Swindon is bloody great and has an awful reputation. Suits me and DH just fine... House prices are far lower than the surrounding areas. The town centre is pretty hideous but there are district centres all over the place meaning you rarely have to go into town.
1 hr from London, 45 mins from Bristol/Reading/Cheltenham. On the doorstep of some spectacular countryside and the Cotswolds. Midlands is easy to get to via road or rail.
Some crap areas (what town doesn't have?) but I recommend taking a look.
Wine, so what are these district centres specifically? are they close to the station at all? I keep going past it on the train but am put off by office blocks all around, and it does have a bad rep but I would g and look if I knew where to look.
Everywhere easily commutable is expensive. All the lovely old houses are expensive.
I work in Oxford and commute from a village outside Reading which is on a branch line between reading and Newbury. I travel around Didcot etc a lot. I love Wallingford, Thame and Wantage but they don't have a train station. Goring/Streatley, Pangbourne, Cholsey are nice and have stations. Chosley probably less pricier than the others but more new build houses. A new development is being built at the moment called Cholsey Meadows which I drive past a lot and actually looks nice (and I really don't like new build 'estates').
Maybe worth a look?
Alterntively look at West Berkshire where I am. Mortimer, Thatcham etc are all on the branch line between Newbury and Reading with easy access to the M4, M3 and A34 (for Oxford, Didcot and Abingdon).
interesting, liquid! I was wondering about the line to Newbury, strangely these places aer hardly ever mentioned on Mn or generally, so I kind of assumed they aern't great. Please tell me more - are there mainly new builds there or not, green spaces/parks, shops? Goring is v.expensive - hear about that a lot! Pangbourne out sadly, as an unpleasant ex lives there.