The 10 Best Commuter Towns to London

From fast, reliable train services to average house prices and crime rates, discover which towns made it into the 10 Best Commuter Towns to London in 2023.

People move out of London for many reasons. Those who choose to live out of town get more for their money, there are acres of green space, and you could trade in your two-bed flat for a substantial house with a garden and driveway. It gives you the space to reconnect away from city life.

But, where’s best to move if you still want to commute to London?

According to one report, the best commuter towns are dotted around in counties like Berkshire and Hertfordshire, making them ideal locations for trips into the capital city. It uncovers the affordable alternatives to the capital’s steep house prices whilst also taking average salaries, crime rates, and other vital factors into account.

So, which places have been ranked the best?

Best Commuter Towns to London

10. Letchworth

Located in North East Hertfordshire, Letchworth made it into the top 10 list. And it’s certainly unlike most commuter towns you might expect.

Coined the world’s first Garden City, its unique design stemmed from Britain’s poverty issues in the late 19th Century. Almost everywhere you turn, you’ll feel its striking nature and character with carefully landscaped gardens and ample green space. It certainly offers a stark difference in scenery compared to London. From greenery to concrete, you’ll arrive in London after 46 minutes on the train from Letchworth.

9. Milton Keynes

As the largest settlement in Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes offers the hustle and bustle of city life with great commuter routes into London, ranging from 55 minutes to just over an hour. Its thriving urban centre and new town design also come at a fraction of the price of a home in London, with properties up to 69.9% cheaper.

Milton Keynes is also taking off as one of the UK’s hubs for public artwork. You can view sculptures and artwork all around the city, with art programmes and exhibitions occurring throughout the year.

8. Hemel Hempstead

One of the best things about Hemel Hempstead is its attractive property prices, making it a great place to invest in property. Whilst it was unfortunately crowned 2013’s Ugliest Town in Britain, it still packs some great charm.

As well as exceptional property prices, the train links into London are also convenient and easy. For regular travellers, it normally takes between 30 to 40 minutes to get into the centre of London. Plus, it’s just over an hour in the car. 

7. Stevenage

Famous for its football club and shopping centre, Stevenage is another prime location for frequent commuters into London. It was designed to manage London’s over-spilling population after all.

Regular commuter routes, like the A1 motorway, bypass Stevenage meaning it’s incredibly accessible by car or other road transport. That’s not the only thing that makes it attractive to commuters either. Stevenage boasts an average house price of under £362,000, making it a potential area for first-time buyers to settle down in.

6. Maidenhead

As the River Thames meanders its way through Berkshire it passes through the pretty town of Maidenhead – sixth on the list of the best commuter towns to London.

It takes fast trains just 18 minutes to travel from Maidenhead to London Paddington, while the town is also a prominent stop on the east to west Elizabeth Line which takes commuters straight into the heart of London. Maidenhead also scored highly for train frequency and season ticket prices, while low rates of crime and a high standard of living are other defining factors that make the town a desirable place to live with commuters and families.

Average house prices are generally higher in Maidenhead than they are in Reading or Slough, but a variety of serviced accommodation options are also available to support commuters and visitors.

5. St Albans

St Albans is filled with exciting architecture and daring structural design, which is partly thanks to its stunning cathedral. The city carries an impressive history, from its importance as a Roman settlement to the origin story of the hot cross bun. Even with its unique and alluring stories, it proves an excellent place for London’s commuters and that’s why many fall in love with it. Fortunately, it’s also the safest major town in Hertfordshire.

4. Luton

Luton is famous for its football club, drawing lots of success from the sport and its players. What’s more, its heritage lies in both hat-making and car manufacturing, with a large Vauxhall factory positioned in the town until 2002. But, that’s not what draws commuters in.

It’s far cheaper to rent in Luton compared to London, with one study suggesting rent was 56.12% lower than in the capital. The average house price here also isn’t to be sniffed at. Most house prices average somewhere in the £290,000 range, making it an accessible option for first-time buyers or buy-to-let investments.

3. Slough

Third on the list of the best commuter towns to London is bustling Slough. Among the biggest attractions for commuters is the rapid 17-minute train journey to London Paddington as well as Slough’s handy position on the Elizabeth Line which runs from east to west across London.

Located close to West London and Heathrow Airport, Slough is in the heart of the UK transport and communication network and is an important commercial centre for numerous national and international businesses, such as Procter & Gamble. The town also boasts a thriving shopping centre and array of education and leisure amenities, making it a popular choice for commuters with young families.

2. Reading

The vibrant town of Reading claimed second place in the list of the best commuter towns to London, and it’s easy to see why. The journey to London Paddington takes a mere 27 minutes, and there’s a fast service available every six minutes, providing commuters with multiple travel options. In addition, Reading also has fast and convenient links to Heathrow and across London via the new Elizabeth Line.

While Reading scored highly for frequency in the On Train Times survey, it was also commended for train speed of 83mph – 21mph higher than any other station – and value, at 32p per mile. However, only 43% of its Great Western Railway commuter services to London ran on time.

Reading remains a favourite location for London commuters as it boasts all the amenities you’d expect from the largest town in Berkshire – a vibrant town centre, museum, university, arts and culture venues, open parks and gardens, plus a range of water activities thanks to its close proximity to the River Thames.

1. Woking

With a swift journey time of just 26 minutes to London Waterloo, low crime rates, and high average salaries, Woking if officially the best commuter town to London in 2023.

Not only that but Woking was also named the 2022/23 best rail station for London commuters by  On Train Times. The analysis compared 30 stations outside the M25 with more than a million passenger journeys each year and within an hour’s travel of central London. Woking’s commuter services ran on time 69 per cent of the time, with trains departing approximately every seven minutes and travelling at 51mph.

As well as being a great place to live and raise a family, Woking and the wider Surrey area boasts a range of serviced accommodation options that support those commuting to London for long and short-term projects. It allows people to enjoy all the home comforts they would expect but without the need to buy or rent a property.

Are You Looking for Serviced Accommodation Within a Short Commute to London?

At Berkshire Rooms, we provide a range of luxury serviced houses and apartments within a short train journey to London, making it ideal for commuters. From Woking to Reading, check out our facilities.