Leighton Buzzard/Linslade?

(23 Posts)
LittlePickleHead Sun 28-Aug-16 14:29:08

I'm having a reccy here in a few weeks, but in advance I wondered if could get some insights from those who live there or know the area.

On paper it seems a bit too good to be true. We are considering a move out of London but need somewhere easily commutable for DH, plus ideally close to M40 for family. We have friends in Herts and Bucks.

LB seems to fit he bill with a 32 min commute to Euston, easy transport links, plus the houses seem to be way cheaper that surrounding towns (we loves Berkhamstead but the houses are £££). We could upsize to a massive House in Linslade, and the schools also seem good.

So what's the catch?

taokiddy1 Sun 28-Aug-16 14:33:52

None! I grew up in Linslade and still have friends there many of whom work in London. Great schools, nice town centre, leisure centre etc. Great to be able to nip into London for shopping, nights out etc. What sort of house are you looking for?

LittlePickleHead Sun 28-Aug-16 14:39:25

That's good to hear! Ideally period, min 4 beds, big garden. Up to c. £550k. Close to station and schools? Not sure how much will be coming on the market at the moment but there are a couple that look like they fit the bill at the moment. No idea of good roads etc though, can you help with that?

What's the centre of LB like? Is there lots to do with younger children? By the time we move I'll have one about to start reception and one starting y4. I'm hoping it'll r easy to meet other parents and make friends as I'll most likely be having to leave my London job and find something more local

INeedNewShoes Sun 28-Aug-16 14:43:50

The catch is that bits of Leighton Buzzard feel a bit down at heel in comparison to surrounding towns and villages, but actually I think it's a lot nicer than Aylesbury and tons nicer than Dunstable.

The town centre is not the kind of shopping area where I could while away a Saturday morning browsing the shops. But there's a Boots and a Waitrose in the town centre which are very useful, plus big Morrisons and Tesco that compete on petrol prices so very handy!

The houses are cheap. You do get a lot for your money even in comparison to the surrounding villages. The rail link is fast and frequent. The surrounding countryside is absolutely gorgeous and there's plenty to do and see. Luton airport is 20 minutes away so good for traveling.

I looked at LB and in the end chose a village a few miles away but I think LB is on the up (it already feels nicer than it did four years ago when I was looking) so a very good bet for a house purchase.

LittlePickleHead Sun 28-Aug-16 14:49:03

INeed - any advice on nice villages? I've looked at a few but it's so hard without knowing the area.

taokiddy1 Sun 28-Aug-16 14:51:48

Stoke Road has lovely houses with largish gardens. Short walk to station and town centre. Also short walk to a lovely pub by canal. Can't really comment on schools as it's so long since I lived there but have friends with kids at various primaries and they're all very happy with them. There's one high school in Linslade and one the other end of Leighton Buzzard, both very good.
Leighton town centre is much much better than when I lived there -lots of cafes, bars. Loads of hairdressers and pubs as I remember.
Leighton Buzzarders are a friendly bunch so I'm sure you'll make friends easily smile

INeedNewShoes Sun 28-Aug-16 14:55:47

The villages between Leighton Buzzard and Tring are appealing and reasonably priced:

Cheddington (has a station)
Pitstone (Tring station 3 miles)
Soulbury (LB station 3 miles)
Eton Bray and Edlesborough (LB station 7 miles)

are all nice. I can't advise on the villages on the other side of Leighton Buzzard because I don't know them.

I like living close to Tring because Tring High Street is my kind of place for a mooch. You can get good coffee, good wine, nice food and there are a couple of nice shops that sell decent things if you're shopping for gifts. It doesn't have any high street chains apart from Prezzo and Costa and somehow just has a nice character.

tararabumdeay Sun 28-Aug-16 15:04:21

Lovely, friendly place. Station into Euston so really useful. Logs of public footpaths and open countryside. Milton Keynes a few miles for shopping and jobs. Great road links in all directions. A real old market town centre with a down to earth atmosphere not like poncy Berkhamstead.

LittlePickleHead Sun 28-Aug-16 15:08:27

Thanks for all the insights! Looking forward to having a look around. We have driven though Tring and it does look lovely, houses still more expensive though. I think I prefer the idea of DH being able to walk to the station to make his commute less of a hassle.

Will look up the other villages

INeedNewShoes Sun 28-Aug-16 15:10:39

I cycle to the station (3 miles) which is no hassle at all most of the time and when you're cycling through lovely countryside it's a really enjoyable thing to do.

LittlePickleHead Sun 28-Aug-16 15:14:22

I reckon DH would consider cycling. How long would 3 miles take to cycle <clueless>

LittlePickleHead Sun 28-Aug-16 15:15:39

And Tara, thanks for your comment. I did love Berko but I do know what you mean about it being a bit poncey! I think down to earth and friendly sounds exactly what we need. Also craving countryside and being able to go for bike rides etc without having a battle London traffic first

INeedNewShoes Sun 28-Aug-16 15:17:00

10–20 minutes depending on hilliness and fitness!

ShortLass Mon 29-Aug-16 08:31:54

There are a lot of new builds in Pitstone and Cheddington which make the places like sprawling housing estates rather than villages. Out of the two, Cheddington is nicer, but more out of the way. The old bit of Pitstone is nice, but surrounded by loads and loads of new housing.

I've lived in villages happily for 25 years and I wouldn't want to live in Pitstone. Soulbury, however, is lovely.

I think you'd be better off looking in Leighton Buzzard and Linslade for what you want. Despite lots of new housing estates springing up on the edge, there's lot of old world charm in the centre, older properties to be had and the train station.

INeedNewShoes Mon 29-Aug-16 08:37:21

Ha. I think Pitstone is nicer than Cheddington. I do agree though about the new build houses. But, looking around the area there are new build estates springing up all over the place. At least with Pitstone and Cheddington that's a known entity because they're already there.

Cheddington definitely has the better pub though!

Soulbury is a pretty village but further out of the way for transport.

The thing is that cost is obviously a consideration for the OP so I was trying to suggest villages that have houses in a similar price bracket. There are beautiful villagey villages around here but where you couldn't compare the prices to LB at all.

If I could live anywhere in the area, I'd probably go with Aldbury, Tring or possibly Wendover - all slightly out of my reach!

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Mon 29-Aug-16 09:01:50

It's interesting you should say too good to be true - that's what I thought when we discovered lb while hunting for houses from London.

We've been here 3.5 years now and love it. As others have said, the train service is fast, frequent and reliable, the countryside is beautiful and the place is friendly and packed with families. Schools are good too.

House prices are going up, but you can easily get what you want. We live in Linslade, 2 mins from the station and it's great.

And Milton Keynes is 15 mins up the road - huge shopping centres, cinemas, a snow dome etc.

dontpokethebear Mon 29-Aug-16 09:06:45

Oi! tararaDon't slate Berko! wink

We're looking at moving LB way from Berkhamsted, as you get so much more for your money.
Also looked at Cheddington and pitstone, which are lovely, but still pricey compared to LB.

LittlePickleHead Mon 29-Aug-16 09:45:19

I love this thread, it's all so positive! Will report back once I've visited next week. Any suggestions of what to see? I am going to meet my friend at Rushmere park, but it would be good to have a mosey around the town to also see what it's like

ShortLass Mon 29-Aug-16 10:57:48

You could be right, newshoes, as it's been a while since I house hunted in Pitstone and Cheddington. They are certainly more affordable than some other places in and around.

Perhaps the OP could do what I did -- start house hunting in Tring, then everywhere else in the area seems cheap!

INeedNewShoes Mon 29-Aug-16 11:24:00

That's what I did too ShortLass grin

greenfolder Mon 29-Aug-16 11:54:22

Yep. It really does tick the boxes. I have lived here on and off since childhood. The only thing I would say about Linslade though is that you may have to bide your time if you are determined to go for a period property. Realistically there are a handful of streets.some, such as wing road the houses are right on the busy road and with traffic calming and lights the traffic noise would put me off. Prices went up quite a lot last year but post Brexit houses seem to be hanging around and a few have come back on the market. Pre Brexit anything with 4 beds sold within a week. It's the schools! And the fact that there are many times more 3 bed houses than 4.

LittlePickleHead Mon 29-Aug-16 12:09:12

If be happy to go for a 3 bed and do the loft if it left us enough budget to do that. The sticking point will be selling our flat here as everything has really slowed down too.

What is the school situation like with regards to in year transfers - is everywhere horribly over subscribed like in London?

greenfolder Mon 29-Aug-16 12:17:34

In year transfer depends on the age. My youngest dd is just going into year 4 at an outstanding lower school and there has been space in her year for the last 2 years due to a few that come and go. Middle school is from year 5. Unless it has changed Linslade Middle used to add an extra class at year 7 to take those from just over the Bucks border that didn't do grammar.

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