London Town. The Big Smoke. Whatever you want to call the City of London, it is inevitable that, as a mover and shaker, you will have business or personal interests in the nation’s capital.
In fact, according to the last census, nearly 9 million people are crammed into the administrative boundaries of Greater London. While the teeming city life might be right for many, there’s a good chance that it does not suit your needs.
So, where does? We have teamed up with the experts at Apex Removals London to pick out our top five selections for a luxurious lifestyle, all within a comfortable commuting distance to the city.
Virginia Water, Surrey
Located on east of the picturesque lake which gives the village its name, Virginia Water made history in 2015 by becoming the first place in the UK to see its average house price exceed £1m.
You can see why. A commuter settlement with roughly 6,000 inhabitants, the Surrey village is bathed in beauty – both architectural and natural. The village is steeped in history, too, with its Wentworth Estate playing host to golf’s original Ryder Cup competition, and it is still the headquarters of the PGA European Tour.
The village’s railway links are exceptional, too. A main stop on the South Western Railway line between Reading and London Waterloo, a train ride into the city can take as little as 40 minutes.
Famous residents of the village, past and present, including the likes of musician Sir Elton John, former England cricket captain Kevin Pietersen, and Sir Cliff Richard.
Located on the banks of the River Thames, and at the tripoint of Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire, lies the spectacular town of Henley.
A little further afield from London, although still well within a reasonable commuting distance, the town is steeped in history and heritage – and is known the world over for hosting the annual Henley Royal Regatta – an exclusive rowing event which holds significant place in the English social season.
The town, which has a population of just over 10,000, was recorded by Lloyds Bank as the second-most expensive market town in the UK in a 2016 survey – with an average property price of just shy of £750,000.
Notable residents throughout history include 1984 author George Orwell, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and television presenter Phillip Schofield. Popular singer Dusty Springfield moved to the town in later life and has a gravesite at the town’s St Mary the Virgin parish church.
Another village just outside of the affluent south-western London suburbs, Cobham’s history can be traced back to the Roman era.
The village has roots in the motoring and aviation industry, and the region still plays host to a number of factories and engineering centres. It may sound rather industrial, but the village itself is beautifully built around an 18th century red-brick mill, and its 12th-century St Andrew’s Church.
Located on the banks of the River Mole, Cobham is a small jaunt from the M25, providing seamless links to London via the orbital road.
If you are willing to tread the road less travelled, then Brockenhurst, in Hampshire, will not disappoint.
90 miles outside of the City of London, this beautiful quaint village boasts a superb geographic balance. A stone’s throw from the large urban areas of Southampton and Bournemouth, while also tantalisingly close to the south coast, Brockenhurst lies in the heart of the New Forest National Park.
A regular winner of national awards for its stupendous scenery, animals and wildlife freely roam the fringes of the 4,000 population village.
Chalfont Saint Giles, Buckinghamshire
Similar to Brockenhurst, Chalfont Saint Giles lies on the edge of another of the commuter belt’s jaw-dropping spots – the Chiltern Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
A 45-minute drive from the capital, Chalfont Saint Giles is likely to be familiar to fans of British television, with a number of high-profile shows filmed in the picturesque Buckinghamshire village – including Dad’s Army, Peep Show and The Canterbury Tales.
Notable residents include Ozzy Osbourne, comedy writer Armando Iannucci and Nick Clegg – former leader of the Liberal Democrats and Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government of 2010-2015.
Image credit at the very top of the article: TravellingLight/Bigstock.com