Moving to England - Which area to live in..?? Which School To Choose...?

(132 Posts)
NewBee2011 Tue 12-Apr-11 16:54:19

Hi Everyone, We are planning to move to England from Thailand in 3/4 mths, but very confused as to where to live, as we want to live in a good and safe place, not too much fond of city live but not too rural as well and not going too far away from london..But we dont want the place to be too expensive either...Prefer newly built estate...My kids have to join in Son (Yr6) n Daughter(Yr8), they will join private school but which one to choose as I want a good school with good results over the past years n with good reputation. Every suggestion will be of gr8 help.

NessaYork Sat 09-Feb-13 07:57:26

So what did you decide in the end?

mumzy Thu 07-Jul-11 21:23:16

Milton Keynes is definitely commutable from London by car or public transport takes about 40minutes to 1 hour. The pluses are you get more living and outdoor space ,housing tends to be new build ( less maintenance) and affordable than most areas of the south east. The downsides are you need to be able to drive as buses are not that frequent and shops restaurants Milton Keynes is definitely commutable from London by car or public transport takes about 40minutes to 1 hour. The pluses are you get more living and outdoor space ,housing tends to be new build ( less maintenance) and affordable than most areas of the south east. The downsides are you need to be able to drive as buses are not that frequent and shops restaurants entertainment venues are all in one central location. It feels quite characterless and unsociable. The only private school I know in that area is Stowe school which is expensive.
My choice if I was in your shoes would be a pleasant commuter town to London just outside the M 25 such as Epsom, Maidenhead, New Malden,Chelmsford all have good fast connections to London, decent state and private schools and large enough to have Thai people living there and being able to buy Thai food. venues are all in one central location. It feels quite characterless and unsociable. The only private school I know in that area is Stowe school which is expensive.
My choice if I was in your shoes would be a pleasant commuter town to London just outside the M 25 such as Epsom, Maidenhead, New Malden,Chelmsford all have good fast connections to London, decent state and private schools and large enough to have Thai people living there and being able to buy Thai food.

flagging Thu 07-Jul-11 10:06:37

I'd suggest two places that aren't extortionate and where there is a really good quality of life.

The South West (i.e. Wiltshire along the M4), very good train routes into London, good cities along it (Bath, Bristol), and lovely Cotswold towns which are fantastic for kids, great communities- very safe and laid back

Another would be the town of Buckingham. Great town, v nice atmosphere, lovely centre and modern estates too. Near Milton Keynes which has absolutely everything anyone would ever need (shopping, cinemas, restaurants, snow dome, theatre, train to London etc etc)

ScatterChasse Thu 07-Jul-11 10:00:11

Don't know much about Milton Keynes I'm afraid, but have you thought about South of Manchester/ Cheshire (not Bolton, seriously!).

There are some very good private schools there, Withington Girls' School, Manchester Grammar, Stockport Grammar (neither are actual grammars), Cheadle Hulme etc. but I think you will find the entrance exams hard work. It might be best to put your DS into the Junior section of the school you would like for the seniors, as it probably would improve his chance of getting a place.

Clary Thu 07-Jul-11 01:04:13

Milton Keynes not lovely, it's a New Town created several decades ago.

OTOH it has wonderful shops and good facilities. Depends what you want really. A pal of mine lived there in her early 20s and raved about it. It's a bit of a joke in UK with concrete cows etc but I reckon unfairly so.

No idea about school.

Milton Keynes

there are a LOT of roundabouts (although that matters not unless you get dizzy easily!

Not the world's most attractive of places

sue52 Tue 05-Jul-11 15:43:54

I don't know the school but Milton Keynes is not an attractive town.

NewBee2011 Tue 05-Jul-11 11:53:12

Please Reply......Thanx

NewBee2011 Tue 05-Jul-11 09:22:36

Hi Everyone, I am back again. I would like your opinions about Milton Keynes - Buckinghamshire..How is this place. Also any reveiws about - Bury Lawn School in Milton Keynes....Please advice...Thanks

cory Wed 20-Apr-11 16:48:02

First I would sit down with a spreadsheet and think about expenses. Your budget seems quite modest, so I would start thinking about areas where cuts could be made. If you are unwilling to give up the idea of private education, then maybe you could save on housing, by looking for a smaller house. The house prices some posters have mentioned have been of 4 bedroom houses- do you actually need a 4 bedroom house? A 3 bedroom is often considerably cheaper, and semi-detacher, or even terraced, is cheaper than a detached house. How decent does the place you live in have to be? On the whole, in England houses tend to get more expensive the greener the surrounding area: could you cope with a dull suburban street? And so on and so forth.

NewBee2011 Wed 20-Apr-11 15:49:08

Cory, Thanks and I highly appreciate your kindness...

cory Wed 20-Apr-11 14:40:40

Relocation agent may well be the way to go.

Also, I think you and your children are going to have to accept that there will be a culture shock, things will be different, you may not be able to give them exactly everything they had at their old school- and at the end of the day it is still their responsibility to work hard and do well.

A private school with big grounds and state-of-the-art facilities is going to be very expensive in a small overcrowded country like the UK, and living near such a place is also likely to be expensive. So look for the best you can manage- but be prepared to compromise!

Safety, I would say, is not usually a big issue (unless in some very run-down areas). Mostly, the UK is a fairly safe place to be.

I myself live in an urban area which many Mumsnetters would probably turn their noses up at, and where the local schools are not particularly good. But even so, my children are safe to go into town or off with their friends, and they are getting an education which will enable them to access higher education if they themselves choose to make the most of it.

Best of luck with your school hunting!

NewBee2011 Wed 20-Apr-11 14:38:32

Grovel, that was a suggestion given by someone, not my own choice...But its out now.

grovel Wed 20-Apr-11 14:24:28

You've got the whole country to choose from and you consider Bolton? Crikey.

NewBee2011 Wed 20-Apr-11 14:21:08

Madsometimes, Thanks as I am trying to do exactly the same as your friend has done, looking for a good school and then a decent place to live around there...Even I have been offered an entrance exam at the present school my kids are going now....But its easy to say doing all this n really very hard to actually do it..I know how I sit pulling my hair everyday...

And for the affordability, I would say, if something has to be done then there is always a way for it, where theres a will...theres a way...

Very truelly said - No Pain No Gain...

Madsometimes Wed 20-Apr-11 14:00:11

When my friend relocated to the UK she chose the school and then found accommodation to fit around it. It is only possible to do this with private schools. She made a short list of schools, checked about vacancies and came on a whirlwind tour of them.

Private schools often do have occasional vacancies and are happy to take students on at unusual times. They also allowed her dc to take the entrance exams at their own overseas school.

My biggest question is whether the OP can afford a private education. It seems that housing costs here are much greater than she is accustomed to paying.

bitsyandbetty Wed 20-Apr-11 12:35:01

OH xenia! You do make me laugh with your extreme views.

Newbee I use relocation specialists and they are OK so worth a short. Quite reasonable fees. As mentioned early not all private schools are worth paying for and may be more suitable for your child than others based on academic, music or sports interests. It also depends on how much life you want. Some parts of Lincolnshire are quite cut off. York is easily commutable by train to London. I know somebody who does it every day.

diabolo Wed 20-Apr-11 11:42:53

beanlet my MIL lives in a gorgeous little village on the East Herts/South Cambs border.

It is utterley gorgeous, but SOOO expensive house-wise.

Good schools nearby like Haileybury too.

beanlet Wed 20-Apr-11 09:39:07

Clary, OP's DH only needs to be in London occasionally. And yes, York is a doable commute in a day, and plenty of businessmen with families do it (though usually not every day I'm assuming!)

A particularly irritating man gets on at my station in one of the leafier bits of Yorkshire at peak time and asks the conductor ostentatiously for an open first-class return to London ("that will be £400 sir"). Must be on expenses.

Clary Wed 20-Apr-11 00:50:23

YY I agree with diabolo, we are all sayign "ooh come and live here where I live" which is understandable.

I think you need to consider how near to London (ie how many hours away) you need to be, as this will make your options clearer. York to London and back I would not personally want to do in a working day. Possible tho I'm guessing. Does it need to be a driving commute for your DH?

It's just that the nearer you are to London, the more the house will cost to rent or buy. More or less anyway.

Please don't worry so much about the safety aspect - despite what you may have heard or read, most people in the UK are not witnessing drive-by shootings on a daily basis. In other words, most towns and cities here are pretty safe (tho of course all big cities will have areas you may prefer to avoid).

ChateauRouge Tue 19-Apr-11 21:39:51

York is very lovely <<sighs>>

If I could choose anywhere in UK... I would choose to be a millionaire, and choose Central London I think. smile

Harpenden 2nd maybe- v good schools, v easy access to London. £££££ for housing though.

beanlet Tue 19-Apr-11 20:49:43

According to news today, South Cambridgeshire is the happiest and best place to live in the country...

diabolo Tue 19-Apr-11 18:21:33

Also NewBee2011 a lot of MNers are pointing you in the direction of where they live (if they like it) - I am guilty of that. There's nothing wrong with it per se, but you are going to get some very diverse opinions.

York is a lovely small city, Cheshire is lovely (around Hale / Altrincham), so are most of the Home Counties (but more expensive to live).

Use the Good Schools Guide, perhaps buy a property guide to best places in England to work / live / be happy, and see them for yourselves.

The relocation companies someone else suggested would also be a great idea (for a fee of course).

NewBee2011 Tue 19-Apr-11 16:35:20

No, my kids are going to a school that follows american curricullum n most the staff is from USA + Canada, no one from UK, thats why seeking a help here on mumsnet.
TBH I feel I cannot make it for Sept.2011, may be I should postpone things for next Term - Jan.2012, so that I have enough time to find out everything and may be visit myself to see what is what..

Seeing is Beleiving - They Say..

LIZS Tue 19-Apr-11 16:28:13

oh I see , it just all comes across as a bit random ! Have any of the staff currently teaching your dc got experience of teaching in Uk so could advise which may suit them ?

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