With London property prices soaring an increasing number of city dwellers are looking for slightly more affordable areas within commuting distance of the capital to move to. So we have taken a detailed and subjective view of the ten most beautiful commutes outside London.
1. Cookham, Berkshire
Average House Price £654,712
A stunning little village situated between Maidenhead and Marlow, on the banks of the River Thames which means those weekend walks take on a whole new level of tranquillity. It’s a short 40 minute train ride into Paddington and its an area the British painter Stanley Spencer as a “village in heaven”.
Did You Know? Downton Abbey’s Lady Sybil Branson, aka actress Jessica Brown Findlay, lives in Cookham.
2. Godalming, Surrey
Average House Price £468,503
Worry not about the close proximity to the urban landscape of Guildford, Godalming is a picturesque town with everything you need, situated in a quintessential little British village. With an assortment of cozy eateries and drinking establishments this historic market town has lost none of its wonderfully quaint charm.
Did You Know? Godalming shot to fame in 1881 as being the first town in the world to have a public electricity supply.
3. Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire
Average House Price £513,428
One of the most popular up-and-coming commuter towns, Berkhamsted is in serious demand thanks to its perfect country setting and ease of commute into Euston of only 35 minutes. Tucked away in the wooded fold of the Chiltern Hills and boasting a beautiful, meandering canal tow path, this is a relative haven on the cusp of London's borders.
Did You Know? Berkhamsted is home to the British Film Institute’s National Archive which is one of the largest film archives in the world.
4. Reigate, Surrey
Average House Price £272,900
Seated at the foot of the South Downs, Reigate has firmly established itself as one of the key commuter towns, yet has somehow remained relatively affordable. With just a 45 minute commute into London Bridge things couldn’t get much better, but to top it all off, Reigate frequently tops the Sunday Times List of the Best Places To Live in Britain.
Did You Know? In Heathfield Nurseries, Reigate, lives a parrot called Charlie who is 116 years old and is said to have been owned by Winston Churchill, who taught him to swear about Adolf Hitler.
5. Epping, Essex
Average House Price £349,726
Believe it or not you can get to Epping on the Tube and it’s one of only five places outside the M25 that you can reach on the underground. It is also happens to be rather stunning too; surrounded by a rolling emerald forest and open farmland, this charming little market town is just a 38 minute Central Line tube to Liverpool Street.
Did You Know? The first ever Clinton Cards shop was opened in Epping in 1968.
6. Oxted, Surrey
Average House Price £582,116
With the shop fronts of Oxted framed with timber façades this is one place that glows with rural nostalgia but is only a 39 minute journey into Victoria. Situated at the foot of the North Downs, Oxted has plenty of open spaces and evocative English countryside to keep your mind clear from London's distractions.
Did You Know? Oxted is home to an annual Pram Race; contestants have to wear fancy dress while pushing a pram, stopping off at various licensed locations on the quarter mile course.
7. Newbury, Berkshire
Average House Price £246,55
Don’t be put off by the prospect of Newbury being the home to big companies like Vodafone, because it remains a quaint riverside market town with plenty going for it. One minute you can be sipping an ale on the Kennet and Avon Canal before a brisk walk up the North Wessex Downs to blow out the cobwebs.
Did You Know? Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond lives in Newbury.
8. Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
Average House Price £606,196
Described as the perfect mix of town and country, Rickmansworth has all the luxuries of somewhere like Richmond but without the ridiculous price tag. The Grand Union Canal runs through the town centre and hosts the annual Rickmansworth Festival which sees canal boats from across the country gather for an event that includes a funfair, live music, craft beers and plenty more.
Did You Know? Rickmansworth has been used as a filming location for such classics as Raiders Of The Lost Ark and Withnail & I.
9. Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
Average House Price £645,323
The old town of Beaconsfield is built around the former stagecoach route to Oxford meaning the traditional coaching inns and red brick cottages remain. Right on the doorstep is the Chilterns area offering miles and miles of endless walking and cycling routes. It also plays host to Bekonscot, the model village which offers a wander around six miniature towns all seemingly stuck in the 1930s.
Did You Know? Beaconsfield has been the home to such famous folk as former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, author Enid Blyton and current Lotus Formula One Driver Romain Grosjean.
10. Windsor, Berkshire
Average House Price £446,907
If it’s good enough for The Royal Family then there’s got to be something special about Windsor. A commute into Waterloo at just under an hour this buzzing town comes complete with stunning parkland in which to bask in the summer sun. Situated on the Thames, Windsor may be a bit of a tourist trap due to the aforementioned Royal inhabitants but it remains one of England’s great attractions.
Did You Know? Windsor Castle is said to be haunted by many ghosts, including those of former royals Henry VIII, Elizabeth I, Charles I, and George III.