Things you’ll only know if you grew up in Surrey

Stop saying you’re from Guildford, you live in Farnborough

Being from Surrey is a privilege that very few are blessed with. You might not clock it until you leave the bubble, but our humble county made you the person you are today.

From countless birthday parties at Guildford Spectrum, to school trips to Box Hill, there’s just some things only Surreyites will get.

Everyone outside of Surrey will just assume you’re posh

You know there’s normal people that live here too right?

But then you think about the people you know, and you wonder if maybe they’re onto something

Is that Poppy or Sarah’s dads’ Range Rover outside school? Can I go to Izzy’s pool party or will I be in Cornwall that weekend? Shit, will I need to bring vodka to Henry’s birthday or will his parents be providing Prosecco again?

You will know someone that has owned,currently owns or just bloody loves horses

Their hair will be backcombed, their gilets will be navy and they will have a lovely set of pearls for when they go down to the stables. They did a much nicer post on Facebook for their horse’s birthday than they did for yours.

A Surrey girl relaxes on her horse

Mufti days were incredibly political

If you didn’t have enough Abercrombie/Jack Wills/ Superdry, you were cast out of the cool kids and relegated to the realms of those who lived with their grandparents and were proud of their BHS knitwear. The chavvier kids wore a lot of Bench and Money Jeans, because football shirts got banned when those two year eights had a fight over the Merseyside Derby.

Everyone lost their freaking minds when Jack Wills had a sale

There was once a 45 minute queue when they had a 25% sale at the Guildford branch, just to enter the shop. People were queuing for nearly an hour to spend £50 on a t-shirt.

Thorpe park was the place to go when town got a bit boring, but Chessington was for kids

There’s only so much sitting in a shopping centre not buying anything and loitering around McDonalds that you can do before it gets really fucking dull. Fright Nights on the other hand, could literally never get dull.

When your parents let you go to London by yourself it was a huge deal

It was a simpler time, when you thought Camden market was literally the coolest place you could go with a railcard. You went into Cyberdog and laughed at the glow in the dark dildos.

three teenagers on the train from Surrey to London

No-one’s really sure where Surrey ends and London begins

Technically it’s somewhere around Wimbledon and doesn’t include Kingston, but you’ve met people with KT postcodes that will swear till their dying breath that they are Surrey through and through. If you’ve ever been to the Bentall centre on a Saturday and seen what looks like the entire Crew Clothing catalogue walking towards you, then you’ll maybe sympathise.

But you still don’t consider Woking a part of Surrey

I mean it’s just not classy is it? Peacocks is a desolate wasteland, their clubs are even more tragic and Guildford has a Cream’s now so there’s no point in going there.

Waitrose is a staple

You might have had your main shop from Sainsbury’s, but there was always space in the larder for a few choice Waitrose items. Your mum claims “they’re actually better value for a lot of things”, but you know it’s really about their speciality pesto.

Ocado vans are fucking everywhere

You’ll see all the colours at least once a day, no matter where you live.

You’ll have heard stories about who lives in the mansions around Cobham or Oxshott

“My dad once drove past and definitely saw Frank Lampard going for a jog”
“Nah, it’s definitely the Americans who go to the massive international school”

It feels like everyone has a dog, and it’s usually a retriever

If you go to any downs, canal towpath or national trust walk on any sunny day, the place will be rife with dogs. They’ll all be exquisitely groomed and walked by people wearing Hunters and Barbours, who’ll probably have the plastic thing that throws tennis balls so they don’t even have to touch them.

A Golden retriever on the beach in Surrey

Waiting to be old enough for MNG was excruciating

By the time you were finally old enough to graduate from the shit, dusty, old-man pub that used to serve you at 16, you were gagging to be let into the clubs populating Britain’s most depressing clubbing roundabout.

But you couldn’t face going to Kingston Oceana

It was at least two buses or a £50 cab away and it was never the same after that guy bullet got stabbed. You would maybe think about going to Woo Woo’s and sneaking in, because anything’s better than Hippodrome.

Going to MNG was excruciating

You’ll be half-way through pre-drinks when you inevitably remember that Casino costs like £9 and Dappy’s probably gonna be there.

You’ll also have to deal with all the hometown chavs that you went to uni to avoid, or in the case of PopWorld, every horny hen-do in the Home Counties. And when you finish your mediocre night of fun, you have a grand total of two takeaways to pick from, that are both called Nuro, charge £6 for a kebab, and shut at 2am.

You’ll then pay about £17 for a five minute cab journey that will drop you off at your peaceful suburban house, where everyone will have been asleep for hours.

Hardly the Great British Night out.

casino guildford, Surrey

Every Surrey pub is a gastropub

All you need in life is a reasonably cheap pub, with not shit drinks. What you do not need is a pub that charges £4.65 for a Beck’s. Sure, there’s a lovely roaring fire, and a wonderful selection of Antipasti as a light snack, but when the call for last orders goes out at about 10pm, all you want is a Spoon’s and a pint of Foster’s for under three quid.

Guildford spectrum was a cultural landmark

Even if you lived miles away, you probably spent most of your weekends from age 10-16 at birthday parties in the South-East’s premier leisure centre. It had it all. Bowling, Laserquest, softplay, indoor five-a-side, waterslides, ice skating, even squash players were catered for. You knew the invites the second they got handed out at school, the bright yellow card adorned with Specky and his pirate ship was the tell-tale sign of a banging party.

A birthday party at the spectrum, surrey

You didn’t realise how remote the Surrey villages were until you had a friend there

Shere, Frimley, Alton, Albury, Fleet, Liphook. You think the people that live in these places are just like you. But they’re not. They live a half-existence, filled with bad wi-fi, old tea-rooms, and their nearest shop being a post office that has around two in-date items and a packet of custard creams.

The M25 is a cruel mistress

It will either take you 25 minutes to get to Heathrow or two hours, there is no in between.

No-one will ever shut up about the fact that we had a bit of the Olympics

Yes the cycling race was cool, but there is literally no need for everyone’s dad to buy a road bike and clog up the A25 all the way to Dorking. It’s been four years.

Saying you’re from London will always end badly for you

If you leave the UK, then yes, saying London is just about fair game. But even if you’re in the depths of the Highlands you should probably still say Surrey. You might be fine for a while, but when someone questions which bit of “South London” you’re from and you realise you only know Brixton, it all comes unstuck.