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burton dassett hills looking down on english landscape warwickshire midlands england uk - shot on film
One ideal commuter spot is inundated with gorgeous countryside (Picture: Getty Images)

From the daily rat race to the insurmountable rent prices, London isn’t always an easy city to exist in.

There’s an alternative to this often-hellish existence – and that’s joining the commuter life, with your takeaway coffee, packed lunches and train reading (or laptop) at the ready.

The cost of living might be rising across the UK, but there are a bunch of commuter towns that have cheaper rent than the averages in London (which, according to figures from Zoopla, has reached £2,121) and aren’t too far away by train.

So, if you’re tempted to pack up your troubles and head off for a quieter existence while maintaining your London wage, consider venturing to a town with ‘beautiful countryside’ right on the doorstep: Rugby.

Tucked away in Warwickshire, the quaint market town of Rugby has a population of around 78,000. And with an average monthly rent price of £889, it’s much cheaper than London: it’s also only around 57 minutes from London on the train, with single ticket prices starting at around £9.

And, it seems local love living there. ‘You definitely get more bang for your buck here,’ wrote one commenter on Martin Lewis’ MSE forum. ‘You don’t have to travel far to get to some nicer places, great transport links, only ever a short drive away from nice country walks, farm shops etc.’ And a Mumsnet user added that it’s a ‘lovely place to bring kids up.’

With monthly searches for ‘low-cost apartments near me’ up by 300% year-on-year, new data from London Northwestern Railway has revealed six of the most affordable commuter destinations that workers in the London area should know about.

After Rugby came the nearby Coventry, where the average rent comes in at £926. Here, a train into London takes around 1 hour 20 minutes – AKA, the time it roughly takes to commute from some areas of south London to north. It’s all about perspective.

The third was Northampton, which is slightly more expensive with an average rent of £946 but is only 50 minutes away.

Narrowboat at Hillmorton locks on the Oxford canal, Warwickshire, England, UK
Warwickshire is full of canals (Picture: Getty Images)

Next came Long Bucky, located midway between Northampton and Rugby, which has the same average rent price as Northampton at £946, but is slightly further away at 1 hour 8 minutes by public transport. Here, the housing options are varied, from period properties to new builds.

And in fifth and sixth place ranked Leighton Buzzard and Watford, which had rent averages of £1,090 and £1,161 and commutes of 30 minutes and 16 minutes respectively – the closest to London of the entire list, but the most expensive.

Things to do in Rugby

A highly sought-after market town, Rugby is packed with independent retailers, bars and restaurants, and even has a weekly market selling fresh local produce.

There’s also plenty to be found just outside of Rugby, including a breathtaking 630-acre reservoir in the form of Draycote Water. With bike and walking trails, a water sports centre, bird-watching hides and a trout fishery, the reservoir, built in 1970, supplies water to both Rugby and Coventry.

For another experience steeped in nature, there’s the Swift Valley Nature Reserve, a peaceful park with various mashes, landscaped wetlands, and meadows filled with water lilies and dragonflies.

Inevitably, the sport of rugby has a considerable presence locally, and a trip to The Webb Ellis Rugby Museum is essential for fans.

Narrow Boat on Avon Canal
Narrowboats often float across the River Avon (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Found less than 100 metres from where the first rugby match began, it documents over 180 years of the game, including the story of how the ball transformed from an inflated pig bladder to the modern, oval-shaped object we know and love today.

For a spot of art and culture, a trip to the Rugby Art Gallery & Museum is a must, a modern art museum that delves into Rugby’s Roman history across rotating exhibitions and numerous exhibits.

And if you’ve got little ones, the Rainsbrook Valley Railway opens on the third Sunday of every month for free railway rides along the 1 km-long track. Toot toot!



The most affordable commuter destinations, according to LNER

  1. Rugby (Average rent price: £889, commuting time to London: 57 minutes)
  2. Coventry (£926, 1 hour 20 minutes)
  3. Northampton (£946, 50 minutes)
  4. Long Bucky (£946, 1 hour 8 minutes)
  5. Leighton Buzzard (£1,090, 30 minutes)
  6. Watford (£1,161, 16 minutes).

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