I live in the UK’s ‘snootiest’ town – but I just don’t buy the reputation
A market town south-west of London has been named as one of the “snootiest” towns of the UK, but its residents aren’t having it.
Farnham in Surrey was given the label on satirical website, iLiveHere, which pokes fun at towns and cities all over the country.
It claims parents drive around town in BMW SUVs, residents beeline Waitrose and that they always ask for “organic produce”.
The town was also named in The Times as one of the best places to live in 2022 and in Muddy Stilettos – playing into the prestigious title it has been bestowed.
But, put to residents who live in Farnham, the reality appears to be quite different – with people debunking the myth that the town has a haughty reputation.
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Resident James Staunton said: “I’m a Farnham resident and I just don’t buy this. While Farnham isn’t the naffest town in the county, it isn’t that smart.
“Yes, there’s a Waitrose, a branch of Savill’s, and a COOK. But there’s also enough demand to keep a Lidl, a Costa, a Domino’s, a William Hill, and a Poundland open for business.”
He added: “If Farnham was choc-full of appalling snobs, those businesses would close…This is a functioning town, it’s not Knightsbridge.”
Mr Staunton’s views opposed those of the article, which also claimed residents favour ’boutique stores”, but other locals have also dismissed the prestigious branding their town has been given.
They see it as a relatively “normal” place to live and work. Former resident, Matt, who lived in Farnham for three years, said: “I’m probably more likely to name Farnham as the UK’s most normal town.
“Like many others, it’s quite small, some nice areas, some in need of a little TLC, and full of a range of different people.”
Matt added: “I’m not saying Farnham doesn’t have some great qualities or characteristics, I just wouldn’t class any aspect as extraordinary – and that goes for its residents who I would never consider snooty at all, let alone the snootiest in the UK.”
Some residents compared the reputation of Farnham with other UK towns and cities.
Chris Hunter said: “If you go to places like Bath, Cheltenham, Eastbourne, Cambridge, Tunbridge Wells, Lemington Spa, Brancaster, Southwold, Whitstable, Rye, Chichester…..just to name a few, then you will find they are in a different league of snootiness.
“Farnham’s just a quiet town being slowly overrun by a lot of new development.”
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What’s so special about Farnham?
Muddy Stilettos, a UK guide which celebrates the best of the nation, has described Farnham as a place people pick to move out of the big smoke.
It says: “Known for its picturesque Georgian streets, handsome Tudor and Georgian stone buildings and easy access to the rolling hills of Surrey, this historic market town has much to offer.
“The high street is laden with independents, there’s a burgeoning arts scene and London is an hour away by train.
“No wonder Farnham is a popular place to live for young professionals and families, especially those looking to escape the big smoke for a rural idyll.”
Historically, and at heart, Farnham is a market town. Dating back to the Middle Ages Farnham offered a weekly market and an annual fair which attracted visitors from all over Surrey and Hampshire to buy and sell goods.
The town is about 58km southwest of London and home to just under 20,500 residents according to the 2021 Census.
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