The county of Kent offers some wonderful places to live. There are fast connections to London from many railway stations in the county, and there is much to see and do in Kent. A recent Country Life article of the best places to live in the United Kingdom cited six villages in Kent that were perfect for commutes to London. The villages are not in any particular order.
If you are looking for a picturesque village, then Westerham is it. There is always a lot going on in the village, and there is a golf club, the Fleapit Cinema Club and lots of pubs and restaurants. It is not far from Chartwell, and if you are a fan of Winston Churchill you are in for a treat.
After a 9 minute drive to Oxted Station, you can arrive at London Victoria just 40 minutes later. There are 6 trains an hour during peak times, and the first train is at 6am and the last train back leaves at 11.47pm. An annual season ticket is around £2100.
Situated close to Royal Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge, Otford is a fairly quiet village that boasts the best roundabout in the UK. It is the only listed roundabout in the country, and has a duck pond to boot. If sport is your thing, then cricket and football matches can be found in Otford. There is a very good school as well.
From Otford railway station you will reach Victoria in London in just 39 minutes. During peak hours, there are 5 trains to London. If you have an early start then catch the 5.46 am and if you have to work late then the last train leaves Victoria at 12.07 am. Season ticket around £3,300.
Fairly close to Royal Tunbridge Wells, Langton Green is a truly classic village which has a traditional pub, butchers shop, general shop, bakery and a lovely cricket green. There is also a very popular prep school called Holmewood House.
The drive to Tunbridge Wells station takes about 8 minutes, and from there you can be in Charing Cross, London in just under an hour. There are 5 trains an hour at peak times, and the first train leaves Tunbridge Wells at 5.21 am. The last train from Charing Cross leaves at 12.15 am. An annual season ticket is around £4,400.
Aldington is a truly historic village in the Kent countryside. Overlooking Romney Marsh, Aldington was once an enclave for smugglers. It has a traditional bakery, pub, general store and there is a cricket club.
The best way to commute is on the Ashford International. It takes around 16 minutes to get to the station and then another 39 minutes to arrive at London, St Pancras. There are 3 trains per hour at peak times, and the first one leaves at 5.13am and the last train home is at 12.12 am. An annual ticket will cost around £5,300.
Cranbrook is a very pretty village and has an excellent grammar school that has a good write up in the Good Schools Guide. The village also has a Michelin starred restaurant called Apicius, and there is also the fantastic Weald Smokery which serves amazing smoked meat and fish dishes.
Staplehurst station is about 11 minutes drive, and there are 3 trains an hour during peak which will get you to London Bridge in about 53 minutes. The first train to London leaves at 5.30 am and the last train back departs at 11.49 pm. A yearly season ticket is around £4,700.
Another attractive village, Penshurst is located in the Weald of Kent and there is a lot of beautiful surrounding countryside and the opportunity to take great walks. The cricket pitch is the oldest privately owned pitch in the world. You will find shops, a tea room, a number of pubs and a good primary school in the village.
The best way to get to London is to take a 10 minute drive to Hildenborough, and you will arrive at Charing Cross station 45 minutes later. Five peak hour trains are available, and the first leaves at 4.56 am and the last train home is at 12.15 am. An annual season ticket will cost around £3,800.