Village life – just an hour from London
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