It is common to find people who work full time in London (or they did
before lockdown) having to make a choice when it comes to where it is
they actually call home.
Either they fully embrace London life and live in the centre of town or they accept a longer, more expensive commute but get to live outside the capital in a quieter area.
But what if you could have both? Especially, how since the coronavirus pandemic hit people are embracing the great outdoors more than ever and cherishing living somewhere with plenty of green spaces.
London's Zone 6 may get overlooked as a pointless "in between" but actually there's lots of lovely places to live in this zone.
There are places with loads of green space and a countryside feel that also have quick connections into Central London and plenty of local amenities.
An annual Zone 6 travelcard to Zone 1 costs £2,568. But if you can get away with travelling off peak, it can work out even cheaper to just pay as you go.
Here are some popular Zone 6 destinations, with average property prices taken from Rightmove as of July 2019. The prices listed are for one bedroom flats, just to give you an idea of comparative prices.
It's close to plenty of countryside, five minutes from the M25 and a half-hour commute into the City.
High Barnet has its own bustling high street, which is on the rise with new shops popping up, and there are transport connections at High Barnet Tube station on the Northern line and Hadley Wood and New Barnet stations.
It's often referred to as a family area and has some of the best schools in the UK.
Average price of a one-bed flat: £295,000 (to buy), £1,037 (rent per month)
Waltham Abbey is full of fascinating history, is home to the Lee Valley White Water Centre where the canoe slalom happened at the 2012 Olympics, and has lots of great pubs among other amenities.
There are several transport options to get into London - the train from Waltham Cross is about 30 minutes into Liverpool Street and it is even quicker to Tottenham Hale, although Waltham Cross is technically Zone 7. Loughton on the Central line is around five miles away.
Average price of a one-bed flat: £171,000 (to buy), £746 (rent per month)
It's a slightly more expensive option than some Zone 6 areas, but you're paying for the beautiful and peaceful surroundings.
Sitting right on the River Thames and close to the stunning Bushy Park, the second biggest royal park in London with lots of deer, it's the kind of place you could go for endless walks and never get bored.
Its high street is mainly independent shops and cafés and there's loads of great local schools.
The train takes just over half an hour into Waterloo, stopping at Clapham Junction where you can change for destinations like Victoria, East Croydon and Vauxhall.
Average price of a one-bed flat: £325,000 (to buy), £1,256 (rent per month)
You definitely get the best of both worlds in Orpington, with a quick and easy 30-minute commute into London Bridge or Cannon Street but much more peaceful surroundings than you'll find living in Zone 1.
There's a great regenerated town centre as well as fantastic schools.
It's also on the edge of Kent so at the weekend (once lockdown is over) you have endless pretty villages to explore on your doorstep, not to mention country walks and trips to the beach that are within a relatively short drive.
Average price of a one-bed flat: £232,439 (to buy), £918 (rent per month)
echnically in North East London, Theydon Bois in Epping Forest has a wonderful community that puts on all sorts of fun events, like the annual donkey derby.
With Epping Forest on the doorstep, if you love your walks - or perhaps have a dog - this is a truly wonderful place to live.
Plus it's an easy journey into London.
In terms of transport, Theydon Bois is on the Central line, and it takes just over half an hour to get into the City and about 44 minutes to Oxford Circus. It's close to the M25 too.
Average price of a one-bed flat: £385,000 (to buy), £928 (rent per month)
A place you may only know as being at the end of the District line, Upminster is a great place to move to if you're seeking a slower pace of life.
There's loads of parks and great amenities like a mini golf course.
It's on the edge of Essex so trips down the pier at Southend or to the old town in pretty Leigh-On-Sea at the weekend are on your doorstep.
The transport connections are worth celebrating too. It's at the end of the line so you'll always get a seat into the City or onwards to places like Embankment, High Street Kensington and Paddington. There's also the Overground service to Romford, trains to Fenchurch Street and it's close to Junction 29 on the M25.
Average price of a one-bed flat: £275,000 (to buy), £900 (rent per month)
Situated on a picturesque part of the Grand Union Canal, Uxbridge is home to Brunel University and a decent selection of shops and restaurants.
It is a short drive from the beautiful Chilterns, which are a paradise for cyclists and walkers.
The pretty town of Beaconsfield, with its quirky model village is also nearby.
It boasts plenty of amenities in its town centre and a fascinating history, with the Battle of Britain Bunker museum.
Uxbridge station sits at the end of the Piccadilly line and a branch of the Metropolitan line and it's also close to the M25, M40 and M4.
Average price of a one-bed flat: £249,000 (to buy), £1,040 (rent per month)
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