Following the period of lockdown, many London dwellers are now considering moving to locations outside of the city that will offer them more space, both indoors and out, whilst also enabling them to reach their place of work with ease.
The obvious locations to consider are those within the home counties, the areas that immediately border with London; there are also locations a little further afield that offer a very fast commute. The below highlights the best places to live outside of London that will allow residents to continue to reach their place of work daily within a reasonable timeframe.
Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire
Bishop’s Stortford is a historic town located on the Hertfordshire and Essex border, surrounded by the rolling Hertfordshire countryside. The town centre is well set for amenities including a selection of independent shops, cafes and restaurants. The area is also well known for its schools both state-run and independent including Bishop’s Stortford College and St Edmund’s College.
The direct train service which runs from Bishop’s Stortford into London Liverpool Street takes around 40 minutes. Stansted airport is just a short distance away and the M11 motorway offers easy access into London by car.
Other impressive places to live in Hertfordshire include places such as St Albans, Harpenden and Welwyn Garden City.
Just over 20 minutes spent on a train from London Bridge and you can reach the Kent town of Sevenoaks. Known for its exemplary schools, strong community spirit and for being surrounded by beautiful countryside – Sevenoaks offers a fantastic town and country balance.
Regular, direct trains also run into London Charing Cross, Waterloo East and Blackfriars along with the London Bridge service. Sevenoaks is also within easy reach of the M25 motorway for connecting to the wider motorway network and reaching other home counties as well as London.
Other locations of note in Kent to consider when looking for the best places to live within commuting distance of London include Royal Tunbridge Wells where trains run into London Bridge in around 45 minutes.
Surrey’s county town, Guildford has long been a popular commuter hub; direct trains from Guildford into London Waterloo run regularly and take around 40 minutes. Guildford has an excellent selection of amenities; its centre filled with shops, restaurants and cafes. From the pretty cobbled high street, you can see the rolling countryside beyond the town’s edge – Guildford is surrounded by stunning countryside.
Property for sale in Guildford will include Victorian, Edwardian and even Arts & Crafts properties, many homes well suited for family life. There are several top schools in Guildford including Guildford High School and Royal Grammar School.
Ipswich is a compact town, rich with history being one of the UK’s oldest towns, it’s also seen considerable development especially Trains from Ipswich reach London Liverpool Street train station in around an hour and 15 minutes.
Period properties can be found in and around the town, the area surrounding Christchurch Park is particularly popular with families and for those who wish to live by the water there are modern homes on the marina, still within walking distance of the town centre and train station.
The train journey from Ingatestone into London Liverpool Street takes around half an hour making it ideal for commuters and the arrival of Crossrail to nearby Shenfield, which is just one stop from Ingatestone, will only improve transport connections further.
Ingatestone is a large village and has a good range of amenities and several local sporting clubs. The surrounding smaller villages of Stock and Fryerning are also incredibly popular places to live in Essex.
Hove, East Sussex
Hove is Brighton’s lesser-known, and some might say more laid back, neighbour. For those who want to move south and enjoy life by the seaside Hove could be the perfect location. The area has a strong sense of community and is known for being extremely family-friendly all whilst being connected to Brighton’s buzz, shops and nightlife.
Hove residents can take advantage of Brighton’s excellent transport connections for reaching London within about an hour. Hove has a promenade, beautiful Regency homes and an excellent range of amenities.
Brighton is also an excellent place to live in East Sussex; this part of England’s south coast is particularly desirable and is ideal for London commuters.
Amersham is a market town in the Chiltern Hills. Trains from Amersham into London Marylebone take just 30 minutes with trains running regularly during peak hours. Amersham also has the added benefit of being on the London Underground network; the Metropolitan line runs through Baker Street and Kings Cross St Pancras amongst other stations with the end of the line at Aldgate.
The centre of Amersham is filled with independent shops and quaint eateries set within medieval buildings, the schools in the area are highly regarded and all whilst being surrounded by the beautiful Chiltern Hills; Amersham has a great deal of appeal for those seeking idyllic places to live outside of London.
Just over an hour from London Waterloo on the train, the cathedral city of Winchester offers an excellent quality of life. The city is filled with beautiful historic properties from all eras, many are listed.
Located on the edge of the South Downs, Winchester has long been popular with families due to the amenities, facilities, access to greenery and the excellent schools. The independent schools in Winchester are impressive; from Winchester College, boys’ public school which was founded in 1382 to The Pilgrim’s School and St Swithun’s, there are also many excellent state schools.
UK property finders
If you’re considering a move out of a city and are looking for the best place to live outside of London our team of UK property finders would be delighted to assist you in finding an ideal property in a perfect location.