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    Thread: Is commuting to London from Kent *actually* worthwhile?


    1. #11

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      CandyGirl...it does seem odd to see the word 'efficient' and 'railway' in the same sentence but yes I would agree with you,,
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    2. #12

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      Commuting gets old really quickly and getting rid of the long commute (I've gone from 90 minutes e/w to 30 minutes e/w) is a massive bonus for me being here

      So I can't recommend long commuting as a way of life. *However*. The problem with London is just that it's so damn big. Even if you live somewhere in Greater London you can still easily be travelling for an hour each way to get to work, and for many jobs it can be just as quick (if not even quicker) to live outside the City - inside the City, you are generally commuting on slow buses, quite slow tubes, and quite slow stopping overground trains. From outside the city you might be commuting on a much faster train service.

      The crucial factor is often how close your job is to a rail terminus in London. If it's right next door, then you can commute quickly. Example: I used to work 5 minutes walk from King's Cross station, and live 5 minutes from Cambridge station. The trains take 50 minutes, so I could do the whole commute, door to door, in about 70 minutes on an average day. That's still too long, but considering it's 60 miles, it's not bad going. If I had been working in the West End somewhere, you could have added 15 minutes on to that at each end, which would have pushed it over the pale for me in terms of acceptability.

      So living in Kent might be well doable if you have a job near the right rail station in London. Bear in mind that if it's bucolic bliss you want, you probably won't want to be living right next to the railway station in the town you're living in/near, either. So you could be adding on to the journey at that end....

      On the subject of rail reliability, most lines are actually pretty good these days, things have improved a lot. The ones to the south and south east (yes, including most of Kent except that served from St Pancras on the fast trains) served out of Victoria, Cannon St, Blackfriars, London Bridge and Charing Cross are the worst because most of them are electrified using the "Third Rail" system rather than overhead wires. It's a lot more susceptible to problems caused by ice and leaves
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    3. #13
      jby
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      Quote Originally Posted by pintpot View Post
      Commuting gets old really quickly and getting rid of the long commute (I've gone from 90 minutes e/w to 30 minutes e/w) is a massive bonus for me being here

      So I can't recommend long commuting as a way of life. *However*. The problem with London is just that it's so damn big. Even if you live somewhere in Greater London you can still easily be travelling for an hour each way to get to work, and for many jobs it can be just as quick (if not even quicker) to live outside the City - inside the City, you are generally commuting on slow buses, quite slow tubes, and quite slow stopping overground trains. From outside the city you might be commuting on a much faster train service.

      The crucial factor is often how close your job is to a rail terminus in London. If it's right next door, then you can commute quickly. Example: I used to work 5 minutes walk from King's Cross station, and live 5 minutes from Cambridge station. The trains take 50 minutes, so I could do the whole commute, door to door, in about 70 minutes on an average day. That's still too long, but considering it's 60 miles, it's not bad going. If I had been working in the West End somewhere, you could have added 15 minutes on to that at each end, which would have pushed it over the pale for me in terms of acceptability.

      So living in Kent might be well doable if you have a job near the right rail station in London. Bear in mind that if it's bucolic bliss you want, you probably won't want to be living right next to the railway station in the town you're living in/near, either. So you could be adding on to the journey at that end....

      On the subject of rail reliability, most lines are actually pretty good these days, things have improved a lot. The ones to the south and south east (yes, including most of Kent except that served from St Pancras on the fast trains) served out of Victoria, Cannon St, Blackfriars, London Bridge and Charing Cross are the worst because most of them are electrified using the "Third Rail" system rather than overhead wires. It's a lot more susceptible to problems caused by ice and leaves
      Thanks pintpot! I feel better and worse about commuting now :) Better because it feels more doable and worse because you've done it and admit that cutting it down has changed your life for the better. Damn. I just don't know. The premium on detached houses closer to London is just too much for my budget unfortunately. But just how far out I go is the question.

    4. #14

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      I worked in London for a couple of years and stayed in Teddington whilst there. To me it was the best of both worlds. Quite near London but felt like I was out in the country. Teddington had the Thames stopping people driving through it and a major road into London parallel with the Thames. There was a great pub, the Teddington Lock, with a beer garden going right down to the river, other smaller pubs, all within walking distance.

      I was lucky in that work were paying for me to stay in a nice hotel every week in Teddington. I lived there Monday to Friday and travelled back home to Manchester for the weekends. I stayed in a hotel just outside the gates of Bushy Park a few times and used to go running in the park in the evenings. Herds of deer roaming around, people out walking and exercising. Wouldn't even know you were near London if you hadn't had Concorde and other planes from heathrow flying over.

      If you can afford Teddington or Richmond or somewhere close I would recommend it. Much better than a long commute.
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    5. #15

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      Do wanna buy our house in Chelsfield Kent then? No chain as tennanted and they will leave when it's sold Two stations to choose from Chelsfield or Orpington both within walking distance from the house 20 min fast train into London Bridge and the M25 five mins away.
      What more can I say?
      Sue

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    6. #16

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      On a personal level, it would have to be a job I LOVED to make me do it again.

      Many years ago my journey would take 90 minutes both ways, and whilst I 'liked' my job, it (the journey) did grate after a while.

      Rarely got a seat, even back then, and fed up with telling/asking people to move their bloody cases/feet/paraphernalia off the 'unaccompanied' seats on the tube.

      As I said, 'if' it was a job I 'truly' loved, then yes I would consider it, but that would be the only reason I would do it again.

      Cheers Tony.
      Keyser Söze Was Real. :shocked::yes:

    7. #17
      jby
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      Quote Originally Posted by Paul1Perth View Post
      I worked in London for a couple of years and stayed in Teddington whilst there. To me it was the best of both worlds. Quite near London but felt like I was out in the country. Teddington had the Thames stopping people driving through it and a major road into London parallel with the Thames. There was a great pub, the Teddington Lock, with a beer garden going right down to the river, other smaller pubs, all within walking distance.

      I was lucky in that work were paying for me to stay in a nice hotel every week in Teddington. I lived there Monday to Friday and travelled back home to Manchester for the weekends. I stayed in a hotel just outside the gates of Bushy Park a few times and used to go running in the park in the evenings. Herds of deer roaming around, people out walking and exercising. Wouldn't even know you were near London if you hadn't had Concorde and other planes from heathrow flying over.

      If you can afford Teddington or Richmond or somewhere close I would recommend it. Much better than a long commute.
      Teddington and Richmond are both great options and I'd love to live there. But from looking at what's available in the area for my budget (around £325k) I'm not going to find a detached house with conservatory and nice-sized garden.

      Quote Originally Posted by motherof2 View Post
      Do wanna buy our house in Chelsfield Kent then? No chain as tennanted and they will leave when it's sold Two stations to choose from Chelsfield or Orpington both within walking distance from the house 20 min fast train into London Bridge and the M25 five mins away.
      What more can I say?
      It's a great location for sure! We aren't looking to buy tomorrow, but planning ahead and deciding on areas. Great to know about this one so we can add it to the list, thanks!

      Quote Originally Posted by AKA View Post
      On a personal level, it would have to be a job I LOVED to make me do it again.

      Many years ago my journey would take 90 minutes both ways, and whilst I 'liked' my job, it (the journey) did grate after a while.
      Rarely got a seat, even back then, and fed up with telling/asking people to move their bloody cases/feet/paraphernalia off the 'unaccompanied' seats on the tube.

      As I said, 'if' it was a job I 'truly' loved, then yes I would consider it, but that would be the only reason I would do it again.

      Cheers Tony.
      Yeah, it's starting to look like Canterbury is definitely too far. Thanks for the honesty.
      AKA63029 likes this.

    8. #18

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      Can I also throw Chislehurst into the suggestion pot?!

      I grew up in Bickley and as an adult lived in Wimbledon and Earls Court but when it came to buying a place we settled on Chislehurst because the commute into London Bridge is 20mins or 30mins to Charing Cross. It is serviced by trains to Orpington and Sevenoaks.

      If there are any line problems then you can catch the trains from Victoria to Bromley or Bickley which is a short bus/cab ride away.

      Chislehurst has a little high street and duck pond and beautiful common with great pubs and national trust parkland.

      There are also some great schools in the area.

      Edited to add that I, my husband, my father have caught trains from Kent into London for over 15 years and have never had huge problems or not been able to get into work (worked in investment banking). I have on the other hand had tedious long journey's to Essex and Cambridge (ex boyfriends).
      Last edited by Guest62757; 11-04-2012 at 07:27 AM.
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    9. #19

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      Need I say Clacket Lane Services?

      The road commute will drive you mad. It is a nightmare. I had a mate who did it, his worst time was five and a half hours, and he wasn't coming as far as Cantebury.

      You are better to look at Surrey, or even Haywards Heath or Redhill.

      I don't know about the trains - it depends on whether this is an option.

    10. #20
      jby
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      Quote Originally Posted by Melbsherewecome View Post
      Can I also throw Chislehurst into the suggestion pot?!

      I grew up in Bickley and as an adult lived in Wimbledon and Earls Court but when it came to buying a place we settled on Chislehurst because the commute into London Bridge is 20mins or 30mins to Charing Cross. It is serviced by trains to Orpington and Sevenoaks.

      If there are any line problems then you can catch the trains from Victoria to Bromley or Bickley which is a short bus/cab ride away.

      Chislehurst has a little high street and duck pond and beautiful common with great pubs and national trust parkland.

      There are also some great schools in the area.

      Edited to add that I, my husband, my father have caught trains from Kent into London for over 15 years and have never had huge problems or not been able to get into work (worked in investment banking). I have on the other hand had tedious long journey's to Essex and Cambridge (ex boyfriends).
      Great to know that you guys did it for so long and survived it happily. Thanks for sharing! Will also check out Chislehurst :)

      Quote Originally Posted by newjez View Post
      Need I say Clacket Lane Services?

      The road commute will drive you mad. It is a nightmare. I had a mate who did it, his worst time was five and a half hours, and he wasn't coming as far as Cantebury.

      You are better to look at Surrey, or even Haywards Heath or Redhill.

      I don't know about the trains - it depends on whether this is an option.
      No no, I'm definitely NOT driving. I'm looking at commuting by train.

     

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