Baldock, Hertfordshire

(13 Posts)
CharlotteSimmons Tue 03-Jun-14 12:58:23

Does anyone live in or near Baldock? What do you think of it? What are the schools like? As a place/community to live? Are there sports clubs etc for kids (gymnastics, swimming, running) or do you need to travel - if so, where to? Are there nicer areas of Baldock/places to avoid? Am location-hunting from afar so local knowledge much appreciated!!

Thanks

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Tue 03-Jun-14 15:28:14

We lived there for a year. Loads of families there who like it, but I really didn't, sorry.

It's a small town. Probably too small for my liking. On first glance it's very pretty - Georgian high street, naice butchers etc, but beyond a few areas it really isn't that nice IMO.

We moved there from London, and one of the reasons we left the city is because I grew up in the countryside, and I missed it. But we were distinctly underwhelmed by the surrounding countryside tbh, it really isn't that pretty. We are now on the beds/bucks border and it is so much lovelier.

The schools are pretty good though. And it's not far to Cambridge, we used to go for the day quite a lot from there.

I can tell you more about areas if you like.

CharlotteSimmons Tue 03-Jun-14 15:58:06

Yes please - we are in the US and I am really trying to narrow down my search. We need to be commutable to London (Euston area), we want good schools, nice community, lots of outdoor space for walks etc. But big enough for there to be activities for the kids - sports clubs etc. All suggestions welcome

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Tue 03-Jun-14 16:43:45

We're in Leighton Buzzard, which is a medium sized market town, but with good schools and cheapish housing (we were ftbs so this was a big factor for us!). We like it here - lots of families, 30 mins to Euston on the train, easy access to Milton Keynes for shopping etc and beautiful countryside.

If we'd had a bit more in our budget I'd go for one of the surrounding villages - there are lots of beautiful places on the beds/bucks border. Lb schools are good, but bucks has grammar schools, if that floats your boat.

A lot depends on your budget tbh! But either way, I don't rate Baldock or that part of Herts.

MythicMum Tue 03-Jun-14 18:20:37

I am in Baldock. Any particular reason why you are interested in moving here?

As far as I know, Baldock does tick a lot of your boxes- it is commutable to London, has quite good schools, nice community, lots of outdoor space for walks.

As far as activities for the children are concerned, the next town along is Letchworth, which is almost like a twin town. It has a huge leisure centre, Stevenage is a 10-minute drive away. Both have more than ample leisure facilities.

I would suggest looking at the Clothall Common estate which is technically Baldock but not part of the main town. This estate is more...um genteel. But houses are in great demand because people are moving here for the schools.

CharlotteSimmons Tue 03-Jun-14 23:31:18

Hi MythicMum, some friends suggested it to us and I wondered if the whole school thing might be easier because it was a bit further out. It is difficult trying to make decisions from afar and work out whether what one person likes will be true for us so I suppose I am trying to gather as many opinions as I can.

ItMustBe we have also been looking at LB, one of my concerns is that my DD would be going into yr 4 so would then need to change schools again the following year to a middle school and am not sure how I would get them to different schools on time if we were in a village (do middle and primary schools start at different times?). Also I like the idea of living in a village (I think) but I understood that the middle schools were oversubscribed last year so would need to live close by and I don't want to move somewhere only to have to think about moving again because of schools. We generally don't think v far ahead but I have realised we need to be thinking about secondary as well as primary schools which is all a bit much!!

ShoeWhore Tue 03-Jun-14 23:36:47

We looked at Baldock but were a bit put off by the noise from the motorway. There also didn't seem to be many houses on the market and driving around we couldn't see many houses we liked the look of (although maybe we didn't know where to look).

We visited on a sunny day though and there was a festival on and there was a fab atmosphere. I really liked the look of it in that respect. And who could resist a school called Knights Templar? smile

If you look on the Herts county council website they list current school vacancies in a pdf which is updated every 2 weeks. Primary school places in Baldock looked to be a bit thin on the ground last time I looked.

ShoeWhore Tue 03-Jun-14 23:38:49

If you live in a village I would expect there to be a school bus to middle school - that's how it works for secondary where I live (and some primaries that serve more than one village have this too)

If you need to commute into London then bear in mind that if you're in a village you'll need to park at the station - this is easier at some stations than others.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Wed 04-Jun-14 10:40:47

Yes, the middle schools here are looking rather oversubscribed, but people from the villages do go to them.

Don't forget that if you're over the border in bucks then you're in a standard primary/secondary system. Maybe have a look at Wing? It's a nice village, decent Primary and secondary, but children living there go to both the LB schools and the Aylesbury grammars, so might give you a few options. It's very close to LB for shops/train station etc.

capercaillie Wed 04-Jun-14 18:21:29

Baldock is nice. We considered it and I have family there. The motorway noise isn't a problem unless you live right next to it. We couldn't find a house if the size we wanted in close enough proximity to station. We found more we liked in the villages but the commuting issues put us off if we needed to drive to station. Easier from some than others though.

There's an annual festival and beer festival, plenty of pubs etc. there's also a Saturday music school and the usual sports clubs you'd expect.

CharlotteSimmons Mon 09-Jun-14 15:24:52

Thanks caper I am feeling quite positive about the place (well as much as you can from a distance!)
Will be a case of getting the stars to align in terms of houses/schools and hoping that when we come back and go and look at it we like it!!

DreamboatDaddy Mon 09-Jun-14 16:20:54

Charlotte, have you considered Hitchin or Letchworth?

We chose Hitchin because of the schools, commuting to London, small-town feel and affordability. Prices have shot up in the last 12 months though so I'm not sure how it will be budget-wise.

OrangeOwl Tue 10-Jun-14 05:57:35

I second Hitchin.

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