If you work in the City but prefer to leave the bright lights of the capital behind as you leave the office, here are 10 of our top places to live outside of London and best of all, they're all within a 60 minute commute by train.
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Home to the Hellfire Caves, dug by hand in the 1700's, High Wycombe has plenty to offer including the National Trust's West Wycombe Park, showcasing 45 acres of landscaped beauty.
Commute time: 33 minutes to Marylebone
Average house price: £396,984
With it's famous cockle sheds and excellent fish restaurants, Leigh-on-Sea is a picturesque town. The old town retains it's sense of history as a working fishing village. Hadleigh Country Park is home to 389 acres of marsh, sea wall and grassland and is a haven for birdwatchers.
Commute time: 47 minutes to Fenchurch St
Average house price: £337,757
A commuter town since 1862, Sevenoaks is home to 'The Vine', the cricket pitch on which the first-ever nationally reported cricket match was played, as well as numerous golf courses. There are beautiful walks to be taken in the North Downs Way and the Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve.
Commute time: 33 minutes to Charing Cross
Average house price: £598,770
38 miles west of London, Reading is popular with commuters for a wide variety of reasons, including the high number of Ofsted Rated Outstanding schools. Reading is a commuter hot spot itself due to the large number of big-name firms who operate there, including Microsoft and Ericsson. In addition to being home to one of the biggest summer music festivals, there are also a number of pretty canal-side walks for quieter days!
Commute time: 29 minutes to Paddington
Average house price: £403,288
Surrounded by some beautiful countryside, Berkhamsted is a prosperous old market town. With scenic towpath walks along the Grand Union canal and a thickly wooded common, it plays host to a number of local events including a monthly farmers market - a perfect slice of the countryside.
Commute time: 31 minutes into Euston
Average house price: £640,057
Housing is arranged in a grid pattern with a mix of everything from starter homes to retirement flats in each segment. The centre:mk offers an extensive shopping experience with big High Street names such as Joules, Cath Kidson and John Lewis all under one (enormous!) roof. There are many sporting opportunities in Milton Keynes including Xscape, home to the UK's biggest indoor real snow ski slopes and Willen Lake which is ideal for watersports.
Commute time: 35 minutes to Euston
Average house price: £274,288
St Albans, Hertfordshire
Deemed as one of the smartest places to live north of the city, St Albans has a mix of Georgian and Edwardian housing, beautifully mixed with 15th-century coaching inns and charming cottages. The Cathedral is a great space for enjoying some serentity after a long week at work.
Commute time: 19 minutes into St Pancras International
Average house price: £555,411
A maritime town, the economy of Gravesend has always been bound to the River Thames. Although a number of the traditional riverside industries have closed down, the Port of London Authority and Customs and Excise have their headquarters based here. The riverside part of town is rich in history with narrow streets and alleyways and historic fortifications.
Commute time: 52 minutes to Victoria
Average house price: £290,528
Granted city status in 2012, Chelmsford is home to a large number of commuters largely due to the excellent schools. V Festival, one of the biggest summer music festivals, takes place every August and there's also plenty of shops, bars, cafes and pubs in the city centre. RHS Hyde Hall is a 360 acre estate and includes the Hilltop Garden, historic hedgerows and woodland.
Commute time: 34 minutes to Liverpool St
Average house price: £349,018
With history dating back to the Battle of Hastings, Reigate is a market town, nestled at the foot of the North Downs. Home to a range of independent shops, there are also numerous restaurants. Priory Park has 200 acres of woodland and open space and has recently undergone major investment.
Commute time: 42 minutes to Victoria
Average house price: £563,398
*Commute times and season ticket costs as per www.commuterguide.co.uk
**Average house prices from www.zoopla.co.uk
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