Which Way To The Town Centre? under Creative Commons, from foilman's photostream. Click pic for link.

Which Way To The Town Centre? under Creative Commons, from foilman's photostream. Click pic for link.

I do my research intensively for this blog, as I’m sure is apparent. *cough* Now that my Athens log-in has expired I tend to head to the trusty Wikipedia first, and so I did for Farnham – here is one healthy wiki. Someone clearly has an interest, and I have no need to look any further for history, climate information, local newspapers… It even mentions my lovely charity shops, and I quote:

Farnham is also known for its numerous secondhand charity shops (Oxfam etc.) which offer plenty of high-quality items, especially clothes. 

I wouldn’t dare argue. Lying on the river Wey, Farnham sits at the edge of a swathe of well-heeled market towns that have become commuter magnets for the glittering conurbation on the horizon. It’s the edge of War of the Worlds territory – when HG Wells’ alien pods landed on the Surrey heathland and marched inexorably towards London, they pre-figured the daily lives of so many on the Waterloo line. I lump it in with Woking and Chertsey, Guildford and Farnborough; you could just as easily associate with David Brent’s list of alternative working towns, Bracknell or Aldershot, Maidenhead or Slough. It’s a town of which the residents are proud, even though they work in the City.

Socio-geographical over with, and onto the charity shops of which there are, truly, an abundance. The town’s main drag is West Street/East Street/The Borough, depending whereabouts you’re standing, and it’s along this strip that the thrifters make their way. From East to West there’s RSPCA (which yielded up some overly tempting Agatha Christie hardbacks and some vampire trash), Oxfam (entirely less trashy, entirely too tempting – I had to pull the wife away from some 30’s-ish pitchers), British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research and Age UK. Down Downing Street (not that Downing Street) there’s the two hospice shops: Phyllis Tuckwell and the Downing Street Charity Shop.

Despite knowing full well that we have to move house in a few weeks, we came away from Farnham with armfuls of charitable, eco-friendly, pre-loved stuff, and could have purchased much more. It’s one of those towns where the charity shops display that rare combination of both the wealth and taste of its residents, and you’d be well-advised to have a good rummage.

Find: Farnham @ Google Maps
Get there: An excellent rail service between London (obviously) in one direction, and Alton, Southampton and Winchester the other.
Consume with: While there’s no doubt plenty of good places to eat, we saved our money with the reduced counter at Waitrose. You’d better ask someone else
Visit: There’s a castle, and by nature of it’s being a castle, is a good place to visit.
Overall rating: four random crockeries

1 Comment

Filed under 4/5, Surrey

One response to “Farnham

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