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As well as the local services, our Living in Banstead guide will give you an idea for what it’s like to live in the area, its history, its culture and the kind of entertainment and sport activities that are on offer.
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What Is Life Like In Banstead?
The picturesque town of Banstead may lie near the border of Greater London but the area has retained its bucolic atmosphere due to the protection provided by the local Green Belt. Thanks to its colourful history that stretches as far back as the Domesday Book, Banstead has a little bit of everything for everyone.
Banstead’s modest population of 16,666 adds to this rural haven feel – quaint enough to attract tourists, but modern enough to ensure those tourists want to stay. And who wouldn’t want to come again? Perfectly located on the North Downs, with over 100 shops on the high street and surrounded by delightful countryside and villages, Banstead is wonderful place to live.
History Of Banstead
The history of Banstead is an interesting one. Its earliest mention was recorded in an Anglo-Saxon charter in AD 967 and early settlements appeared in the Domesday Book (1086) as Benestede. By the 17th century, the Banstead Downs, an open land stretching from Epsom to Croydon and Reigate, became so well known for horse racing that King Charles II and the Duke of York attended a race meeting near the core of the village on 20 November 1683.
It wasn’t until the road and railway improvements in the 19th century that the population of Banstead began to gradually increase. However these were very much low density housing projects, a policy that was continued with the post-Blitz rehousing projects after World War II. In 1930, the parish of Nork was formed, taking in parts of the Epsom Downs, which stretches as far afield as Wallace Fields and Higher Green.
Days Out In Banstead
For a relatively small town, there are numerous attractions, activities and areas of interest in and around Banstead. There are the Reigate Caves, where visitors can explore deep underground, the charming gardens and parklands at Gatton Park and the commercial gallery Studio Art House. Croydon Museum, the Leatherhead Museum of Local History and The Leatherhead Theatre are also within reach.
There are the Banstead Downs to explore for those who like to trek, and the Millennium Trail eventually leads to Pilgrims Way through downland, meadows and parkland. For those looking for something a bit more adventurous, Chessington World of Adventures is nearby, with exhilarating rides and a delightful zoo for all ages to enjoy.
Things To Do In Banstead
Banstead's lengthy High Street, which stretches from the war memorial to the public library, boasts over 100 shops and has a surprising continental feel to it. Local shops such as Robert Dyas, The Pumpkin Patch and One One Seven Boutique are primarily geared towards convenience, whereas shops such as The Magic Wand Shop and The Ibis Bookshop are great for gifts.
There are also numerous places for people to wine and dine. There are three public houses brimming with character: the Mint Public House, Woodman and the Woolpack. In particular, three terrific restaurants stand out – the Banstead Tandoori, Ciao Italia and Villa Medici, which all provide outstanding cuisine.
Schools In Banstead
Banstead has numerous local schools and educational facilities.
- St Annes Catholic Primary School
- Banstead Juniors School
- Banstead Infants School
- Warren Mead Primary School, Nork
Secondary Schools include:
- The Beacon School
- Nork Park
Independent schools include:
- Aberdour School
- Priory Preparatory School
- Greenacre School for Girls
Transport In Banstead
Banstead has a wide range of excellent transport links.
Banstead railway station is located west of the town centre and serves both Banstead and Nork. All the Banstead trains are operated by Southern, and are on the Epsom Downs line, which are part of the Sutton and Mole Valley Line services.
Bus And Coaches
There are a number of good bus services through the town, which link to Epsom, Sutton and Croydon – all of which have onward bus and rail connections.
Banstead is bypassed by the A217 dual carriageway and the A2022 passes through the residential area just north of the town centre.