Maybe moving to London. Very in need of advice. Please help!

(33 Posts)
Kate1603 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:53:42

My husband will start working in London soon. Currently we live in Oxfordshire. We are deciding between a move and a long commute. We have two children, 6 and 4. We like where we live, but he wouldn't see the children from Sun evening to Sat morning. We looked at Charlton, as has gplood space, is afforrdable, is an easy.commute and is quite but close to Greenwich and Blackheath when we need busy.
My Mother thinks it is e crazy to move to London with children if you are not pretty rich. She says we are putting the choildren at risk from crime and poor quality air.
My brother says that London is great, but that the east has a reputation for a reason, and we should.not live there.
Can anybody help? Is London terribly dangerous for children or teens? What is Charlton like to live in?

Moominsarehippos Mon 11-Feb-13 17:57:29

Where's your husband going to be based? London (assuming you aren't moving into Bandit Country) is fine for kids and teenagers.

Kate1603 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:24:51

Thanks, ner Tower hill.

Vijac Mon 11-Feb-13 22:30:17

I don't personally know the area, but parts of Essex are meant to be very nice, relatively affordable and near countryside/seaside etc. Also easy commute to East London. I know there's a stereotype though. I live in sw London and love it. Don't thinks it's dangerous etc but expensive and a long commute for tower hill. Areas a bit further oit but with good links also include St. Albans and stoke newington (actually that's quite central but nice nonetheless). Good luck!

pootlebug Mon 11-Feb-13 22:40:27

Personally I would choose the Blackheath Standard end of Charlton for being closer to Greenwich Park. Some great primaries to choose from (Sherington and Invicta are both rated Ofsted outstanding, and really well regarded by parents whose kids go there). Secondary school is trickier - but secondaries in the area are improving.

I live Charlton-end of Blackheath and love it here. Walk & public transport everywhere...everything on the doorstep. I have three young kids and have never been concerned from their point of view re crime or air pollution.

ihearsounds Mon 11-Feb-13 22:50:03

Yea London is a shit hole, that is extremely violent to teens. But younger children shouldn't live their either because they are too young. Quality of air, well the air is non existent, and everyone walks around either constantly wheezing or wearing oxygen masks. As a parent you need to earn a squillion quid a year, or send the children out to work cleaning the Thames and roads (ahh just realised the dangers).

Where do people get these ideas from? Regardless of where you live you could end up in a crime riddled, poor air quality shit hole. London is no different, imo, to any big city.

Anyway, really depends on your budget and space you need. Near Tower hill also includes Tower Hamlets. Personally I like the City of London, Islington (Highbury very easy to get to Greenwich), Stoke Newington, Swiss Cottage, Crouch End and some other parts of Harringey.

ihearsounds Mon 11-Feb-13 22:50:48

Sorry also like Camden and parts of Hackney.

MumOfTheMoos Mon 11-Feb-13 22:53:30

Anywhere that goes into London bridge and then you can walk from there to tower hill.

For my money I would do Sydenham, forest hill or crystal palace. Cp has great restaurants and a lovely big park!

Cosmosim Tue 12-Feb-13 08:15:19

Well, kids do grow up a bit faster in a big city (just because there's more to do) but teens' bad choices due to influences can be made anywhere.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Tue 12-Feb-13 08:23:19

What's your budget if you don't mind me asking. I second forest hill/crystal palace. If I had enough money for an investment property I'd definitely buy in CP.

Cosmosim Tue 12-Feb-13 08:25:09

Oops hit post too soon. To add, we moved out of east London because the primary schools were dire and the few outstandings had catchment areas of 100 meters with (and family properties within that area marked up 50-100k more). The nearby private school already had a waiting list for reception and my daughter was 6 months at the time. the amount of house/garden (if you're lucky) you get is minuscule compared to what you can rent/buy outside of London. And while we lived in a trendy, sought after area next to a stunning park, I wouldn't walk home alone from the nearest overground station after commuter hours.

There's a reason people with kids move out of London.

Cosmosim Tue 12-Feb-13 08:25:15

Oops hit post too soon. To add, we moved out of east London because the primary schools were dire and the few outstandings had catchment areas of 100 meters with (and family properties within that area marked up 50-100k more). The nearby private school already had a waiting list for reception and my daughter was 6 months at the time. the amount of house/garden (if you're lucky) you get is minuscule compared to what you can rent/buy outside of London. And while we lived in a trendy, sought after area next to a stunning park, I wouldn't walk home alone from the nearest overground station after commuter hours.

There's a reason people with kids move out of London.

maxmillie Tue 12-Feb-13 08:27:54

You don't have to move into London if London bridge is the goal. We both work walking distanc from London bridge and have moved out to Surrey on the London Beidge line, 30 minutes commute on the train. Anywhere 30/40 mins by train from London bridge would e fine I have thought ( and you'll get more for your money property wise)

Kate1603 Tue 12-Feb-13 08:35:10

Hi, hope not to have caused offence, I've Minot lived in a big city before. We love visiting London, and were really excited at the idea, I guess I have let someone else's irrational fears plant the seed of doubt. I am very over sensitive about my children.

Yes, we were thinking of commuting to London Bridge, or maybe Liverpool st. We don't know London at all well.
I guess we are thinking around 500K, defoimitlely need a garden, and would like 3 bedrooms abs minimum.

I am trying to avoid the the deeper underground, as have a guide dog. Am happy with trains, but don't fancy regularly having to carry her on escalators.

Thanks for all help so far.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Tue 12-Feb-13 08:41:12

Crystal palace is def worth a visit. It has a nice villagey feel, great park, lovely views, lots of things for the kids to do, walking distance to dulwich which is lovely. You can get quite a bit for your 500k, especially if you don't mind a bit of work.

TheOneAndOnlyAlpha Tue 12-Feb-13 08:44:38
Kate1603 Tue 12-Feb-13 08:49:07

Just to answer a question....

The idea is probably an archaic impression of cities being the root of all smog. This view has been Held since the industrial revolution, and is hard to shift. Also, crime in London, and Manchester to an extent, makes national news seemingly more often than that in other cities. This gives the Impression, I guess, that it happens nodpre often.

Anyway, just thought was interesting question, but really need help with the move.

Moominsarehippos Tue 12-Feb-13 09:00:29

I've been here donkeys years (very central) and yes, you definately get more dust than in the countryside (and sticky dirt if you are next to a railway line) but the air quality is fine (even when we get stinking hot 30+ in the summer).

I would go well out of London rather than inner if you need that much space. We are slap bang central, but don't have a huge property. The upside is that we have 3 large parks on our doorstep (one literally), can walk everywhere and have a balcony for summer evenings sittin' and drinkin' wine.

Moominsarehippos Tue 12-Feb-13 09:07:55

And as for crime... There's a website that tracks reported crime, isn't there? We have a bit around here (mainly tourists getting purses lifted and the odd prostitute) but not much more than other places. When the N'Hill carnival is on, we avoid some streets (esp at night). Notting Hill still has some dodgy parts - just because there are expensive houses there, doesn't make it gentrified! It was always a bit rough, with some 'naice' houses but has had a bit of a PR job since that stupid film. Best to do your homework on areas too! 'Up and Coming' usually is estate agent speak for 'less muggings than there used to be'.

Some areas are worse than others, so I'd be wary of a 'bargain' house price.

School capture areas will shove prices up too.

Kate1603 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:14:28

We did look further out, Chislehurst to the east, and Wallingham to the west. i was slightly concerned that loal transport links were less good further out, although the services to LB were very quick.

plantsitter Tue 12-Feb-13 09:20:26

London is great for kids. The best thing about it for me is that they come across all different kinds of people - they hear loads of different languages and see people of all races and that is normal to them.

Also there's loads to do and lots of other people around to do it with. I grew up in a small village so haven't really got over the novelty of all this. Of course it does mean that you wouldn't let them play out on their own like you might elsewhere (although maybe people don't anyway these days I don't know) but I think the advantages outweigh this.

South East London is very child-friendly, cheapish and commutable so you're looking in the right area.

DowntonTrout Tue 12-Feb-13 09:24:01

I am in the centre. I feel safer here than I did in rural Yorkshire. Yes there are areas I wouldn't wander round at night but aren't there everywhere?

I think you are not far from me moomin

I am happy for my DD to walk to school unaccompanied. I am also training her how to be safe so she can use the bus and underground by herself next year. She is 11. I have no concerns about the air quality. The water is awful though!

Moominsarehippos Tue 12-Feb-13 09:45:45

Downton... Holland Park or Hyde/ken gardens? We're probably neighbours!

hatsybatsy Tue 12-Feb-13 09:46:16

OP - you seem to have a lot of people recommending other areas of london to you when you have already researched Charlton?

I live in near Charlton and can endorse it wholeheartedly. The housing stock is plentiful and erm varied! Although there are a few large tower blocks, there is a lot of Victorian terracing and some larger semis too. A friend has a really beautiful house - which would cost several hundred thousand grand more if it were located in, say, Blackheath.

The village is nice and bustley - and Charlton House and Maryon park have large grounds which would be ideal for dog walking if you can't be bothered going to greenwich Park.

Transport links seem good - train stations plus realiable bus service into Blackheath/Lewisham.

As for the 'east having a reputation' ???? - house prices in London have got so high that the gentrification has already spread way out. No area is ever 100% safe - you'd have to take the same precautions in Charlton as where you are currently living. I don't think the crime stats are wildly higher?

Personally - as a family the most important thing for me would be to keep my family together? Keep the commute as short as possible? Your kids are very young and will adapt easily.

One word of caution would be to check out school options and make sure there is space. Good local schools (indpendent and state) can be very oversubscribed.

FlouncingMintyy Tue 12-Feb-13 09:48:46

More than 10% of the UK population live in London. It really wouldn't work if it were unsafe for children. With all due respect, your Mum is being daft.

DowntonTrout Tue 12-Feb-13 10:21:35

I'm a couple of tube stops away in W1 moomin

sats1977 Tue 12-Feb-13 12:14:28

Another vote for Crystal Palace, we lived there until this October and we all loved the massive park with it's great playground, maze and dinosaurs. There are also lots of events in the summer and the restaurants in the triangle are fantastic (esp. Numidie, Exhibition Rooms and Joanna's). Also great pubs such as the Westow, very quirky and homely. The area has a very villagey and leafy feel, great for families and there are fabulous views over London. Also, it's very easy to get to London Bridge on the train that runs overground.

Moominsarehippos Tue 12-Feb-13 12:30:02

God, you are close then! Probably... one stop from me! Wooooooooooo.

mumzy Tue 12-Feb-13 12:31:51

I think your db is being very insular every "naice" part of london borders onto less saburious areas for example blackheath is a stones throw away from plumstead, lewisham and welling. I think if you are serious about living in london you need to factor this in otherwise opt for a commuter town to the east in Essex for example as then your dh will have have a reasonable commute to Tower Hill

Kate1603 Tue 12-Feb-13 20:36:11

This is accurate, she is.

I am open to suggestions, forest hill and CP were on our list. We saw Charlton and really liked it. I had found some schools but now further complicated by eldest nppossibly needong extra support... A separate discussion. Wasn't sure whether to keep looking, or stick with what had seen and liked. London so massive, feel could look forever.

What are places south and east of Charlton like? Kid brook, Eltham, Woolwich....

The diversity is something that really draws me to London, that and keeping my family together of course. Does the cosmopolitan aspect extend to Surrey, Kent, etc?

Kate1603 Wed 13-Feb-13 09:09:48

Also, a few people have mentioned to me that I need to factor in well off and less dell off areas in close proximity. Personally, I think that's how the world should work, but what does it mean practically? How do you need to factor this in on a daily basis?

Thanks for all your help and advice, we are really valuing it!

DowntonTrout Wed 13-Feb-13 10:04:25

For example I live in an area in, but on the edge of, Marylebone. A couple of minutes up the road and it becomes Lisson Grove. Marylebone is lovely, Lisson Grove has had serious problems.

I have no reason to go in that direction but people from Lisson Grove need to come in my direction for tubes, buses shops etc. I live on a side street so not the main thoroughfare but even so, it is very much more culturally mixed than the area around Marylebone high Street. Yet that is still only a few streets away.

I feel safe. I have my 11 year old daughter here and am quite happy to let her walk to/from school but we walk past cars that have had their windows smashed regularly. I make sure all the doors and windows are locked in my flat. It's things like that.

hatsybatsy Wed 13-Feb-13 10:04:42

Kidbrooke - maybe- there is a massive new development which has lovley new houses and the landscaping etc looks great - kidbrooke station would be about 20 mins direct to London Bridge. drawback is that it has no village centre as such - and the new development is untested.

Woolwich - have no direct insight - the town centre is not great?

Eltham - there are some really nice areas close to the High Street. Transport links look good. Large housing stock nearby but - per earlier comments, you'd need to take care over where to live - Eltham/Avery Hill - good. New Eltham - not so much.

In terms of living near not so well off areas - I don't think this affects day to day living? It's just something to be aware of - but not something which affects my decision to continue to live in SE London?

if you are struggling with the idea of London but need commute to London Bridge - then Chelsfield has very good train links in? And is much greener/less urban.

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