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Coordinates: 51°18′58″N 0°33′40″W / 51.3162°N 0.561°W / 51.3162; -0.561

Woking
Woking-TownSquare.jpg
Woking Town Square
Woking is located in Surrey
Woking

 Woking shown within Surrey
Population 62,796 
OS grid reference TQ003584
    - London  23 mi (37 km) NE 
District Woking
Shire county Surrey
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WOKING
Postcode district GU21, GU22
Dialling code 01483
Police Surrey
Fire Surrey
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Woking
List of places: UK • England • Surrey

Woking is a large town and civil parish that shares its name with the surrounding local government district, located in the west of Surrey, England. It is a dormitory town in the London commuter belt and is located 23 miles (37 km) south west of Charing Cross in central London. Woking town itself, excluding the surrounding district, has a population of 62,796,[1] and the civil parish, which covers part of the urban area inclusive of Sheerwater and Knaphill, has a population of 30,403. This population is different from the local government district (the borough of Woking), which has an approximate population of 90,700 (2006 estimate).[citation needed]

Woking also plays a role in literature: it is the town in which the Martians first land in H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The War of the Worlds. It also features in Douglas Adams's The Meaning of Liff, as the word for when you go to the kitchen but forget why.[2]

Contents

History

Though Woking's earliest written appearance is in Domesday Book, it is mentioned as the site of a monastery in an 8th century context, as Wochingas. In Domesday Book it appears as Wochinges, being held in 1086 by King William the Conqueror, Walter FitzOther, constable of Windsor Castle, and Ansgot and Godfrey from Osbern FitzOsbern, then bishop of Exeter.

Modern Woking formed around the railway station, built over 150 years ago at the junction between lines to London, the south coast, and the south-west of England, and the private railway to Brookwood Cemetery, which was developed by the London Necropolis Company as an overflow burial ground for London's dead. As a result, the original settlement 1 mile to the south-east, on the river Wey, became known as "Old Woking". Later, Woking was home to the first crematorium in the United Kingdom (St Johns), and the first purpose-built mosque in the UK (on Oriental Road). The Shah Jahan Mosque was commissioned by Shahjehan, Begum of Bhopal (1868–1901), one of the four female Muslim rulers of Bhopal who reigned between 1819 and 1926, and the mosque has given rise to the town's significant Asian community.

The War of the Worlds (1898), by H. G. Wells, based in Horsell Common north of Woking, was an early science fiction novel which describes an invasion of England by aliens from Mars. It is one of the earliest and best-known depictions of an alien invasion of Earth and has influenced many others, as well as spawning several films and radio dramas and a television series based on the story. The 1938 radio broadcast in the United States caused public outcry against the episode, as many listeners believed that an actual Martian invasion was in progress, a notable example of mass hysteria.

In 2006 Woking was the setting for the only UK based episode of the CW Plus television program Cheaters. In the 'UK Special' episode of the normally North Texas based show television's Joey Greco investigates the unfaithful behavior of a married man from Goldsworth Park.

Politics

The constituency of Woking has historically been a Conservative party safe seat, with the Liberal Democrats the principal opposition in the last two general elections. Its current Member of Parliament is Humfrey Malins, who has a majority of around 6,500. Current candidates for the next general election include Tom Miller [3] for the Labour Party, Jonathan Lord [4] for the Conservative party and Rosie Sharpley [5] for the Liberal Democrats.

Elections to the borough council take place in three out of every four years with one third elected in each election. Since winning a majority in the 2007 election the council has been run by the Conservatives.[6]

Facilities

Woking has a modern shopping centre called The Peacocks and an older shopping area, Wolsey Place.[7]

The main area for evening entertainment is around Chertsey Road[8] which contains restaurants serving a number of cuisines and there are also numerous bars and pubs. The Ambassadors cinemas[9] and New Victoria Theatre[9] can be accessed via the top floor of The Peacocks.

Woking has indoor swimming pools, "Pool in the Park",[10] and a separate leisure centre. Outdoor facilities include a skatepark, tennis courts, five-a-side football pitches, a cricket pitch (during the summer), bowling greens, a crazy golf course, and a children's adventure playground. These leisure facilities are all located within the attractively landscaped Woking Park[11] near to the town centre. Woking also has the largest public library in Surrey.

The scene at St Peter's Church, Old Woking is an inspiration for many local artists, as is another local beauty spot at the lock at St John's Lye.[12]

Woking is home to a new arts and heritage centre called 'The Lightbox'[13]. The modern structure, located next to the Basingstoke Canal, was designed by architects Marks Barfield[14], the architects of the London Eye.

There is also a Hawker Hunter jet fighter painted silver and mounted on a pole roughly ten metres tall outside the 'Big Apple' family entertainment complex. This is in fact the last Hunter built (at Kingston-on-Thames) and was used to promote the previous 'Planets' family entertainment complex, designed to look like a space craft, and has never been removed. However, originally the craft was black with various logos and livery on it. These were removed when the Planets complex was taken over.

Energy policy

See related article: Energy policy of the United Kingdom

Woking council is one of country's leaders in adopting greener energy technologies.[citation needed] Several combined heat and power stations provide district heating and electricity, and electricity is also provided by a combination of hydrogen fuel cells and solar cells dispersed throughout the borough. These are linked via an innovative private electricity distribution system operating completely off the public power grid.

In order to do this the local government laid new power lines to all locations on the Woking sustainable community energy system (due to Department of Trade and Industry regulations). Should the public power grid fail, central Woking would continue to have an energy supply.[15]

The cost for providing this is approximately UK£0.01/kWh less than for public electricity. It has been reported that the borough saves UK£974,000 a year in energy costs if the installation costs are ignored.[15] By March 2004 the initiatives had also cut the borough's carbon emissions by 17.24%, and those of the council by 77.4%.[16]

Woking Station Canopy, which was approved by Woking Councillors in March 2004, was built in 2007. It is equipped with photovoltaic cells to collect sunlight and convert it into energy.[17]

On 23 March 2007, Prince Charles opened a climate change exhibition in Woking. The exhibition, which was a joint venture by Business in the Community and BCSC and endorsed by the Climate Group, featured display stands with information on issues like recycling, energy use, transport, waste reduction and food sources. He also inspected work on the Albion Square canopy. After the launch, the Prince took lunch at Auberge. He then gave a speech to introduce Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, which was being viewed by local business leaders.

Transport

Rail

Woking railway station, Platform 5 side

Woking railway station is situated on the Alton Line, Portsmouth Direct Line, South Western Main Line and West of England Main Line. Accordingly, there are frequent trains to and from London Waterloo (via Clapham Junction), a journey taking approximately 30 minutes. There is also the twice hourly Waterloo/Woking stopping service that calls at many stations between Waterloo and Woking.

A canopy costing 2.8 million pounds has been built between the station and the main shopping area of the town. It stretches from the railway station entrance (town - platform 1 - side) to Albion House and includes landscaping of the area which, along with the canopy, creates a new entrance to the town from the railway station.[18]

Road

Woking is accessible from M25 motorway, M3 motorway & the A3.

A320, the main access road, passing through the centre of town connects to the M25 junction 11 to Woking's north and to the A3 to its south at Guildford. M3 motorway Junction 3 connects to Woking either via Chobham (B3046) or A322 & A324.

Bus

A RailAir coach service connects Woking and London Heathrow airport. The service runs approximately every 30 minutes from the railway station main entrance to the airport bus station and terminal 5. Gatwick Airport can be accessed via Guildford railway station or Clapham Junction.

The bus services in Woking are mainly operated by Abellio, Arriva and Countryliner. The main bus terminal is just outside the station and provides services to Byfleet and West Byfleet, Camberley, Guildford, Kingston, Ripley and Staines.

The Bustler community transport service operates in and around Woking, serving people with a transportation disadvantage.[19]

Canal

The Basingstoke Canal passes through the north of the town.

Suburbs

Woking has several suburban districts, including: Bisley, Horsell, Hook Heath, Mount Hermon, Barnsbury, Maybury, Sheerwater, Goldsworth Park, St Johns, Pyrford, Kingfield, Westfield, Ridgway, West Byfleet and Old Woking. The adjacent village of Knaphill is often considered an outer suburb of Woking. Old Woking is cited as a separate village. Mayford and Sutton Green are to the south on the border between Woking and Guildford.

Sport

Football: Woking has a non-League football club, Woking F.C., that competes in the Conference South (tier 6). The origin of the club's nickname, the "Cardinals", is disputed. One attractive proposal is that the name was acquired because Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, after whom the smaller of the two shopping centres is named, was staying with King Henry VIII at Woking Palace (the remains of which can be seen near the River Wey at Old Woking) when he heard he had been made a cardinal by Pope Leo X in 1515. A more prosaic alternative is that the Cards are so named because of the cardinal red in one half of their home strip. It is interesting to note that this colour was chosen because of the town's link to Cardinal Wolsey. The Borough also supports three clubs playing in The Combined Counties Football League Division 1 (tier 10), these being Knaphill FC, Sheerwater FC & Westfield FC.

Gymnastics Woking Gymnastics Club [20] is one of the largest in the country with 1,250 active members making it the largest youth organisation in the area. The club provides professional gymnastics coaching for all ages (babies to adults) and has a very successful squad of boys and girls producing many Great Britain gymnasts. The club has a purpose-built facility (refurbished in 2008) next door to the Football Club.

Rugby: Woking has a rugby union club[21] that competes in Surrey League 3 (Level 11). Since the 2006/07 season they have run two teams successfully, with the second team acting as a great breeding ground for new talent and offering the older players a social game on Saturday afternoons. They train weekly on Tuesday evenings at Byfleet Recreation Ground. Woking RFC are always on the look out for new players, regardless of ability.

The local senior club Chobham Rugby Club [22] has 6 senior teams, the 1st XV, 2nd XV (Cannons), 3rd XV, 4th XV (Devils), 5th XV (Crusaders)& Veterans (Martyrs).

The 1st XV play in London Division 1 South (Level 6), the Cannons (2nd XV) play in the Canterbury Shield 4 having won Surrey Premier in 08/09. The 3rds, Devils and 5ths play in the John O'Neil and Partners Surrey Reverse leagues. The Devils won their league cup in the 2006/7 season.

Chobham won London 3SW in 2006/07.

In 2008/09 The Cannons won Surrey Premier League; the 3s won Surrey Combination League 1; the Devils came runners up in Surrey Combination League 2 and the Crusaders won Surrey Combination League 4. A truly successful season. The 1st XV played in the National EDF Cup for the first time in their history.

The Senior Club won the Surrey Presidents Award 200808/09 for the most successful club in the county.

There is also a large junior and mini section with many County and Divisional players. One of the products of the youth system, Dan Frazier, has just signed with NEC Harlequins at 18 and is on loan at Esher in National Division 1.

Hockey: Woking Hockey Club[23] women's first XI compete in the English Hockey League Women's League 1 (tier 2); the men's first XI compete in a regional league. The club has two AstroTurf pitches at a clubhouse based in Goldsworth Park.

Cricket: Woking also has a number of strong cricket clubs including Old Woking CC, Woking & Horsell CC, and Westfield CC.

It is also home to Pyrford Cricket Club. Founded in 1858, Pyrford is one of the oldest cricket clubs in Surrey, and has achieved remarkable success in recent years. Well known former PCC players include former Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu, New Zealand wicketkeeper Gareth Hopkins and Sky Sports presenter Charles "Got Him" Colvile.

Motor Racing: The McLaren Formula One motor racing team is based near to the town, as is Räikkönen Robertson Racing, begun by Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen.

Korfball: Woking Korfball Club has been active for 25 years[24], training and playing in the Woking area. It operates in the London league, challenging for titles every season and with 2 or 3 teams of players appearing regularly for the club. In the Season 2007/2008 Woking was second in the London & District Korball Association's Senior Premier League.

Thai Boxing: Woking has two Muay Thai (or Thai Boxing) clubs one of which uses Woking Leisure Centre while the other (Shinkick) has its own premises in Old Woking.

Cycling: In 2009 Woking played host to a round of The Tour Series on 2 June, a new championship of televised town and city centre criterium-style races, established by the organisers of The Tour of Britain bike race. The race took place on a Tuesday evening on a circuit centred on Victoria Way.

Basketball The Woking Blackhawks Basketball club was founded in 1999. They won their first title in 2004, the u16 Surrey Central Venue League and Cup 2003/4. In 2008 they were voted Surrey Sports Club of the year. They currently have 10 sqauds with over 150 players, male and female aging from under 10's up to adult level.

Education

Primary Schools

Infant and junior schools in the area include: Goldsworth Primary School, Hoe Bridge School, Knaphill Junior School, Knaphill Lower School, Horsell CofE Aided Junior School, Horsell Village School, The International School of London in Surrey (Private primary school), St Hugh of Lincoln Catholic Primary School, St. Dunstan's Catholic Primary School, Barnsbury Primary School, Westfield Primary School, The Hermitage Junior School, Sythwood Primary School and The Oaktree School, Beaufort Primary School and St John's Primary School, Greenfield School.

Secondary Schools

Secondary schools in the area include: Bishop David Brown School , St. John the Baptist School, St Andrew's School The Winston Churchill School, and Woking High School.

Other Schools

Woking College is located in Old Woking and provides post-16 education.

There are also private sector schools. There are several private preparatory schools in Woking: Hoe Bridge(lads), St Andrew's, Greenfield, Oakfield School and Ripley Court are all mixed, while Halstead School is girls only.

Peer Productions, a large theatre company, is based at the Woking Youth Arts Centre in Knaphill. It provides dramatic education for students of all ages.

Woking is also home to the Tante Marie cookery school[25], the UK's oldest established professional cookery school[26]. According to the Woking News and Mail, it has now been bought by famous chef Gordon Ramsay who intends to set up his own catering college.

Healthcare

Woking comes under Surrey PCT (Primary Care Trust), administered and run by NHS. Group of GP's together with Woking Community hospital [27] serves the local resident's primary healthcare needs. Specialist hospitals near by are St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey (for A&E) and Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford.

For private healthcare needs, Nuffield Hospital[28] mainly serves Woking's local residents.

Woking used to have its own hospital with maternity and A&E amongst other departments. Woking Victoria Hospital [29] was situated on the corner of Victoria Way and Chobham Road, right by the Basingstoke Canal, from 1950 until the mid-80's.

Notable residents

Sculpture of a Wellsian Martian Tripod.

Woking was home to author H.G. Wells, who had the Martians in The War of the Worlds land on Horsell Common, close to the town centre. There is a large sculpture of a (Wellsian) Martian Fighting Machine in the town centre commemorating Woking's fictional destruction.

The English composer Dame Ethel Smyth (1858–1944) lived and died in Woking.

Friedrich Engels was buried at Brookwood Cemetery near Woking (the London Necropolis Company site) - see the article in The Times of 12 August 1895.

The Jam are from Woking, and its singer/songwriter Paul Weller (who later, together with Mick Talbot, formed The Style Council) was born there in 1958. The song A Town Called Malice was written about Woking[30][31][32], and Weller's 1995 solo album, Stanley Road, is named after the street in which he was born and lived.[33]

Kazuo Ishiguro studied at Woking Grammar School.[34]

Other notable people who were born in Woking include: Ian Ogilvy, actor, 1943; Ron Dennis, CEO/Chairman of the McLaren Group, 1947; Liz Lynne, Liberal Democrat politician, 1948; Rick Parfitt, guitarist for Status Quo, 1948; Brian Hooper, Olympic pole vaulter; Douglas Pearce, founding Neofolk musician behind Death In June and Crisis (band), 1956; Carl R May, sociologist, 1960[citation needed]; Susie Dent, a lexicographer and the dictionary expert on Countdown1964; Delia Smith best selling cook; Ben Charles Edwards Photographer/Filmmaker; The Times journalist, Andy Heath (1981) and Harry Hill, comedian, 1964. Matt Willis; band member of Busted and winner of I'm A Celebrity… lived in Woking attending Woking High School. Whilst Peter Davison from (Doctor Who) attended The Winston Churchill School (Woking).[34]

The Spice Girls started their careers at a Knaphill-based studio after being picked from an audition of hundreds in June 1994. Peter Gabriel, who founded the rock group Genesis and went on to become a renowned solo artist, lived in Chobham and went to St Andrews School in Horsell in the 1950s and 1960s.

Literature

Douglas Adams describes Woking in The Deeper Meaning of Liff (ptcbl. vb.) as:

Standing in the kitchen wondering what you came in here for.

Emergency services

Woking is served by these emergency services:

McLaren

Woking is home to the McLaren Group, an umbrella organization that most notably includes McLaren Racing, which fields the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula One racing cars (currently driven by Jenson Button and former World Champion Lewis Hamilton), and McLaren Automotive, builder of the McLaren F1 and Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren supercars.

Twin towns

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Surrey County Council census data
  2. ^ Douglas Adams, 'The Deeper Meaning of Liff', London: Pan Books/Faber & Faber, 1992, p. 109.
  3. ^ Woking Labour
  4. ^ Woking Conservatives
  5. ^ Woking Liberal Democrats
  6. ^ "Woking". BBC News Online. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/elections/local_council/08/html/43um.stm. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  7. ^ Wolsey Place web site
  8. ^ Map showing Chertsey Road
  9. ^ a b Web site for the Ambassadors cinemas and New Victoria Theatre
  10. ^ Pool in the Park web site
  11. ^ Woking Park web site
  12. ^ (a) (b) Two sites on David Drury, a local artist
  13. ^ The Lightbox website
  14. ^ Marks Barfield - Lightbox architects The Guardian newspaper
  15. ^ a b Brown, Paul (2004-01-26). "Woking shines in providing renewable energy". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/renewable/Story/0,2763,1131002,00.html. 
  16. ^ London Climate Change Authority Press Release
  17. ^ Woking government news Final stage of the canopy to Albion Way
  18. ^ Woking borough press release
  19. ^ Woking Bustler web site
  20. ^ Woking Gymnastics Club
  21. ^ Woking RFC
  22. ^ Chobham Rugby
  23. ^ Woking Hockey Club
  24. ^ Woking Korfball Club
  25. ^ Tante Marie
  26. ^ Tante Marie - The UK's oldest professional cookery school
  27. ^ List of GP's & Woking Community hospital
  28. ^ Nuffield Hospitals, Woking Community hospital
  29. ^ Listed in the National Archives
  30. ^ Woking Online ref to Paul Weller
  31. ^ Sunday Times interview with Weller
  32. ^ Web ref to published quote
  33. ^ Map with Stanley Road indicated
  34. ^ a b "Hall of fame". Woking Borough Council. http://www.woking.gov.uk/woking/people/halloffame. Retrieved 2008-05-21. 
  35. ^ Woking borough twin town info

Further reading

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Alien invaders chose Woking for their attacks in HG Wells' War of the Worlds
Alien invaders chose Woking for their attacks in HG Wells' War of the Worlds

Woking is the other large town in Surrey apart from Guildford. Built around its large train station, it grew up in the Victorian era, but experienced a boom in the post war period when modern buildings, car parks and large retail outlets were constructed in the town centre.

In the original version of HG Wells' War of the Worlds, not the recent Hollywood movie, the woodland area north east of the town known as the 'Sandpits' (due to the presence of beach-like areas of golden sands, more formerly known as Horsell Moors of Woking were the location for the aliens' attacks on Earth!

Get in

By train

Woking railway station is served by fast trains from London Waterloo (26 minutes from London Waterloo direct service) and is on the line to Waterloo from Southampton and Portsmouth. The line divides at Salisbury and serves all stations to Exeter St Davids

By car

Woking is situated about six miles (9.6 km) off the M25 (Junction 11/ Wisley Interchange) and the same distance from the A3. Travelling northbound on the A3, turn off at either Painshill and follow the signs through Byfleet and West Byfleet, Burnt Common near Ripley and follow the signs through Send and Old Woking or further south at Burpham or Stoke both in Guildford.

By plane

Woking is well connected to both Gatwick and Heathrow airports: Woking Station runs a twice hourly RailAir coaches from the Main entrance (on the non- town side) to Heathrow taking between 45 to 50 minutes depending on traffic. Gatwick airport can be reached via the Gatwick express; however this requires travel to London Victoria station which can be reached by changing at Clapham Junction. Trains leave London Victoria every 15 minutes reaching Gatwick in under 45 minutes.

Get around

Woking town centre is very compact, and is nearly completely pedestrianised with several small walkways and passages such as Church Path which has several bijou establishments. Woking is reasonably well served by buses to the surrounding villages and districts with buses leaving from Woking Station and Cawsey Way outside the Toys'r'us and Wolsey Place shopping centre. Areas with large areas of housing rather than traditional high streets such as Brookwood and Goldsworth Park are particularly well catered for.

The two main shopping centres; the Peacocks Centre and Wolsey Place both converge on the town square considered to be one of several 'central locations'. The others being the Bandstand on Cawsey Way and Commercial Way, a pedestrianised street that runs nearly 1,300 ft (400 m) to the Chertsey Road

  • Why not visit the underpass which has a mural detailing the alien invasion of H G Well's The Time Machine?
  • Henry VIII's Royal Palace, off Carter's Lane no vehicle access ph: +44(0)1483 743443 (email:askus@woking-palace.org) [1] Very interesting for the history. Henry VIII's grandmother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, mother to Henry VII, lived at Woking Palace, during the reign on Henry VII, though it stopped being a royal palace in 1620, when ownership passed from James I of England and VI of Scotland to Sir Edward Zouch.
  • The Shah Jehan II Mosque in Maybury was the first mosque to be constructed in the UK. Invested by the Begum of Bhopal, one of Bhopal's few female rulers in the late 1890's, it was in fact built by British architects who collaborated with the Oriental Institute to design the first religious building of its kind. The call to prayer can be heard in the surrounding areas of Maybury and Sheerwater, both of which have high numbers of Muslim families, mostly from the Indian subcontinent.
  • Woking FC Kingfield Road, Woking GU22 9AA. ph: +44(0)1483 772470 [2] Good, wholesome Conference football. Woking's "The Cardinals", so named from a reference to the Cardinal Red half of the team strip, are a non-league team that play in the Blue Square Premier (tier 5). The grounds, situated south of Woking Park in Kingfield, have a large stand for home supporters, whilst away fans have to make do with standing terraces. Each home game brings associated problems of parking with many cars parking the entire length of Westfield Avenue, which runs adjacent to the stadium, as there is no adequate parking inside the grounds itself.
  • New Victoria Theatre and The Ambassadors Cinemas Peacocks Centre, Woking, GU21 6GQ ph: +44(0)1483 545900 [3] Good cinema and theatre complex.
  • Spirit of Brooklands Brooklands Road, Weybridge ph: +44(0)1932 857381 (fax +44(0)1932 855465, email [4]) [5] Open every day 10AM - 4PM. The birthplace of British motor racing, and former World War 2 airbase. Museum is full of old racing cars and planes, detailing the history of Brooklands. One of the retired fleet of Concordes is being restored here, and there's even part of the original banked racing track from the 30s which you can walk (or pretend to be a racing car) along. If you're into cars, planes or even remotely interested in them, this will be a fun day out. £8 entry price.
  • Basingstoke Canal The 32 mile (52 km) long canal goes the heart of Woking and as well as the obvious option of boat rides activities such as cycling, camping and fishing are well practiced. There are also a wide range of pubs located along the canal and it connects up to River Wey Navagiation adding further scope for journeys. There is also a visitor centre further along the canal in Mytchett
  • Woking Rotaract is a well established local social club aimed at 18 to 30 year olds, also attracting numerous members who are new to the country or simply passing through. The club has a very varied calendar, including volunteering and fundraising opportunities alongside more conventional events such as cinema trips, paintballing and meals out.

Buy

Woking has a large shopping area which consists of the Peacock Centre and the Wolsey Place shopping malls. Most major UK High Street shops can be found here including Debenhams in the Peacocks Centre which occupies 3 floors of retail space replacing Allders which went into liquidation in 2004.

  • Wolsey Place, [6]. A single level precinct that runs from the Bandstand Mall, next to the Telewest Tower (still known locally as the BAT building (British American Tobacco))to Commercial Way at two separate entrances and Mercia Walk at the Town Square and Christ Church. The centre recently experienced significant and surprisingly pleasant refurbishment, including a small cafe in central square, in the previous two years though there have been questions raised as to whether the centre could be redeveloped again as a series of pedestrianized walkways with a more conventional street atmosphere. Wolsey Place has over 65 retail outlets including Boots, a fairly large Sainsburys, Topshop/Topman and WH Smiths.
  • The Peacocks Centre, [7]. Constructed in 1992 encompassing three floors of retail space in over 80 outlets. Built around a food hall (serving mainly fast food) on the lower concourse the shopping centre has an all glass ceiling providing light and warmth with all levels except level one having panoramic galleried floors looking down. The Peacocks Centre has a number of well known stores including HMV, Virgin, Marks and Spencers, NEXT, River Islands and Monsoon. The precinct is also famous for its Christmas displays in which the atrium above the food court is extravagantly decorated with moving models, lights and decorations such as tinsel and banners. Occasionally the food court plays to musical and artistic productions run by local schools, organizations and groups.

The rest of Woking has other smaller shops most notably north of Commercial Way and the High Street towards the canal, though much of this are has unfortunately been taken up by the rapid expansion of estate agents where the Commercial Way market was once held.

Eat

Woking is renowned for its plethora of Curry houses crowding Chertsey Street the High Street and Broadway. There are seven long established curry houses in the town centre and over 15 in the surrounding villages.

Woking also has a good amount of Italian and French cuisine establishments as well Chinese restaurants and takeaways dotted aroaround nd the outskirts of the town centre.

  • Peter's Palace 48 Chertsey Rd, Woking GU21 5BG, ph: 01483 770605. CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE JUST BEEN THERE! All you can eat Chinese buffet. Very reasonable price, and very good food. Be warned that it can get quite busy in the evenings, especially on Fridays and Saturdays, but as the place is so big it is never quite full!

Food can also be sought at many of Wokings' public houses lining Chertsey Street.

Drink

Woking's major drinking spot is based on Chertsey Road with several pub chains such as Wetherspoons operating pubs. Eight pubs and bars can be found on this street alone, with two or three others situated on the south and west side of the town. However drunkenness and bad behaviour can all too often be found here due to increased alcohol intake on 'pub crawls' and 'benders'. This has improved in the past five years with increased policing and ID requesting though the fault rests entirely with the young adult drinking population.

Woking's clubs include Chameleon, a small bar with a packed dance floor, playing mainly pop and hip-hop music, Chameleon (also known as Chavmeleon) is seen as the trendier bar by many and as a right dump by others. The bouncers are reported to be violent. On the other side of the block is Quake. A larger establishment, with three floors of space plays mainly classic pop music and hip-hop though occasionally it is used more appropriately with outside DJ's visiting, something which hopefully will grow in future years.

RSVP bar plays mostly urban and is popular with Wokings' Asian and newly growing African and Caribbean populations.

The Bed on Church Path is an chic restaurant, night club and bar, which is newly refurbished.

  • Bejing Restaurant, Horsell High Street, 01483 768 788, [8]. Very good Chinese restaurant with 120 seats and attentive and friendly staff.  edit

Sleep

Due in part to the presence of a large consulting company in Woking, a large corporate Holiday Inn is located in the centre of the town. It's expensive but more comfortable than your average Holiday Inn. There is also a Premier Travel Inn located on the edge of the town. There are bed and breakfasts dotted around some of the villages though these are hard to find.

  • London is just under 30 min. away by train (London Waterloo to Woking non- stop).
  • Portsmouth is 50 min. away by train (Woking to Portsmouth fast service)
  • Windsor is just under 40 min. by car.
  • Farnham is under 40 min. away by train.
  • Guildford is 15 min. away by road

Woking also has fine countryside and is extensively wooded with forests and copses beginning within 1-2 miles of the town centre. Woking Park to the south east has two large greens, flower beds and a miniature golf course as well as tennis and cricket facilities. There is also Horsell Moors, the Hoe Stream, and the Basingstoke Navigaton System which reaches the villages of St Johns, Brookwood, Woodham, Sheerwater and New Haw

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

WOKING, a market town in the Chertsey parliamentary division of Surrey, England, 24 m. S.W. of London by the London and South-Western railway. Pop. of urban district (1891) 9786; (1901) 16,244. The river Wey and the Basingstoke canal pass through the parish. St Peter's church dates from the 13th century. Modern structures include a public hall, and an Oriental institute (in the building erected for the Royal Dramatic College, including a museum of Eastern antiquities, a mosque, and residences for Orientals). In the vicinity are the Surrey county asylum and a female convict prison. Near Woking is Brookwood cemetery, belonging to the London Necropolis Company, with a crematorium.

XXVIII. 25


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