Woking is a large town and civil parish that shares its name with the surrounding local government district, located in the west of Surrey, England. It is a dormitory town in the London commuter belt and Greater London Urban Area, located 23 miles (37 km) south west of Charing Cross in central London. Woking town itself, excluding the surrounding district, has a population of 62,796, and the civil parish, which covers part of the urban area inclusive of Sheerwater and Knaphill, has a population of 30,403. This population is different from the local government district (the borough of Woking), which has an approximate population of 90,700 (2006 estimate). Woking also plays a role in literature: it is the town in which the Martians first land in H. G. Wells' science fiction novel The War of the Worlds. It also features in Douglas Adams's The Meaning of Liff, as the word for when you go to the kitchen but forget why.