Despite price growth having softened across the UK, particularly in the south east of the country in recent months, London property is still expensive in relative terms. Many are seeking alternative locations to set up home outside of the city. Whether you’re seeking greenery and fresher air or simply wish to get more property for your money we look at various towns and cities that are within a commutable distance of London.
30 minute commute to London
Those who wish to work in London but not live there often search for towns and villages within 1 hour of London. Even living within zone 2 you can face an hour long commute to get to the office, surely finding a place to live outside of London which gets you to the office in a shorter amount of time is nigh on impossible? These places do exist, you just need to know where to look.
St Albans appeals to commuters for many reasons, a key factor being that the train journey into London St Pancras takes around 20 minutes. For families looking to move to St Albans there are multiple highly regarded state schools, selective schools and many independent options including St Alban’s School. St Albans is also well placed if you travel by car conveniently location next to both the M1 and M25. The city of St Albans is forever proving more popular with those who want more space and greenery but aren’t ready to move to the sticks.
The small, commuter friendly county of Berkshire has several hotspots, with the M4 running directly through the middle providing easy access to London by road. The short commute from Maidenhead to London makes the town popular amongst city workers, the fastest direct trains take around 20 minutes to and from London Paddington. Crossrail will also stop here once it is up and running. Another town which will benefit from The Elizabeth Line is Reading, although the city is a business center in its own right, easy access to the capital only boosts its appeal.
Best places to live near London for families
For many seeking a home outside of London they must find a location that not only offers a reasonable commute time into London but one that has good schools, the new area has to work for all members of the family.
In Essex, Chelmsford has an impressive school directory, with 8 independent schools; Felstead, New Hall and St Cedd’s to name a few. There are also many well regarded state schools including non-selective Great Baddow High and The Boswells and top performing selective schools such as King Edward VI Grammar and Chelmsford County High School for Girls. The train journey from Chelmsford into London Liverpool Street takes under 40 minutes.
Surrey has long been popular with families moving out of London in particular Guildford has 8 independent schools and offers a commute into London Waterloo in under 40 minutes. Epsom, also in Surrey, has several reputable state schools including Roseberry School and Glyn School, as well as 6 independent schools. A journey on the fast train between Epsom and London Waterloo takes under 40 minutes.
In Kent both Sevenoaks and Royal Tunbridge wells offer excellent educational institutes both state and independent. In Sevenoaks Walthamstow Hall and Radnor House Sevenoaks are notable schools whilst in Royal Tunbridge Wells Tonbridge Grammar School, The Judd School and Tonbridge School are highly rated. The train from Sevenoaks is significantly shorter however, taking just over half an hour to reach London where the train from Royal Tunbridge Wells takes almost one hour – the average property price reflects this with Sevenoaks being a more expensive option.
Affordable commuter towns near London
In 2017 it was reported that Corby in Northamptonshire was ‘the debt capital of Britain’, referring to unsecured borrowing – which does not include mortgages. In contrast, so far this year, Corby has had the most active property market in the UK.
With traditional commuter towns now out of price range for many purchasers, Corby certainly appeals. Average property prices in the area are lower and the direct train into St Pancreas takes just over an hour, not a dissimilar train journey to the likes of Cambridge. Our activity leader board shows several areas that are seeing a spike in activity with more properties being bought and sold than previous months.
Other towns in the East Midlands also feature on the activity leader board including the areas of Hertford and Ware which both offer a commute into London in just under an hour. The increase in activity in these areas shows buyers are happy to consider locations that are perhaps further afield, still within a commutable distance but are much more affordable.
Moving to a London commuter town
If you are considering moving out of London and purchasing a property in a commuter town, contact us, we would be delighted to assist you. If you are unsure of which commuter town would work best for your family we can share our knowledge of towns, cities and the educational systems as well as commute times into London stations to ensure you make a well informed move.
If you would like to have an initial discussion without obligation regarding your move to a London commuter town please, contact us.