Six of the best… commuter hotspots
With great transport links to London, Norwich and Cambridge, excellent schools, beautiful countryside and outstanding coastline, both Essex and Suffolk provide an attractive proposition to those who still need to commute.
According to Rightmove, last year the average house price in London stood at £679,624, whilst in Essex and Suffolk they were £407,921 and £318,638 respectively. We take a look at six of the best places to live outside London, but still within a manageable commute of the city.
Chelmsford – Trains to London from 32 minutes – Average house price £393,899*
Granted city status in 2012, Chelmsford is a thriving city in a great location and perfectly placed for commuters, with a sizeable shopping area full of independent and high street shops – as well as six retail parks. Baddow Road and Moulsham Street are home to a wide variety of specialist retailers and Chelmsford has a vibrant nightlife scene with many restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Properties range from modern town centre apartments overlooking the canal, family homes in Springfield and Broomfield, and large country homes in the popular villages of Cold Norton, Great Baddow, Little Waltham, Stock and Sandon.
Colchester – Trains to London from 45 minutes – Average house price £297,873*
Colchester was Britain’s first city during Roman times and is steeped in history, with remains including the Roman walls, Circus and Norman Castle. The bustling town also has a number of first class visitor attractions, including Firstsite art gallery and Colchester Zoo. Perfectly positioned for exploring the surrounding villages and countryside, including Dedham Vale and Colne Valley, the coast is just 10 miles away and Mersea Island is renowned for its oysters. One of the most popular residential areas of Colchester is Lexden, which is well known for its impressive houses and excellent schools, a number of which are within easy walking distance.
Kelvedon – Trains to London from 50 minutes – Average house price £448,529*
Kelvedon, on the River Blackwater, enjoys all the benefits of a quiet village location whilst being perfectly placed for commuting to London by either road or rail. Kelvedon is an attractive village with a good selection of independent shops and schools, with further shopping and educational facilities nearby in Witham and Colchester. A broad range of housing stock makes it appealing to buyers across the board; with large period properties and beamed cottages to modern detached homes and terraced houses. Popular local villages include; Feering, Coggeshall, Cressing, Wickham Bishops, Little Braxted and Great Totham.
Manningtree – Trains to London from 56 minutes – Average house price £325,078*
Manningtree lies between picturesque Dedham Vale and the banks of the River Stour estuary, and is part of the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Natural Beauty. Described in The Times’ Best Places to Live in the UK 2019 as ‘commutable countryside that’s pretty as a picture’, Manningtree is traditionally known as England’s smallest town, but it has as much substance as it does style, with a flourishing high street that is home to numerous independent shops and restaurants. Popular nearby villages include Brantham, Bradfield, Lawford, Mistley and Dedham.
Ipswich – Trains to London from 1 hour 5 minutes – Average house price £253,410*
Ipswich, Suffolk’s county town, provides urban living with plentiful opportunities for exploring the surrounding countryside and coastline. Rich in cultural heritage, Ipswich is home to over 650 listed buildings but is very much a town for modern-day living. The historic waterfront is home to University of Suffolk and there are a wide selection of bars and restaurants. Having undergone a substantial programme of regeneration and development, the marina is a thriving area of the town with some fantastic waterside apartments. Surrounding Christchurch Park are a number of desirable family homes and popular areas include Tuddenham Road, Henley Road and Park Road.
Sudbury – Trains to London from 1 hour 20 minutes – Average house price £269,750*
Further afield, but perfect for the occasional commuter, Sudbury is a charming market town on the banks of the River Stour bordered by beautiful water meadows. The birthplace of Thomas Gainsborough, the town dates back to Saxon times and has a long heritage in the weaving and silk industries. Sudbury has a fantastic range of independent and high street shops and some excellent pubs, restaurants and cafes. The residents of Sudbury have a strong sense of community so there’s always something to get involved with or volunteer for. Popular towns nearby include Bury St Edmunds and Hadleigh, and the quintessential English villages of Long Melford and Lavenham are just a short drive away.
With a network of branches along the A12 corridor we are well placed to help you find your next home. If you are thinking of moving and would like a free valuation, please get in touch with your nearest branch who will be happy to help.
*Average house prices according to Rightmove data