Southend is in Essex. Dover is Kent. Guildford is in Surrey.
There’s nothing to debate.
But there’s no end of other towns where it isn’t quite that clear.
Towns that many, many years ago were part of the counties that border London.
What some people still don’t seem realise, or want to admit, however, is that they have been part of this great city for a very long time.
So let’s try and clear things up once and for all.
Here’s 13 towns which we accept used to be in either Essex, Kent or Surrey.
But they’ve long since been swallowed up by London and we’re not ready to give them back thank you very much.
Romford – not in Essex
It’s been part of London since 1965. So England have even won the World Cup more recently than it’s been in Essex.
Yet the fact it is just a couple of miles from the border with Essex seems to confuse plenty of people.
It is actually in the borough of Havering. The London borough of Havering!
Ilford – not in Essex
We are getting further into London now, but another town that many decades ago used to be in Essex.
Essex County Cricket Club used to play games occasionally at Ilford’s Valentines Park, so maybe that added to the confusion.
But it is actually in the borough of Redbridge.
Dagenham – not in Essex
Known for its massive Ford factory, Dagenham, on the banks of the River Thames, was another of those Essex towns eaten up by London in the 1960s.
It’s part of the borough of Barking and Dagenham.
So when it is in the name of a London borough, it’s hard to make a case for it not being in London. You know some people still will, though!
Barking – not in Essex
You’d have to be barking mad to think Barking is in Essex. Or barking up the wrong tree.
Again it was gobbled up by London more than 50 years ago.
But older residents no doubt remember it from when it was in Essex. And they’re still not letting go!
Bexleyheath – not in Kent
We’ve crossed the Thames and found a new problem. Now we’ve got towns in the London suburbs that people think are in Kent.
Again it was back in 1965 – clearly a big year for London when it came to nicking parts of neighbouring counties – that it moved into London.
It is part of Bexley but has a Dartford postcode. And Dartford’s still in Kent. Maybe London will claim that too at some point.
Bromley – not in Kent
This one is easy to remember. Bromley the town is in the London borough of Bromley.
Again it used to be in Kent and has its own postcode, which is often used as an argument for why somewhere isn’t in London.
But plenty of places in London don’t have what are seen as traditional London postcodes.
Orpington – not in Kent
On top of not having a London postcode, Orpington homes don’t have London phone numbers.
But it is still in London. In the borough of Bromley in fact.
Like everywhere else on the list it does have London buses. And we bet those people arguing it is in Kent don’t want to give those up!
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Sidcup – not in Kent
Back to the borough of Bexley and another town that was in Kent until 1965.
The reason so many towns moved into London at that time was effectively to recognise that London had grown to become Greater London.
It reduced the number of local government districts, so might have saved a bit of cash too.
Croydon – not in Surrey
The town of Croydon is in the London borough of London. You’ll see a theme developing.
You’ll still find plenty of people in the south of the borough, in the likes of Purley and Coulsdon, who will argue all night that they live in Surrey.
But further north, most people in the likes of Thornton Heath, South Norwood and Norbury are likely to tell you they are from London.
Sutton – not in Surrey
Parts of Surrey do dip inside the M25 that can make it confusing to know what’s in Surrey and what’s in London.
But Sutton (the town and borough) are well and truly in London.
It’s one of the handful of boroughs without a London Underground station. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t in London!
Mitcham – not in Surrey
We’re now into another borough, Merton, and again we’ve got a town that historically was in Surrey.
Homes in Mitcham have a Croydon post code, which some people will use as a reason for arguing it is in Surrey.
Even though Croydon is in London.
Kingston – not in Surrey
We appreciate why this one is a little confusing.
Surrey County Council’s offices are in Kingston. Even though Kingston is a borough in London.
The council is moving its offices to Woking, though, so perhaps they’ve finally accepted Kingston is staying in London!
Richmond – not in Surrey
With its stunning park and its peaceful walks along the River Thames it might feel like it is in Surrey.
But Richmond is in London. In the borough of Richmond in fact.
Want a nice fact to impress you friends with? Richmond is the only London borough on both sides of the River Thames.