On a good year, London draws millions of tourists. They are all eager to see the historical and cultural landmarks that make the city what it is: The Tower of London, the Palace of Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Wembley Stadium: they are all amazing, and we are lucky to have them.
But there is more to England than Central London. Hop on a train, and you will quickly find yourself in a part of the country that is completely unrecognisable to those who have experienced only the capital. Fortunately for Londoners, the outskirts of the city are home to some of the most picturesque little commuter towns you could ever hope to visit.
Thanks to a shift toward home-working, many of those who’d otherwise live and work in the middle of London are being tempted away. From outside zone four, it is still possible to hold down a job in Central London – provided, of course, that you only have to attend in person one day per week. Thus, we might start to see these smaller towns enjoy an upsurge in popularity in 2021.
This famous Hertfordshire city came top of Yopa’s rundown of places for London commuters to relocate to, thanks to its low crime-rate and short journey time. There is no shortage of things to do in the city, including the Cathedral, the traditional street market, and a world-class museum. What better place could there be to spend a day out?
You can take a Thameslink train from St Albans to Bedford and arrive in no time at all, making this the perfect second stop on a round-the-capital tour. The nightlife is lively, with live music, comedy and theatre all available. In the daytime, there is a wealth of outdoor parks to stretch your legs in, making Bedford a fantastic summer retreat.
Beaconsfield sits at the top of Yopa’s most expensive towns for commuters – but that does not mean it does not appeal to tourists. The high street is iconic, with its Tudor revival architecture, and its home to the world’s first model village. When you get tired of the town itself, you can take a walk up into the Chilterns, and enjoy some outstanding natural beauty.
This Surrey town sits at the foot of the North Downs. Having been established in the 19th century, it sprang up rapidly thanks to the advent of the new rail network connecting London with the rest of the Southeast.