Non-London Towns That Should Be In London

By Rachel2 Holdsworth Last edited 18 months ago
Non-London Towns That Should Be In London
Sunset over Rickmansworth Aquadrome by HotSnapshot from the Londonist Flickr pool. Some day, all this could be ours.

There's some discussion in Epsom, we hear, about whether or not they should leave Surrey and join London proper. It's one of the many areas engirdling the city where more people work within the 32 boroughs + City than in their home towns.

This got us thinking. Which other towns just over the border could London subsume?

Epsom and Ewell

Let's start with the borough which started this discussion. It pokes up out of Surrey like it's tapping the London borough of Sutton on the shoulder, asking to be let in. We could swipe the northern half without even building on green belt, and it'd smooth out a kink in the south west corner. Cons: the map of London would no longer have the flaccid penis of Kingston hanging off it.


The tube already goes there — and is being extended, with two new stations — so we might as well claim it for our own. The trouble is, Watford doesn't actually abut London, but we have a solution for that...


Ever since Londonist Editor-at-Large M@ Brown moved to the area he's not shut up about the prospect of the Future London Borough of Elstree and Borehamwood. It makes sense: it's right next to Barnet, just fill in a bit of the Arkley green belt / golf course and it's a continuous urban conurbation.

We know building on green belt is a contentious issue, but as Oxford geographer Danny Dorling says in the New Statesman:

"Greenbelts don't prevent urban sprawl; the sprawl just hops over them, increasing commuting times outside them and house prices inside. Good-quality, high density living prevents sprawl."

Chilterns and Three Rivers

Again, based on the tube theory, we could annexe these bits of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire for Amersham, Chesham, Chalfont & Latimer, Chorleywood and Rickmansworth. For the first time, residents would be able to vote for the London Mayor — and be able to influence (in theory) tube fares. It must be very annoying being at the mercy of another political district for how much it costs to get to work. Come join us.

Dartford and Thurrock

It'd bring the Dartford Tunnel under the control of Transport for London — maybe the toll could be paid by Oyster? We'd also get Lakeside and Bluewater: we'll leave it up to you as to whether that's a plus or minus.


Sometimes, when we're arguing about what counts as London, one of the options is everything within the M25. To which end, we'd welcome Loughton with open arms. Not only is it next door to Waltham Forest borough, it nestles up to Epping Forest — owned by the Corporation of London. And if Epping felt like joining in, we wouldn't let something as silly as a road get in the way.


Actually, you're alright.

Last Updated 06 October 2016


What about "Staines-Upon-Thames" - there have been recent campaigns to extend zone 6 to include Staines - that's a short step from London Inclusion


watford is a was a very nice town


St Albans. Less than 20 minutes from Kings Cross, trains all night, full of commuters, London-on-Herts.


Borehamwood used to be part of Barnet and also had Met and London Ambulance until 2002.when Herts CC took over.


also, you should also be careful what you wish for- there's no actual benefit from being in London, but you might have to pay more council tax. Barnet for example has higher council tax than Hertsmere, and in return you get less services!

Keith Reidman

None of them! In fact we should start LOOSING a few towns! Places where if a foreign friend visited and they thought that was London. I'll start by nominating Croydon and Dagenham.


Emigrated from the UK in 1981 to Canada and have seen how London has swallowed up communities that used to be in Kent and Surrey. Not convinced this is a good thing as green countryside is being developed into a concrete jungle.

Michael Jennings

As it happens, I walked the final sections of the London LOOP yesterday. This is a walking route that circles London roughly along the outer boundary of greater London - one hops in and out of London many times while walking the entire 245km of the route. The final section starts at Rainham - part of London and about 1km north of the Thames, then heads south to the Thames, and east along its north bank to Purfleet - just over the border into Essex, where the route ends. Rainham is in zone 6, but Purfleet is in one of those special zones where Oyster pre-pay works but the fares are greater and travelcards are not valid. My oyster pre-pay fare back to Bermondsey on c2c and the Jubilee line cost £4.00, whereas if I had come back from Rainham - only one station further down the line - my fare would have been only £1.50. I think I would propose that London should annex Purfleet just for this reason.

In fact, here is a better idea. London should simply annex everywhere that is either inside the M25 or where Oyster pre-pay currently works. Or both.


Going to call you London Putin! :)


I live in the borough of Epsom & Ewell and I believe we get the best of both world's.Close to London..............but not in it.
Ewell West station is in zone 6 too.
I like Surrey and I like living in Surrey.


Epsom doesn't have to be in London, just make it in zone six!! It would benefit so much being part of Oyster, especially with the student population.