The beautiful commuter village 33 minutes from London named one of best places to live in 2024

Virginia Water village
-Credit: (Image: Darren Pepe)

Moving out of London has been very attractive to people for several years now as living in the capital gets more and more expensive. There are many lovely commuter villages around but one 33 minutes from a major London station has just been named one of the best places to live in 2024.

Property experts from across the country spoke to the Mail about Britain's 30 most desirable villages and unsurprisingly Virginia Water, famous for its stunning lake, made the list. The commuter village has around 6,000 residents but sadly is not for everyone as it is a pricey place to live.

According to Rightmove, properties in Virginia Water went for an average price of £1,196,178 over the last year. They even say that the majority of sales were detached properties that sold for an average of £2,046,955.

Flats sold for an average of £443,828, with semi-detached properties fetching £581,429. Overall, sold prices in Virginia Water over the last year were 46 per cent down on the previous year and 30 per cent down on the 2021 peak of £1,705,693.

READ MORE: The London boroughs people are avoiding in 2024 as they look for a new home including 'posh' and 'trendy' area

The Waterfall at Great Windsor Park
The waterfall at Great Windsor Park is a big draw along with Virginia Water Lake -Credit:Getty Images

The village in northern Surrey is home to Virginia Water Lake in Windsor Great Park, a Grade I listed Royal Park. The lake has a lovely forest surrounding its banks with a waterfall in it too called 'The Cascade'.

The lake was built in 1752 and took almost 40 years to finish. It has even been featured in some films and was used for lakeside scenes in the Harry Potter movies. There are a few other spots around Windsor Great Park that are worth visiting.

It has The Copper Horse, an Obelisk memorial to the Duke of Cumberland, the Savill Garden and the Long Walk which is a tree-lined 2.64-mile path to Windsor Castle. The village has a number of high-profile alumni who lived in the area. The list includes Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir Cliff Richard, Sir Elton John, and Sarah Ferguson all have - or still do - live in Virginia Water.

Wentworth golf club
Wentworth Golf Club is home of the PGA Championship and some expensive memberships -Credit:Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Another notable place in the village is Wentworth Golf Club, where the BMW PGA Championship is held. It's so expensive to join with the debenture membership structure now estimated at £200,000, adding to the pricey lore of Virginia Water

It is quite easy to get to London from Virginia Water with regular direct trains on South Western Railway services that can get you to Clapham Junction in 33 minutes, which can easily get you to Victoria in no time, or direct trains to Waterloo in 41 minutes.

Rise in popularity for rural homes

The demand for homes in villages such as Virginia Water shows no sign of easing. House prices in areas which are mainly rural have increased at a faster rate than those in urban locations over the five years to the end of 2023. Property values in areas classed as predominantly rural have risen by 22 per cent over the past five years, compared with a 17 per cent increase in urban areas, Nationwide Building Society said.

Andrew Harvey, Nationwide’s senior economist, said: “Our latest analysis suggests that average house price growth in local authorities classified as predominately rural has continued to outpace those of other areas. Between December 2018 and December 2023, average prices in predominately rural areas increased by 22 per cent, compared with 17 per cent in predominately urban areas.

“Local authorities classified as ‘urban with significant rural’ saw price growth of 19 per cent over the same period.” He added: “Average house prices across both urban and rural areas declined a little overall during 2023, which reflects the rise in borrowing costs, which have added to affordability pressures.”

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