Just because you work in London, doesn't mean you want to put up with the hustle and bustle of city life on the weekends. For a lot of people, a weekly commute is worth the peace they can enjoy on the weekend in one of London's commuter towns - especially when there's a family involved.
When you're looking for the best commuter town, London is surrounded by many prime locations. There are so many areas which have a lot going for them, so deciding on the best when moving house can be tough.
We have moved hundreds of families and singles into commuter towns around London, so we decided to make your search easier by listing what we consider to be the top seven communities to live in when moving house.
How We Scored
We haven't provided a number score for any of the locations, but to make it to our list each area needed to score highly in having good schools, green spaces, affordability, and convenient links to public transport.
St Albans schools rate more highly than many of the country's private schools, and the town features in the UK top ten for education. The city is very popular with families as it has many qualities that endear it to family life. There is no shortage of places to go and things to see on the weekends, including live music, theatres regularly showing international acts, a weekend 5K park run at Verulamium Park, and even a scuba diving club.
If you love the country life, there probably isn't a better place to take in the rolling green countryside for which England is well-known than Hertfordshire.
Investors might not find prices very attractive but being just 17 minutes from London makes St. Albans a great area to experience some capital growth. Public transport is a compelling option, but you are also just a short hop away from getting onto the M1 and M25 if you prefer the convenience of car travel.
Hitchin has a thriving community with all the shopping you could need, cafes and coffee shops to sit and watch the world go by, and a bunch of good schools for the kids.
You can get to London and Cambridge on a Hitchin train in around 30-minutes. If you are travelling by car, the M1 connection is about ten miles away. Luton airport is also close at just five miles away,
Recent Ofsted inspections rated Hitchin's three state secondary schools quite highly. There are two single sex and one co-ed campuses. Hitchin boys and Hitchin girls are both rated favourably, while the Priory School is highly respected by parents.
There have been significant upgrades going on in Red Hill over the last few years. Marketfield Way, a mixed-use retail development featuring restaurants, cafes, and a multiplex cinema is due for completion in 2020.
The Redhill Station is getting a significant overhaul, with a £50 million train upgrade providing London bound travellers with a new platform. London is 30-minutes away, and Brighton 45-minutes.
Green areas and parks are also in abundance around Red Hill, with dozens of walks close-by.
House prices are still some of the most affordable when you compare Red Hill to surrounding areas, which makes it an attractive proposition for young couples looking for an affordable place to start a family.
Crayford is home to a retail park, which means most of your shopping needs are taken care of, without having to go to London.
Transport to London via Crayford Station is straightforward, so there won't be any problems getting to a job in the city. There are also three bus lines serving regular trips to London.
Getting your kids educated in Crayford won't be a problem as your kids will have access to plenty of educational choices - from prep to secondary school.
If you don't want to stray too far from the city but still want to enjoy the quiet country life, then Chobham may be the perfect place to put down roots.
Chobham is a picturesque village surrounded by nature reserves. There are a few pubs in town serving fantastic food in gorgeous settings. The area is also popular for antique shops, and Jubilee Square has received numerous upgrades over the years.
The train station is a 10-minute drive, and there are 11 trains per hour. The trip to London, Waterloo, is around 28 minutes.
Reading has everything you need to lead a comfortable suburban life at lower house prices than what you can get in the city. Plus, it's just a 30-minute train ride to the city office.
A commercial centre provides ample shopping opportunities, but there are also plenty of open spaces for enjoying fresh country air along the Thames.
Reading is also well-known for its excellent schools, making it an excellent choice to settle down with a growing family. It's also starting to establish itself as a leading tech hub, with an increasing number of technology-based companies moving into the area to take advantage of the more affordable real estate.
Residents of Twyford, when asked to report on what they liked best about the area, said it's the community spirit, good schools, and overall atmosphere that make Twyford a fantastic place to settle down.
Twyford is a quiet area, sitting somewhere between a small town and a large village population-wise.
The average train journey from Twyford to Paddington, London is 43 minutes, with an average of 133 daily trains.
Schools in the area are very good, but a little tough to get into if you don't put in an early application.
These are our top picks, but there are many more locations offering cheaper housing, good schools, and a taste of the country life. However, the best commuter town, London option for you will depend on your needs. If you're considering moving house to escape the rat race, then be sure to give us a call for competitive rates and excellent service.