Best of both: village living, London commute
The mass exodus to coastal locations and rural neighbourhoods has kept property journalists busy over the last few months but is our ache to escape the rat race being tempered as lockdown lifts?
There is no doubt that the pandemic has changed our attitudes to property. Whether we have a home office or not, how good our access to outside space is and having enough room for the whole family to co-exist together for long periods of time has been brought into sharp focus.
The most seismic shift, however, surrounds where we live. Built up, densely-populated urban areas were almost demonized in favour of more remote locations but as we follow the Government’s roadmap back to normality – and workers start returning to offices – the question of balance is being posed.
Access to London is already back on the agenda for many professionals, and it will come full circle as a centre for culture, creativity and commerce, especially when restaurants, bars, theatres, museums, music venues and galleries re-open fully.
Thankfully there are a number of Home County villages for those torn between city living and rural outreaches– settings where mainline train stations nestle amoung farmlands and fields. Here’s our pick of villages where you can live the countryside life and still commute to London with ease.
This Kentish location feature’s all the key ingredients you’d expect from village life, including a primary school, village hall, annual fête, three churches and a pub, with the addition of a mainline station. A bonus is Staplehurst’s properties falling within the coveted Cranbrook Grammar catchment. London Bridge is less than an hour’s commute from the village train station.
Average property price: £432,390*
This village includes the hamlets of Southington, Northington, Ashe, Polhampton, and Quidhampton. Overton is home to two resident peacocks and enjoys the Bombay Sapphire gin distillery on its parish border. From Overton train station you’re in London Waterloo in less than an hour – around 58 minutes from platform to platform.
Average property price: £403,178*
If the only way is Essex but you prefer your location more bucolic than bling, the village of Ingatestone hits the spot. The tone is set by Ingatestone Hall - one of the finest Tudor mansions in the UK – while the High Street has bags of quaint character. Ingatestone station to Liverpool Street is a mere 31 minute journey by rail.
Average property price: £637,320*
Robertsbridge, East Sussex
This Medieval village is close to Bodium Castle, the River Rother and the South coast, providing real solace from city escapades. Those that do travel to London can be in the capital in just over the hour, with stops at London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross.
Average property price: £364,979*
Picture postcard perfect, Gomshall’s charms belie its commuter connections. With the River Tillingbourne running through the village and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty status, it’s hard to believe trains pull in to London Waterloo is as little as 57 minutes from Gomshall’s station.
Average property price: £629,000*
Set in the heart of Broxbourne Woods, Bayford is probably as rural as you can get without feeling cut off. Expect to find a primary school, village pond, pub, cricket green and Georgian properties – all sitting cheek-by-jowl with its train station. Hop on board and both Moorgate and London King’s Cross are less than 48 minutes away.
Average property price: £389,000*
Located on the east bank of the River Thames and close to Royal Windsor, Wraysbury is the perfect antidote to urban life. The village is dotted with Sites of Special Scientific Interest and the annual fete on the cricket green brings the community together. London Waterloo is the final destination from Wraysbury station, with a journey time of 47 minutes.
Average property price: £621,141*
Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire
This affluent village sits in the Misbourne Valley – part of the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Georgian properties and half-timbered buildings give the High Street a heritage feel, while the Roald Dahl museum celebrates the village’s most famous past resident. Trains from Great Missenden station arrive in Marylebone in as little as 46 minutes.
Average property price: £673,163*
If your moving plans take you further out from where you’re living now, why not send a Viewber to conduct an exploratory viewing on your behalf? A Viewber can visit any home for sale or to rent in the UK, filing an unbiased report backed up with photos and videos. Contact us today to make a booking.
*Overall average house prices according to Rightmove April 2021