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Escape from London: Idyllic Places to Live within an Hour of the Capital [Paperback]

Dennis Watts
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (4 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749006242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749006242
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 532,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

By Nigel Lewis, Daily Mail Property Correspondent:
This new guide 'takes the slog out of finding a rural idyll' -- Dail Mail, June 11, 2004

This book has 'Pinpointed the rural retreats in which many Londoners dream of living, researched their house prices and surroundings.' -- Daily Mail, 11 June 2004

From the Author

This book avoids waste of money on journeys to rural
areas near London which turn out to be unsuitable. It saves much time that
would otherwise have to be spent on researching possibly pleasant places to
live.

It would be impossible to include detailed maps showing all the
hundreds of towns and villages in the huge rural area around Greater
London. The book is designed to make it easy to find places in a U.K. road
atlas most motorists already have. As explained in part one of the book,
attempting to provide adequate maps would double the price and size of the
book unnecessarily. The book is arranged into counties and named districts:
areas of villages around main towns, to make it easy to find places
mentioned in a road atlas and to arrange house hunting tours as enjoyable
days out in the countryside.

Train journey times from rural stations to appropriate London main
line stations are provided in the sections on villages and towns. Train
routes and times to London main line stations are also detailed in Appendix
Two and an internet reference is given to find the up to date details
concerning fares, season tickets, etc. Information concerning fares is not
in the book. The complexity and frequent changes to fares and season
tickets would make any such information misleading. Car routes to
alternative stations are covered where these may be useful to consider.

The book is in two parts. Although plunging straight into the chapters
in Part Two covering particular counties is tempting, Part One covers very
useful background information and advice that is not repeated in every
chapter on individual counties. Before deciding where to visit and view
properties it is best to read the sections on whole counties and districts
before relying only on the entry for a particular village. For example,
information on schools, education generally and nearby shopping facilities
is in Part One, in the introduction to each county and in the comments on
the main town in each district. Going straight to details of a particular
village would give the impression this information has been omitted from
the book.

The emphasis of the information is on the character of the most
attractive rural areas where suitable properties can be found. Access to
the countryside is a major theme. Too often people imagine living in the
country means you can just walk out into the fields and forests. In fact,
the land is mostly privately owned and it's most important to have a good
idea where there are footpaths and common land which the public can
access.

London is a good place to live for many reasons but up to a quarter of
a million people leave Greater London each year as their needs and
circumstances change. Many seek an improved quality of life and changes to
life-style in a rural location within easy reach of the capital. But where
to go? The total area within reasonable commuting distance is over 5,000
square miles. As Nigel Lewis stated in his Daily Mail review, this book
provides a great time and money saving starting point in the search for
that ideal rural location.


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Customer Reviews

2.0 out of 5 stars
2.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly informative read! 2 Aug 2006
My husband and I had been looking to move out of London for some time, but were not sure where exactly: we wanted somewhere quieter and greener, but not too cut off from our friends or his work. This book has proved unbelievably useful in our quest to find a house, raising points we had not thought about, and going into superb detail on a wide variety of topics - from schools to types of property. A year on, I can safely say that without this book, we would not have found our lovely village!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not that great! 2 Jan 2010
Verified Purchase
Bought to evaluate whether to move outside London or not...Did not quite help as the descriptions of the different places was found insufficient.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Money with several factual errors 15 Jun 2007
By M. Bell
odd layout, very patchy coverage, a complete waste of money.

I spotted several very basic mistakes (there are probably many more) on key things such as train routes, whether a town has a station etc!

Was it edited at all?!
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of Money 9 Aug 2006
By Charlie
There is so much more that this book could have been. It needs a lot more maps, perhaps train routes, prices of season tickets etc.

As it is I don't think this book will be any help in determining an area to move to, let alone a village.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing - could have been so much better 30 July 2006
This looked to be the perfect book to guide us towards likely areas to live outside London, but was very disappointing - disconnected internet quotes and cliches. It doesn't for example include a map (would have been so easy and helpful) o r a diagram of a train route, and doesn't consistenly mention which of the small villages have shops/post offices etc. Lots of the school information is just cut and pasted from the websites of local authorities.
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