Vil­lage life – just an hour from Lon­don

The Daily Telegraph - Property - - Front Page -

It’s a well-trod­den route for many fam­i­lies who have had enough of bat­tling the daily jour­ney on the Tube and the sharp el­bows found at the gates of the cap­i­tal’s most pop­u­lar schools, and who yearn for more space.

The big move (ab­bre­vi­ated to “BM” around many Lon­don din­ner party ta­bles) to the coun­try­side be­comes the ob­vi­ous next step. For some it’s em­braced with ex­cite­ment, for oth­ers with trep­i­da­tion. One sure-fire way of sweet­en­ing the pill for the most re­luc­tant com­muter is to find some­where that of­fers good af­ford­abil­ity and to make sure the jour­ney it­self is as short as pos­si­ble – as well as pro­vid­ing all the trap­pings of vil­lage life to make that big move worth it.

Re­search by Sav­ills has an­a­lysed the best com­mut­ing vil­lages around Lon­don which have a main­line sta­tion with a di­rect train link to the cap­i­tal in less than an hour. To qual­ify, they must be true vil­lages, com­plete with ameni­ties such as a post of­fice, com­mu­nity hall and a pub (with bonus points for a thatched roof).

Sur­rey loses out when it comes to af­ford­abil­ity: no fewer than seven of the top 10 most ex­pen­sive com­muter vil­lages by house price val­ues are found in the county, with Oxshott and Cob­ham oc­cu­py­ing the top spots. “You have a per­fect cock­tail of trans­port op­tions,” says Charles Broad­ben­tCombe of Sav­ills.

In­stead, look to Es­sex, Kent and Buck­ing­hamshire for a mix­ture of value and speed – and those all im­por­tant vil­lage fea­tures. 21 min­utes £464,000 25 min­utes £514,000

Twin Lodge in Digswell, £1.6m, main; Old Farm Cot­tage in Her­sham is £825,000, right, both with Hamp­tons

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