parking options in Walton.
The Heart, Walton’s pedestrianised shopping centre has a multi-storey car park where you should always find a space. It give lift or travelator access to The Heart Centre and is free for two hours to Sainsburys customers spending over £10 in store. Get your parking ticket validated at the till. NB – you MUST still put your ticket in the pay machine in the car park even though you don’t pay anything – another gem learnt the hard way after getting stuck at the barrier with a line of cars behind me.
Homebase over the road from the main shopping area has a pay and display car park and usually available spaces. There’s a system now where you can get a bit of time free but you still have to get a ticket from the machine.
There is also a strip of parking on New Zealand Avenue by Pizza Express and the bed shops which is free for an hour.
Transport – TrainsTrains from the Cobham and Oxshott area travel up to Waterloo Station as their final London stop and out to Guildford going the other way. There are two lines within easy reach, depending on how impatient you are to get into Town. All services are operated by South-West Trains.
Rail StationsCobham & Stoke d’Abernon is Cobham’s rail station.
Station Road, Cobham, KT11 3BW. There is a large pay and display car park next to the station as well as a cafe, a parade of shops including newsagent, bakery, Good Elf deli and hairdresser. Cobham Cars, a reliable taxi service, is located in the station forecourt. Trains tend to run every half an hour.Oxshott station is on the same line as Cobham and also has a good sized pay and display car park.
Station Road, Warren Lane, Oxshott, KT22 OTA. Oxshott Cars taxi service are onsite. A coffee stand selling espresso-based coffees, tea and snacks operates on the London platform to cater for the morning commute and finishes around 11am.Esher station is on a different line to Cobham and Oxshott and has more frequent, often faster trains.
Station Road, Esher, KT10 8DY. The station is out of the main town area, off the Portsmouth Road on the way to Surbiton and Kingston. If you’re coming from Cobham/Oxshott, go through Esher and turn left at the traffic lights by Cafe Rouge after you’ve passed Sandown Park racecourse. There is a pay and display car park, a cafe for the morning commute and… you’ve guessed it… Esher Cars on the forecourt.Surbiton station is a bit further but benefits from having virtually every South-West Train stop there so you rarely have to wait more than a few minutes for a train. They also run later than the Cobham and Oxshott line – currently the last train to Surbiton from Waterloo on a weekday evening is 01.05, compared to 23.50 to Cobham.
Victoria Road, Surbiton, KT6 4PE
There is a Cafe Nero serving Platforms 1 and 2 and a large car park at the back of the station. To reach it, drive under the railway bridge after Victoria Road (if you’re coming from the Portsmouth Road) and turn into Glenbuck Road. At the T Junction, turn left to stay on Glenbuck Road and the rear entrance to the station and car park will be on the left hand side. Parking is just under £10 a day during the week (cheaper at weekends) but a good options if you want to treat yourself to a shorter train journey.
TicketsDepending on the time of day you go to the station, you will either be able to use the Ticket Office (Mornings) or the ticket machines outside each station entrance. Ticket options are varied and can be confusing as off-peak and super off-peak are cheaper than peak time travel. The machines are quite good at explaining the differences.You can either choose a Single (one way) ticket, Return (there and back) or Travelcard which allows you unlimited travel on buses and tubes once you’re in London. A good option if you expect to be moving around the city for the day.Weekly, Monthly and Annual season tickets are also available although you may be better off waiting for the Ticket Office to be open to buy those as they require a photocard (free of charge) to accompany them.You can also buy extended stay, reduced charge parking tickets (for more than a day, up to a year) from the station Ticket Office, this is your best bet if you are travelling by train daily. On the other hand, it’s worth remembering that daily parking charges tend to drop significantly after 10.30 in the morning.BEWARE – Revenue Protection Officers check tickets on trains to and from London regularly, as do the train’s regular Ticket Inspectors. If you are found to be travelling without a valid ticket you may face an on the spot fine or prosecution.For more information, ticket prices, journey planner and timetables visit

http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk

Transport – Cycling

Cycling is incredibly popular in Surrey and the Cobham and Oxshott area in particular. The 2012 London Olympics highlighted its allure as the A244 in Oxshott and Esher High Street formed part of the Olympic road race route and Walton-on-Thames was on the time trial route. There is some beautiful scenery around just for goodness sake please be careful on the roads as many have a 40mph speed limit and roads are twisty and often don’t have pavements as a refuge from a nutter in a fast car. Once you’re parked up at your destination make sure you secure your bike with a quality bike lock so you don’t fall prey to bike thieves and lose your way of getting home again!

A fantastic website for cycle routes around Surrey and all sorts of other bike-related information is www.GoSurrey.info. It is led by Surrey County Council and will give you loads of good advice about cycling in the area.

Despite the end of the Olympics, Oxshott and Esher still feature strongly in large road race competitions and many roads will be closed on 4 August 2013 for the Prudential RideLondon race. Whilst it is exciting to be a part of a high profile sporting event, the disruptions to road services will require you do some forward planning as roads may be shut from as early as 5am on the day and not reopen until around 7pm. To see if the route will affect you, go to the Go Surrey website for information and route maps. http://www.gosurrey.info/prudential-ridelondon/

We underestimated the effect of the race in 2011 and missed a Christening as a result. We still made the party afterwards so all was not lost but please plan your journeys on the day carefully or hunker down at home and cheer on the cyclists as they pass through.

View Cobham and Surrounding Areas in a larger map