Where best to live in SE England? Help please.

(51 Posts)
EspressoMonkey Wed 29-May-13 19:58:00

Last week DH hit me with the bombshell, he has been offered a good job in London and wants to take it. We lived in London previously and still have our house there but i don't want to move back in. I want a fresh start. DD is due to start school in September so this move will really screw up her start of school. I'm terrified she won't get a good place anywhere.

So...I want to move to a naice village/town commutable to London.

I want naice neighbours, good schools. I don't want to live next door to Peter Andre. I was thinking of somewhere in Kent. DH has said no to Surrey as he thinks it is a sea of botoxed middle aged borings. I really have no idea what it is like or where we should move to.

Help me please, DH's potential new company want to fly us over for an inticement day and have arranged for me to meet with a home search agent. They have asked me where to start looking and i said i have no idea so they showed me a house on Dormans Park in East Grinstead and i emailed it to my sister and she laughed and said it was the street where Peter fecking Andre lives.

Please help me find my naice new neighbourhood. I need to email back the home search agent by the end of the week with a list of potential areas.

AnnoyedAtWork Wed 29-May-13 20:09:28

What about Tunbridge Wells or Sevenoaks?

Bowlersarm Wed 29-May-13 20:10:46

Agree that sevenoaks and tunbridge wells are the obvious places.

St Albans

LIZS Wed 29-May-13 20:13:32

PA is moving - so you may actually be safer picking Dormans Park, lol ! having said that the EG line isn't great. Are you thinking of state or private schools ?How long is he willing to commute and where to in London ?

ProjectGainsborough Wed 29-May-13 20:18:06

I live in Oxford and commute to London. All very naice and takes just over an hour to get in...

xmarksaspot Wed 29-May-13 20:19:13

St Albans is lovely but you will be on a list for a good school.in Sept or paying for one im afraid

LIZS Wed 29-May-13 20:22:35

Even many fee-paying schools may be full for Autumn though.

EspressoMonkey Wed 29-May-13 20:24:15

Commute is to the City.

Schooling wise, i don't mind. Will do whatever i have to do for her to be happy. Am thinking deep down that perhaps private would be better as we would be (hopefully) able to get her place sorted asap. Plus she is bi-lingual and her English language isn't as good as her English cousin's

What is Sevenoakes like? Property agent sent us something on Winderness Estate?? The house looked ok but there is no streetview so no idea what the village is like.

Sorry, just so nervous about moving now. We are settled in a lovely village in Switzerland right on the lake. DD is due to start school and will walk about 200 yards to an amazing school. I don't want to leave.

Shit PA is on the move! Where to?? Dangerous situation.

Imsosorryalan Wed 29-May-13 20:24:17

We live in whitstable which is lovely and by the sea but very busy in summer and on sunny days!
Friends live in faversham, a pretty market town and it does seem lovely. An hour 10 from london and cheaper house prices. Also benefits from a town, sea and countryside near by. grin

VestaCurry Wed 29-May-13 20:28:56

I like Petworth but only because I keep driving through it and thinking how lovely it looks! No idea about commuting from there.

LIZS Wed 29-May-13 20:28:59

I'd get your agent onto the school issue first. Probably private as realistically you won't get a state place until you have moved and then it is unlikely to be of your preference. If you need to visit any remember the terms will end between end of June and 3rd week of July. How old is dd , any chance you could defer her start for a term or so?

EspressoMonkey Wed 29-May-13 20:41:45

DD turns 4 in early August. Defer sounds good, will look into that. Thanks for suggestions, am rightmoving.co.uk them now!

xmarksaspot - yes - at the moment. But there was a decent amount of movement in the last few months before school started last year (ie anecdotally I heard of three kids get a place at the school their parents were hoping for in June/July/August, and a place came up at DS1's school within a week of school starting in September). Schools in St Albans have recently gone nuts for distances, haven't they? But it definitely fits in with OP's requirement of naice area commutable to London.

beachyhead Wed 29-May-13 21:30:27

Petworth might be a tad too far for daily commuting. You can go nearer Haslemere for a faster train. Godalming is good, but might be the Surrey town your husband doesn't want...

You can get the frequency and length of time on trains from the rail websites, might be worth looking at... You are looking for London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo ( but then add on 20 mins for Waterloo to City line), fenchurch Street or Moorgate. Does slightly depend which bit of City as well, as closeness to the train station at the other end will count too...

EarlyInTheMorning Wed 29-May-13 21:31:59

I have just visited my Swiss friends in Tunbridge Wells!!! The moved there from London almost a year ago now. It is so beautiful I am considering it myself!!!!!!

Hanginggardenofboobylon Wed 29-May-13 21:32:46

Don't discount Essex, villages/towns in north Essex like Newport and Saffron Walden or Felsted/Dunmow. Also areas around Colchester/Chelmsford.

Taffeta Wed 29-May-13 21:34:20

Wilderness area is one of the better areas in Sevenoaks or Kippington Rd.

You know Kent is grammar system? 30 mins on train, easy commute to town.

Chottie Wed 29-May-13 21:34:57

Keston in Kent is nice. There are some lovely houses in both Farnborough Park and Keston Park. Easy commute to the City too. A mix of both private and local schools and is not to far from Gatwick Airport either.

linspins Wed 29-May-13 21:44:27

Tunbridge Wells, Sevenoaks, or in between these two, Tonbridge - very kid friendly but watch which area for schools catchment (unless going private of which there are lots of lovely ones).
Waiting lists for most private schools in the area.

williaminajetfighter Wed 29-May-13 21:55:30

Www.commutefrom.com is a great site.

Map shows how long it takes to commute to each commuter area so if your DH wants no more than a 45 minute commute then you know where to look. You can check out the trains heading to Kent area.

Good luck.

invicta Wed 29-May-13 21:59:32

Kent is lovely - we moved here a few years ago. There's lots of lovely towns and villages. Maidstone has three railway stations, plus lots of lovely villages around.

Another area to consider is Herts. - st Albans and Harpenden are nice but pricey.

Also, Cambridge is nice.

fapl Thu 30-May-13 00:09:52

Sevenoaks, Walthamstow Hall as a school?

Schools are more of an issue than houses but as your dd is only 4 you can relax. You will have no problem getting a last minute place in an independent school at that age.
And she may get a place at a good state school

LEMisdisappointed Thu 30-May-13 07:51:37

You dont want to live next door to peter andre? Is he a notoriously bad neighbour or something what have i miseed

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