Many people are attracted to life in London and at the same time they are frightened by its high prices. But many specialists, working in the capital, have found an excellent alternative. They chose to live settlements that are located near the capital. And found a lot of advantages in this solution for themselves: affordable housing, beautiful natural areas, clean air, the opportunity to spend time off work with family in more relaxed atmosphere.
In the list of cities with lower prices for housing and goods are cities with apartment buildings, concrete buildings of the 1960s and houses built in the post-war years. Among them: Luton and Swindon, which are about an hour away from London.
Northampton. Distance to London: 109 km. Cost of living: from 18,000 pounds.
Northampton is located near the Nin river. The waterway is no longer used for cargo, it is popular among fishermen and people who like to walk along the river or sail. The market square is one of the largest and oldest in the UK. Northampton Castle is reconstructed, it is one of the first Norman castles in England. There is an amusement park - Billing Aquadrome - with a marina, attractions and a pub in a reconstructed water mill. There are fairs, carnivals, the Delapres Beer Festival, the Dragon Train Race, etc. There are 50 elementary schools, 8 secondary schools and 2 colleges in the city. Northampton University offers courses from basic and higher education to postgraduate and doctoral qualifications (business, education, health, science and technology, social sciences and art).
The city is located near the motorways M1, A45, A43, A14 Trains to major cities run from the railway station, there is also a bus station.
Basildon. Distance to London: 51 km. Cost of living: from 70,000 pounds.
Basildon is located in the Essex county and once was in the number of eight "New Cities", built in the southeast of England under the 1946 Act. The families of workers moved there from the war-destroyed areas of London. The city is famous for its architectural monument “Heritage Trail”, music band Depeche Mode and Gordon's gin. There are beautiful parks in the city, where it is pleasant to have a rest with all family. Different companies function in the city (Ford Motor Company, CNH Tractor Plant). There are many shops in the center, there is an open-air coffee house, Eastgate shopping center, Westgate Shopping Park, Pipps Hill and Mayflower trade parks. In Basildon area there are about ten secondary schools and three colleges.
Wellingborough. Distance to London: 112 km. Cost of living: from 60,000 pounds.
Wellingborough (Northamptonshire) is one of the most suitable for those who want to save on housing. Most of the city center was rebuilt in the 1970s, when it rapidly expanded due to overpopulation in London. There are various shops in the city, including Sainsbury's, Tesco, Aldi supermarkets, Morrisons shop. A private market works three times a week. Wellingborough was founded in the Anglo-Saxon era on the picturesque banks of the Nin river. Now its ancient part is located on the slopes of the hills. There is a favorite Irchester Country Park, where people organize picnics and walk dogs. Also the Church of All Saints (1160) has survived, and you can get acquainted with the history of the city in Wellingborough Museum. Children will like Jungle Parc, and adults will enjoy spending time in the old family pub Hart Family Brewers, where delicious ale is served. Transport: train station (direct trains to London every half of an hour), A45, A14 and M1 highways, bus networks.
Kettering. Distance to London: 132 km. Cost of living: from 19 950 pounds.
Kettering is located near the Isa river, in North Northamptonshire. Here in due time many factories have been created. Kettering has an ancient history, the Museum-Estate and the Alfred East Gallery are located in the old block, also the local attractions are the magnificent Boughton House, the Cross of Queen Eleonora and Triangular Lodge (1597). Residents are proud of the beautiful theme Wicksteed Park, where they like to rest with their whole families. As for children, they like to visit the Bugtopia Zoo. There are many elementary schools in Kettering. Adult children can get education at Bishop Stopford school, the Kettering Academy of Sciences, the Baktering Kettering Academy and the Southfield Girls School. The Latimer College of Art is located in the Burton-Sigrave village. There is a multipurpose sports and business complex with a leisure center, a health club and children's creative classes.
Transport: A14, A45, M1 and M6, A6003, A43 and A509, the city is serviced by the local Stagecoach Kettering bus, train routes every 30 minutes from Kettering to St. Pancras.
Luton. Distance to London: 55 km. Cost of living: from 40,000 pounds.
Luton is very close to London, in the southern part of the Bedfordshire county. There is a large international airport, which is 3 km from the city center. From here, flights are made to anywhere in the world. Here is Vauxhall - a well-known automobile factory of the General Motors Corporation, as well as many other companies: Anritsu, AstraZeneca, Selex ES, Ernst & Young, Whitbread, etc. The city occupies the eastern part of the hilly upland of Chiltern Hills, through which the Lee River flows. In the north, you can take a walk along the Great Bramingham Forest. The city has a town hall, Wardown Park, a museum, St. Mary's temple, an art gallery, in winter it gives beautiful Christmas atmosphere, and in the spring a European carnival is held.
Swindon. Distance to London: 130 km. Cost of living: from 60,000 pounds.
This is the city in the south-west of England, in the Wiltshire County, near which the main highway M4, connecting London and Wales, passes. The city is famous for a variety of road junctions, including "magic roundabout" - the intersection of 6 highways with 5 roundabouts. In Swindon, there are a lot of big employers: Honda and BMW (Stratton) plants, Dolby Labs, international consulting firm Halcrow and WH Smith distributor, Intel's office, Nationwide Building Society and Zurich Financial Services financial firms, RWE Generation UK, Arval energy companies, Canada Patheon and Catalent Pharma Solutions pharmaceutical companies, consumer goods supplier Reckitt Benckiser and many others. Also there is the headquarters of the Space Agency of Great Britain here.
Chatham. Distance to London: 53 km. Cost of living: from 38,000 pounds.
A large city in the county of Kent was founded on the Medway River six centuries ago. Chatham is the main transport hub of the county and a shopping center. There is the Museum of Marine Engineering “The Historic Dockyard Chatham” and the go-kart track Buckmore Park Kart Circuit. Luxury property in the center with two bedrooms and a view of the Medway River can cost about 200 thousand pounds, but you can easily find a bungalow, apartment or house, which will cost you several times cheaper. Trains run from Victoria and St Pancras train station from London to Chatham. The ticket price starts from 13 pounds.
Rugby. Distance to London: 138 km. Cost of living: from 65,000 pounds.
Rugby in Warwickshire County is located on the River Avon. The famous kind of sport – rugby - was born exactly in this city in 1567. The city has developed trade, a cement plant functioning. There are such modern schools and colleges as: Lawrence Sheriff's School for Boys, Gymnasium for Girls, Ashluni School etc. There are also elementary and primary schools: Eastlands, Abbots Farm, Paddox, St. Oswalds C.E. Transport links: the M6, M1 and M45 highways, buses run, a railway station with regular passages to London, Birmingham, Stafford and Crewe. The Oxford Channel stretched along the northern edge of the city.
Peterborough. Distance to London: 120 km. Cost of living: from 36,000 pounds.
The industrial town of Peterborough in the county of Cambridgeshire has a rich history. They say that here you can feel the spirit of ordinary England. You can get there from London's Kings Cross Station in 45 minutes. Here you can find a 36,000-pound bungalow with a bedroom or buy a spacious apartment in the building of the Victorian era for 130 thousand pounds. There are not so much of tourists, but there are ancient sights here: Norman Cathedral of Saints Peter, Paul and Andrew (655 year), Museum and art gallery with ancient exhibits, the Burley Manor with a mansion of XIV century, a memorial of the Bronze Age - Flag Fen and the Nene Park with three lakes. Annual "Beer Festival in Peterborough" is held here. Transport: A1 (Edinburgh-London), routes of various railway companies, including CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains, Greater Anglia. Annual passage costs around 7,500 pounds.
Sittingbourne. Distance to London: 72 km. Cost of living: from 45,000 pounds.
Industrial city in the southeast of England. The popularion center is developing rapidly, there are many houses and residential complexes here, there are park areas for walking as well. In Sittingbourne and the surrounding area, there are a number of primary schools: Fulston, Community College, Westlands School, Borden Gymnasium (boys) and Highstead Gymnasium (girls). The Sittingbourne Adult Education Center provides courses young people over 16 years and for adults. Transport links include railway stations, bus station and motorways. Of course, distance from London and the need to go there for work can cost about 2-8 thousand pounds per year (for travel expenses depending on the distance). But the total amount of the cost of housing or rent in the suburbs of London fully compensates this difference. In addition, you will have the opportunity to spend more time in nature.