Are you thinking of doing the Big Move BM for short from the city to the country? For those who don’t want to live in London, commuting is a necessary evil. Belinda Aspinall who set up the website lifeafterlondon.com says, ‘these days, when both parents often work, the move to the country is more complicated,’ ‘It’s not easy to juggle school runs with both parents doing long commutes.’
So the good news is that that there are quite a few rural idylls within an hour’s radius of London. Belinda has come up with a set of convivial villages, towns or small cities with a fast and regular train service to the capital meaning, a choice of more than two trains taking less than an hour between 7 am and 8 am on weekdays and not much more than 15 minute drive from home to the station.
Up there on her list of villages with a decent commute to the capital is Harpenden. There is a good service into London St Pancras, which takes just 39 minutes. There are frequent trains, 7 per hour at peak times and trains run every hour through the night between 12.15am and 4.15am.
In a recent Country Life article, they say of Harpenden that, “between the motorways that slice through this county lies a sylvan oasis with plenty of grand Elizabethan and Jacobean houses-the rich and powerful chose this area for its proximity to London and the forests that once covered the county.” They also say, “this is one of the area’s best villages, with an active extracurricular calendar two cricket clubs, an amateur-dramatic society and an indoor swimming pool.”
There are lots of other extracurricular activities to be had in Harpenden and not far away in St Albans if you are looking for villages with a decent commute to the capital.