The Best London Commuter Towns to Move to
You’ve probably heard that famous quote from writer Samuel Johnson – ‘when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life’. It’s a great quote – but frankly it’s not always true. Living in London is definitely exciting, vivid and busy, but it’s also crowded, expensive, and can sometimes be a bit of a hassle. So if you’re looking to move out of the capital, we’ve put together a handy guide to the top five commuter towns, with everything you need to know before you start house hunting. Whether you’re looking to escape the rat race, get a little bit more for your money than a cramped apartment, or find somewhere you can bring up a family, there are plenty of options for commuter towns from London.
1. St Albans
Average house price: From £580,000 to buy; £1,380 to rent
Distance to London: 30 minutes by train; 1 hour 20 minutes driving
Cost to commute: From £3,700 annually
Just half an hour out of the capital, St. Albans is one of the most popular commuter areas for London, and it’s easy to see why, with a charming city location and ideal proximity to London. It’s frequently been named one of the best places to live in the UK, thanks to low crime rates, high life expectancy and a high average salary rate.
Even though London is an easy 30 minutes away, if you don’t feel like heading into the city for culture, there’s plenty for you here, with frequent markets and a busy shopping district, plus beautiful Hertfordshire countryside to explore on the weekends. In the summer, there are festivals galore, plus open air concerts at nearby Hatfield House, and year round you can enjoy award winning restaurants. There’s a lot of choice for properties in St. Albans too, from sleek new apartment developments to charming period houses.
Average house price: From £600,000 to buy; £1,600 to rent
Distance to London: 25 minutes by train; 1 hour 20 minutes driving
Cost to commute: From £3,424 annually
Sevenoaks is, as the name might suggest, a leafy and tree-lined town in Kent, just south-east of London – and just a convenient half hour commute away from the capital. The average property value is higher here – and infamously, Sevenoaks is home to plenty of millionaires – but if you’ve got the cash, it’s a great option for anyone looking to make the most of a better work/life balance outside of London’s hustle and bustle.
Sevenoaks is a hit with London commuters thanks to a busy high street, low crime rates, good schools in the area and proximity to the beautiful Kent Downs – it really does have everything, and with London just a half hour away, you don’t have to miss out on London culture either.
Average house price: From £450,000 to buy; £1,250 to rent
Distance to London: 1 hour 15 minutes by train; 1 hour 45 minutes driving
Cost to commute: From £5,592 annually
Cambridge is one of the more affordable options for house prices on this list, but that is somewhat offset by the more expensive cost for a season ticket and the longer commute time. If you’re happy to deal with the longer commute, though, Cambridge is a great place to get a little more for your money – and it’s one of the most beautiful cities in the UK.
From the iconic buildings of the university’s many colleges to strolls along the river Cam, there’s lots to do and see, and a thriving international population gives the city centre a lovely bustling feel. There are some very strong schools and colleges in the area – as you would expect from the home of Cambridge University – and good healthcare options.
Average house price: From £400,000 to buy; £1,200 to rent
Distance to London: 30 minutes by train; 1 hour driving
Cost to commute: From £2,300 annually
Voted the best London commuter town in 2019, Cheshunt is just 17 miles north of Central London – and with acres of country parks to explore and some of the best property prices in the area, it’s definitely one of the best options for commuters. There’s plenty of development going on the area, including a £400m leisure and retail development, so it’s definitely a good place to move to before property price rise!
For anyone looking for somewhere to raise a family, Cheshunt boasts some great schools, with several outstanding in the area across primary and secondary. There’s also plenty of outdoor space for kids to play, or just for a weekend walk, with the aforementioned River Lee Country Park running right next to the town centre – or there’s always the beautiful Broxbourne Woods just 15 minutes away.
Average house price: From £250,000 to buy; £895 to rent
Distance to London: 1 hour 15 minutes by train; 2 hours driving
Cost to commute: From £6,900 annually
Ipswich is Suffolk’s county town, and one of the most varied options for London commuters. It’s one of the oldest towns in the UK, and surrounded by two Areas of Oustanding Natural Beauty – plus it’s just 10 miles from the coast. The commute is one of the most expensive on the list, but housing prices are incredibly good value compared to other commuter towns, averaging around £250,000 – almost half some of the other popular picks.
If you’re looking for a house with character, you’re also in luck – there are lots of gorgeous 1930s houses and other period properties in this historic town. The commute is a little bit less flexible than some others, but if you’re looking to raise a family, for many, the beautiful coastal location and great quality of life make it a worthy trade off. Education in the area is also strong, with some outstanding and above average schools to pick from.
If you’re looking for a little bit more space, a place to start a family, or just hoping to escape the hustle and bustle while keeping excellent transport links, there’s plenty of choice in London commuter towns. Decide what matters most to you and your family, and make your great escape to a new place that’s just right for you. And don’t forget, if you’re looking to sell your London property fast, we can help – use our free and easy postcode check to find out what we could offer you.