Hi, I am new to this site and adore London and we have been to many cities we like. I need some advise on areas and towns we may consider if anyone knows of them. Ido need train access to London and prefer the South due to sunnier climate. My daughter and son are at univeristy in Hampshire and then to London for Grad school eventually. Areas to discuss; Bath, Gloucestershire/Cheltenham. Hampshire/Winchester, West and East Sussex, Tunbridge Wells, West London, Hampstead Heath, Cambridge, Oxford, Surrey. Thanks.
Guildford is a nice little market town in a very good location in Surrey. Lots of countryside around, London Waterloo is just 25 minutes away. Heathrow and Gatwick only 30 minute. It is also one of the safest places to live in the UK. A lot of the places you are have mentioned are quite expensive towns to rent property. Cheltenham is very nice, but about 100 miles to London. If you need anything specific about Winchester, Guildford or Cheltenham send me a PM as i have lived/worked in all 3 places.
I recommend Tunbridge Wells - it has everything you need. Big shopping centre in town, Sainsburys, train links to the coast and to London, nice flats in town as well as larger town houses, a big park to sit in in the summer, nice cinema just out of town (if slightly steep), couple of decent gyms, couple of theatres too. It won't disappoint!