Woking - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
It is no secret that the centre of Woking is somewhat lacking compared to the historical architecture and cobbled high street of its neighbouring Guildford. Very much an urban setting, Woking has lacked a bit of identity in recent years. However, the town is in the midst of huge renovations, including three enormous towers that have impacted the skyline in a big way. Whilst some people think this is a shame, we are pleased to see that Woking is finally standing up proud and saying “I am what I am”.
For years, Woking has trundled along and provided convenient shopping and amenities to the local residents, but somewhere along the way it seemed to lose something of its personality; its spark. The shopping centre emptied of any shop that you might actually want to buy something from and the restaurants became spread out and lacking in atmosphere. But, slowly, the new Woking is emerging from the dust. Restaurants like Bills, Las Iguanas and Carluccios have helped to bring people back into the town and the continued renovations, although long and ongoing, give us all hope for what Woking might be in two or three years’ time.
The town is home to offices and headquarters belonging to national and multi-national companies and with that comes a demand for housing that doesn’t seem to be slowing. We believe it is this that makes Woking a fantastic melting pot of different people who have come here from all walks of life. As a school, we are in the business of people and we thrive on the diversity that Woking offers us. We like to think we are representative of Woking and all the cultures, backgrounds, religions, races and philosophies that the people of Woking carry with them. It makes life richer when we spend every day learning from one another.
No piece about Woking would be complete without a nod to the transport links. It might be a boring subject but we all know that it is Woking’s most prized asset. Woking to Waterloo in as little as 23 minutes. It’s hard to beat. Not only that, but Heathrow and Gatwick airports are both within staggeringly easy reach whether you choose to travel by road or rail.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that Woking is a new town, born of commuters and urban expansion. Delve a little deeper and you can discover the true history of Woking and the surrounding villages (see Is Woking right for me and my family?).
When considering where to live, it is all too easy to fall in love with the idea of a pretty English hamlet. But we all know the reality is that we need good transport links to maintain our jobs and our lifestyle, and we need to be able to buy milk on our way home from work because we forgot that the one in the fridge went off three days ago. Modern life is busy and if you are used to the world being at your doorstep then moving to a beautiful cottage without even a whisper of motorway noise will probably take more adjusting than you would like to admit. This is another reason why we love Woking. Yes, the town itself is not beautiful, but you don’t have to travel far to find leafier streets, architecture from every decade, scout halls and local pubs with bunting strung between the two. Not only this, but once the work finishes on the town centre, it promises to be a cleaner, smarter, pedestrian friendly place that we will curiously want to explore. Woking has, for a long time, been thought of as Guildford’s ugly, little sister, but it is rising like a phoenix to proclaim “I will be the best version of me that I can be”, a sentiment we rather agree with.