Life in the seaside town where Londoners fled to work from home with lovely cafés and fast internet

Deb Clarke with her dog
-Credit: (Image: SWNS)

Welcome to Britain's top spot for working from home - Ogmore-by-Sea, where former Londoners are flocking for the sea views, superfast broadband, and an enviable work-life balance. The charming village on Glamorgan's Heritage Coast has been crowned the best place to work from home, following a study that looked at housing, internet speeds, and access to the countryside.

Locals in Ogmore-by-Sea have expressed little surprise at the accolade, with many having returned to the area after spending considerable time in London, especially since remote working became widespread. Cafes in the village have seen a boom in business thanks to the surge of remote workers, a trend accelerated by the Covid pandemic.

Lee Davis, 54, who once left for the hustle of cities like London and Manchester, moved back to nearby Wick four years ago. Working in steel sales, Lee enjoys the flexibility of working from home, saying: "I often work from home so I can have interludes like taking my friend's dog, Fudge, for a walk."

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He finds peace away from the city, adding: "You can switch off completely - it chills me out. I can't stand the place; the Tube, the people, the stress. I wanted to come back somewhere tranquil." For him, Ogmore-by-Sea represents the perfect work-life balance.

Ffion Hughes, 22, works at The Welsh Coffee Company, her uncle's coffee shop, which is now a hub for those mixing work with a warm brew. She observes: "We usually do get a lot of people working from here, mostly in the morning. As soon as Covid hit, so many people came here, it was crazy."

Nico Gibbs, 21, who works at the nearby Hilary and Iain's Kitchen, expressed gratitude for the influx of remote workers. He shared: "People are here for hours and hours which is nice. They get to look at the beach and most of them order breakfast, then they will have a coffee. We are happy to let them stay as long as they want."

However, the popularity of the place among remote workers sometimes puts a strain on the internet service. Nico noted: "We do give out the WiFi password - but sometimes it gets too busy to give it out."

John Sinden, 73, a former London worker who relocated to the seaside village in 2018 and now telecommutes as a biotech executive, complimented the local amenities. He observed: "People are friendly here and everything works, like the public transport. It is a lovely location, close to the sea and with coastal paths in walking distance."

Deb Clarke, 39, has deep roots in the area and chose to return to Ogmore-by-Sea four years ago. She wouldn't consider living elsewhere, stating: "It is so close to the coast and close enough to Swansea and Cardiff." Currently working from home as a scenic artist while she cares for her 8-week-old Cavapoo named Melyn, Deb enjoys the balance of travel for work and life by the sea.

John Davis, 71, echoes the sentiment of returning locals, having moved back five years ago after spending time away. He pointed out: "A lot of people came during Covid. People wanted to leave towns and cities." He also noted that new housing developments have attracted a younger demographic to the seaside village. Census data reveals that the population has increased from 878 in 2011 to 1,354 in 2021.

The village was lauded for its "real year-round community", charming pub, nearby boutiques and "excellent" shops in a recent study, which also highlighted its average house price of £468,500. The report further mentioned the availability of ultrafast internet, easy train access to London, and proximity to Cardiff.

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