Staines-upon-Thames is an un-trumpeted riverside commuter address and that is what appealed to university lecturer Dennis Fitzpatrick.

A keen rower, he wanted to move from Windsor closer to London, where he works, to a place where the train journey was quick, property prices were lower and where he could indulge his passion for sculling.

Even before the advent of the railway, Staines was a popular staging post between London and south coast ports.

During the interwar period it became famous for linoleum production, and later for corporate offices because of proximity to Heathrow airport.

It adjoins the green belt, has a conservation quarter as well as modern shopping precincts and boasts a riverside scenic trail all the way to historic Windsor.

New homes have been in short supply, but a high street project, London Square Staines, by developer London Square, has brought smart flats to the town centre.

Four blocks are linked by courtyard gardens, while there is a new square with shops and cafés as well as an on-site gym — perfect for Mr Fitzpatrick, 50, who purchased a one-bedroom flat.

“It’s a short walk to the station and the shops, and I was delighted to discover that Staines Boat Club has a recreational squad that rows for leisure,” he says. “You can’t beat living by the river.”

A two-bedroom show apartment with a large private terrace overlooking the garden square has been unveiled.

Prices from £479,950. Call 01784 819149.

Staines is just 35 minutes by train from Waterloo and has an average property price of £320,817.

Kingston, nine miles closer to London, has the same commuting time but the average home costs £446,985.

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