Commuters travelling away from Charing Cross or Cannon Street can sit back and appreciate the beautiful countryside and charming towns they are going back to at the end of the working day.
These stations serve the London to Hastings line, along which there are six options for those hoping to commute to the capital in under an hour.
Of the six, Tonbridge in Kent has experienced the strongest house price growth in the last 12 months, up 18.8% to an average of £324,373, according to research by Savills.
In second place is the East Sussex village of Frant, where prices increased by 8.7%, and another village, Hildenborough, also in Kent, saw prices rise by 8%.
If you’re looking to invest, rent or buy, here are some places to look out for:
Not to be confused with the more upmarket town of Royal Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge is a medieval town in Medway, Kent, boasting a theatre, country park, two swimming pools and an athletics club.
A property consultant at Ellis & Co estate agents, Lynne Fermor, comments: “It is a friendly town, and it is really our schools and trains which attract people.”1
Fermor says that six out of ten of her buyers are moving from London.
The commute to the capital takes 42 minutes and an annual season ticket costs £3,980.
Tonbridge’s housing stock is not glamorous, but the south side of the town features Victorian avenues, including Douglas Road and Priory Street, which are tree-lined and close to the station.
Two-bedroom terraced houses cost between £260,000-£270,000 and you can expect to pay £600,000-£1m for a detached property.
The south side of Tonbridge also boasts good grammar schools, with the best being The Judd School, Tonbridge Grammar School and Weald of Kent Grammar School.
Primary schools include St Margaret Clitherow Catholic Primary School and Woodlands Junior School, both rated outstanding by Ofsted.
Frant is just over the Kent border, in East Sussex. The pretty village has three pubs, a general store, a pleasant green and a primary school with a good Ofsted rating.
It is more expensive than Tonbridge, with an average house price of £553,915. Flats cost around £248,650.
The train station is a mile away in Bells Yew Green and the journey to the capital takes an hour, with an annual season ticket costing £4,364.
The village attracts walkers and cyclists, as it is on the edge of the High Weald and close to the National Trust’s Nap Wood.
Tonbridge and Frant have outperformed other areas in the past year, but Sevenoaks has recovered most strongly since the recession.
House prices in Sevenoaks have risen by over 20% from 2007, with the average property now costing £670,815 and flats priced at around £298,747.
The commute to London takes just 33 minutes and an annual season ticket is £4,364. With fast trains and a location on a hilltop in the North Downs, Sevenoaks is an attractive option.
Along with an upmarket high street, Sevenoaks also has quality private and state schools.
Good primary schools include St Thomas’ Catholic Primary School and Lady Boswell’s Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School, both rated outstanding by Ofsted.
Secondary schools rated good by Ofsted include Trinity School and Knole Academy. Additionally, most of the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells grammar schools will accept applications from those living in Sevenoaks.
Green space can be found within Knole Park, where six of the town’s original seven oaks were destroyed by the great storm of 1987. Residents can also get to the south coast within half an hour.
Savills’ David Johnston says that his clients include buyers from southwest London, who claim the journey to the City and Canary Wharf is faster from Sevenoaks.
This has pushed prices of post-war houses up by around 10% in the last year. Streets east of Montreal Park are close to the station and Riverhead Infants School, which is rated outstanding by Ofsted.
These homes now sell for between £1m-£1.5m, but buyers with smaller budgets can find two-bed cottages for around £350,000-£400,000.