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Where to move?(17 Posts)
DH and I keep toying with the idea of moving out of London. At first it was just the odd thought, now we discuss it nearly every other day. We run our own companies that don't have to be based in central London, but we will need to go into town at least twice a week. DS won't be starting school until 2015.
Our criteria are as follows:
- NO more than 1 hour on the train from a central London station
- rural but with a good town or cathedral city nearby, and preferably a nice village no more than a mile away
- good schools (obviously) but not fussed if it's state or primary. A great prep would be a serious consideration
- good hospital
- nice mix of people, ie. somewhere that while not in the metropolis still has a nice multicultural mix.
So basically anywhere in the home counties I guess. I realise this isn't narrowing it down much, but I'd love to hear from anyone who has moved out of London and found somewhere commutable that they really love. We have discussed renting while we get a feel for somewhere, but frankly the thought of moving twice fills me with dread so I'd just rather move and be done with it.
Please tell me of any hidden gem villages within an hour or so of London!!
Canterbury!!!! lovely lovely lovely!! ticks all of the above!
if I were you I'd book weekend getaways to all the possible places and make secret scores. then after you have visited quite a few, get your secret scores out and compare!
thanks Tabithasgran - Canterbury is definitely on the list. I like your idea of weekends away to get a feel for places. Ashford is another place that is attractive simply because it's so quick into St Pancras compared to Canterbury - but I get the feeling that the schools are better in Canterbury as are the general surroundings. Does anybody have a view on Ashford?
Anybody got anywhere they'd like to shout about?
Cambridge. Small city but loads going on because of the university. Culturally diverse. The villages to the West and South have very good links to London - trains from Royston go into Kings Cross and take 45 minutes
unless you don't read the timetable properly and get on the slow train and from St Neots it's slightly faster. Trains from Cambridge itself are just under an hour to London, and go into Kings Cross and Liverpool Street.
Very good village primaries, and there is a "Village college" system of secondaries which are all pretty good. Lots of villages have several families who have moved out of London.
Addenbrookes Hospital is one of the best in the country.
The countryside to the north of Cambridge isn't the prettiest in the world though.
Ashford is now very developed and there's a high number of roads / trains and general traffic is much higher than Canterbury ! so totally different - Canterbury has more tourists though !! so both have positives and negatives ! personally, I'd look more in the rural areas around the city's for a quieter life !! or even the coast Whitstable is popular with Londoners at the weekend !!
have fun discovering a place that suits !!!
We've just moved to Cambridge and love it! Well we are in the south villages which is perfect for us. Easy to get in to the centre, close to the train station for London if we fancy a day trip and Cambridge is just beautiful! Love it!
Is budget an issue for you? Your criteria are very desirable and potentially very expensive. Generally, Essex, Norfolk direction will be cheaper than Surrey, Oxfordshire, Bucks direction.
Winchester or Chichester are very nice if you have a healthy budget.
I live in a village in south west cambridgeshire and I love it. The schools are very good.
My dh commutes from Royston which is 15 mins away.
The train is 37 mins to kings cross.
Cambridge is a really great city. It's about 8 miles away from us.
Ely is worth considering if you need to spend less on housing.
I live in a beautiful village called Bethersden it's just outside Ashford 5 miles from the main train line to London have a look on google at the village
The school here is wonderful only 1 class per year and 20-25 kids in a class 106 children in total which I think is brilliant and my DD has done amazingly well at the school!
Good luck and keep us posted x
This is all very helpful, thank you. It's funny that people are mentioning exactly the places we are thinking: Cambridge, Canterbury and Winchester! I think we are ruling out Oxford because the traffic just seems horrendous and we are looking for houses just outside of the city centres so I don't fancy a nightmare commute to a school every morning. What is traffic like in Canterbury or Cambridge of a morning? Love Winchester but rail link a bit rubbish compared to Cambridge in terms of journey time and London terminus. Anybody got any views on High Wycombe/Aylesbury/Beaconsfield? They're so much closer to town and the drive isn't hideous either which makes them very attractive. For me it's a toss up between Cambridge and Canterbury but we are only just starting this process so who knows - we might end up in Cornwall for all we know!!!!!
Canterbury traffic is a nightmare most times of the day it's a nice place to live but money doesn't get you much there my brother lived there while at university and for the same rent he paid we have a detached house overlooking fields 1 road away from the school, he had a terrace on a busy road and the lounge was so small that the front door hit the sofa when you opened it
If there is plenty of £ in the piggy bank then could be a good option apart from the traffic!
My school run takes 10 seconds in a car and 15 mins in a car to get to major shops and the train etc x
2 miles from Bethersden is also a great prep school you get to it via the country lanes on way to Ashford so no traffic problem!
If you can get past the traffic go for Canterbury if you want a quieter life then go for rural Ashford which is completely different to living in main Ashford
Thanks miracle0812 this is very helpful. What is the prep school near Bethersden called?
You're welcome it's in Great Chart so I think it's called Great chart school but for some reason something is telling me it's called Ashford prep school!
Just looked online it's called Ashford prep school x
Tbh, commuting into Cambridge in the morning is a pain. But the local village schools are good, so very few people opt for independent. Where I live, almost everyone goes to the local primary and then the secondary. State schools here are pretty good. My neighbour has 2 sons, one at Oxford the other about to go to a top uni in the autumn, another neighbour has daughter at Oxford, son at UCL, and they all went to the local Village College.
If I was thinking of sending my dc to school in Cambridge then I'd probably want to live within cycling distance.
If you were considering a village just outside Cambridge, but wanting school in Cambridge somewhere like Shelford would be good.
You mentioned beaconsfield. I'm in gerrards cross which is just up the road. The commute into town is very easy, for us it's 18mins into marble one, so only a few mins longer to bfield.
I prefer the chalfonts, or somewhere like Jordans both of which feel more rural than either gx or bfield, which feel quite suburban to me, although I came from East London, so many anything apart from a field of cows would feel like suburbia ;)
The schools are great. Very middle class, feels very safe. Bfield can be a bit more blingy than gx which is mostly old people ;)
It's nice, although I'd never admit that to dh. ;)
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