areas of the UK that are cheap-ish for houses now but bound to go up in value? + why is Nottingham so cheap?

(207 Posts)
allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 00:22:26

This would have to exclude South coast (Hastings and so on), and also the North proper, as I need easy access to London and other parts of the country.
Just find myself really hankering after space and a house or large maisonette, without other people living on top of you or on both sides (3 good size beds semi-detached ideally, or a flat on two top floors with loft space), having only lived and looked at flats in London and SW - I'm increasingly finding that a nice area doesn't compensate for the lack of space anymore. I think the older you get the more space you want!

The area has to be reasonably nice but not chi-chi, i.e. low crime levels and must have a train station with access to london ideally in 1hr but could stretch a bit. It also has to be quite green with nice surrounding country. Town or city. I can't do cottages or modern boxes, used to live in high ceilinged London flats.

So far I found a couple of nice looking places with cheap houses, but usually too far from London (i.e. around Harrogate - just great old houses there, small towns in SW). Or places like Abingdon in Oxon but no train station.

Well, there is Nottingham - some nice spacious period houses on rightmove, MUCH bigger than what you can get in many places. What I don't understand is why it takes so long on the train - are there plans for faster trains there? York is much faster even though further out. What's Nottingham really like? Is it likely to go up in value? Is it better than Sheffield which I know a little?

What about Stamford/Northampton to compare with Nott? In sw there is Chippenham and Swindon that are cheap but not attractive, are these places better in comparison?

I need to buy somewhere where prices are not going to drop and ideally rise as my cash income is low atm and it's important to invest well. My mum may well need to move in with me when a bit older too, so somewhere with buses a bonus. Oh and reasonably nice, friendly people a big bonus. School cattchments are not important.

If anyone is selling something like this, PM me - and maybe introduce me to a new area!
Sorry for the long saga...I'd be grateful for someone to help put an end to this frustration!

Sushiqueen Thu 09-May-13 06:11:20

Don't know too much about Nottingham apart from the fact that the A52 can be a right pain to use if you drive there from our area. Shops are ok but I know it has had problems, but like any city it will depend in the area.

Stamford is lovely but not cheap and there are no direct trains to London. You have to change.

Can you afford to go and look at some of the areas you fancy? We did a similar thing and found it really helped to get an idea of an area. We moved from the south east and ended up in a village near Grantham. I still do the commute to London several days a week as do loads of others.

Bear in mind the cost if travelling to London if you need to travel in regularly. You may have cheaper housing and a lovely area to live in but the commuting costs can be very high.

VivaLeBeaver Thu 09-May-13 06:19:23

Nottingham isn't nicer than Sheffield. Some areas of Nottingham are very rough. Nicer areas like West Bridgeford tend to be expensive.

Nottingham is a big city and if you're finding really cheap houses I'd reckon they're not in the best of areas. Though will be cheaper than down south even in the nice areas.

How about Newark? On the main east coast line and about 1hr15mins to Kings X?

financialwizard Thu 09-May-13 06:30:20

Spalding/Peterborough. Be careful of area though.

MrsPnut Thu 09-May-13 06:30:21

Newark is nice, and the transport links are pretty good to get around the town.

Nottingham has a pretty high crime rate, and some very undesirable areas. My brother lives on the edge of the meadows which is rough as boots but he has a beautiful house overlooking the river that he couldn't afford otherwise.

Elizabeth22 Thu 09-May-13 06:45:18

What do you call cheapish?

Salbertina Thu 09-May-13 06:52:46

Chippenham not attractive? From yr list looks best option imho. Not picture postcard perfect but not grimy big city like Nottingham
V good train service too and v affordable compared to surrounding area.

Jaynebxl Thu 09-May-13 06:57:38

Sadly there's no guarantee that prices won't drop anywhere.

Mondrian Thu 09-May-13 06:58:08

Didcot (near Abingdon) has reasonably priced housing and less than an hour on train. Not sure what your budget is but if you can afford more that the offerings in Didcot you should look at Chilterns, Herts, Cambridgeshire & Essex.

defineme Thu 09-May-13 06:59:32

It's all about perspective though isn't it? I think of Nottingham as a small pretty city with a low crime rate compared to Manchester and London where I used to live. I agree with those that have suggested Newark/Peterborough and so because the East coast main line gets you to London faster.

We looked at Bedford, Royston and St Neots.

Could you consider Rochester in Kent? Historic High St, 40 minutes to Kings Cross, 1hr to Victoria, 1hr10 or so to London Bridge? Affordable housing, but avoid Chatham & Strood.

The fast train from rugby to London takes 50 minutes. We are in a nice market town 5 miles away. 3 /4 bed detached houses are up at 200-220k.

juniperinNZ Thu 09-May-13 07:31:41

Leicester has some really nice areas, particularly south of Victoria Park, it's had a lot of regeneration work since I was there at university 11 years ago and it never used to take me long to get to London from there. I think it's a lovely city with lots going on. Lovely semi detatched houses south of Clarendon Park and in Knighton but still close to centre.
Nottingham has had some problems with gun crime, when I lived in the midlands in late 90s/early 2000s it was starting to get a bit of a dodgy reputation in parts, not sure of situation now, although there are some lovely areas.

wonkylegs Thu 09-May-13 07:35:14

Nottingham has a relatively high crime rate. My sister lived there for uni, and despite living in various areas (admittedly none of them too posh as she was a student) she got burgled every year, including one home invasion as well as having a neighbour murdered outside her door! (she was late to my wedding as she was still giving a statement sad) I have no fond connections to the city although I believe she was particularly unlucky.

York has faster connections because it's on the East coast mainline which is a fast direct route into London. We love this as we live in Newcastle (which is fab) but can get into London for work/family/friends relatively quickly and easily.

WhoWhatWhereWhen Thu 09-May-13 07:40:04

I was going to say Newark, but someone already has !! Newark has a Waitrose as well as a station

hellsbells99 Thu 09-May-13 07:48:12

There is a newish station in the midlands called Eastmidlands Parkway. This is outside of Nott'm - more rural. Are there any areas around there that would appeal or are you looking for a city?

Oh FFS I give up you can imagine. 5 beds, needs updating, massive garden and driveway. £200k.

lilystem Thu 09-May-13 07:52:01

I'd second Bedford and st Neots. The former has fast trains to London in 35 mins.

flow4 Thu 09-May-13 08:20:17

What about Wakefield? It's further than you'd like, but direct and quick on the East Coast main line. There are really lovely areas, tho' I just drive/sit on trains through them and don't know them well enough to name!

Melissakitkat Thu 09-May-13 08:26:43

Try Bedfordshire - arlesey, shefford, flitwick, henlow, Langford, campton.

PiratePanda Thu 09-May-13 08:38:24

Definitely Grantham or Newark - nice market towns on the very fast East Coast mainline into London, and just over an hour. Peterborough and Stevenage on the other hand both a bit grim.

Wakefield is 2 hours!!! You might as well go for lovely York, also 2 hours (and not that cheap).

You could also look at Ely - just over an hour from Kings X and some truly lovely property at very reasonable prices. Close to Cambridge for good shopping too.

PiratePanda Thu 09-May-13 08:41:02

(Also Nottingham - gun crime and drug capital of the Midlands.)

flow4 Thu 09-May-13 08:52:39

York is 20-30 mins beyond Wakefield, plus all the areas you'd want to live in are 20-30 mins from the station. And house prices are much higher than Wakefield! I wouldn't want a 2 hour commute myself, but lots of people do it, because the cost of living is lower and the quality of life is higher. smile

cq Thu 09-May-13 08:58:32

I'm about to sell a house in Mortimer, Berkshire. Walking distance to station. Good schools, nice village, lots of countryside around but only 5 mins from M4 and close to Reading for good shopping.
And my sister is about to sell her house in a little village in Lincolnshire, close to Newark.

Either of those two areas any good? What's your budget? I guess that depends on how much you need to spend on commuting.

Northampton does tick all of your boxes tbh.
The train station is having an expensive make over and one day this century the shopping centre will too. grin

lottiegarbanzo Thu 09-May-13 09:28:10

Hello from Nottingham (and I have a 3 bed house on the market!). You need to give us some numbers before we can really help. What's your budget?

Nottingham is not so cheap but does have a wide range of areas, so almost every possible price is represented. So there are some very cheap bits where you probably wouldn't want to live (St Anns, Broxtowe Estate, parts of Basford), some scruffy but ok bits where you get great value if you don't mind high density terraced housing and tiny or no gardens (Sneinton, Old Meadows), some nice residential areas a bit further out of town (Mapperley, thorneywood), nice residential areas close to big parks or the river (Wollaton, Beeston - train station here too), more expensive areas because of school catchments (West bridgford but Lady Bay is the cheaper end, big Victorian houses, all convenient for town and train station) and the properly expensive (The Park). There are expensive villages nearby (Southwell, Colston Bassett), mid-range ones (Keyworth) and ex-mining villages (Cotgrave, Newstead).

The East Coast main line (Peterborough, Grantham, York) has been electrified for years and is much faster. The Midland Mainline is going to be electrified, you'd have to look it up for dates.

Being outside standard commuter range for London explains something about prices. Nottingham has occasional bad press for crime (e.g. greatest rise in gun crime a few years ago - but actual figures were still much lower per head of population than in Manchester for example - it's all about catchy headlines). Burglary figures are high but of course that is concentrated in student and low income areas.

greenformica Thu 09-May-13 11:02:34

Nottingham has crazy crime rates.

Cirencester is great. Pleasant small old town with good facitilites (hosptial, leisure center, cafes, bank, river etc) town situated in the Cotswolds. Trains very very close by in Kemble.

greenformica Thu 09-May-13 11:02:45

Reasonable house prices.

senua Thu 09-May-13 11:26:53

Would Leamington (Regency town) or Warwick (countryside) do? Near Warwick Parkway WRP station, not Warwick WRW.

lottiegarbanzo Thu 09-May-13 11:33:42

As to what Nottingham is like, it is like a large version of a market town. There's a big market square and the town centre is very centralised and compact. The big positive is that's it's big enough to support two theatres, a very good independent cinema, two art galleries centrally, others elsewhere, lots of restaurants and shops and, they are all central and easily walkable. Buses are excellent. I think it's won awards for its service.

The slight downside is that if you go into town on a Saturday night, it is a like a market town but on a large scale. Herds of young men and young women, wearing very little, very drunk, roaming the square and environs. It's quite a sociological phenomenon and always astounds overseas visitors who are used to wearing more clothes. There are restauarants and bars in many suburbs though; Beeston, West Bridgford, Sherwood etc. and it's perfectly possible to do your thing in town and negotiate the drunken semi-naked people without too much distraction. (I know this a British thing and happens everywhere, it's the scale, in one small area, that's remarkable).

It took me a while to get to grips with its 'character' as that wasn't immediately obvious. While it has two universities, it is fundamentally a commercial city and doesn't have the character of a smaller university or catherdral city. The town centre architecture is a hotch potch with some awful 60s-70s development. The only central area with an architecturally coherent, attractive style is the lace market area, which is all apartments and bars now. There is a lack of green space compared to other cities; a few lovely large areas at Attenborough, Wollaton Park, Colwick Park and along the river but the centre and northern residential areas are pretty bereft.

As for crime. Well, if you are drug dealer and planning to relocate your business here, I'm sure you will find established local competitors who may express their objection violently. If however you are an ordinary, law-abiding person, the only way serious crime is likely to affect you is through burglary to fuel someone's drug-buying, most likely if you live in a poorer neighbourhood as the opportunist burglar just isn't very strategic.

Btw, I've seen a few recommendations for Newark here. It's quite pretty but very 'local' and frankly, dull. If you want any sort of social life, live in Nottingham and visit Newark once to see the ruined castle, market and antique shops.

apatchylass Thu 09-May-13 11:43:53

I've always wondered about Stoke and Stafford. Never visited either of them, but they look really lovely from the train - lots of really eye-catching countryside and houses around. And with the potteries there must be some interesting history and architecture.

You get loads for your money round there. Just had a look online and seen 3 bed cottages - very pretty, for £85k. They'd go for £300-400k in Surrey

fatsamsgrandslam Thu 09-May-13 11:49:18

What about Kettering? Market Harborough?

Tizwozliz Thu 09-May-13 12:15:41

Statistics including crime rates in Nottingham are misleading. Nottingham city is a very small geographical area which includes all the not so nice suburbs while a lot of the nicer ones fall outside the city boundary in gedling, rushcliffe and broxtowe.

Wages are also lower than elsewhere which has an effect on house prices

landofsoapandglory Thu 09-May-13 12:23:04

Stamford is lovely, but so are a lot of villages/towns on the outskirts of Nottingham. We live quite near to Stamford but always go to Nottingham for shopping, theatre, concerts etc. If you want a bit of 'life', you'd be better off looking nearer to Nottingham IMO.

PILs live in Radcliffe on Trent which is really nice, and very accessible to Nottingham, although can be a bit of a PITA at rush hour.

Re crime rates etc, I thought they had gone down in Notts.

DewDr0p Thu 09-May-13 12:39:09

Crime has fallen in Nottingham in recent years. There are some dodgy bits though. Great for shopping! But it has a bad reputation for schools.

We have friends who live in West Bridgeford who love it but they have no kids.

Tizwozliz Thu 09-May-13 12:43:42

West Bridgford has no e

Bingham was named as the best location to live in the East Midlands.

If you're looking commutable to London HS2 phase 2 might happen, in which case you want to be west of Nottingham - Long Eaton area

lottiegarbanzo Thu 09-May-13 12:46:55

West Bridgford is where the really good schools are. As a consequence it is teeming with children and house prices are inflated.

As with crime, school stats are distorted by the city boundary. WB, though only 25 mins walk from Nottingham town centre at the river end, is not in Nottingham City but Rushcliffe (a borough of Nottinghamshire).

OP we don't know your budget but, if anywhere between £150k and £300k you can get a 3-4 bed house in a nice bit of Nottingham. I'd suggest looking at Lady Bay and Beeston for Victorian houses, Wilford and Wollaton for 1930s onwards.

ArtexMonkey Thu 09-May-13 13:03:08

Sheffield is great, and we are getting the high speed rail link. As well as being a really nice friendly place to live, we have people making great music, art and films here, an independent cinema, good theatres, lots of parks and green spaces... Where we live we can walk into town in 20 mins, and drive to the Peak District in 15.

Nottingham? They call it Shottingham don't they? Braaaaaap! Nice shops though, I'll give em that.

defineme Thu 09-May-13 14:43:07

Very interesting comments about Nottingham. I've never thought about why I feel comfortable here, but the descriptions of it being a large market town with scantily clad young people at night +culture +posh suburbs: it's exactly like Newcastle which is where I'm from!

I live in West Bridgford op, but please don't come here, the schools are brilliant but full and the house prices keep going up cos everybody wants to live here.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 16:39:06

Ooo, exchiting - lots of friendly and informative replies!

Sorry that I won't be mentioning all posters' names as I can't scroll to prev page, but i have new questions now!

I do now live outside of London now (about 2hrs journey from Lon) so I know all about huge train travel costs! <sigh>. I want to move nearer to London to cut the time and pay less for trains. Don;t need to commute daily but on average 2 days a week BUT I also need good connections to other plaves in the UK so I don't want to be near any coasts, Essex is not great for that either.

I have been to quite a few towns but all for a day. Been to Nott'm long time ago and thought the town centre was attarctive and lively but had no idea about crime! thought that prices mainly reflect the slow train to london. The nice 4 bed shock semis I saw on rightmove were in and near Sherwood - is that still Nott'm per se? I think I'm not so keen now - not just the crime (God, the poster who described a friend who was burgled AND nerighbour killed on doorstep shock) but also someone mentioned lack of parks, which is crucial to me. Just curious whether the shhotings are in the estates mainly, or in the town centre too?It also sounds like train times are not going to get shorter anytime soon - shame! unless someone knows any different.
Funny about hordes of near-naked rowdy teenagers - I've been to Newcastle a long time ago and immediately had the vision of it when I read this, all quite cheery and lively too, thought Nott was not as 'young'. lottie you are a mine of knowledge, thanks!

I've considered Sheffiled before, mainly for the lush greenery and being clean and quite cheap, but it's still too farfrom Lond for me. I also dislike THAT amount of hills, hard to walk around town on daily basis if tired or bad weather.

I'm now interested to know about Newark - I honestly never even heard of it apart from havinf huge antique fair which I thought was in a stadium or some such, but didn't know there was a small nice town! I love antiques so that's a bonus. But could you tell me more about other shops and facilities, and is it really just 1h15 to Lon?

Also very interested to know aabout Northampton - how does it compare to Stamford? is it a bit too modernm re architecture? parks? Also what aer people like in Stamford/Northampton - not too snobby? are there shops and plades to eat, even of not big variety?

The thing is I want some shops/nice cafes being walking distance but I don't mind a place being quiet if it's an hour from London. If it getts to 1h30 min it has to offer more. I really don't want a journey of more than about 1'20 unless the house is by the station!

Chippenham is a funny place, I don't get it why Bath has a lot to offer but Chip has just nothing there (almost) - don't fancy the idea of always catching the train to Bath on daily basis, also nowhere to eat in the evenings there and not sure about parks.Ciren I've been to - small and no train station (don't wantto drive every time to station) and dire buses.
I'm happy not to be walking distance fromn station but then there has to be a frequent easy bus (for Mum too potentially).

York - nice but too far and too expensive.

Budget - by cheapish I mean 250 max to actually pay (saking can be higher) but obv even better of less. In Nott'm you can get 4beds for that! happy with 3 beds but closer to Lon but it has to be period and greenery nearby.

Warwick I think still too far from what I know - isn't it nearly 2hrs? not cheap really (nor L.Spa). Unless I've missed something.

Oh yes, Ely would appeal to me, small but near Cambridge - I didn't think it was cheap though, could you recommend areas? maybe there was just nothing on rightmove there. and how long is it to Lon (same line as Camb or slow)?

Thanks all so much!

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 16:43:02

Definitely want to avoid areas that are expensive purely due to good schools, my one advantage in property search that I don't need to lood at catchments, so hoping for somewhere cheaper though generally family areas are nice, rather than pensioner towns or student'dominated.

Bedfordshire - which of these places have fast(er) trains to Lon? is it picturesque?

Places we looked at, liked, but ruled out due to schools are:

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 16:54:10

sorry, lots of 'of' instead of 'if's, etc... there was a lot to type!grin

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 16:58:41

thanks, Lula, Colchester out as I've explained too far from anywhere (bar Lon) and I also heard it's not great from someone who lives there.
Bedford (and -shire) is a gap in my knowledge, what's good about it? how long the journey? I think I might have looked on rightmove and it was lack of period charm that I vaguely remember, maybe wrongly, all very bland?

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 09-May-13 17:02:55

Nottingham is actually very nice but it does depend on the area. We moved here in June and have had no problems. I have no idea about the state schools though. Ignore the crime rates, it's actually very low but any problems are blown up by the media so they appear larger than they are. It is a large city so when you look at the crime rate per capita it's low.

MrsPnut Thu 09-May-13 17:05:16

Newark is a pretty market town. The market runs on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with a great mix of stalls. The shops are mostly independant and there are some lovely restaurants. Supermarkets are waitrose, morrisons, aldi and asda and there are some good butchers and delis in the town.

I live about 8 miles from Newark and we visit the place pretty regularly. Trains go from Northgate to London and North bound, from Castlegate you can travel to Nottingham and Lincoln.

We visited Bedford and it has chunks of period housing. We liked the area around Victoria Park and the Embankment, but the schools were crap. Unfortunately I don't know much more than that as we then gave up on it.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 09-May-13 17:07:09

Yup, Newark has a large Waitrose envy They only think us worthy of a titchy local shop. hmm

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 17:13:47

just to show this is the kind of house I like - so much SPACE after London, though would trade 4th bed for somewhat bigger garden - but definitely don't need a big garden and could live with tiny one if other things great. Btw don't mind terrace but end of terrace (aer they cheaper than semis?).

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 17:16:50

LadyMary - so what are the nice areas, are they far from the station (buses to centre?)? I like the look and price of houses in Sherwood and the big park - aer the parks safe? Also still there is the longish train journey - any speeding up in pipeline that you know of?

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 17:20:55

Lula, thanks, will have a look on rightmove. What about shopping there?

MrsPnut, sounds really nice! how long is it to London and are the trains frequent? Is Northgate actually in newark and walkable? Do you visit Lincoln for shopping or just as it's a nice town to look at?

MrsPnut Thu 09-May-13 17:25:27

I love this house here

LittleFrieda Thu 09-May-13 17:32:15

Luton. Good preserver of capital as there will be quite a property uplift when (not if) Luton expansion goes ahead. V fast trains into London.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 09-May-13 17:32:53

They are currently extending the tram network so more of the outskirts will have fast access to the city. Beeston is nice (and cheap), West Bridgford is nice (but expensive). I live towards Beeston, it's very cheap and there's a handful of local shops but it's a pita to get into the city centre every day because of the traffic. It takes 30 mins on a good day, an hour on a very bad day. The HS2 is going through Toton so that will speed up the travel to London but it's going to take a while.

LittleFrieda Thu 09-May-13 17:33:10
allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 17:33:53

that's very charming MrsP, would love to stay there as a holiday home, but to own.. ceilings are a bit low for my towney tastes!

See, it mentions three stations on that listing, but not Northgate - what is the access to that one, and any areas that are nice next to it?

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 17:37:48

LittleF, isn't Luton very noisy due to aircraft noise? thought it was rough too. But of course it can well come up in future, the question is, how long would that take? and I doubt that there aer green spaces/parks of any note?
Yeah, I think Nott'm is not the first choice now though still bearing in mind, I'm mainly put off by length of journey and as you say, not so great suburb links.
Off to look at newark prices now.

Toomuchtea Thu 09-May-13 17:37:49

Northampton is a world away from Stamford. The other railway line in Northants, via Kettering and Wellingborough, is a lot more reliable. There are lots of pretty villages around both, and the service is under an hour. Kettering's a bit better than Wellingborough IMO. Houses near Kettering Station are few and far between, but the big ones (if they ever appear) are around the 350-400 mark.

iseenodust Thu 09-May-13 17:42:06

Lincoln. Like a small York and cheaper.
If all the green energy plans for the Humber area/ east coast come to fruitition prices will rise significantly.

Em2121 Thu 09-May-13 17:46:27

Take a look at Hitchin - 30 mins to London, nice but unswanky market town with a bit of life to it, house prices not too stupid, although not sure what your budget is like...


MrsPnut Thu 09-May-13 17:50:53

Newark Northgate is the middle listing of the stations.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 17:51:46
shock<faints> it's huge.. and nice! even though between two rail lines, it seems.

Btw what about parks/NT around Newark?

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 17:52:30

ah sorry, thought it was one word and ovelooked.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 17:55:40

Em, Hitchin seems above budget of 250 for 3 beds and not a tiny sitting room (or modern) - I ve heard it was nice, St Albans is WAY above budget, sadly as I could live there. I could get a poky tiny 2 bed house or modern boxy flat there.

ILikeBirds Thu 09-May-13 17:56:28

You would be better off on the west side of Nottingham if getting to London is important. The trains to London go via Beeston and Long Eaton and if the high speed link goes ahead in Toton it will be in that area too. Living in Sherwood would mean a trek into Nottingham station instead which all adds time.

BuggedByJake Thu 09-May-13 17:56:45

Sherwood is ok, we lived there for a few years. Nice houses at a good price. Its a student area so alot of rented property.woodthorpe park is lovely.
If you want to be on a bus route to town look at Mapperley ( not mapperley park unless you gave a huge budget)& woodthorpe. Both areas near Woodthorpe park.
Alot of negative coments about notts but that's because of places like st anns & the meadows. There are loads oflovely areas.

ILikeBirds Thu 09-May-13 17:58:14
allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:00:25

Toomuchtea, aer you saying Stamford is better or worse? I'm not after a village even though I love the look of them, jusat too much of a leap. Would you not recommend the towns of N or Stamford? can you get something semi and 3 bed but nice there for 250?

iseenodust, how long does it take to London though? it can't be quick from Lincoln!

As I say, I really need a shorter journey than I'm doing now, absolute max 1.30 if house is a walk from station.

Em2121 Thu 09-May-13 18:00:40

Ah, missed your budget. We live in St Albans, but got onto the property ladder here 15 years ago with do-er uppers. Prices are silly now, we could never afford to start again here. Will have a bit more of a look for you...

MrsPnut Thu 09-May-13 18:02:50

Newark has a park by the river and some more over towards the hospital. NT has Belton House near Grantham (about 10mins down the a1) and the old work house at Southwell (about 15 mins towards Mansfield).
There is also a nature reserve at Collingham, not sure if it's open yet but the lady at the nature group dd2 goes to has said that there are otters there.
Whisby nature park is on the south side of Lincoln, again about 15 minutes drive from Newark Northgate area along the a46.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:06:01

ILike, I've seen that one! nice house! but miles from station unless these small ones have direct train to London.Even from Nottingham itself it'si a bit too long.

Bugged - the link I posted was by M.Park - very nice though tiny garden. Must be buses to there as not far from centre? or you can even walk. So does the crime spread to the centre and the parks, or aer you saying it's only in some areas?

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:09:12

Em2, I did say 'cheap-ish' in the title! I ve added 'ish because really cheap are Hastings and some of the North. No way St.A or Hitchin are cheapish. I could buy there, but not what I want space-wise, plus not much on the market generally.

Em2121 Thu 09-May-13 18:09:55

I have friends who live in Kenilworth - this street is on the edge of town and backs onto open countryside. Nice town with a castle.

or Market Harborough is on the Midland mainline, 70 minutes to town:

Em2121 Thu 09-May-13 18:11:12

I guess my ideas of "cheapish" are skewed by years living in St Albans :-)

turkeyboots Thu 09-May-13 18:11:39

Swindon is ok. It's not pretty by any measure, but has everything you listed and you can get a nice 3 bed in Old Town close to nice cafes etc for 250k. Or something big 4 beds plus out in the new builds.

Prices hold well here it seems. Lots of local employment and under an hour to London, but can be expesnsive.

Town has everything you need and a giant load of outlets which are good for a poke round. Cotswolds on the door step. Good east west train links (going north is a pain though) and M4 skirts by.

Never thought I'd end up in Swindon, but it is a good fit, and cheap as overlooked.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:13:38

Em2, meant to say thanks for planning to have a look, you've really invested wisely those years ago!

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:16:15

Em - yes, for me after London StA just seems overpriced, it's not ALL that (very small for one). but it was VERY wise to buy in StA years ago, one of the greatest returns around.
What's MH like - is it tiny? aer people nice?

BuggedByJake Thu 09-May-13 18:16:43

10 min walk to town from Mapperly park. Amazing properties but near red light area & schools ate terrible. Mist the people there send there kids to private school.
we live in Woodthorpe & have had no crime issues & the schools are good ( which is why we moved from sherwood)
I don't go into town at night really ( too old) but its like any other big city...there will be incidents but its a nice city centre to shop in.

If you are looking for a good school keep out of city catchment.Everyone rants about west bridgeford but prefer the other side of the city. Lots if big gardens in Woodthorpe. Not sure what your budget is but you can get a 3 bed from around £200,000.

ILikeBirds Thu 09-May-13 18:19:03

London trains stop at Long Eaton, shorter trip from there to London than from Nottingham

Toomuchtea Thu 09-May-13 18:19:46

Stamford is better! Stamford is beautiful - Northampton is not. Well, mostly not. It has some nice bits, but it's not wall-to-wall photogenic, like Stamford.

ILikeBirds Thu 09-May-13 18:20:30

Walking distance to the station

ILikeBirds Thu 09-May-13 18:20:54
allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:23:02

quite like the space in the one on MH and near station. Do you know the facilities there/parks? Kenilworth too expensive.

turkey, yes I meant to ask about Swindon, it seems better than Chippenham as that bit closer to london and more facilities, but I've hearad it's rough in the eves - is this true? what about parks? new builds def npt for me, I thought most of it was modern built. you mean trains are expensive? I'm kind of hankering more after a small but charming town with a few nice cafes than big with many outlets, but again it's worth a look as you seem to like it despite similar reservations.

JuliaScurr Thu 09-May-13 18:23:49

Avoid Chaham and Strood??? At least 2 Mnetters live here. Some great schools, film society, arts centre, writers group, reading group.
And quite cheap

lottiegarbanzo Thu 09-May-13 18:26:08

Hi again, just picking up on a couple of points about Nottingham:

1) The near-naked drunken people are not all young - there's a lot of mutton, of both sexes, out there too! A lot of stag and hen dos in summer (v. entertaining sitting out watching them go past on a warm evening!). Most are young of course and, if I was, I'd definitely emphasise the fantastic night life. There are live music venues of every size and classical and opera too!) as well as clubs and bars. It's not as cold as Newcastle but yes, there are similarities.

2) Sherwood is fine, densely built but reasonably sized Victorian houses with small gardens but not lovely. It's scruffy around the edges, though has a good high street. You'd need a bus into town for the station though and the way they run now, all into the centre, you end up having to walk the last 5-10 minutes down to the station, which is a real pain if you're in a rush or doing it regularly (used to live up that way and did not enjoy this!).

3) I think you should look at Beeston - good Victorian houses, well within your budget, ok shops, lots of coffee shops and some restaurants, Attenborough nature reserve on your doorstep, Wollaton Park not very far. Studenty but grown-up too, unlike Lenton which is just studenty. Train station on the London line and must be about 1 hr 30 mins on the faster ones. Also further west and south for Long Eaton or East Mids Parkway stations and HS2 (in about fifteen years?).

4) Really, don't get sidetracked with the crime thing. The person who explained the City stats had it right. It's skewed and misrepresented and no different from any big city (but be sensible and selective about areas).

Em2121 Thu 09-May-13 18:26:32

I've only visited MH once and it seemed fine. There's an old thread about moving there elsewhere on MN, maybe try getting in touch with the local lady that posted?

littlemrssleepy Thu 09-May-13 18:26:43

Huntingdon, St Neots area. Less than an hour on the train to London. Reasonable prices.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:28:57

That IS a nice house, ILike! ooo that's interesting info - Long Eaton is actually direct to London and quicker? thanks for that, I will check train times. I assume also not a crime area.
Toomuch, any more info on Stamford? distance to london, is it reasonably friendly there? shopping? I did mean to go and look for a while. What about parks or NT?

Booyhoo Thu 09-May-13 18:33:47

prices will go up everywhere. and then down. and then up again and so on. this is the way it goes. there are no guarantees that the time you need to sell will be a high value period. there are no guarantees. <that's a full stop wink

turkeyboots Thu 09-May-13 18:37:14

Swindon has a small Victorian Old Town, 30s estates, 70 estates and 80s and 90 and they are still building! So loads of types of housing to choose from. Cute shops and cafes on a few roads in Old Town with bog standard high street nearby and loads of outlet places on the outskirts.

Town center is rough of a weekend night. But unless you are into cheap shots, doubt you'd even see it. Old town has the nicer cafe and dining places and there are various suburban "entertainment centers" with cinemas and all you can eat type places.

Some nice parks in town and on outskirts too.

ILikeBirds Thu 09-May-13 18:38:17

Long Eaton itself has more London trains than Nottingham as well I think as Chesterfield trains stop there as well as the ones from Nottingham

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:38:34

grin at 'a lot of mutton', lottie, hilarious! I'm not really that put off by crime as it's been explanied. It's more the longish train journey (15yrs to wait - TOO long!) and lack of really nice countryside or parks, but I am still considering Nott'm, especially now Long Eaton as you can get a house near station so could stretch to 1'30 journey, do you know whether these faster trains aer frequent though? if not, that's a problem as 1.30 is abs max. Ok, Sherwood is off list too.

littlemrs, could you give us more info - is it nice, green etc? which county is that?

turkeyboots Thu 09-May-13 18:38:53

Oh yes, houses fairly cheap but season ticket to London is 8k.... But you can do a 40 pound return if you book far enough in advance.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 18:40:01

Bugged, does woodthorpe have easy access to station (walk or bus)?

We are in Ramsgate -
Ramsgate Westcliff is the area to be - a 3 bed semi should be less than £250k. 3 & 4 bed detatched about £300-£400.
Just over 1 hours to St Pancras on train - lots of people do it.
It has waitrose, beach, harbour - golf.
Good choice of private schools in and near.
Choice of grammar schools, + "outstanding school" for kids who don't get into Grammar (at Sandwich).

spotty26 Thu 09-May-13 18:43:42

We are off to Bedford. Reasons we liked was commuter town (37 mins to st pancras), Victorian housing aplenty, compact town, nice big park, easy access to m1 for visiting relatives, close to St Neots where we have other rellies. Moving in 7 weeks so will report back.

Badvoc Thu 09-May-13 18:45:31

Check out castle donington - trains from the new parkway rail station.
A village but with great transport links.

Have you told us your budget?

ILikeBirds Thu 09-May-13 18:49:09

Normally about 3 direct trains per hour (although not evenly spaced)

e.g. 8:01, 8:32, 8:39 Fastest 1 hour 28

Machli Thu 09-May-13 18:49:12

Chilwell, Beeston, Long Eaton are imo the best areas in Nottingham, though LE is technically in Derbyshire. West Bridgford very overrated IMO, although close to the river, which is lovely. I have lived in all these places. Avoid Forest Fields, St Anne's, Carlton, Bestwood, Sneinton, the NEW Meadows. The OLD Meadows next to the river is fine and literally only different from West Bridgford in that the river divides them. All the ones I mentioned are on the outskirts of Notts so quickly into the country side. Attenborough Lakes is right next to Chilwell, Beeston and LE and it's beautiful there. Lovely big park in LE too and great walks along the canal to smaller towns Stapleford and Sandiacre. Nice there too.

I feel quite homesick now, reading this thread.

ShadeofViolet Thu 09-May-13 18:50:00

We moved to Nottingham form East Anglia and were so surprised by the cheapness of property.

I agree with Beeston. We live in Arnold which we love. Nice little town centre, good transport links to the city and really good schools.

Badvoc Thu 09-May-13 18:50:54

Don't like long eaton but sawley is ok.
Beeston is nice.
West bridgford is vastly overrated IMO.
What about saniacre or risley?

olgaga Thu 09-May-13 18:52:36

Yes I'd definitely say Huntingdon/St Neots fits your criteria.

I certainly wouldn't live anywhere with a student population again. Nightmare!

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 09-May-13 18:55:58

Sandiacre is nice, good schools and a nice community feel. Stapleford is OK but could do with some nice cafe's. The library is sweet and there's a good bus service into Nottingham from both. Beeston is better for the train though and has more shops.

Why do you Nottingham people not use the local site? Stop by and say hello. wink

Machli Thu 09-May-13 19:01:00

I am actually seriously considering moving back at the moment and was going to start a thread to see if there would be many MNetters about if I did. A very timely thread smile.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Thu 09-May-13 19:05:26

I know there's some here, Machli, I've been trying to get them onto the local site.

Minecraftloather Thu 09-May-13 19:30:19

I agree with Lottie too small as a city too big as a market town.

My friend worked in Queens A&E and I know two policeman, I can confirm bits of Notts are off limits.I know violence can happen anywhere and most people are fine of course but the places mentioned as no go by others are exactly that. It was nicknamed Shottingham at one point.

Beeston has quite a lot of students, Sawley is on a flood plain, lots of curtain twitching in West Bridgeford. I have local knowledge of LE if your genuinely thinking of moving here at any point pm me, be prepared as its so near the border deciding if its Derby or Forest for you. Personally I like going to Trent Bridge.

ShadeofViolet Thu 09-May-13 19:33:28

Whats wrong with Carlton [shocked]

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 20:08:15

oh b**er! just typed a long post and got logged out - MN is so last century with its forum!

spotty I just looked at bedford - good prices there! just wanted to ask what's wrong with it, as commuting time is good!?can you tell ne a bit more (thanks for park info) - what's shopping like, food places, people? general vibe? traditional or quite 'open' and are there many ex londoners?

turkey, I go past swindon but never get off there, surprised that it's same 40 pounds as even Bath and further away! I do like the look of Old town victorian houses and it's surprisingly green! my question is, how do tou get to old town from station? it's a hill with very windy roads and no bus stops in sight so it looks like a very long hike! prices are not as low as they were btw so I think it's going up and will continue. It is well placed for many nice towns to visit as well as london.

Booyhoo well you can predict if you know about upcoming transport links (but I would invest in a place where they will open in a couple of years - not 15!)

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 20:09:07

Mrs T - yes, I did say cheap, so 250 max (asking can be higher of course).

BuggedByJake Thu 09-May-13 20:14:41

BUSES FROM WOODTHOROPE every 5 mins into town from main rd ( Mansfield rd which runs through sherwood) also buses from Mapperly top regularly if you ate at the other end of Woodthorpe. Its not a huge area but if you are in certain parts buses are less frequent, between 10 & 20 mins at my nearest stop but it takes me 10 mins to walk to a stop where they are every 5 min.
No offense to the poster who mentioned Arnold but the shopping centre is far from nice.

landofsoapandglory Thu 09-May-13 20:17:35

allaflutter Stamford is very quiet by day. There are hardly any shops, really, other than a few small branches of some chainstores, and a few gifty type places, and some independent shops. There is a market on a Friday that closes off the main road at the top of town and it goes into the pedestrianised area, too. There is a Waitrose, Sainsburys, Morrisons and Lidl's and a small M&S food store.

As for places to eat, we think it is lacking TBH. One of DS1's friend's family has an Italian restaurant that we go to and there is a good Chinese, other than that we tend to go to the many good pubs in the villages surrounding Stamford. There is a very small cinema that gets films months after the bigger cinemas, but you have to book.

On a Thursday night it is full of students from the local schools and colleges taking up the offers of the cheap booze in the local pubs. There used to a music festival in the Summer which was great fun, but they seemed to have stopped that this year.

It is a nice enough place to live. We live about 10 miles away, but all the DC's friends live there and they go to school there. In an ideal world it wouldn't be my first choice because I have teenagers. I'll have a look on Rightmove and see if there are any houses. One of the most popular areas is the catchment area of Malcolm Sargents School, so you could avoid that.


allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 20:20:35

Machli, it sounds really nice - mention beauitful big park and great walks and I already feel happy! that means Long Eaton is top of list if I go to Nott'm. Proximity to Derby is good for me too, workwise. Although surprised Badvoc doesn't like LE (?)

I'm still looking for shorter commute times, so not stopping at Nott - I was hoping faster trains aer coming sooner.

I couldn't find Huntington - so it's with a 'd'! will look. Under an hour journey sounds bliss. Is it green there? anyone with more details? same for Bedford.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 20:26:08

thanks Bugged, is the park good? I assume you would use main Nott station from there, unlike from L Eaton? to me LE has an edge now as has own station with direct trains and shorter journey (a little).

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 20:32:34

landof, thanks it does help. Sounds like it's not really for me, though I still want to visit! don't like that there are very few food places in town, I'm a bit of a foodie, even one good deli and a couple of good eve restaurants/cafes (apart from chinese) need to be there, for me. Is it near any bigger town with more on offer? I think it's too far from london to consider it as it sounds too quiet (or full of drunk teenagers!)

any more opinions on Newark?

BuggedByJake Thu 09-May-13 20:33:23

Yes main Notts station. Park is good for me with the kids, play area, cafe, gardens & pitch & put small tropical house. Depends what you want.
Its s only about 30 min drive to places like Rufford country park, clumber park, Sherwood pines if you are wanting places to go for a 'proper walk' or bike ride.

Machli Thu 09-May-13 20:34:54

Just remembered about Long Eaton, like i said the Borrowash Canal runs through it and if you turn one way it's a lovely walk to Sandiacre and Stapleford, then out into countryside. If you turn the other it takes you right out into the countryside also . There's little narrow boat villages along it with gardens on the bank (used to be anyway) and a couple of lovely pubs. Though they are quite a distance. Then like I said there's Attenborough lakes close by which are amongst my favourite places I have ever been. Loads of lovely country pubs round there too.

EnolaAlone Thu 09-May-13 20:36:42

I live in Long Eaton, about 5 mins walk from the station. We relocated here from London and really like it. It has quite a few facilities of its own, and a big park in the middle, but it is also close to Derby and Nottingham if you want to go to bigger shops/restaurants/theatre/cinema etc. We have family in London so use the train there quite regularly and it is very reliable. I commute to Nottingham by train, and there are several commuters travelling to Nottingham/Derby/Leicester/London, but it is not usually overcrowded. I would say you could get one of the bigger houses here if you have a budget of 250k, majority of property here is less than that.

Ohhelpohnoitsa Thu 09-May-13 20:42:07

Derby to London is faster than Nottm to London & has plans to be even faster soon. Some lovely places around that might suit you. Try Darley Abbey, Duffield Road, Duffield itself, maybe Mickleover. Some gorgeous period properties, OK small city, lively countryside within 20 to 30mins. Ashbourne is lovely but 25mins or so from Derby.

MrsPnut Thu 09-May-13 20:50:29
allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 21:02:01

Huntingdon definitely has nice houses, but it seems (from the map) there are no parks?

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 21:09:06

thanks MrsP - is it 90 min train? a bit much but not too bad if walkingfrom station. Definitely on the list. Do you know if people aer quite friendly there?
Ohhelp, do you know when these new train will appear to derby? that's not hs2, is it? I wonder how much faster they'll be. Derby is nice for houses but not sure how green is it? I think Darley was on property programmes once so I remembered it, I need to see derby centre though, never been - thought it was full of traffic.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 21:09:35

'90 min by train'

ProphetOfDoom Thu 09-May-13 21:10:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 21:20:20

how does Huntingdon compare to Bedford?

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 21:28:11

btw isn't Huntingdon in flood area from Ouse?

MrsPnut Thu 09-May-13 22:10:07

No, train is 1 hour and 15 mins, maybe up to 1 hour and 20 mins depending on how many stops it does between here and kings cross.

We're incomers, and we live over the border in Lincolnshire so can only go on visiting Newark but it seems to be friendly enough. All the people I know that do live there like the place and there are a number of people that commute to London, daily in some cases.

ProphetOfDoom Thu 09-May-13 22:12:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ivykaty44 Thu 09-May-13 22:28:19


[ 72 minutes]]

ivykaty44 Thu 09-May-13 22:32:24
eyestightshut Thu 09-May-13 22:39:36

Allaf the house you linked to is in a lush area of Notts - very quiet, but within 10 minutes walk from town, and serviced by lots of buses. There is a Lidl (referred in an Observer quote about canny middle class shoppers dontcha know!) Co Op, coffee shop, sandwich bar, micro brewery and decent pub within 5 minutes walk. It is easily accessible by bus, and there is a kids playground (Pirate Park) and two municipal parks (Woodthorpe and Arnot Hill) within 5 minutes drive.

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 22:52:02

Thanks, MrsP, newark is on the list of places to visit this month alng with Market H as promoted by Matilda grin. That guide is very useful, especially with the precise areas for period houses etc. Still nothing like the knowledge from locals!
eyestight, thanks, it was te best on rightmove, good to know the area is right - what would you call that area?

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 22:54:17

ivy, I'm surprised that Banbury is relatively cheap. Not much on rightmove in my taste there atm but will keep an eye. The one you linked is a great size but it needs a lot of redecorating, all a bit too dark and tired (outside too) - but look at all these dolls!

eyestightshut Thu 09-May-13 23:13:36

Allaflutter, it's Mapperley Park. If you put in a postcode of, for example ng3 5dt and a search criteria of 1/2 a mile and a price range of 170-250 they are all good areas within walking distance of town.

ivykaty44 Thu 09-May-13 23:21:06

Banbury is as ok as rugby from what I have seen but with great links train and m40, not sure why so cheap when oxford is so expensive.

There was another house but 5 bedroom and larger but much more modern - still under 250k - though i did notice closer to the motorway so possibly the noise factor is reflected in the price

allaflutter Thu 09-May-13 23:35:18

I think it's also cheaper than Abingdon (without train station) thought I think A is just much prettier. Somehow I'm not feeling excited about Banbury, possibly read about it on MN and something negative was said. I now remember that someone mentioned Rugby, so are these two very similar, or Rugby better?
eyestight, so this is pretty safe, even though near town centre? is the centre not attracting crime? jury still out on Nott. I wonder if Derby has lower crime rates.

ivykaty44 Thu 09-May-13 23:49:25


Rugby is oksih, the town is okish but nothing special and not the sort of place you would go to to do shopping.

banbury much the same pleasant enoguh but not a happning place

Jaynebxl Fri 10-May-13 06:45:32

Huntingdon is ok but right next door is Godmanchester which is nicer and has parks.

Caladria Fri 10-May-13 06:53:55


Jojay Fri 10-May-13 07:05:46

I haven't read the whole thread, but have you looked at Rugby? Great train links into London, cheap housing available, and a planning application for a new shopping centre has just been approved so it could well be on the up.

Good schools, including grammar schools if your dc's are brainy, nice surrounding countryside.

Jojay Fri 10-May-13 07:06:22

Just seen, lots of talk about Rugby grin

lilystem Fri 10-May-13 07:07:01

Bedford has some lovely bits, especially by the river or prime ministers. There are 6 private schools in Bedford and others get close by so it means the state schools are a bit crap. It also has quite a high pop of ex Londoners for that reason although most of them seem to live in the villages. There are some lovely parks: Bedford park and Russell park. A few nice places to eat. Big Italian population so some nice italian restaurants. St Neots is v similar but much smaller although quite a bit prettier is a lot more provincial.

turkeyboots Fri 10-May-13 07:49:39

Old Town is the top of the big hill and station is at the bottom. But there are lots of buses up it!

defineme Fri 10-May-13 13:43:40

I think the crime rates thing is difficult-I'd be put off too.
However, I have lived in Lenton, St Anns(bit rough to be fair but I had lovely neighbours and no bother), Sherwood and West Bridgford in Nottingham and I've never been burgled, always walked home at night on my own, never felt nervous in town of a Saturday night.
I do know lots of people that have been burgled, but then that was the case everywhere I've lived: Newcastle, London, Manchester.

Still don't think you should live in Nottingham though because the train is 1 hr 55 to London.

Bedford town centre is like going back in time though.

ProphetOfDoom Fri 10-May-13 20:18:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 00:10:54

that's a beautiful, light interior, Matilda! and I like the layout, wider than the norm! even though the outside is not so special but in good condition. The only thing, the street view is not so nice. Don;t think anyone mentioned yet what's the parks/green spaces in MH like? doesn't look leafy from this street view, but maybe it's all nearby.How does MH compare to bedford iyo?

Yes, define, the train journey is putting me off, Derby slightly better, how does it compare?

The point is though, maybe Bedford is up and coming (re town centre)? and do you mean like going back to say the 80s grin, or going well back, i.e. period character? Italian population - sounds quite nice, lily!

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 00:24:35

Talking of comparison, one general question - how does this whole all area of east Mids that we discuss compare to the SW? I mean in vibe, people? where is more friendly would you say?

I find SW nice in some ways (chilled out, a bit of a foodie place, slightly boho) but also I find people are quite narrow minded, in the sense of sticking to own hippies don't socialise with non hippies, families stick to families, etc, a bit suspicious of newcomers and those who a bit individual, after London where you just mix it's noticeable, plus educated classes seem a bit too obviously up themselves ( by no means everyone, but I get this impression often). This is by no means cast in stone, just my earlyish impressions. What's the character in areas we discuss, being closer to Lon?

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 00:31:48

Hmm, looking on google earth, MH seems to have a lot of large flat greens - I like proper parks with lots of trees and some flowers! this may be a problem. Bedford seems better for parks.

Misty9 Sat 11-May-13 20:32:48

Derby is lovely from what I've seen when visiting friend who lived there. She was in (near?) Darley Abbey and there was a gorgeous huge park nearby. Lovely town centre with a York/Bath feel to it and said friend lived in a lovely Victorian terrace which she did up.

As for Swindon, I lived there for a few years and always thought it didn't deserve it's poor reputation. Nice mix of properties, old town was good for restaurants and nice shops, good shopping, and very well connected to get to other places. I lived in Rodbourne which was right next to outlet village and decent location for town/station etc. can't remember what the parks were like - have moved too many times since.

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Sat 11-May-13 20:43:54

Derby is lovely, people are very friendly. There's naff all in Darley Abbey apart from the park though; a pub and a shop that's rarely open. Duffield (a little further up) is a lot better but a bit more expensive. Secondary and state schools there are 'outstanding'.

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 21:39:53

some of my favourite houses (esp interors) on rightmove have been in Derby, though the central ones (near te river) aer always terraced at this price. But locals just seem to have a knack for stylish interiors (I like traditional but not too dark), it's kind of on a par with Harrogate houses or York. I know Darley is a suburb, but isn't it walking distance from centre? or a quick bus? what;s shopping like in the centre? The countryside is just great around Notts/Derbyshire.
Does anyone know how fast aer these improved trains aer going to be (to London)?
Seen a few good value houses in Rugby, any more info on why is it good?
Other places still in the running, not much in Bedford on rightmove, but considering. And same with MH - though worried about lack of parks.

spotty26 Sat 11-May-13 22:44:30

We went back to Bedford again today and I am so excited to move there. There is a great feel to it around the river and park. Go and have a mooch...

lottiegarbanzo Sat 11-May-13 23:10:51

I'd say people in the East Mids are friendly in what I'd class as a 'northern' way, which is nice. We always thank bus drivers in Nottingham for example. I lived in the SW for a bit and um, hard to define but a bit different... maybe the friendliness here is more egalitarian, superficially at least and more matey?

I'm not from these parts originally and speak with a neutral English accent. in the SW (well it was Cornwall, so an extreme example) I was constantly being asked where I was from and was made very aware of not being from there. Here, I'm rarely asked and just feel that I'm living in some other part of the same country I grew up in. I'm sure there's a rural / urban aspect to that and all sorts of nuances but generally, there's a fairly relaxed feeling of inclusivity here.

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 23:11:44

yes, that's my first on the list - shortest journey to London and now I've looked on Google - really great parks! shock, reminded me of Hyde park/Ken gardens with the river instead of Serpentine, and less busy! I wish there was more on rightmove though, to actually go and see properties, but can't go before end of may anyway so maybe more will come up. Surprised at number of tall Vict houses - there should be more nice big flats/mais but doesn't seem to be.

Now list is down to:

Newark (good-ish train times for size of houses)
Market Harborough
Derby at a stretch but hoping trains are getting faster.

Swindon a maybe,
so is Rugby but need to know more (house style very bland though! same with Huntingdon))
Nott'm let down by train times even though nearer than Newark confused- shame as great size/type houses. Why aren't they improving train links [sigh]

I thought I replied to this thread but it is not here.
Have you thought of Ramsgate?
Train just over 1 hour to St Pancras
Beach, Harbour, Golf, WEstwood Cross Shopping, Waitrose in the town. Some top class restaurants.
2 local grammar schools, "outstanding" High School in Sandwich (near). Good choice of independent schools in and near.

What is your budget?
3 bed semis in nice areas £180-£250.
Best area is Westcliff where 3/4 bed detached houses with big-ish gardens are about £300-£400.

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 23:24:52

I'll have a look on rightmove, MrsT, but my concern with coastal areas is, that the connection anywhere else is bad (slow), as I don't only go to London. Unless it has unusually good connection to the Mids (I also like the West to visit on and off). Also these areas feel sort of cut off from the rest, but again poss Ramsgate different. Is it like te nice but of Brighton but smaller/not crowded?

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 23:25:22

budget up to 250 so you got that right.

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 23:26:43

'the nice bit of Brighton'

Sorry to repeat myself - I just found my post and your reply. Budget under £250.
If you were to consider Ramsgate I see you want parks - look on google maps the Westcliff park, and King George V park - lovely areas. Nethercout is OK.

I know what you mean about cut off. We are at the end of the country here if you want to go somewhere else in England!
There is an airport (Manston - flights to Amsterdam), easy to get to Dover (25 mins drive) and Ashford International.
I do think it probably good value for money and likely to hold value and go up - meeting some of your criteria.
I would not buy a house in the nearby Margate or Broadstairs for various reasons - but both places are just minutes drive (Broadstairs is just a walk along the coast) and offer great things for an afternoon out.
Look for houses around Westcliff, Nethercourt hill, Southwood Gardens.

allaflutter Sat 11-May-13 23:59:12

been to Margate - definitely not an option grin! neither is Hastings (huge houses shock. I would look at areas you suggest if I discount the ones I'm comsidering above, due to transport links as mentioned - but thanks, you never know how life turns out so at least will know which part of Kent is good.

ProphetOfDoom Mon 13-May-13 21:32:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

plannedshock Mon 13-May-13 21:55:44

Stamford was number 1 on the times top 10 towns to live in uk! I live there it's lovely

allaflutter Mon 13-May-13 22:14:36

hello again, Matilda! the thing is, I can't see these parks in MH, where are they? on google the green aeras look flat with some tress along borders, not landscaped or indeed woody parks. Maybe google is inaccurate though. I am planning to look at MH, as I do like the ook of houses there and the train link is quicker than to Derby.
Knock off Bedford - really? the pint there is that it's 40 min to london AND has great parks, so far the downside is lack of properties on rightmove (non-modern). I did look on google, and yes the High street is 'cute' rather than proper but I think it's going to develop further, I feel, and from what the posters who visited/live there say. What would you say, are 'cons' on Bedford?
You know, I've bee ndrawn to Derby for a while as I like the local taste in houses grin, been stopped by longer train times and by posters who say that the centre is no good. But I really am going to look at these three places as soon as I can (two weeks hopefully - can't wait!), I really should get going as eveb a year ago there wre more houses in Derby to choose from, looks likethe prices going up (nearer the centre).

I'm still hoping that someone knows when these new trains will start running Lon-Derby, and how much shorter the journey will be?

plan, I saw the top ten, and noted Stamford, but posterrs on here were saying there is not much there (places to eat, parks), you are welcome to contradict! have you moved from a city, or always lived there?

allaflutter Mon 13-May-13 22:18:27

also I'm looking at prices up to 270 ish as some places may be negotiable - there are definitely a few nice ones in this range in Derby, around White st/Otter st towards the river, though admittedly not the size of Nott'm/Newark, but still for me good enough size. What do you think of Newark , Matilda? train is quite fast and same countryside around, though poss getting colder grin.

allaflutter Mon 13-May-13 22:30:41

oh, and meant to say, I did consider Sheffiekd for the size of houses and the countryside (the peaks) and even viewed a few places, but decided it's not for me - too far, but also not that much there yet it's still big, I think I may like a smaller town that's easy to walk across with fewer shops but nice ones, than a city that has city's disadvantages (spread out, not so clean) with big dept store or two in it. So I might prefer MH, but until I look I wouldn't know. Anyway, so how Derby compares to Sheffield? (apart from being a shorter journey)

SignoraStronza Mon 13-May-13 22:32:32

Yep, Newark is a nice market town with lots of independent businesses, wine bars, boutiques, a naice big Waitrose etc and is relatively unknown. It boats a really good train service to Kings Cross and much easier Road access to Nottingham now that the A46 had been dualled, although Lincoln is quicker to get to.

Have heard that the secondary schools aren't great (but not terrible either) but that both Tuxford Academy (look for villages slightly further North up the A1) and Southwell Minster have very good reputations. I think quite a few Newark kids go to Lincolnshire (just over the border) grammar schools though.

allaflutter Mon 13-May-13 22:38:47

lottie sorry I've missed your post - that's good to know! I'm not anywhere as far as Cornwall, but get asked where I'm from (also being SW) too often, well by the chattier people at least, which is tiresome when it's the first question they ask! SW is definetely a bit cut off, and sort of on the past a bit, even though people are nice generally and gentle - which to me is much beeter than agressive (like in some areas, incl some of london).

allaflutter Mon 13-May-13 22:42:09

thanks, Signora - do you know what are the parks/NT like around Newark? hopefully the crime from Nott wouldn't spill in there nowe the access is easier (as you say)! That's the point that trains aer quicker than to NOtt or Derby! yet it's further out. Is it colder there than London? <silly question>

SignoraStronza Mon 13-May-13 22:45:15

Doh! Just re read your op. Scrap what I said re schools! Housing wise though, can easily find a 4/5 bed period property for under £240k though.

Wandastartup Mon 13-May-13 22:47:38

Am sticking up for Chippenham- it has a great park( John Coles) There are places to eat- a nice farm shop, good Chinese and lots of gastro pubs within a couple of miles. There are a few independent shops opening and a waitrose food. ( plus only 10/15 minutes to Bath or Bristol on the train!)

Wandastartup Mon 13-May-13 22:49:45

I grew up near Newark- it does have better shops than Chippenham, nice independent clothes shops and lovely restaurants- Gannets for lunch, cafe bleu for dinner are my favourites bit is a long drive to anywhere other than Nottingham.

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 23:03:05

Parks/nt near Newark? Is nt national trust?

Not sure of parks actually in Newark. But Sherwood Forest is close as is the lovely Sherwood pines and rufford park. Clumber park is national trust and also close. Then there is belt on house down the a1 at Grantham.

Poster who said secondary schools aren't great is correct. Tuxford school is fine. Collingham village is the furthest south, east point of catchment area so is quite close to newark.

Crime in Newark? Mmmm, google tolney la, Newark and draw your own conclusions. Personally I don't think it's much of a problem at all but I don't live in Newark. I'm fairly close to Newark and neighbours have had problems with visitors from there. A friend in the police says its a total no go area, he's chased stolen cars down the road but as soon as they turn in there he leaves it.

allaflutter Mon 13-May-13 23:06:16

Wanda - but also Lincoln quite near?
Chippenham is well located for OTHER nice places, that's why I'm surprised that it's not nicer itself, I dunno, it just feel empty somehow. Gastropubs in villages aer great but I don't drive unless I need to so to me it's important to have a few delis/ places to eat/good coffee in centre of town where i live. Yes, spoilt by london and SW cities, but very willing to compromise on the number of these places and number of clothes shops as far as there are some of both, esp food, in town. Mind you, I haven't discounted Chipp'm as it may well be up and coming (well it's a gamble) - may be a good move as an investment. I haven;t been to the park, to be fair, so that's worth having a look at.

SignoraStronza Mon 13-May-13 23:07:23

Google Sconce & Devon Park in Newark itself - believe has recently been improved (although not been) and has lots of facilities. Easy to get to NT Belton House and Clumber Park, Rufford Park too.

Plenty of nice walks nearby - is a traditional rural, farming County - Newark had a weekly cattle market with real cows and is not unusual to see tractors trundling through town! People come for its antique and jewellery fairs - there is also a local showground. V easy to get to Sheffield, Doncaster, York, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby, Lincoln etc due to proximity to A1/A46.

I think the area is 'up and coming' - certainly seems to be a lot of money around and I notice lots of improvement and investment when I visit. They've even managed to get Madness to play at their annual festival in June. grin

Weather is a bit cooler than down South, obviously, but often sunnier and the friendliness makes up for it.wink

Wandastartup Mon 13-May-13 23:10:45

Newark is near to Lincoln but the shops there also feel rathe sad and unloved. The cathedral is nice but I don't think there is much there to make a special trip for( similar to Chippenham in some ways but bigger!)

Wandastartup Mon 13-May-13 23:11:31

Lincoln's shops I meant not Newark( which are great!)

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 23:12:39

Lincoln is getting a h&m <nods sagely>

Wandastartup Mon 13-May-13 23:19:08

Wow! I used to like spinning wheel and the market as a pre teen for jeans with zips on( shows age...)

VivaLeBeaver Mon 13-May-13 23:20:35

Spinning wheel is still there.

allaflutter Mon 13-May-13 23:28:59

Ooo, lots of pro-Newark posters suddenly! note that it's on my list of just four, have a good feeling about it, though so far no one mention places to eat/have coffee, probably people cook a lot in their farm kitchens what with the spacious houses. I'm a fan of antiques in a big way (though not vintage clothes!).
I hope it's only a bit cooler though, some places are cold around Mids, like Matlock I think (?). NT sound quite obscure grin but doesn't mean they aren't nice!
Wanda, was that the 80s you mean?

allaflutter Mon 13-May-13 23:29:33

where is the wheel then - Newark or Lincoln?

herladyship Mon 13-May-13 23:47:17

We live in a village between Lincoln & Newark

Visit London via train (for work) 4 times a year & we get the express that doesn't stop between Newark & Kings Cross (about 80 mins)

For theatre, ice skating, gigs we go to Nottingham

For nice meals, drinks, independent shops we go to Lincoln

Newark is ok for a coffee & a browse (& waitrose!)

BEWARE, When the Trent floods parts of Newark are in big trouble.. google some of the ariel pics from earlier this year, it's pretty shocking shock

Wandastartup Mon 13-May-13 23:47:49

Spinning wheel is in Lincoln. I mentioned nice Newark places to eat-cafe bleu and Gannets. Also Caunton Beck just outside is good.

herladyship Mon 13-May-13 23:48:20

Also, If you are drving in, parking at Newark station is limited & pricey

herladyship Mon 13-May-13 23:50:23

Outdoors there are loads of country parks & some NT places, sherwood forest, also day trip distance to peak district which we do (a lot)

allaflutter Tue 14-May-13 00:00:17

yes, flooding is a point, thanks, herladyship - can you tell me which parts are not affected? if you are in a village nearby, aren't you affected?
Same with Derby - the nice area by the park is also by the river, does that flood? what do you think of Derby, if you go there too?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 14-May-13 06:33:11

I've never paid at Newark station yet and I go to London a lot. Always find somewhere free to park my car!

VivaLeBeaver Tue 14-May-13 06:34:28

Oh and the nt places are fab, best I've been to. If you have kids You can spend a day in the adventure playground at Belton no problem.

allaflutter Tue 14-May-13 11:30:42

Viva, so you live near Newark too! the express train sounds just great, is it quite full usually? I'm now alarmed about flooding though - are there any areas that are immune to it, yet still within the town?

VivaLeBeaver Tue 14-May-13 15:19:47

There's trains every hour, prob every 30 mins in peak times so there's normally seats....but you can reserve seats online as well.

I don't know anything about the flooding. I wasn't really aware Newark floods but I don't live in the town.

SignoraStronza Tue 14-May-13 17:06:59

Parts of the Trent do flood I think, but if you're in a town centre period property you'll be finewink .

Also, if you're interested in archeology/history they're currently investigating the possibility of a huge network of tunnels underneath the town, leading to the castle remains. All set to become very exciting to those interested in civil war history and the town could potentially be awarded heritage status.

Another nice place to eat is Rushtons bistro. Ann et Vin is good for interesting bottles of wine. It also does food/wine on site, pre-theatre tapas and hosts a jazz festival every year. Strays is a nice independent book shop and coffee shop and there are loads of other places to go for coffee and cake.

Crime - not sure as don't live there. Tolney Lane has been mentioned and is home to a permanent site. Not sure if the additional settlement is still there -they got flooded out last year and had to move onwink . I think most places have their elements though - have a look on the crime map though if you're interested.

Weather is nowhere near as cold, wet and humid as Matlock!

ILikeBirds Tue 14-May-13 17:20:17

Derby isn't one of the proposed stops for HS2 phase2 (although that could all change) so no quicker trains on the way. The whole thing is likely to be well over a decade away so I wouldn't allow it to influence your decisions too much. The location of a house relative to the train station will have a far greater bearing on travel times than any savings made by faster trains.

One thing I would say about Newark is it can be awkward if you need to go to places west from there. North and south links are good, west not so good.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 14-May-13 17:22:16

Yes west is terrible. You can go up to York and then across to Manchester . I guess there you can access the west coast line.

I looked at getting a train to Birmingham once and it was going to be something like 4 hours.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 14-May-13 17:24:19
SignoraStronza Tue 14-May-13 18:16:18

West isn't good, no - although DH can do Birmingham in an hour and a half by car he doesn't hang about though

allaflutter Wed 15-May-13 00:59:12

Birds, I didn't mean HS2, indeed too long to wait for that! But someone said early on in the thread that they aer improving Derby station and the trains may become a bit faster (not radically but a little would help also). Still no info in that since from anyone, so not sure how accurate was that.
Flooding is putting me off, links to the west - well aer they better from Derby, Market H or Bedford (my places on the list grin? I think probably not, sane as now I'm in SW and links to the east are 'forget it' - nearly 4 hrs to derby, so the only way - via london. It's not really a dealbreaker as I do stay in london sometimes.
Hopefully the other 3 places I'm considering don't flood! I've alwaus lived in upper floor large flats so far, so buying a house for the first time and then dealing with it flooding, fills me with dread shock! especially as atm I don't have a live-in P.
Signora I hoe you aer right that town centre doesn't flood - is that CERTAIN though? thanks for all the cafes suggestions - you know exactly what I need to hear to warm up to a place! book shops too smile.
Thank for NT/parks info, that sounds good. But I'm wobbling a bit on newark.
Any more info in Derby? what's shopping/cafes like there. Are people definitely more gentle/friendly than in manchester/birmingham grin? I find Yorks people are very relaxed and easy to get on with (generalisation).

spotty26 Wed 15-May-13 06:56:24

Warwick Ave Bedford on Zoopla £234,995 is nice.

The Castle Road area is nice by Russell Park and the river. The High Street itself is a bit run down but isn't every uk town centre excluding the likes of Bath and Chester etc? I will just use it when I need it and hang out in the smarter bits!

TheChurchHouse Thu 16-May-13 13:51:34

How about Letchworth, OP? Saw someone had mentioned Hitchin earlier-Letchworth is the next town along. On the Cambridge-London train line, so approx 30 minutes in Cambridge and Kings Cross, masses of green space, big gardens and a really nice community feel <grew up there and planning a move back!>

Nice period houses with lots of room and well inside your budget

Shopping isn't the greatest, but Hitchin, Cambridge and Welwyn are all near by smile

TheChurchHouse Thu 16-May-13 13:52:52

Oh, nice cafes and places to eat out, and a brilliant independent bookshop that does lovely cake too!

allaflutter Thu 16-May-13 23:20:36

thanks TheChurchHouse - sounds very nice, again wouldn't even know of it if you didn't mention. is it similar to Bedford - better even? I like the idea of 30 min to Camb AND London. The house is not in my taste but appreciate te space, so thanks, style-wise I really need high ceilings (red brick Victorian or Bath stone is my thing). I'm away atm so replies will be a bit short grin - it's a funny notebook for typing. Is it a pain to get westwards also (like Derby) or better, not that it's crucial.
spotty thanks - it's good but a bit too small and only front garden (I wonder what's at the back) - would rather pay more to get more, but it's almost there.

LeonieDeSainteVire Fri 17-May-13 19:27:20

Have you looked at Grantham? Don't know it at all but I know it attracts people who need to commute to London but don't want to live there.

Derby's 90 mins to London is not about to be shortened I believe. It's not great as a city - Nottingham much nicer - though I'm sure it has nice bits.

allaflutter Mon 27-May-13 18:31:20

bumping the thread after being away.
planning to visit Bedford soon smile - any more info on Letchworth, TheChurch - are there period properties as can't see any on rightmove (or they are above budget and hence don't appear)?
any other places that I could visit on the same day?
Grantham hasn;t been really suggested, Leonie, as I think it's too small and not that near London, so I didn't really look at it, maybe lacks 'life'.

Is Bedford on the right line for quick access to Derby (not daily)?

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