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Recommended commuter towns

(26 Posts)
greyhairdontcare Thu 23-Nov-17 14:50:50

Looking for recommendations for friendly places to live with good schools, shops and other facilities nearby all within 1 hour (ish) commute to London. Does such a place exist that doesn't cost a fortune??

fucksakefay Thu 23-Nov-17 14:53:01

What's your budget for rent/house price and how many beds do you want? That's a huge area!

LBOCS2 Thu 23-Nov-17 14:54:36

And where in London do you need to get to? London Bridge is a completely different area to, for example, Paddington.

OlennasWimple Thu 23-Nov-17 14:59:09

You need to narrow down your criteria, to at least include:

- size / bedrooms
- budget
- end destination in London

There's a book called the Guide to Commuterland, which is a bit out of date but a useful introduction to various smaller towns that you might not have thought of

Remember travel costs can be expensive, and in some cases negate the cost of living outside London. Eg we lived in a village that gave us a 30 min commute into London (then another 20 min on the tube for me). Our season tickets for the train were £6000 each and our parking season ticket was another £3500. So it cost us over £15,000 a year to travel to work. When we moved to Zone 3, those costs fell to £1200 a year

greyhairdontcare Thu 23-Nov-17 15:10:39

I realise it's a huge area. My husband is a contractor so at the moment works near St Paul'a but that will change and could probably be flexible as there's a fair amount of work available in the city.
Budget is probably around £600k/£1800 a month for 4 beds so not much.
We currently live in East Northants and it takes 25mins to drive to the mainline station, at least an hour on the train to Kings Cross then another 20 minutes to get to the office. He's knackered!

LorelaiVictoriaGilmore Thu 23-Nov-17 15:13:31

Definitely need to know which part of London you need to get to. DH and I commute from Guildford which is lovely and has good schools, shops, facilities etc. but it not exactly cheap! Takes me 1hr5mins into London Bridge. DH was doing about the same to Fleet Street but now works near Liverpool Street and takes more like 1hr20mins.

We pay similar amounts to OlennasWimple for train tickets but don't need parking as well as we can walk to the station.

MiniTheMinx Thu 23-Nov-17 15:19:39

Balcombe mid Sussex. Quite nice. Haywards Heath is ok. Mid Sussex is ok altogether I guess. My choice would be lindfield because it's very very pretty, easy walk into Haywards Heath for direct trains into London.

greyhairdontcare Thu 23-Nov-17 15:27:30

Thank you for your opinions/input all of you. My husbands season ticket is nearly £10k plus £2400 for parking so hoping to reduce that too!
My parents live near Woking so thinking that may be an option... Will look at Mid Sussex MiniTheMinx - thank you.

retirednow Thu 23-Nov-17 15:39:31

If DH is going to continue working in St Pauls or the City area then maybe look at parts of Essex, there are some very nice areas and the trains go to Liverpool Street.

SnowBallsAreHere Thu 23-Nov-17 15:42:50

There’s a book just for that.
Commute from. Or something like that. We bought it when we were moving. It’s was divided into lists of every London terminus & had brief descriptions/prices/school of villages and towns along that line.

GoJetterGirl Thu 23-Nov-17 15:44:14

East Grinstead is an hour from London Victoria, regular train services and links...

BishopBrennansArse Thu 23-Nov-17 15:44:34


AnnoyedByAlfieBear Thu 23-Nov-17 15:47:18

I’m just outside Colchester. You can get a 4 bed detached for around £400k and it’s an hour into Liverpool Street.

Twofishfingers Thu 23-Nov-17 15:53:03

Towards East London on Central Line - Wanstead, South Woodford, Woodford Green, Loughton. The closer to London the more expensive usually. Leytonstone is also good, but more urban not so villagy. Wanstead and South Woodford are very nice.

OlennasWimple Thu 23-Nov-17 15:57:28

Here's a handy list in the Mirror of season ticket prices from Jan 2018 for major commuter towns

Is DH likely to work outside the City? Or predominantly there?

Waterloo is a good station to come into for onwards transport to the city, so Woking and the surrounding towns could be worth exploring.

What about schools?

pigletpie29 Thu 23-Nov-17 16:03:43

Tunbridge Wells! Not sure what rents are like though. Or Tonbridge?

greyhairdontcare Thu 23-Nov-17 16:16:14

Wow thanks all! Lots of info here which is great.
We have 2 at secondary school yr7 and yr8.our local school is not a good school at all - even the kids say it's rubbish (and has just been put into special measures) so no hardship to move although I'm sure it'll still be a wrench to move away....Also have a preschooler so will be looking for primary schools soon too.

CuppaSarah Thu 23-Nov-17 16:18:14

Wokingham is fab! 45 mins to waterloo. Really friendly people. You'd get a lovely four bed within your budget. Pm if you want to know more about it grin

greyhairdontcare Thu 23-Nov-17 16:30:07

Funny you should mention Wokingham Sarah - I grew up in Winnersh and Earley!

Glitteryfrog Thu 23-Nov-17 16:42:18

1hr by train.
Cheap housing
Stuff going on
Half way between London and Birmingham.

wheresmymojo Thu 23-Nov-17 16:53:04

I'd recommend looking at:

- Haslemere (nice attractive market town, always get a seat on the train, good access to South Downs countryside but also to Guildford when a bigger town is needed)

- Farnham (beautiful market town, always a seat, on the pricier side though but still within budget)

- Alton and surrounding areas (beautiful countryside, equidistant between Guildford and Winchester, first station on mainline so always a seat)

- Godalming (again, beautiful market town, close to Guildford, pricier side of budget, not sure about whether you'd get a seat on the train)

All of these are in Surrey/Hampshire. All tend to have good schools. All on mainline stations which go into Waterloo, from there you get a 5 min tube to Bank which is a 5 min walk from St. Paul's as well as the rest of the City.

The majority of people commuting into the City either commute into Waterloo (which services Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire) or into Liverpool Street (which services Essex).

wheresmymojo Thu 23-Nov-17 16:55:27

You'd definitely reduce the season ticket from the Surrey/Hampshire places I mentioned.

They'd all be around the £4-5.5k mark for the ticket plus parking which varies. I know parking at Alton is £5 per day, not sure about the other stations.

greyhairdontcare Thu 23-Nov-17 17:21:19

Wow wheresmymojo - lots of info to go on. Thankyou! We currently live in the country in a tiny village which just doesn't work for us now the kids are older so we definitely need to be near a bigger town/city. Our nearest is Peterborough which is a 30 minute drive
Parking there is £14 a day £12 on a season ticket... 😳 walking/biking distance to a mainline station would be awesome!

queenofthemountains Thu 23-Nov-17 17:31:12

East Sussex
Uckfield - Excellent schools, unfeasibly low crime, very small town but does have a Waitrose. Trains are generally good with excellent car parking. Also worth looking at Crowborough.

Lewes - Lovely town, diverse shops, expensive rents. Good train service - Brighton line, but a lot more expensive that the Uckfield line.

Both lines have nice villages on the way.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Thu 23-Nov-17 18:22:10

Woking has a fast train to Waterloo.
Fleet in north Hampshire has a reasonable train service too and is close to the M3. Good schools in both areas.
Frimley/Camberley have some good schools, but the train service isn't as good.
Brookwood near Woking has a good train service and the housing is a bit cheaper.

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