While there is no official definition of the term, these can be best be thought of as the counties surrounding London Town- indeed much of the GLA area was formerly in some of these counties.
Popularly conceived as a suburban and/or rural commuter land, with conservative (and Conservative) attitudes, as well as a general prosperity.
The area includes the following counties:
- Berkshire (pronounced like "bark") Home to the towns of Slough and Reading
- Bedfordshire: Luton and Bedford (both renowned for being multicultural and Luton in particular for being working class Bedford on the other hand is quite split class wise and as a result is a key marginal constituency during elections) are the main towns in this county the rest of the county is rural, conservative and white.
- Buckinghamshire: Mostly green and hilly, but with several large towns and a good education system. Most of the countryside now belongs to the National Trust.
- Essex: East of London, but north of the River Thames, the county is known for Boudica and a stereotype of dumb peroxide blondes, known as "Essex girls" (the British equivalent of valley girls or Jersey girls).
- Southend-on-sea (Unitary Authority): Best known for the world's longest amusement pier, amusement arcades and the Cliffs Pavilion theatre.
- Thurrock (Unitary Authority): Home to Tilbury, the port of London and one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, Lakeside.
- Hampshire - South Hampshire (Portsmouth and Southampton) is one of the most urbanized areas of the country.
- Isle of Wight - Was once part of this county but now is it's own seperate county.
- Hertfordshire (pronounced like "heart")
- Kent- Widely known in tourist literature as "The Garden of England" due to its orchards and hops fields ('hopfields'), though an unfortunate/ignorant EU regulation change has almost entirely destroyed the orchards, and only real beer still uses real hops. Landscape of chalk downs (see Terry Pratchett's 'The Chalk'), the Weald, many small woods, lots of motorways. Nearest county to France and attracts immigrants as a result. Also has the very large Bluewater shopping centre. Dover castle, Rochester castle, Ightham Mote (seen the 'Musgrave Ritual' episode of the Jermemy Brett Sherlock Holmes series) are just three places worth visiting.
- Quite a bit of The Battle of Britain happened overhead Kent and similar.
- Medway (Unitary Authority) The City of Rochester (recently lost status of city due to failure to renew a Royal Warrant), plus Chatham (once a major Naval dockyard), Gillingham, and sundry villages in surrounding area (Hoo, Luton, many more). Basically the region bordering the Medway estuary (part of the Thames estuary), often linked with wider areas such as Swale, Isle of Sheppey.
- Oxfordshire - Home of Oxford.
- Surrey: Definitely a place with a reputation for genteelness, the county town is Guildford.
- Has featured in fiction a lot- The War of the Worlds has the aliens start by attacking Woking, Harry Potter's uncle and aunt live in a fictional Surrey Town called Little Whinging and Ford Prefect claimed to be from Guildford.
- Also a common filming location.
- Is the most wooded of all English counties as well as being the most densely populated non-metropolitan county (metropolitan counties are counties created in the mid 20th century based around large metropolitan areas eg Greater Manchester, Greater London, Merseyside and West Yorkshire). It's desnley populatedness is because it contains large urban areas continuous with London which aren't in Greater London with the county council even being based in London.
- Sussex - Brighton England's Gay capital is in this county.