Trains to Epsom


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Just 33 minutes from London Waterloo

These days, Epsom’s heartbeat is the thrum of hoof on turf. Epsom Downs racecourse is one of the UK’s most famous horse-racing tracks and home to the Derby, where the stands fill with fancy hats on Ladies’ Day and the Queen turns up for an annual flutter. But before the Derby was launched in 1780, Epsom was a spa town famed for its natural healing Epsom Salts, favoured by the courtiers of nearby Hampton Court Palace. This picturesque market town, surrounded by rolling Surrey countryside, thrives to this day with high-end boutique shops and continental-style restaurants and bars springing up in the shadow of its 19th century clocktower.

Attractions

Even when the Royals aren’t cheering on the horses at the Derby, Epsom Downs is still a fabulous day out, whether you’re picking a winner from Tattenham Corner or mingling with the post-race runners and riders in The Rubbing House, which claims to be the only pub on a racecourse in the world. A few miles north-west of town you can visit Chessington World Of Adventure – with its 40 rides, 10 themed areas, zoo, and Sea Life Centre, it’s among the most popular family attractions in the UK. Take advantage of the fabulous 2-for-1 offer when you buy your train ticket. Get your Tarzan on among the treetops on the zip-lines and canopy trails of the Go Ape forest adventure, meet the sea lions, otters and penguins at the daily shows, go on ‘Zufari’ in an open-back truck or see the only known Gruffalo in captivity.

Further afield, don’t miss the chance to strut around the stately halls and gardens of Hampton Court Palace pretending to be an angry Henry VIII, getting lost in its famous maze and taking part in a real-life Tudor joust. There’s another fantastic 2-for-1 offer available when you buy your train ticket, except at summer peak times. Or simply cycle, golf or ramble around Horton Country Park, a 400-acre nature reserve featuring a Children’s Farm and Hobbledown, a surreal wooden village straight out of Middle Earth, featuring underground tunnels, mazes, a petting zoo and kiddie climbing zones.

Durham botanical garden
Epsom Downs
Restaurants

The hottest place in town is Le Raj on Fir Tree Road, renowned as one of the best Indian restaurants in the country. It has played host to David Cameron and Heston Blumenthal, catered for the 2012 Olympics and – according to legend – is so good that a wealthy American customer once paid to have a Le Raj meal flown out to him. Or head to the high street where – beneath the clocktower – The Canopy deals in modern international cuisine. On a fine-dining splurge? Try The Restaurant at Chalk Lane Hotel, a haven of inventive, locally-sourced British and French dishes given a molecular twist by chef Vincent Hiss.

Hotels

With the Travelodge and Premier Inn catering for the budget traveller in the centre of town, seek out a more characterful stay on the outskirts of Epsom, where the Chalk Lane Hotel offers swish traditional rooms full of antique furniture and 4-posters as well as its top-notch restaurant. Classic Surrey class. Of the local B&Bs, Castlemaine House by Ewell East station ranks on TripAdvisor as the friendliest.

Shopping

Loaded with winnings from the races, you’ll want to explore the Ashley Centre, Epsom’s prime central shopping locale, just a few hundred metres from the train station. The 50 high street stores here cover every retail need from fashion to Frappuccino and include big names and independent specialists alike. Make sure you stop off at Hatty’s independent sweet shop to gorge on gobstoppers from old-school glass jars. More rustic treats can be found at the Farmer’s Market held on the first Sunday of every month, or at Lester Bowden, a clothes shop on the high street that also stocks all manner of equestrian gear to help you fit right in with the horsey set. Tally ho!

Travel Links

You’ll find several taxi options and plenty of buses directly outside the station or a short walk away on the High Street – head towards the clock tower or the Ashley Centre to find the main local bus stops. There are 25 car parking spaces and 192 bicycle spaces at the station.

For more ideas on what to do in Epsom, go to Visit Surrey.

Buy train tickets to any destination in Britain – no booking fee