Small towns and villages near Southampton(39 Posts)
We're planning on moving to the Southampton area. Either dh will be working at an office at the quayside, or will be self employed working from home (but would need to get on the train to London fairly regularly for meetings). I'll be not working to start off, but then likely employers for me would be in Southampton, Winchester, or Botley, or working from home. We'd prefer to live somewhere more rural, where we can go on walks, get to the coast, etc. but without being totally isolated. Also we'd prefer a small town/large village that has at least a few shops or a supermarket although I realise we could go to Southampton for shopping. We have 1 ds (2yrs) and 1 dd (due June) so schools will come into play in a few years time. Having done a bit of research online (currently living abroad so I can't really drive round these places yet) I've been looking at places like Dibden Purlieu/Hythe, Romsey, Bursledon, Warsash. Does anyone know anything about these places? Are they nice to live, have a good sense of community etc? And is there anywhere else I should be considering that's similar distance from Southampton? Thanks for any help!
Salusbury is lovely...40 mins from Southampton but is that too far???
Romsey is lovely, so are parts of the New Forest and all easily commutable to Southampton - both are expensive. Bursledon is not nice.
lolalotta I think maybe Salisbury would be a bit far, plus prefer something closer to the coast. We're currently living 10 mins walk from the water in Hawaii, I know the Solent isn't quite the same but I'm worried about missing being near the sea!
SoulTrain what is it about Bursledon that isn't nice? I think I just assumed with a marina and close to a river it would be! What about Hamble, is that the same?
Lymington is lovely and has a great market, is in the New Forest and has a quayside.
Lymington has awful traffic through it though, I shudder when I think of those traffic jams....
OP, isn't Southampton going to be a bit of change from Hawaii? Southampton itself is a bit 'grey' ! I guess that's why you're looking to live outside Southampton itself...
Have a look at Ashurst just on the edge of the New Forest National Park.
It's on the mainline to Waterloo (free parking at the station if you don't fancy the 10 minute walk), and about a 10-15 minute drive to Southampton.
The local schools Foxhills (infant and primary) and Hounsdown are very good, and there is a lovely park with play equipment too.
Minimalist that is exactly why I don't want to live in Southampton itself! I want to be somewhere pretty to help ease the transition.
Clara, will have a look at Ashurst, thanks.
Will also look at Lymington, if dh ends up working from home maybe traffic won't be such an issue.
Traffic only really bad in holidays or sunny weekends to be honest. If you go via the forest instead of main roads its not too bad at all. Lots of pretty villages surrounding also depending on your budget.
We live in Romsey, lovely with excellent schools, lots to do with little ones, proper town centre and 20mins or so from the edge of the forest and from Southampton.
Hamble is pretty but very certainly a no for me - nightmare to get in and out of as there is only one road and at peak times its a nightmare.
Hythe and the waterside etc : unless you can afford private school or are not fussed, probably best avoided.
Romsey, Baddesley are options.
Bishops Waltham is worth a look as the Sainsbury's will open soon.
Emsworth is a bit further east as is Rowlands Castle.
Hamble : yup traffic is dire. Netley and Hound are cheaper options
Bursledon has the river too
Ashurst, up to Cadnam ...
Thanks for the input. Good to know on the traffic. I'm wondering if north and west of southampton (Ashurst, Romsey etc) are better for traffic then. I'll have a look at some of the other options suggested.
Talkinpeace; would that comment about schools refer to Dibden Purlieu as well? Is that and Hythe essentially considered to be the same place?
Stubbington or Lee on the Solent? They're right on the coast and about 1/2 hr from.Southampton
I think Otterbourne is lovely with a village feel. Thorden secondary is very highly rated, the village infants/junior is nice. Its between Southampton and Winchester. 20 ish minute drive to Southampton.
Junction 12 on M3, so no jams. Direct buses to Winchester and Southampton. Can walk along the river Ichen from here right into the centre of Winchester though pretty countywide.
Can walk or cycle off road into Chandlers Ford for supermarkets. 3 pubs in village with a village green area.
I've lived in London, Salisbury, Winchester, Romsey, Southampton and a Lancashire small hill town and this is my favourite.
yup - anywhere in the catchment to applemore is .....
agree that Otterbourne is lovely
Hedge End/ Botley? Love living in Hedge End. We can walk to Berry theatre, swimming pool and gym at Wildern, library, lots of parks, Manor Farm country park. There are several outstanding primaries and a highly rated secondary school. Not quite a village but lots of community events including yearly carnival. I like most being a two minute drive from the m27
If you want posher then maybe Chandlers Ford, Romsey or Warsash. Or smaller and more rural then def New Forest. I wouldn't suggest too small though - my mother lives in small village in New Forest, it can be quite bleak and isolating over winter, she has been snowed in for the last few years, with frequent power cuts.
I would say not Hamble or Lymmington as the traffic makes me weep.
There's just not a lot in Bursledon in my opinion. I'd definitely look at Emsworth, Rowlands Castle, Westbourne, Bosham...further East but sooo much nicer.
4 miles from Botley - Bishops Waltham. Outstanding school in village. Nearest 3 schools outside Bishops Waltham are all outstanding.
6 miles from Botley - Swanmore. Outstanding school in the village, nearest 2 schools outside Swanmore both outstanding.
Park Gate, Swanwick way? There are some nice places down there and think the schools are good.
Ashurst is nice and Lyndhurst.
Some friends live in Fordingbridges which is right in the Forest - but maybe a bit isolated?
Bursledon is lovely, but the school is not great.
Read up closely on school admissions as well - we were looking at moving to North Baddesley until we discovered that children from large parts of the catchment area didn't get in last year because they had so many siblings. Next closest school was also oversubscribed so loads of children ended up miles down the road in the only school with places.
Also it really depends on your budget. Many of the places suggested are very expensive because they have good links to Southampton, nice community feel etc.
are you meaning Halterworth or North Baddesley?
as the latter has not been over subscribed for many years : too many Chilworth children at Stroud for that to happen.
And if OP can afford the forest, Rownhams is a bargain.
At secondary level, Mountbatten has not turned away a catchment kid for many years, nor has Romsey.
Thornden does not accept out of catchment (mostly) but pretty much all the in catchment get in.
Kings in Winchester take kids from Southampton - the bus goes near my house.
Alresford is lovely.
I used to date someone who lived in Romsey and I always thought it was a nice place to live.
Lots of lovely villages in the Meon Valley, good schools both primary and secondary. Can use Southampton line or Havant line to London.
Talkinpeace - North Baddesley Infants - last year the furtherest child who got in without a sibling link was 0.66 miles from the school, and so lots of children had to go to Rownhams, as they obviously didn't stand a chance of getting into Halterworth either. You certainly can't get into Kings from Southampton anymore either.
Data is here as the website is pretty hard to navigate:
I would also vote for Alresford. Perrins school is fantastic. I wish we lived there!!
Have you considered the Isle of Wight if you live between Cowes and Ryde you are close to both the Fast cats. Cowes to Southampton and Ryde to Portsmouth and train to London. Beautiful Island with Beautiful beaches.
great to holiday, MUCH less good if you want a good education for your kids.
OP I would never suggest moving to the Island unless you know exactly how you will make it work.
very interesting data the North Baddesley / Rownhams issue is entirely down to the threatened catchment boundary change linked to the purple school. Abbotswood has shaken up all the admissions round here.
The trouble with that "distance" guff is that schools like Mountbatten have "in catchment" houses that are over 8 miles from the school and yet much nearer houses are not in catchment.
I'm not sure about the Isle of Wight, just seems like another step to travel anywhere but I'm liking the sound of villages close to the New Forest. We'll be moving back to England this summer so will start investigating our options then.
Thanks for all the info on schools, not something I'd put much thought into so far so good to know!
silly thought : will you be doing private or state?
Just that if you are doing private then the Waterside is a splendid place to live : easy acces to the Forest, Southampton, the London train line etc etc
if your kids are boarding age, then the villages in the north of the forest are great
if you have chauffeuring age kids, bus routes are good
Wellow, Bramshaw, Canada Common, Plaitford
this is a wonderful part of the world. I love living here but different bits work for different people
North of the M27 is best, access to parts of new forest well of the tourist route of lyndhurst, lymington etc.
Today I saw a baby donk, a baby Shetland, a calf & a herd of piglets!!! I love the forest!!!
Romsey is lovely, schools are good & romsey school has quite a big catchment area. Stockbridge is lovely & close to Winchester though no supermarket.
but they do have a tendency to set off the car alarm headbutting my bumpers!
Talkinpeace, we'll be doing state. Oldest is only 2 though and youngest not yet born, so not a consideration just yet, though of course if we do buy we're hoping to be around for a few years unless jobs/circumstances change etc.
Eve that's exactly why I like the idea of living in/near the forest. Herds of piglets !! Looking forward to taking lots of nice walks with the kids.
I'll forgive a baby donk anything, they are so gorgeous!!!
Though big donks not so cute when I was poo picking fields in the dark in winter when 1 right beside the fence called! Thought for a second was the flippin hound of the flippin Baskervilles!!
They got to know when I fed my horses & put out hay & about 7 of them would appear braying for hay. Cost me a fortune in exta hay as couldn't refuse those big eyes.
Herd of piglets is not correct is it? Litter?
Warsash lovely.... So are Hamble, Lee-on-Solent, Stubbington, Whiteley (woeful school situation, but planning given for new one in Sept 13 - all other local schools good), Locks Heath, Swanwick, Burridge, Sarisbury, Botley.... All the wee villages round here. I live here and wouldn't move for anything! Southampton, Gatwick and Bournemouth airports really close, the New Forest, Dorset, South Downs and Shipwrights Way on our doorstep. Ferries to France and Spain, London on 70min from
Southampton Parkway station, Winchester, Chichester and Salisbury in striking distance. Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Dockyard, Paulton's Park (home of Peppa Pig World!) why live anywhere else?!!!
Talkinpeace - we are looking for a house to buy within walking distance of a decent primary school, which isn't proving very easy as we don't have £££ to spend. Think we are going to try and get into the Halterworth catchment. Kind of desperate lower middle class thing to do, but hence all the research. I think the Abbottswood development is awful - caused major major disruption for us (currently a 2 mile diversion to get to our house that has been doing for 3 months) and they are so densely packed... I think the proposed Whitenap development will have more impact on school boundaries though as it will stop all the Southampton kids getting into Mountbatten - which will probably be a very good thing for Southampton schools.
So, to the OP, if you are looking at an area make sure you look at what big developments are planned locally, as many of the cute little towns and villages may not be very cute and rural much longer. Around here (Romsey) at least it seems they can just put up a thousand or so houses where ever they like!
I live in the catchment of the Purple school : I know your pain!
Abbotswood is indeed dire : they are not having the roads adopted which is why they are too narrow, badly laid out and lack of parking.
Have you looked at Nursling? The estate is all within walking distance of the school and the number 4 bus route - or Upton Crescent - north of the M27 is safer from catchment changes for Mountbatten
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