Why should I commute to work and move out of London?

City living is an attractive lifestyle for many workers who want to minimise their daily commute, but whilst it certainly has advantages, it’s not for everyone.

Moving to a commuter town usually means that you’ll be able to afford a bigger home than what you’d find in the capital – and you might even find that your budget allows for an extra bedroom.

You’re also likely to find that the cost of living is cheaper the further you move away from London, but it’s worth bearing in mind that your commuting costs may increase.

So, how should you go about moving to a commuter town? We’ve put together a brief selection of commonly asked questions and hopefully you’ll find a helpful answer below.

What is a reasonable commute into London?

In short, a reasonable commute is any distance or length of time that you’re willing to commit to whilst not compromising on your quality of life. It also needs to be financially viable. A recent Rightmove survey found that 23% of Londoners who’re planning to buy outside of the capital in the next year are looking to keep their commute to 45 minutes or less, with the majority (59%) hoping to commute in under an hour.

What are the best commuter towns to London?

This will vary from buyer to buyer depending on what it is that you’re looking for. Some people might need to move somewhere specific to be near to family, while others may want to be beside the seaside or just a little further out in the London suburbs. But based on Rightmove data – measuring levels of demand, specifically – we have collated the following three tables to show the most popular commuter towns for people planning to move out of London:

Top ten places Londoners are looking to move to within commutable distance
1 Watford
2 Dartford
3 Epsom
4 Slough
5 Brentwood
6 Grays
7 Waltham Cross
8 Loughton
9 St. Albans
10 Gravesend


Top ten seaside towns where Londoners are looking to move to
1 Southend-On-Sea
2 Hove
3 Hastings
4 Bournemouth
5 Westliff-On-Sea
6 St. Leonards-On-Sea
7 Margate
8 Southampton
9 Leigh-On-Sea
10 Folkestone


Top ten villages where Londoners are looking to move to
1 Greenhithe
2 Sunbury-On-Thames
3 Thames Ditton
4 Warlingham
5 Whyteleafe
6 Iver
7 Tadworth
8 Cobham
9 Shepperton
10 Ashtead

There are cities near London in almost every direction, such as Reading to the west and Chelmsford to the north east, and both are commutable to the capital in under 45 minutes. The Home Counties also boast an abundance of beautiful countryside near London, with some of the best towns to live in the UK in these areas. In fact, Leigh-on-Sea in Essex was crowned the happiest place to live in the UK in Rightmove’s annual Happy at Home survey last year.

How do I decide which commuter town is for me?

If you’re stuck at square one trying to figure out where you should move to, a great place to start is with our ‘Where can I live?’ tool. This feature was created to help you easily find the areas that match your budget and other preferences – whether that’s on the outskirts of London or out in the sticks. All you need to do is create a Rightmove account or sign in to your account and tell us the places you need to be near to, as well as your budget and property criteria. We can then help you explore areas that fit your own personal needs. It’s really simple. Then, once you’ve got a shortlist, we recommend visiting the neighbourhoods you’ve picked out on Rightmove to get an even better flavour of what they’re like.

How do I make the most of my London commute?

Lots of commuters can easily spend two hours each day getting to and from work, which almost equates to two whole days every month. That’s a lot of wasted time if you choose not to spend it wisely. Based on what’s working well for us at Rightmove, our advice would be to educate yourself by listening to a variety of entertaining podcasts; learning a new language or skill; unwinding by listening to new music or getting engrossed in a page-turning book. Whatever you choose to do, aim to fill your time with something that you feel is productive and leaves you feeling satisfied, else you might quickly start to resent the time your commute is taking out of your day.

The survey was carried out among Rightmove users between 2nd May 2019 and 17th May 2019. Respondents were people saying they are planning to buy in the next 12 months and are currently living in London.
The most in demand locations are based on data collected between 1st July 2018 and 30th June 2019, with demand being based on email enquiries to properties within each location, from home hunters who stated that they currently live in London. The locations included are from the South West, South East and East of England to define areas still commutable to London.

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