Where to live within 1 hour commute of london

(45 Posts)
magicalmollie Fri 21-Aug-09 07:30:59

Hi everyone
I am moving out of London in 2 weeks, with my husband and daughter, we were going to stay here but our house fell through at the last minute. Now we are going to have to live with my folks in Hampshire till we find somewhere.
I really need to find a lovely place within an hour commute of london for my husband (including tubes etc, so no more than 45 mins on the train). I would like to stay south london as I really want to be near my parents who live in Alton in Hampshire. We have quite a good budget.
Somewhere friendly with good schools and lots of families with small children, my daughter is 2 years. We were thining of Elvethem Heath in Fleet, but I don't like the town so much. I like guildford but hardly anything ever comes up.
Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Feelingreally worried and stressed as we are going to be homeless and livinv with my parents isn't ideal. Also I don't want the house market to suddenly go up, and then what I got for my house isn't worth as much. And storage for my stuff is so expensive!
Sorry about the long post. Just trying to get as much information in as possible.
love M

preggersplayspop Fri 21-Aug-09 07:37:21

How about Esher, Weybridge or Walton on Thames? They are all about half an hour on a fast train into Waterloo. I think there have been a few threads on living around these areas which you could search to get a feel for what people think about them. Plenty of people around here who have moved out of London when they have started families.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Fri 21-Aug-09 07:49:34

Haywards Heath?

I think that's about an hour or slightly less from Victoria.

It's a nice place, Mid-Sussex, in lovely countryside. I think the schools are pretty good too.

amidaiwish Fri 21-Aug-09 07:57:17

SW London? Twickenham just 22 mins to waterloo, teddington/strawberry hill more like 40 mins but some fast trains at rush hour so 30ish mins. Best primary schools in London. Absolutely tons to do for kids and lots of parks etc.

Esher/Claygate/Weybridge/Walton all v good commute.

really depends on budget and type of house you're expecting to buy.

Well Cambridge is 45 minutes from London via a direct train, but maybe the wrong side of London.

magicalmollie Fri 21-Aug-09 08:05:56

I really wanted to be no more than 40mins from my parents so twickenham etc is a bit far.
I'm looking for a three or four bed between 4 and 5 hundred.
love mollie

EyeballsintheSky Fri 21-Aug-09 08:28:30

Epsom is very nice, lots of nice schools and families here and very green considering it's only 40 minutes from Waterloo

maddylou Fri 21-Aug-09 08:29:58

Godalming is great and so are the schools

ComeOVeneer Fri 21-Aug-09 08:33:33

Thames Ditton. Good commute into Waterloo, good schools, loads of green areas (Hampton Court, Bushy Park, Richmond Park). Good journey to Hamphsire (my parents live in WInchester). Good shopping in nearby Kingston upon Thames. We moved here from North London 2.5 years ago and are very happy.

SingingBear Fri 21-Aug-09 08:35:40

I would second Epsom and Godalming.

cluckyagain Fri 21-Aug-09 08:39:42

Godalming, Guildford and the villages surrounding - Cranleigh, Shamley Green, Dunsfold etc. Pretty but good access - fast train is 35 mins from Guildford.

FritesMenthe Fri 21-Aug-09 08:45:38

My friend lived at Elvetham Heath from when it was new until last year, with her DC, and loved it. Lots of children, and the primary school is good. Quite a self-contained family-oriented community. She only moved to go deeper into the proper countryside.

hf128219 Fri 21-Aug-09 08:52:49

Woking. 25 minutes to Waterloo. 15 min drive to Guildford for nice shopping.

CMOTdibbler Fri 21-Aug-09 09:01:57

My friends live in Elvetham Heath with their DD, and the school on the estate is very good, plus has a linked nursery who do before/after school care and a holiday club. They tend to shop elsewhere than Fleet, but theres loads to do locally.

missingtheaction Fri 21-Aug-09 09:06:49

Godalming gets my vote - one of the top 10 places to live in the UK according to Kirsty and Phil and one of the top one according to me. this house is (i believe) under offer/sold for about £430k.

Reasonable trains to London; good schools private and state; everything you need locally inc two big supermarkets and proper high street but Guildford only a hop and skip away. Lovely spot.

magicalmollie Fri 21-Aug-09 09:10:35

Thank you all so much for your advice, keep it coming.
Can't believe how nice everyone is taking time to answer.
lots to think about.
Wish I could look into a crystal ball and know what I should do!
love M

hf128219 Fri 21-Aug-09 09:21:12

The main thing to me is the commute - and never under estimate it. I work in London, live in Woking. 15 minute walk to the station, 5 minute wait for the train, 25 minutes to Waterloo. So that's 45 minutes already. By the time you get down to the tube it's more like 50/55 minutes.

A lot depends of your dh and what he is really prepared to do commuting wise.

amidaiwish Fri 21-Aug-09 09:34:02

and his hours too. we have friends who moved just a bit further out from us and seemingly just an extra 5 mins on train. But, trains only 2 per hour so in reality often 30mins later getting home, missing the kids at bedtime. That can be tough for dh's (and you!)

hf128219 Fri 21-Aug-09 09:37:53

That's another reason why Woking is good - there are 9 fast trains from Waterloo between 17.00 and 18.00 and 6 fast trains from Woking between 07.00 and 08.00.

dorothygale Fri 21-Aug-09 09:40:32

I know people who moved from godalming to fleet and find the commute from fleet loads easier.
Also it depends where in London he has to get to- eg which mainline station is best.

Woking area is supposedly good ..

HerHonesty Fri 21-Aug-09 09:44:15

have you tried Hartley Wintney, which is near Fleet and Elvetham heath but with much more character and lovely community.

winchfield is nearest train station. both state primary school and private schoool are "excellent" rated.

HerHonesty Fri 21-Aug-09 11:27:33

if you dont know the area


Egg Fri 21-Aug-09 13:47:33

Winchester is great. And you would be just about at the right budget I think to get something (there's a 4 bed house for sale in next road to us for £495,000 but have seen cheaper).

DH commutes to Canary Wharf. It is 55 mins on train into Waterloo. He prefers the commute from here than from SW London where we were before even though it takes 40 mins longer. He sleeps or reads on train.

Not too far to Alton either smile.

Meglet Fri 21-Aug-09 13:51:16

Basingstoke really is quite nice. If you live not far from town on the south side near the M3 your DH could probably walk to the station but you'd be on the right side to get on the Alton road to your parents house. Lots of fast trains to London, IIRC they take about 45 mins.

Egg Fri 21-Aug-09 14:00:21

Sorry, re-read your OP and see you said no more than 45 mins on train. Winchester may be a bit too far then, but it is nice though!

HerHonesty Fri 21-Aug-09 14:11:24

oh i was going to add winchester. dont some of the trains make it in under 45? worth looking at.

Egg Fri 21-Aug-09 14:16:15

Sadly no, quickest is definitely 55. There are some that a slightly slower that stop at Clapham but 55 mins is the non-stop one.

ClaireDeLoon Fri 21-Aug-09 14:18:08

Where in London does your husband work? I think that makes a big difference - you don't want to have to change tubes ifswim. So the train station you arrive at should have a direct tube link to work.

Rebeccaj Fri 21-Aug-09 14:29:09

We're just doing pretty much the same - moving from Fulham to Epsom. We looked in Weybridge/Walton, but to get the house we wanted to make it worth moving (5 bed, garden, garage, walkable commute) in the catchment for the best schools (another key reason for moving), we would have had to have spent £850k+. In Epsom we're paying around 200k less. Of course, Epsom is a little further out, so you do need to make sure you figure in the full commute - DH goes to Canary Wharf - but we think it'll be OK...

movingnow Fri 21-Aug-09 16:46:46


AllotmentMum Sun 23-Aug-09 19:23:25

Brighton or Worthing

surreygirl Sun 23-Aug-09 19:45:48

Another vote for Epsom... shopping OK and it's not too far to Kingston either, cinema/theatre/leisure centre/gyms, loads of nice green spaces, easy access to Central London/Gatwick/M25/Heathrow/SW London, good schools, cheaper than Esher...and was always in Phil and Kirstie's top ten best places...

Ewe Sun 23-Aug-09 19:51:12

It was number one a couple of years ago surreygirl!

I second (third?) Epsom. The commute is good, Surrey Downs are mere minutes away and it has good facilities.

DebiTheScot Sun 23-Aug-09 20:16:22

Elevtham Heath is nice, we go to church there and have a lot of friends who live there and really like it. Just a warning about the school though. It is massively over subscribed and not everyone who lives on the Heath gets in.
I like Fleet too, what is it you don't like about it and I might be able to think of somewhere else you'd like.

Hartley Whitney is also lovely but can be very expensive and doesn't have a station (although 1 near as someone mentioned). There's villages like Hook too that are quite nice.

I live in Farnborough but I'm guessing you've discounted that as it's not the most attractive place in the world. Does have it's nice bits though- Farnborough Park has some v nice houses.

DebiTheScot Sun 23-Aug-09 20:17:21

oh yeah Farnham, that's lovely too.

HerHonesty Mon 24-Aug-09 09:27:53

Elvetham heath doesnt have a station, its not really a walk to fleet either. its nice but is essentially a new build estate. wouldnt recommend hook, its a bit rough.

Farnborough does have some lovely big houses, and v good value.

Crazycatlady Mon 24-Aug-09 09:35:51

Sorry but I wouldn't really recommend Woking. The train service to London is its only redeeming feature. The town centre is pretty average and there is also a fair bit of racial tension (which you can ignore/not notice but I wouldn't want to bring up kids there). State schools are very average apart from one excellent Catholic secondary. Good private schools nearby though.

I grew up in Woking and family still live nearby so know it well. There are some ok places on the periphery of the town but then this impacts on commuting time.

Guildford a much better bet, and second what people say about Godalming - lovely area. Or Weybridge. But all quite pricey. You may get more for your money in the Fleet direction.

Rindercella Mon 24-Aug-09 09:44:25

Agree with Crazycat about Woking. It really doesn't have that many redeeming features.

Cobham, Esher, Weybridge are all nice if you can get something in your budget.

As others have said, have a look at Epsom though - as others have said it is better value than some of the other towns in the area.

Make sure that you allow time for your DH to get to the station where ever you end up. The traffic around these towns is terrible (used to take me over an hour to get from Cobham to Weybridge in rush hour a few years ago).

Farnham is a very pretty town.

Cosette Mon 24-Aug-09 09:47:13

Farnham would be good - it's not far up the A31 from Alton, so handy for your parents, has good schools, but it is 55 minutes on the train. Or if you lived somewhere near Farnborough station, that's only 37 minutes.

Otherwise as others have said, Godalming (47 mins), or Farncombe (44 mins). All trains go into Waterloo from this area.

Do you want to live in a town or a village?

SouthernMeerkat Mon 24-Aug-09 13:36:54

We moved away from Epsom as I really didn't like it and we never settled.

We're now in Tunbridge Wells and it's fantastic, although maybe a bit far from your folks. We looked at Godalming and really liked it, but at the time didn't have the budget; Winchester is also another place that we really liked, but we couldn't find a house in time. Haslemere was another place we considered as there are fast trains.

I guess it depends where your DH works as to where will work best.....and whether you want a town or more rural living.

micasi3 Tue 02-Mar-10 11:31:04

Sydney to London - where to live with 3 kids under 6

Hi all, I know there have been previous threads but would appreciate your advice.

Until reading the thread on where to live with 1 hour commute I have been looking to move to either Seven Oaks or St Albans. (We are moving in April so in time for term 3 of school)

Would welcome insights from anyone living in these areas. We have a 6yr old a 5 yr old and 3 yr old and would like to get all 3 in same state school or at least the oldest 2 and nursery for the youngest.

Hubby will be commuting to Liverpool St station. We are here for about 2 years so want to be a short commute for children to enjoy london on weekends. But be in a nice town and community to live to get to know people.

Any other areas recommended are also appreciated. Within 45 min commute. Many thanks

loveberry Mon 13-Dec-10 13:09:45

Hello everybody,
I live in Hertfordshire with my husband and two children.My son is 10years old and my daughter is 5years old.My husband recently got a job in Farnborough.We are planning to relocate to the area which has excellent primary and secondary schools.I don't drive ,so I'm looking for the areas within 30-40 minutes to Farnborough .I don't have clue about the areas around the Hampshire which has outstanding schools.Please can someone help!

loveberry Mon 13-Dec-10 13:10:19

Hello everybody,
I live in Hertfordshire with my husband and two children.My son is 10years old and my daughter is 5years old.My husband recently got a job in Farnborough.We are planning to relocate to the area which has excellent primary and secondary schools.I don't drive ,so I'm looking for the areas within 30-40 minutes to Farnborough .I don't have clue about the areas around the Hampshire which has outstanding schools.Please can someone help!

minibmw2010 Tue 14-Dec-10 15:14:24

micasi3, we live in Colchester and its a 50 minute fast train journey to Liverpool Street or a 60 minute slow train journey. Trains go direct into Liverpool Street. I have friends who live in St. Albans and though it seems a lovely town, its a very "full" town (if that makes any sense) plus its very very expensive (in my opinion).

For anyone considering a commute into London,

Bracknell sucks. At everything.

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