Woking is the town in which I grew up and if you look at this website http://freespace.virgin.net/woking.history/ I'm sure you will be able to find out what it was like many years ago. But sometime in its past someone decided the mosques and palaces were a bad idea, what this place needed was concrete, and lots of it.
It is now a pretty standard town centre with very few traces of its history. You have 2 large malls and cinema with terrible sound and lousy seats. Like most suburb towns it now has an area where all the small shops have been closed down and replaced with chain pubs that every Friday and Saturday night fill up with people who move from one bar to another in a hope of finding a lifetime love partner or getting into a fight.
If you get a few miles out of the town you will find some nice parks and woods. Most famously Horsell common, where H, G Wells famously decided was the landing site for the Martians in the original war of the world’s book. And is now the home of the foster and partners designed Mclaren Technology Centre, a giant glass building housing the F1 race team, super car production and a wind tunnel amongst other things.
I don’t dislike Woking as such. I just think it could have been done better. It’s got everything there to make it a nice place to go, yet through to some awful town planning decisions and architectural nightmares; it is just not a very nice place. A few years ago a large entertainment complex was built in a regeneration of the town centre, and as a tribute to Wells, they themed it and the surrounding area around it with war of the worlds. This includes a large metal statue of an alien. And Martian landing craft (which looks exactly like an upturned litter bin) and a giant plane on a pole?? Its ideas like this that make me think that Woking town council are not entirely with it. Why instead of doing all this nonsense try and build some facilities to amuse the gangs of kids on scooters that hang around drinking cider buy these terrible landmarks.
The only other guide entry lists Woking as ‘mostly uninteresting’. Which I have to agree is a fair statement. But I feel there had to an explanation as to why it is mostly uninteresting. A friend of mine said once ‘the best thing about Woking is the fact that it’s only 30 mins by train to London. The worst thing is the trains will bring you back’