Moving to Oxted-help!(38 Posts)
Am desperately seeking some reassurance about our forthcoming move to Oxted. We'all be moving from lovely Richmond in SW London purely because we 'need' more space and that's just not affordable here. I have a 2 and 4 year old and I'm tearing my hair out about moving the 4 year old from an outstanding school, to one which we know little about. Is there much to do for families, im a sahm? Are people friendly? Am I about to make the biggest mistake of my life? Any help would be appreciated x
Presuming you have visited it? It is vv different to Richmond. It depends what you want from a place. Oxted is a very small town, fairly friendly, v safe but quiet (whisper...dull). It's a commuter town so does what it says on the tin. There are things that go on though like a donkey derby, food and drink fair etc and there are a few nice restaurants and pubs.
There will be far less for your kids to do than in Richmond but there are things for kids to do. However most will be a drive away. And national trust will be your friend (lots of lovely places around to visit)
The primaries are fab. St Mary's just got outstanding. Oxted state secondary also good. Not sure about privates but there are a fair few good ones around.
You will drive a lot more in Oxted and it's not London though London is v easy to get to ,that is when southern rail wants to work!)
I'll be honest it's not my cup of tea but most people love it here.
We did something similar. Regretted it. Wish we had rented first and really figured out the area before buying. Miss the London parks, all the kids activities, shops on the doorstep, the buzz. Now dependent on the car for everything and so bored of local village and national trust places. M25 always congested. Lanes unsafe for walking on and local footpaths poorly maintained. Spend weekends travelling back into London to meet up with friends.
Some plus points. Nice to afford house with garage and garden. Local state schools decent.
Whereabouts in Oxted are you looking? On the whole it is a pleasant small town. Nice leisure centre, decent schools, mix of shops, several community halls where groups meet. I think Downsway and St Peters (?) Limpsfield are the more popular infants school.
Thanks so much for your responses. I had presumed that might be the case re a bit dull and not as easy to get around, but I guess that's the compromise with being able to afford somewhere bigger than in London. We're visiting a couple of schools tomorrow and going to have another scout about to see if I can get a bit more comfortable with the idea. Problem was the 'right' house came up for sale and so we've been forced into this, for want of a better phrase. It's close to the Hurst Green border, so that will be handy for husband's commute. Though I'm not struck on what I've seen of Hurst Green and the school there.
Hurst Green is a very mixed area but nowhere is far to get to. There is a reasonable bus service and direct train to London.
Something that mystifies me a bit is how do play dates after school work? Do people do them? Is it a case of having to prearrange ahead of time? I realise this is very much a first world problem, but I'm so used to walking everywhere and having the convenience of neighbours and friends within a 5 min walk
Yes of course they do! Plenty will live within walking distance or offer lifts and you meet/pick up.
Ok, thanks. The thing that's concerning me the most is that my daughters will be happy and have at least some of the opportunities they currently have. Not sure when I became such a Londonite, when I was raised in the sticks in Kent...and managed to survive!
What sort of opportunities are you thinking of? It is hardly a cultural vacuum to live in suburban Surrey! If you want access to facilities within walking distance you would probably be better looking to the north of A25.
Are you sure you're ready to move out of London? Wouldn't you prefer to just move to a cheaper area in London?
We made a similar move (zone 2 London to near to Oxted). I hate it and would move back tomorrow, but I do think this is a nice place for young children - lots of parks, godstone farm, the British wildlife centre are all nearby. And my husband likes it. It wouldn't be so bad if we didn't both commute five days a week. It sucks the life out of you and Southern Rail is a complete clusterfuck.
I like to think I'm ready to leave London-where we live doesn't feel like stereotypical London, it just has all the benefits and Richmond Park to boot. Honestly the way I'm feeling I don't want to live anywhere but here at the moment, but my sensible head says we need more space and I've always promised myself that our girls would have a garden they could run around and lose themselves in. I think I'm scared about 'starting all over again' and the area still feels a bit unknown. I'm just trying to weigh up what is most important and what can be sacrificed....albeit rather unsuccessfully at the moment!
Luckily I don't have to worry about a commute just yet, but my husband would. At the moment he cycles to work in 30 mins; can you see what my dilemma is here.
Have you actually bought the house and if not how much do you have to spend?
We don't live in Oxted, but we have friends who do, and it's a lovely place. They also have a really active social life, with their neighbours and it seems like there's a real sense of community.
However, if I had to commute from there I'd hate it. Limited number of trains, and if you have to change at Clapham Junction it's a complete nightmare.
Where will your DH be commuting to?
We're just a little further in, having moved out from z2, and love it. Green space, good transport links (yes, southern nonsense, but...) And you always get a seat on the train. Lots of lovely places within a short drive. Croydon getting a big Westfield soon... What's not to like?
Oxted is a far cry from Richmond. Have you looked at Hampton or East Molesey?
Thanks again for your replies....I'm happy they're getting a bit more positive too! Husband would commute to London Bridge as he's based in the City. We love Hampton and surrounding area but you still don't get a lot for your money unfortunately
Well, that's a direct train and takes just over half an hour, so would be a relatively easy commute!
We moved to Surrey after 30 years in London. Not as far as you. We think it's fantastic and that we should have done it years ago but our dc got plugged into schools. We can be in our old bit of London (near yours) in 20 minutes though.
We like the garden, the parking, the space, a sense of community (it was disappearing in London, we were being surrounded by rentals), and the shops are nice. Still easy to get to the theatre and opera, etc.
I don't think it sounds right for you, you sound quite down about it.
Either the wrong place or the wrong time. I'd look at other areas, or postpone the idea.
I think you'll find a mix of people in Oxted. Some have grown up in the area, but there are lots who have migrated out of London too - so you should find some people similar to yourselves - if that helps.
I guess that if you're looking at near Hurst Green you wouldn't actually be within walking distance to Oxted town centre - would it help to be closer, so that you have more of that feel of being able to walk to things, rather than always having to get in the car?
it's approx 30 minutes walk from HG to Oxted, now that they've put a crossing over the A25. Wouldn't do it with small DC though, as not footpaths all the way.
What schools are you looking at - state or private? The traditional state route for "naice" families has been St Peters Limpsfield, or St Peters Tandridge (both a drive from Oxted/HG) then St Marys in Oxted. Holland Junior is much better than it looks from the outside though. Can tell you lots about Oxted School (secondary) as have a lot more experience of there. I think LIZS is your woman for private schools, although the DC I've met from Hazelwood have all been very polite and self confident, and the school has v good sports and drama facilities.
Word of warning if the house you're looking at is on (or just off) Woodhurst Lane - it's a horrible road, always seems to be closing for roadworks, and lots of trees fell down over the past couple of years, so more closures. Plus when it's open, people drive like maniacs, and as it's the main satnav-ed route into HG, you get lorries which are far too big for it trying to get through.
HG station rather than Oxted station if you don't need to drive there though, more chance of a seat on the train as it's one stop further down the line.
Oxted is a lovely place to live, but is certainly quieter than you will be used to compared to Richmond. Plenty of yummy mummies round here though, play groups and child friendly activities, rugby tots, ballet classes, swimming classes, baby yoga and baby sensory to name a few.
Plus there are some lovely cafés and restaurants in the town, just less to choose from than you may be used to.
The commute is pretty good, with 35 mins into London and the East Grinstead line hasn't been too bad following the rail strikes (just less trains to check the timetables).
I went to Oxted secondary and it was a lovely school then (quite a few years since then though!) but still has an excellent reputation in the area. We looked round Hazelwood School (local independent school) and were very impressed but chose Hawthorns as a bit closer to us to get to.
The local countryside is beautiful around here and found shopping at Bluewater definitely filled that hole.
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