If you love London but cant afford to live there, where would you go?

(120 Posts)
kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 11:08:58

Having moved away 14 years ago, we are totally priced out of the London housing market. I am so so bored with where I live, (south coast dull retiremnt place) I yearn for city life. Where can I find a city like London but with lower prices (350,000 ish for a family house) AND good schools - primary and secondary.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 11:14:31



kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 11:17:56

Is Brighton cityish though? I am in bournemouth and find the whole coastal thing a bore. Its quiet over the winter months and full of pensioners on coach trips.

squeaver Mon 28-Jan-13 11:22:17

I'd say Brighton too. It's funky.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 11:23:25

What are the schools like there?

Goodwordguide Mon 28-Jan-13 11:24:03

Edinburgh or Newcastle - they're not really like London at all but they are both biggish cities. Edinburgh has the touristy feel and major attractions plus cultural life of a capital city.

Newcastle has two universities, excellent hospitals, great transport etc which means you get a complete range of people living and working there. It also has a strong regional identity and decent amount of museums/galleries/theatres (or did until the council cut the arts budgets <seethe>).

Neither is like London really in terms of scale or geography or stuff to do but both can offer a very good standard of living for your budget.

I moved from London to Brighton a few years back. I then moved along the coast, almost to Worthing, as Brighton was too hectic for me.

What do you mean by cityish? It's a city smile

Cosmosim Mon 28-Jan-13 11:28:52

Define family house. You don't mention work so assuming that's not a factor, how about looking at commuter distance to London (hour away by train)? Surrey and Kent (tunbridge wells area) always pop up as places families move to for the schools on this board.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 11:52:25

"cityish grin" I think I mean lively, eclectic, lots of culture, good pubs, markets etc with a good buzz. I am from London and have also lived in Bristol - both fantastic places but the school issue in Bristol is a concern.

Cosmosim, I fear commuter belt might be dull and soulless like where I am now. I conceed Im probably wrong. But I really crave city life - and for my dcs too.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 11:54:01

Most people from Newcastle seem to have a sense of pride, and those from Edinburgh too. I envy that <sigh>

York. Or Leeds? Or Newcastle.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 12:10:54

York tres pricey I think. Leeds - have some family up there - what are schools like?

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 12:11:27

Bath is too small and twee I imagine but it is at least very near to Brizz and it's 90 mins to London by train.

this looks bloody lovely but possibly a bit rural for you - it's only a couple of miles from the centre but on the bus that's 20 mins (traffic issues).

Took me about 10 seconds to find - there are plenty more.

RillaBlythe Mon 28-Jan-13 12:16:23

Manchester. Strong arts community, vibrant, diverse.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 12:17:19

Not pretty but bloody hell, five bedrooms!

I'd buy it and live there happily. It's possibly ex-LA but you wouldn't know it to wander around (if that bothers you). Sought after primary school on the doorstep, walks, 20 mins into town (as above, by bus), secondary schools are fine too.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 12:17:27

I find Bath twee. Reminds me of posh old ladies doing their shopping. That house is lovely though , bloody far from schools though. Thats the thing with rural living, you have to drive EVERYWHERE and I hate that.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 12:20:50

Gosh that second one you linked to is fantastic - still a bloody long way for secondary tho (should add ds has some SEN and wouldnt be able to get himsefl to school independently unless it was a short walk - hence the desire for everything to be in close proximity).

I would love to go to Manchester - wouldnt know where to start tho, where are places with good schools?

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 12:24:54

It would be one bus (no changes) to one of 4 likely secondary schools.

But yes, Bath is quite twee grin

It has its less twee features though and is a good place to grow up.

I too want to know about Manchester (not that I'm moving - just nosey!)

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 12:52:18

Bath is lovely really - hope I didnt offend blush. I would love to live in the centre but its totally unaffordable. Do you know how the secondary schools are with SEN? It seems to vary so much regionally.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 13:37:25

Haha! Not at all. It is twee. I think being a university town has helped save it from complete twee-twattery but it's hardly edgy urban grin

I honestly don't know about SEN. I have plenty of friends with children who have SENs but it's hard to know whether the schools here are better than they are anywhere else. They pay lip service to it, but so does everyone. One lad I know seems to be doing well at the small CofE comp that is undersubscribed (despite being in a very desirable area not far from the centre). He has quite severe dyslexia - no ASD or anything which I imagine to be trickier.

There is a poster on MN I can think of too - I'll PM her smile

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 13:56:06

Now I like the sound of that school - do you know the name?

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 14:16:47

PM-ed smile

CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 28-Jan-13 14:18:17

we moved to Manchester
we seem to have found the transition to another city much easier than friends who moved to the Home Counties

noddyholder Mon 28-Jan-13 14:18:55


CharlotteBronteSaurus Mon 28-Jan-13 14:19:08

<didn't notice Rilla beat me to it>

Southeastdweller Mon 28-Jan-13 14:24:16

Renting here at the moment and priced out of buying, and even renting in a good area sad

I love Brighton (but the city centre gets horribly rammed) and Bristol, but they're not much cheaper than London, and well paid local jobs aren't plentiful.

Currently looking at other options, including Leeds and Manchester.

London has almost everything I want, need, and like but it's too expensive ere now.

JenaiMorris Mon 28-Jan-13 14:33:20

I have a friend who lives in a small town near Leeds and loves it - really quick to get into the city apparently.

LadyWellian Mon 28-Jan-13 14:51:27

If you love London and have £350k to spend, you can afford to live in London.

Places like this or this (the former is in great condition, the latter a bit wee but better location and schools). Or my personal favourite, this, where you'd have enough change from your £350k to convert the loft as well as addressing the rather individual decor. And have a 15-minute train ride into the City, if it's what you need.

I know it's not quite in the spirit of the thread, but it is my mission (hence the name) to raise the profile of SE London!

Secondary league tables here. Lots of popular local primaries - I've no direct experience of trying to get into them, as we moved for secondary.

StripeyBear Mon 28-Jan-13 14:59:04

I don't think anywhere is really comparable to London... unless maybe you go to another world-class city - Paris maybe?

I think there are other cities with a high quality of life, where it is easier to get the balance right. If you are serious about moving, could be worth have a wee tour to see where you like... B'ham, Manchester, Glasgow..... Would you seriously go anywhere though? Not many people would do that!

Rhubarbgarden Mon 28-Jan-13 17:00:43

Leeds is a fantastic city. Loads going on, fab shopping, strong sense of identity.

Brighton is great but you'll not find much for your budget.

fapl Mon 28-Jan-13 17:25:16

Only other city I have been to that I have thought I could possibly live here is Norwich (Disclaimer, I only spent the morning there). I also like Edinburgh but too cold so don't think I could ever live there. I kind of like Brighton but it feels like a bit of a big scrum with all the tourists out on a Saturday and traffic seems bad. All the bad points of big city congestion without actually being terribly big, but I have only been there for weekends. So basically you should ignore all my opinions as they are not based on much grin

lalalonglegs Mon 28-Jan-13 18:46:44

I was thinking Newcastle (but I have only visited it once very recently and fell in love with it so not an expert).

SafetyBubble Mon 28-Jan-13 19:49:26

Leeds (ish)

There was a thread about a month ago which said it all.

Only one disadvantage - we live nearby ; so that might spoil it for you wink

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 22:08:48

fapl, Norwich never springs to mind .... can you tell me more please.
Am looking at Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester - but Norwich, that intrigues me ....

Cant believe how many people suggested Brighton - obviosly nothing like here then (Bournemouth)!

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 22:10:35


Shit, thats amazing - Leeds house £350000

TheSecondComing Mon 28-Jan-13 22:11:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dinkystinky Mon 28-Jan-13 22:11:55


TheSecondComing Mon 28-Jan-13 22:12:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

or Manchester

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 22:15:11

I hadnt noticed the bars, I was too excited!
Edinburgh and Manchester are lovely - beautiful cities, am looking at house prices now. We need room for 5 of us plus dog and 2 businesses which need home office space.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 22:19:43

Crikey - so much choice om Rightmove. Manchester and Leeds both look quite affordable - can anyone tell me a good area for schools in either of those. Dont know where to start looking!

TheSecondComing Mon 28-Jan-13 22:23:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PrincessOfChina Mon 28-Jan-13 22:25:05


It's well connected, diverse suburbs, some great schools, good transport links (internal as well as external) and £350k will get you somewhere nice in South Birmingham.

I do love Manchester though...

FlouncingMintyy Mon 28-Jan-13 22:26:59

If I had to move out of London I'd probably go to Brighton because I'm from the south and I'd still want to see family/friends.

But if I were a bit more adventurous it would definitely be Sheffield.

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 22:30:14

Secondcoming, ds is not a grammar school type - has SEN - what about other schools? Are there any good ones for SEN?
Princess, I know nothing about Birmingham , do you know any areas in the south which have good schools as well as affordable housing?

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 22:30:46

Sheffield - why? Can you tell me more please?

TheSecondComing Mon 28-Jan-13 22:37:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DelGirl Mon 28-Jan-13 22:45:50

hellooooo kmha smile, when I saw the title I had no idea it would be you but I was going to suggest Brighton too but I hear Norwich is vair naice! What's this about a dog????

I will check in again tomorrow cos my connection is soooooo slow xx

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 22:47:46

Do you know any specific school in Trafford?

jaynebxl Mon 28-Jan-13 22:50:58


jaynebxl Mon 28-Jan-13 22:53:44

Pressed return too soon!

Anyway another vote for Sheffield here. Busy, interesting city with loads going on but also cheaper house prices and great countryside on your doorstep. If it was by the sea as well it would be heaven on earth!

fackinell Mon 28-Jan-13 22:54:58

Can't you just go to the London outskirts? I loved Twickenham, Ham and Kingston. Much more affordable but a stones throw from the big smoke. grin

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 23:08:45

Delgirl!!Hello smile. Well, we dont actually have a dog yet but I have told dh that I am getting one! TBH I've had it with the south coast, I am sure Brightin is a million times more exciting than bournemouth but I realy would love to live in a Northern city. I have lived down south for nearly all my life and a change is due. I am sure you of all people can appreciate the urge to move away and start anew! Dcs are keen (I think it might have been the dog that swung it for H) AND we can be mortgage free (hooray). xxx

kissmyheathenass Mon 28-Jan-13 23:11:36

London outskirts - still hard to find a biggish property for £350000 I think. Certainly the places you listed - I know them well but we need a house big enough for 2 offices and 3 children.

Sheffiled - do you know Yewlands school? or Bradfield school? Where are the good areas and where are the shitty ones?

Goodwordguide Mon 28-Jan-13 23:22:12

I'll say it again... Newcastle - near the beach but not a seaside town, a decent-sized city but surrounded by gorgeous countryside. It's small compared with London or Birmingham but has lots going on.

Schools, I only know the east side where Gosforth High and Heaton Manor are good (I have no experience of SEN I'm afraid).

I would live in Tynemouth or Jesmond/Gosforth, near the town moor.

whatmattersmore Tue 29-Jan-13 00:53:58

I vote for the London outskirts as well! But then I am a stubborn die-hard Londoner who stopped at one child so we could stay in our 2-bed shoebox because I can't bear to give up the buzz of city centre living... grin

I have a child with SN and I think provision is too dependent on the borough/type of SN for you to rely on generic answers though. There are quite a few posters in London on the SN boards though, if you wanted to know about a specific area.

Would a 4-bed be big enough for your needs?

Walthamstow is very family friendly these days.

Wood Green is supposed to be good value.

Palmers Green - a bit sleepy for London, but schools/open spaces are good.

DelGirl Tue 29-Jan-13 09:43:06

Yes I can see you oop north actually and of course I appreciate why, though I still regard it as my now second home. Don't move before I get chance to see you in the summer, unless of course you plan on coming here for a holiday ;)

lalalonglegs Tue 29-Jan-13 09:47:02

Hmm, I lived on London outskirts for a few years (zone 4) - it didn't feel like London, it was just an enormous pain to get into the centre and there was very little going on culturally. I moved to zone 2 and my life was transformed.

I'd definitely prefer to live in another city rather than deep in the burbs. I'm very envy that you live in central London, whatmattersmore.

RillaBlythe Tue 29-Jan-13 09:52:54

yes to lalalonglegs. My NCT group started off in Brixton: 5 years later none of us live there anymore & we all hanker for it those of us in Manchester, Bristol etc are happier with our move than those who went to Bromley, Nunhead etc.

guineapiglet Tue 29-Jan-13 09:59:48

Hi - we have just moved to SE from Manchester area (CHeshire/Derbys Border) - would move back tomorrow! - Manchester was our big city for shopping/culture/events/sports etc.

Grew up in Norwich, its a fabulous city, good choice of schools, but 6th forms a bit of a nightmare re competition so do your research. Also lived in Sheffield ( great city, lots to do, wonderful countryside, friendly, good property and schools) and Newcastle - would also happily return there tomorrow, as others have posted, it has got the lot, coast, great schools and shopping, 2 hours up the road to Scotland, the amazing Northumbrian beaches, etc,. Very strong identity and very much its own place.

Norwich is a busy, interesting city, nearish the coast, has its own identity, lots going on - there is another thread on here about places to live around Norwich, so that might help you decide, guess it depends on how far north you want to be and how old your kids are re schools etc.

FlouncingMintyy Tue 29-Jan-13 10:06:38

Oy! there's nothing wrong with Nunhead!

kissmyheathenass Tue 29-Jan-13 10:14:40

Guineapiglet, that's really useful information - thank you.

Rilla/Longlegs , that's interesting. Im a londoner and much that we have a lovely life by the coast (friends, beaches etc), I hanker after the city life and have never really felt this is home (been talking about moving for years but this is the right time now). I loved growing up in a city, so much to do and always exciting. Here is slow and provincial, a bit dull really.

whatmattersmore, I know what you mean! the buzz of city life <sigh>.

Hi Delgirl, one day we will come and visit, I promise. You're my inspiration! Hearing how well you have settled and started anew gives me this kick up my arse that I need to get going with this!! xx

kissmyheathenass Tue 29-Jan-13 10:15:16

Im sure Nunhead is lovely - where is it?

agree about norwich, my parents are there, v good culture, food and shopping, only problem is trying to get to other areas of the country is a bit of a pain, though they are improving that with finally dual carriageway-ing the elveden bit of the A11 (god i am a bore!)

newcastle also great, felt like a big city and a small town at the same time (like norwich!)

kissmyheathenass Tue 29-Jan-13 10:22:23

willie, Newcastle or Norwich? Which would you choose?

dashoflime Tue 29-Jan-13 10:24:40

I loved London and couldn't afford to live there!
I went to Glasgow.

Once you get some distance from London you may find it wasn't all that. As well as the shocking price of things I'm also glad to be away from the casual rudeness/hostility of strangers, the stupid faff involved in getting anywhere from anywhere else and the stressy workplace culture.

Glasgow has all the advantages of a big city without the downsides

jeee Tue 29-Jan-13 10:25:12

OP, just a thought, but have you ever lived in London with children? As you moved out 14 years ago, did you have children then or are they more recent additions? Because you might find that London with the restrictions of children might seem rather less buzzy.

Disclaimer: I hate city life, so I'm probably talking rubbish.

Hope you find an area that you love.

guineapiglet Tue 29-Jan-13 10:31:06

If you asked me to choose between the two I would find it difficult having lived in both - alot depends on where your family is - I still have friends and family in Norwich and visit alot, it is a bit tricky to get to, particularly travelling from west/north to east, there are no motorways and alot of Norfolk is VERY rural, large distances between places etc. It is a long drive to Newcastle up the A1 but really worth it, it is a great city and fantastic area. We loved it there, so I would be looking at schools for your kids and go and visit both to get a feel for them both - the obvious other point is climate, East Anglia is much warmer and drier, the NE is colder ( not wet Mancy cold!)

exactly the same as you, guineapiglet, i find it difficult to choose. my family is in norwich and i grew up there so i go there lots. went to university in newcastle and adored it.

the thing i particularly love about both is that you can go from buzzing city to rural countryside within a 15 min drive (depending on time of day/direction!)

Nancy66 Tue 29-Jan-13 11:25:46

can you get a decent family home in Brighton for £350k or less?

I'm always looking at Brighton on Rightmove and it seems pretty much on a par with london to me (price wise)

airedailleurs Tue 29-Jan-13 11:35:35

I'll say what I always say in these cases:


Can't beat it for combo of proximity to London, great local shopping, very good state primary and secondary schools, affordable housing, proximity to lovely countryside, airports, ferry terminals, seaside...etc...

no time to research specific houses but £350k will get you want you want here :-D

DewDr0p Tue 29-Jan-13 12:27:45

There are some nice cities in the UK but don't expect them to be like London OP. Reading this with interest - we left London for rural life nearly 10 years ago and are considering heading back SE (for work reasons).

Are most of your family/friends in the South? I'm quite fond of Newcastle but it is a looooong drive up there.
Also what do you do for work? Can you do it anywhere? We've found employment options have narrowed drastically with the recession and self employed folks finding it hard too. (hence considering our move)

I like Manchester a lot but find it cold and grey.
Liverpool is very buzzy these days, totally transformed from when I was a kid. Lots of culture and very friendly, the redeveloped city centre is fab. Property is cheap too.
Don't know Leeds as well but liked what I saw.
Nottingham has great shopping but I'm not sure what it's like to live there.
My neighbour used to live in Bristol and loved it but I think schools might be an issue?

Sheffield lovers, please tell me what there is to do there. I don't live there, I just go to shop (shopping not great imho) Feel like I must be missing something.

guineapiglet Tue 29-Jan-13 12:42:47

Well I am a 'Sheffield lover' - tho' slightly different for me as I have lots of family there so ended up doing lots with them - when I lived there used to go horse riding, hiking in the Peaks, NT -ing around Bakewell, Haddon etc, cinema/Crucible in Sheffield, ( I agree shopping in the city is not as good as it was due to Meadowhall) -good churches, good pubs etc, the Leadmill and dry slope skiing. Plus only a couple of hours to Lakes, couple of hours on train to London, it is a very central location for doing lots of stuff. Houses around Nether Edge area lovely, you can be urban and rural whichever suits!

I confess that when I worked at the Uni it was in the days before kids, so others on here might be able to add more child related stuff.

kissmyheathenass Tue 29-Jan-13 12:49:52

Nothing in Bromley in that price range - we do need quite a big house as we run 2 businesses from home. Thanks anyway!

DwrDrop - is Liverpool wet? I assume being West it is. Would love to be proved wrong. Bristol - yes the schools are an issue and decent areas are pricey. Nottingham looks good - I have looking into schools there - but a bit of a reputation for gun crime - dont know how reliable this reputation is tho.

Do you know sheffield schools Guineapiglet?

lalalonglegs Tue 29-Jan-13 12:57:01

I used to live in Liverpool and went back twice recently. The city centre has transformed beyond all recognition but, as someone who lives in London and perhaps for the OP who lives in Bournemouth, a lot of the rest of it feels very poor and run down (in fact, I wondered how long the centre could keep going giving the income of most of the residents seems pretty low sad). It is buzzy though, a really strong identity, housing is extremely cheap even in the nice areas but it can be quite wet and you can get bloody strong winds coming off the Mersey.

guineapiglet Tue 29-Jan-13 12:57:18

Well I only know of the schools where my cousins went, ( Bradfield/Hillsboro' college,) as I said, my time there was well before kids. There were good schools in the Broomhill/Fulwood areas from memory, but you would need to get the advice of other locals to get up to date info.

PS. Yes. Liverpool and Manchester are wet!!!!smile

LadyWellian Tue 29-Jan-13 13:12:21

Right, didn't realise 'family house' meant quite that big!

How about this 5-bed in Blackheath - kids get a bedroom each, you can use the 5th bedroom for one office, and for the other one, either use the conservatory or build something in the 90' garden!

FlouncingMintyy Tue 29-Jan-13 13:21:40

LadyWellian - you are brilliant at finding properties! I am loving your links. Fancy finding something interesting in SE London near Sydenham/Forest Hill/Honor Oak/Brockley for me? Budget £650 thanks grin.

cantspel Tue 29-Jan-13 13:25:52

You would be hard pushed to find a family home for £350k in brighton. A 2 or 3 bed flat is more inline with that sort of money. £350k would buy a decnt 3 bed outside of brighton itself. Saltdean and further out. The trendies still say they live in brighton but the locals know they dont.

LadyWellian Tue 29-Jan-13 13:56:49

Ooh, Mintyy, I do love a chance to channel my inner Kirstie Allsop. Leave it with me - though boringly I have a meeting from 2.30 until 5 and I have to try and do some work first!

kissmyheathenass Tue 29-Jan-13 13:57:25

Mintyy envy at your budget!! I am sure you will find something amazing. Ladywellian is fab isnt she? (thank you LW, Boris should give you a job) Unfortunately I cant convince dh to look near London, he lived there for most of his life and we both agree it will be exciting to live somewhere different. He is keen to go North and has agreed on us having a dog as long as we have space!

TBH, Brighton, London, Homecounties etc, although lovely, dont offer us good value for money as we dont actually need to be anywhere near to London to work. In the North for our budget we can get a nice size house and still work just as effectively and keep our income the same.

Bugger the rain in Liverpool and Manchester, when we move and are mortgage free I want a horse but hate riding in the rain. Is Sheffield wet too?

lalalonglegs Tue 29-Jan-13 14:10:58

Another hmm - the house that LadyW found is near where I used to live and I would still describe that as not really London. It is close to Blackheath but doesn't feel like BH, it is in an area cut through with lots of big trunk roads and it seems as if everyone is just passing through/trying to get out of it. There was a very notorious secondary school (it could have turned round since) in the area and an estate with an even worse reputation. It is amazing value on paper though.

Mintyy - this thread has lots about Forest Hill. You might end up going head to head with the OP who has about the same budget grin.

Lostgirl27 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:16:45

Glasgow, west end in particular!!

Lostgirl27 Tue 29-Jan-13 14:17:03

Glasgow, west end in particular!!

Mosman Tue 29-Jan-13 14:20:30

If we moved back to the UK it would be to Birmingham or Manchester. The posh bits.

Mosman Tue 29-Jan-13 14:20:50

Oh or Glasgow.

kissmyheathenass Tue 29-Jan-13 16:08:23

Where are the posh bits in Birmingham? Im thinking Sutton Coldfield?

SwedishEdith Tue 29-Jan-13 16:16:52

Liverpool is not as wet as Manchester and has a stronger identity, I think

Mossley Hill area is lovely. Crosby good as well

DelGirl Tue 29-Jan-13 16:25:15

Never been to Birmingham myself but am I right in thinking Edgbaston is good? Could be wrong and i'm sure someone will say but some ok houses in that bracket though no idea of area

ethelb Tue 29-Jan-13 16:37:55

Manchester is great. Cardiff is really nice to though not as big a city. Both have affordable housing by London standards!

PartTimeModel Tue 29-Jan-13 16:41:18

I love London but I think Brighton is a hideous place - shame as I do love the sea side.

Watching with interest though.

noddyholder Tue 29-Jan-13 17:04:07

I have been renovating houses in Brighton since 1999. You can find bargains but have to be prepared to really look relentlessly and re model if you want to bring in a decent house in a good area for 350. But having said that I always have and have always sold them in days so it is a good place if you buy near good schools. I am hugely biased though as I love it here with all its faults and wouldn't consider London if it had even a sniff of suburbia which is what 350k would get you there. I would want a central cool location which is ££££££

drjohnsonscat Tue 29-Jan-13 17:14:28

I was going to say, surely that house is Kidbrooke not Blackheath and that's a very different kettle of fish dontcha know. Although I know the Kidbrooke is being redone so perhaps I am behind the times.

I was going to say Brighton which is defo a city. Feels like a city, has all the grime and argy bargy of a city. Is not Bath. I like Brighton.

PrincessOfChina Tue 29-Jan-13 17:33:51

Nice bits of Brum, IMO are Harborne, Bournville, and parts of Cotteridge, Kings Heath and Moseley. I am "against" Sutton Coldfield and Solihull as they're so bloody up themselves they fail to notice they're actually just a part of Birmingham.

I'm in sniffing distance of Bournville and it's great. Although the lack of pubs is not great we're well connected transport wise and lots of good schools and a real community feel.

Honestyisbest Tue 29-Jan-13 18:02:20

Buckinghamshire. The fast train to London takes 30 mins!

mumzy Tue 29-Jan-13 18:47:59

The top Sheffield schools i know of are: Silverdale, Tapton, high Storrs all comps and on the southside of the city. For 350k you can get a 3-4 bed house in the catchment areas of these schools. Good luck with your search

LadyWellian Tue 29-Jan-13 18:59:05

lalalonglegs I know what you mean about the main roads, though they have knocked down the estate and the school is now a 'co-operative' academy with fairly reasonable results. I wouldn't personally choose the Shooters Hill area but on the other hand, it's a pretty decent-looking 5-bed house overlooking a green space for £340k!

Mintyy, I'm sorry I haven't had as much time to look for you as I might have liked, owing to a work crisis hard on the heels of the very boring meeting.

Still, this looks really lovely (perhaps just my taste!), though I can't help feeling it's a tad overpriced. It'd be a shoo-in for Forest Hill Boys, though, which may be good for you.

This is detached - pretty rare - and has a gigantic hallway (nice for a Christmas tree) but some of the bedrooms look a bit small.

Leftfield alert: this one is completely about the location. It is definitely not a bargain.

Not much going in Brockley; this is best viewed as a project, though it's well inside your budget, so lots left over for renovations.

I was looking forward to this given your fairly generous budget, but there's not a lot out there at all (unless you want to move to East Dulwich, where it seems prices have dropped sufficiently that there are quite a few 4+ bed places within budget). Ask me again in a couple of months!

(Sorry for the derail, heathen, I know nowt about the North!)

lalalonglegs Tue 29-Jan-13 19:09:38

Ooooh, that first one is amazing. Wishing I lived in FH envy.

Southeastdweller Tue 29-Jan-13 19:23:55

I agree with lalalonglegs about being out in some of the suburbs. We rent in zone 4 in a shithole area and when we move won't be coming back. It's a faff getting to and from further parts of the city (especially west London), there's nothing to do locally, and the anti-social behaviour from people here is horrible. Naturally it's relatively cheap - on a 350K budget you could easily get a four bedroom house here - but then as I've learned the hard way, rents and property prices aren't plucked out of thin air...

whatmattersmore Tue 29-Jan-13 21:47:53

I have to admit I share the opinions about being in the London suburbs - it seems to be what most London families do, but it's definitely a different lifestyle than being in zone 1/2. I've always lived centrally so I've got used to the small flat/no garden way of life - and I'd always rather take that over a bigger house out in zone 4/5. You can adapt your way of living pretty well, even with more kids and the need for office space.

I'd go for something like this or this. It's not to everyone's taste but it depends what your priorities are.

DewDr0p Tue 29-Jan-13 22:37:17

OP I suppose Liverpool is a bit wet but significantly less wet and cold than Manchester ime grin. It very much has its own sense of identity and people really are very friendly.

Going by our local news, gun crime seems to have subsided massively in Nottingham in the last few years but I know what you mean!

Levantine Wed 30-Jan-13 13:51:43

I wouldn't have thought you would do much better than whatmatters flat in Clapham North. I would prioritise location over period/kerb appeal. We rented a big victorian house in a not great part of zone 3 I thought it was miserable.

LadyWellian Wed 30-Jan-13 14:14:25

I'm not quite getting why Clapham North (zone 2, 14 mins to London Bridge) is seen as central whereas Brockley (zone 2, 8 mins to London Bridge) is seen as the suburbs.

I'm rather impressed with whatmatters's Marylebone flat, though. I could definitely handle a morning run round Regent's Park rather than (my beloved) Hilly Fields!

Nancy66 Wed 30-Jan-13 14:47:59

that's not a part of Clapham I'd want to live near...it's either just behind or part of a council estate were there is a lot of gang crime/trouble.

FlouncingMintyy Wed 30-Jan-13 16:41:05

(Apols for further thread hijacking but just wanted to thank LadyW for the fab links! I love the Christmas house! Am thinking of moving from ED.)

Have you had any further thoughts op?

Southeastdweller Wed 30-Jan-13 19:23:50

ladywellian I think it's because Brockley feels suburban whereas Clapham definitely does not.

FlouncingMintyy Wed 30-Jan-13 19:53:09

Clapham is everything I hate about London (and I have lived here all my adult life). It would be bottom of my list of destinations ... yes, even after Newham or Deptford or Dollis Hill or any of those other zone 3 no-mans-lands.

lalalonglegs Wed 30-Jan-13 20:42:59

Blimey Mintyy, I live in Clapham and, while I don't think it's all that (definitely not as great as the property prices would imply), what upsets you so much about it? It can definitely be a bit smug but it's/we're not that bad grin.

LadyW: I think the train times are a bit misleading. I've just looked on the rail website and there are four trains an hour at this time of night from Brockley, there are probably more likely to be at least 10 or 12 from Clapham North. The underground is more reliable than the overground - I have rarely known a train go straight into a major railway terminus, there is usually several minutes a couple of hundred metres away waiting for a free platform especially during rush hour.

MissBetseyTrotwood Wed 30-Jan-13 20:44:48

I'd move back to Manchester in a shot. Except all our family are around London.

Levantine Wed 30-Jan-13 21:26:03

I get where you're coming from mintyy, I feel like that about east dulwich a bit - I think you have similair views, don't meant to offend. I would hate to leave in that between the commons bit, but I really don't think the rest of it is that bad.

ladywellian I am roughly a neighbour of yours, but I kind of agree with lala, though the east London line is tube like enough to feel okay

Southeastdweller Wed 30-Jan-13 21:40:27

New overground line is fine but problem is is that it doesn't go through central London.

FlouncingMintyy Wed 30-Jan-13 22:03:59

Yes, definitely feeling jaded about ED! Not offended at all grin.

Lala - There's just so much traffic and too many Hooray Henrys in Clapham. And, sure, there is the common, but its not exactly charming is it? Just a huge flat piece of grass bisected by roads. But, no offence (as my 9 year old ds would say!).

lalalonglegs Wed 30-Jan-13 22:12:59

None taken smile. The common is weirdly flat and uninteresting, there are lots of wealthy people who live in their own little self-regarding bubbles but they're generally ok once you get to know them. And you can learn a lot about pointless house improvements living in this area grin.

Ridersofthestorm Wed 30-Jan-13 22:20:26

Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpool!!! Great city, great nightlife, full of life and energy. There are some great places to live too it's not all poor and run down. If you like bohemian bars and restaurants on your doorstep try lark lane/Sefton park area (ten min drive from city centre too).

kissmyheathenass Wed 30-Jan-13 23:24:03

Right then - thanks everone
these are my shortlisted places - have spent hours googling, on zoopla, rightmove etc. How the bugger did we manage before internet?

Liverpool (lovely school, St Michaels, in Crosby, does that count?)
Sheffield - thanks for list Mumzy
Newcastle becuase I love the Geordie accent most of all
Leeds - my young, gorgeous cousin lives there and will hate me for stalking him and ruining his crred
Birmingham - have to convice dh on this one but I think it looks great.

Mosman Thu 31-Jan-13 02:22:57

Liverpool, Liverpool, Liverpool!!!

Assuming you don't need a local job of course, unless you work in the public sector but even they are becoming quite scare.

PrincessOfChina Thu 31-Jan-13 07:19:39

I would choose Sheffield or Birmingham.

I grew up just outside Sheffield and its a fab city. It's grown up so much in the last 10 years or so too and seems to be a really fun place to live.

Birmingham is my home now. I would never have expected to end up here but I love it.

MegBusset Thu 31-Jan-13 07:44:49

Norwich is fantastic and has loads going on but it's not the slightest bit like London. I moved here from London two years ago and am just about getting over the culture shock grin

Sarah3736 Thu 17-Oct-13 13:12:53


Did you move from out of London? I am making a film for the BBC with Evan Davis about people who have been priced out of London, i'd be very keen to speak to anyone whose experienced this in the last couple of years.

Thanks a lot



Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now