St Albans named one of 30 top commuter towns

St Albans High Street

St Albans High Street - Credit: Archant

With its fast rail link into London and fantastic state schools, St Albans has long been popular with families looking to escape the capital in search of the suburban idyll.

The "beautiful" cathedral is one of St Albans' main selling points

The "beautiful" cathedral is one of St Albans' main selling points - Credit: Photo supplied

It’s now been named as one of the Evening Standard’s top 30 areas to buy a home within an hour of a mainline London station, lumped in with Brighton, Luton and Berkhamsted as one of 30 “good-value commuter home destinations with city-style comforts”.

The article in the Homes & Property section refers to the recent National Landlords Association poll, which revealed that four out of 10 London renters would definitely move outside the M25 if they could afford to buy.

So just who would want to live in a cathedral city like this? After raving about the fast “17 minute” commute, we’re told that families love the schools and the “great city centre rammed with alfresco cafés, boutiques and high-end chains”.

The article goes on to gush about the pubs and restaurants, the “beautiful” cathedral and the nearby open countryside, concluding that St Albans “feels safe and sweet”.

It’s not all good, however. The downsides include the fact that – while St Albans may be more affordable that some areas of London – there aren’t very many property bargains to be had here.

“The average prices won’t buy a family-size period house in the sought-after Abbey conservation area,” we’re informed. “Buyers on more restricted budgets will probably end up in a twenties or thirties house on the fringes.” The horror!

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And that’s not all: the arts scene “isn’t great” and there’s “no post-pub nightlife to speak of”.

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