■ SURREY Quays, originally Surrey Commercial Docks, underwent a makeover in the 1980s when 5,500 new homes were built, warehouses were converted into swish apartments and London’s largest marina opened at South Dock. Regeneration is coming once again, with British Land submitting a planning application which includes a new town centre, high street and more than 3,000 homes. ‘The area has excellent transport links and offers a great quality of life with proximity to the waterfront providing leisure activities, such as sailing and windsurfing, and restaurants, pubs and shops closeby,’ says Rebecca Littler from London Square. Buyers get more for their money than in Canary Wharf across the water: according to Zoopla the average property value in Surrey Quays is £475,865, compared with £579,019 in Canary Wharf.
3-bed flat, £830,000
Ideal city retreat: A new second-floor apartment in the London Square Canada Water development. It boasts a spacious open-plan kitchen/ living/dining room, utility cupboard, two bathrooms and a balcony. London Square, londonsquare.co.uk
Commute time: 3 mins from Canada Water to London Bridge
Commute cost: Annual Travelcard £1,364
Price per sq ft: £806
■ A word of advice: steer clear of Betchworth’s crumbling castle on Halloween, as it’s said to be haunted by a phantom black dog and a ghostly figure. Adding to the spookiness, an ‘evil presence’ has also been detected in the grounds, which is now a golf course. Apparitions aside, this Surrey village is a delightful place to live, with cosy pubs, a shop, railway station and a Grade-I listed church where the first wedding in Four Weddings And A Funeral was filmed. ‘This is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city while retaining the convenience of a local town and commuter links,’ says Daniel Hart of White & Sons. ‘The majority of properties are period, and £500,000 will get you a large three-bed Victorian semi.’
3-bed house, £877,500
Impressive: Previously part of a corn mill, this contemporary home includes three covered loggias, a huge open-plan living area spanned by a steel beam and communal grounds. White & Sons, whiteandsons.co.uk
Commute time: About an hour from Betchworth to Victoria, changing at Redhill
Commute cost: Annual season ticket £3,644
Price per sq ft: £358
…or why not get 2 for the price of 1?
One-bedroom flat, £375,000, Nested, nested.co.uk
You don’t have to be a detective to work out that this bright home is in a converted pub. Situated on the first floor, it has high ceilings, an open-plan kitchen/reception room, a double bedroom and smart bathroom. The location’s hard to beat as Southwark Park is at the back, Surrey Quays and Canada Water stations are both less than five minutes’ walk away, and it’s close to Hawker House — a massive indoor food market open on Fridays and Saturdays.
Three-bed house, £500,000, Barnard Marcus, barnardmarcus.co.uk
This period cottage is in a quiet setting, within walking distance of Betchworth station, and has views over open fields. Recently upgraded, it comprises an entrance hall, cloakroom, front living room, family room with a woodburner and a roomy kitchen/diner opening onto a patio. All the bedrooms are doubles and there’s a family bathroom. The versatile summerhouse in the secluded garden is kitted out with electricity and wifi: perfect as a cinema room or guest bedroom.