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Chertsey like Staines underwent a major redevelopment around the end of the Century which made a huge improvement to the town without destroying its character. A lot of office space was added in the hope of attracting business with cheaper rates and good transport infrastructure. It seemed an ideal place for companies to locate to; just off junction 11 of the M25, near the M3, M4, A3, Heathrow Airport, London and with a train station.
The offices took a long time to fill and are really only now in 2010 being occupied although there is still capacity. The train station was never upgraded from a branch line although you can still get to London via Weybridge in 50 minutes.
The offices have given the town new life with cafes, bars, take away food shops and restaurants opening up and even a Coop replacing Woolworths when it sadly closed which means that with a Sainsbury's a few metres away Chertsey has two Supermarkets and I still canít work out how the Coop makes any money. Wellers Auctioneers is a popular attraction especially on a Tuesday when the town fills up with bargain hunters.
Chertsey is a small town with a few charming streets that have retained their historic buildings especially if you walk up 'Church Walk', the passage alongside of St Peterís Church in the town centre. It has a surprisingly interesting museum, a leisure centre, an Art gallery, and quite a few parks. The Town Centre itself is about a ten minute walk to Chertsey Bridge and the River Thames.
The current Chertsey Bridge was built in 1783-1785 and is a grade II listed building. There are great walks or cycle rides either side of the bridge. On the Chertsey side there are the Meads, open unspoilt water meadows, great for picnics. On the other side of the bridge you can walk or cycle along the river all the way to Staines and beyond or just watch the boats at Chertsey lock. If all that is too energetic then there are two pubs at Chertsey Bridge, one either side where you can sit by the river and watch the world go by. The pub on the far side of the bridge has a very good restaurant.
If you like history, Chertsey is one of the oldest towns in England growing around the Abbey which was founded in 666 A.D and is even mentioned in the Domesday book. Henry VIII dismantled the Abbey in 1536, not personally, although it is said he often visited Chertsey while out hunting and even drank in one of the pubs or so the landlord tells me. It also has one of the oldest cricket clubs dating back to 1737 where the third stump was first used.
Chertsey is ideal for a day trip, a short break or even as a base for a longer holiday as it is close to London, the Downs, the South Coast, Thorpe Park, Legoland, to name a few of the many attractions. If you like the outdoor life there is a Caravanning and Camping site on the river Thames between Chertsey and Laleham which is a good base to stay or there are a few reasonable Hotels in the town or just outside which are always doing short break deals.