Even though this site is for people who are living in London as well as working in London, it would be ignorant of us not to point out that over ¾ million people commute into London every day for work. Train services bring commuters into mainland stations such as Liverpool Street, Victoria, Waterloo, London Bridge, King’s Cross, Euston, Moorgate, Paddington and St. Pancras.
Whilst lots of people who live in London, love the hustle and bustle of city life, others like the draw of a London wage, but prefer to live in the more peaceful and picturesque surroundings of London’s neighboring counties. Luckily, London is the kind of place where there are living options for everyone. If you want to live in a studio apartment in the middle of town and walk to work in 10 minutes, then that’s possible, but if you don’t mind sitting on a train for an hour because you get to live in the countryside, then you can do that too.
As regular readers of Moove2London’s blog posts will know, living and working in London is all about weighing up pros and cons and affordability. Deciding whether you want to be a London commuter is no different.
You need to ask yourself some questions:
Do you mind spending quite a bit of money on train travel if it means that your rent/mortgage payments will be cheaper?
Are you an early riser? Or do you snooze your alarm clock 4 or 5 times before running out of the door looking rather dishevelled?
Similarly, do you expect to be home in time to watch Neighbours? Or are you the type of person who likes having a bit of time to themselves to read on the way home?
Basically, the further out of London and into the neighboring counties with their countryside lifestyle, you want to live… the more hours of your day you’ll have to sacrifice. You can put this time to good use of course, by catching up with friends on the phone, doing some work on a laptop (if you’re lucky enough to get a seat) or by reading a book or paper. You’ll also need to bear in mind that sometimes things do go wrong with the trains and you might find yourself stranded at your home station at 7am with no trains running and no alternative options for getting into work. You’ll need to have an understanding boss if this is a regular occurrence, or at least an agreement that you’re able to ‘work from home’ on these unavoidable days. If you have friends in London, or go for after-work drinks, you’ll also need to know exactly when your last train home is, or else you’ll be stranded in London, feeling a bit tipsy.
If you’re aware of all the above issues in advance and have managed to justify living in commuterland in your head, then there really are some wonderful places that you can live in, within reach of London’s workplaces! The Daily Telegraph publishes this book by Caroline McGhie and it is absolutely essential for anyone trying to work out where to live in commuting distance of the capital. The book lists stations on every train line from London stations within 120 miles of London (which is a little too far for the average commuter, but even so). There are descriptions of each village/town as well as ticket prices, number of trains per hour and journey duration.