The neighbouring towns of Epsom and Ewell are contrasting in size, with the latter blending into the former. Closely connected by rail and road, they share the same borough, and many other features besides, such as beautiful country surroundings and top notch sports facilities. Come and take a look around.
EPSOM is located on the spring line, where the permeable chalk of the North Downs meets the Impermeable London Clay, just 15 miles from London. As well as this natural beauty, it is surrounded by history and its importance as a key to the history of not just Surrey, but the country, can’t be overstated.
Epsom is, of course, most well-known for the Epsom Downs horse-racing track. One of the world’s most famous racing venues, it is home to many events throughout the year, most notably the Epsom Derby, first run in 1780. The racetrack is also notorious as the site where suffragette Emily Davison stepped in front of the King’s horse and was killed in 1913.
Epsom is also home to Epsom salts, naturally occurring in springs in the town. When first discovered, many believed they had healing properties. Visitors to Epsom for this reason included prominent writers like Celia Fiennes, John Aubrey and Samuel Peyps, as well as King Charles II himself. In fact, Epsom was one of Britain’s earliest spa towns.
Famous people from Epsom include Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page, who spent his formative years in the town and learnt the guitar there. Prime Minister Archibald Primrose also lived here, as well as Labour Party politician and Home Secretary to Clement Attlee, James Chunter Ede, who was the first mayor of the borough of Epsom and Ewell before later political successes.
The town is also home to a farmers market and a great many wide open parks and green spaces, perfecting for walking or cycling, or just taking in the natural beauty.
Whether you live here or are just passing through, here’s some useful information to help you make the most of the town of Epsom:
Epsom boasts a great range of cafes and restaurants, such classy café June 8 Café and Bistro, greasy spoon Drift Bridge Café and country pub The Derby Arms.
If you fancy something more rustic and old-fashioned, pop along to Epsom’s farmers market, which is held on the first Saturday of every month. Located directly under the clocktower, the market provides a variety of food from around the world for you to try out.
Epsom also boasts a thriving shopfront and town centre, complete with a shopping centre, the Ashley Centre, containing all your favourite shops.
Epsom has two train stations: Epsom and Epsom Downs. Epsom main has direct train connections to Guildford, London and Ewell.
There is a multi-story car-park on Hook Road. Other good places to park include Depot Road, Upper High Street and the car park of the Ashley Centre.
There are many beautiful open spaces in Epsom. These include Epsom Common, a large, 177 hectare, council-owned nature reserve, complete with a large lake. It is a site of special scientific interest because it is a breeding site for birds.
There is also Roseberry Park, another lovely park, which also boasts a place to get coffee while you enjoy the sights.
If you want something smaller for the kids to play in, there’s Alexandra Recreation Ground, a little grassy park complete with playground.
In terms of great outdoor activities, Epsom boasts a Go Ape and an outdoor laser tag, giving you the chance to take the kids into nature whilst still giving them the good time they deserve.
Epsom is served by Ashley Centre Surgery, and other GPs are located throughout the town. Epsom hospital is very easily accessible and is open round the clock.
See a list of NHS dental practitioners here.
Epsom has a good choice of both primary and secondary education:
Infant and Primary schools:
Of course, Epsom’s greatest attraction when it comes to sports and entertainment is the Epsom Downs Racecourse, which, even when there are no races on, is always worth a visit. The site is majestic and boasts a ton of history.
Epsom has its own football club, Epsom and Ewell FC, and the Epsom and Ewell Youth Football League offers junior football for dozens of clubs. The nearby RAC Club is excellent for golf, Sutton and Epsom RFC is one of Surrey’s most established rugby clubs for men and women, and the Rainbow Leisure Centre in the middle of town has a swimming pool and facilities for a wide range of indoor sports.
Epsom boasts a theatre, the Epsom Playhouse, which is on the regular circuit for comedians, plays and classical music.
EWELL is a smaller suburban area, just four minutes on the train from Epsom, near where the Hogsmill River (a tributary of the River Thames) rises as a spring. The river has inspired artists and walkers for generations and was once home to several mills, including gunpowder mills.
The magnificent Bourne Hall museum, located on Spring Street, is free to enter and filled with the fascinating history of Epsom and Ewell. Come and see a range of exhibits from prehistoric times to the modern day, including Roman archaeology from local sites, former Prime Minister Archibald Primrose’s hansom cab and a 19th century fire engine.
Famous Ewell residents include Pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt, whose inspiration for his most famous painting, The Light of the World, was the doorway linking St Mary’s churchyard and the grounds of Glyn House (appearing in the painting as the doorway on which Christ was knocking). Popular singer Petula Clark was born in Ewell and footballer Ron Harris lived here during the 1970s.
Ewell, along with Epsom, was named as the best place to live in the UK in the 2005 TV series The Best and Worst Places to Live in the UK, out of the country’s 434 local authorities. In a following edition of the programme, it came 8th.
It also boasts a charming village life with a number of beautiful cafés and pubs to drop into, as well as magnificent Nonsuch Park, a site of extensive historical interest, which was frequently visited by Henry VIII.
Whether you’re a Ewell resident or a visitor, here’s some helpful information to make your time here as good as it can be:
Ewell is home to Dastaan, a nationally renowned Indian restaurant, which gained a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin guide. It has even been called ‘one of the hottest non-Michelin starred restaurants in the country at the moment’ by Great British Life.
It is also home to many charming pubs and cafés; for example, All Things Nice, which combines coffee shop and sweet shop, and The Spring Tavern, a beautiful country pub with a superbly designed interior.
A small town, Ewell does not have many shops, but its restaurants and cafés more than make up for this.
Ewell has two train stations, Ewell East and Ewell West. From both stations, you can travel directly to Epsom in four minutes, no changes. Ewell directly links to many London stations in just over half-an-hour, and also directly links to Guildford.
Parking is situated in the Ewell High Street Car Park. You can also park in the Nonsuch Park Car Park, Chessington Road Car Park or Ewell West station’s car park, among others.
Ewell’s main outdoor space is the vast and historic Nonsuch Park, once a stomping ground of Henry VIII as he built a palace there. It has a large network of both surfaced and unsurfaced paths, and can be entered from London Road and Ewell Road.
Bourne Hall is also surrounded by a beautiful park, complete with footpaths and a lake.
If you want something more magisterial, head over to Ewell Court, which is also surrounded by a magnificent park.
For somewhere to take the kids on a rainy day, Ewell has Jupiter Jo’s indoor play area, boasting a two-tiered, spaced-themed indoor climbing frame, complete with slides.
Ewell is serviced by Spring Street Surgery and Fitznell’s Manor Surgery, with other GPs located nearby. Epsom Hospital is a seven minute drive away, and East Surrey Hospital is 25 minutes. Both are open round the clock.
A list of NHS dentists in Ewell can be found here.
Ewell has both primary and secondary education:
Infant and Primary schools:
Ewell has a good gym in Everlast Fitness club, which boasts weights and gym machines and offers many group activities to boost your fitness.
There’s a bowling club in the village, Priest Hill Playing Fields on Reigate Road are alive with team sports at the weekends and there are gym and indoor sports facilities next door at Nescot.
Ewell is also a great place to go hiking, with the beautiful Hogsmill River right there beside you.