Where to live in Suffolk?

(75 Posts)
Stilldreamingofsun Sat 24-Sep-16 08:09:55

Hi all,
DH and I , 2 year old and small baby are considering selling our flat in SW London and moving to Suffolk/ Essex. DH works in Canary Wharf so we want the commute to be no more than 1 hour 15. We need a family house and our budget is around £900,000. I have taken a couple of years off to be SAHM so would like a village or town that has lots going on. Would also be important that there are good schools nearby and nice countryside. We are very sociable and would like to be around similar minded people. I am not English so would like somewhere that is welcoming and not full of Brexit types 😊 We are familiar with Manningtree and Flatford Mill so that's the area we are focusing on but are open to other suggestions! Thank you!

mrsboombastic Sat 24-Sep-16 08:18:17

We live in Sudbury, Suffolk and love it. Lots of pretty villages around the area.

WhatTheActualFugg Sat 24-Sep-16 08:19:55

Manningtree is in Essex.

Have you researched which train stations can get your DH to where he wants to be in the preferred time?

I'm not familiar with the Suffolk train routes, so that aside I would you need to stick to the popular coastal towns - Southwold/Aldeburgh. Plenty of Londoner types and lots of social things always going on.

Stilldreamingofsun Sat 24-Sep-16 08:21:18

Yes- Sudbury is on our list of places we want to get to know better! Would you recommend renting at first?

SoftSheen Sat 24-Sep-16 08:21:22

Bury St Edmunds is absolutely lovely though the commute would be a bit longer. Great place for families and very friendly. However, politically, Suffolk does tend to be fairly conservative and you may find that quite a few people support Brexit, though they will tend to do so quietly smile

I think you will struggle to find anywhere in Suffolk with a commute time to London of less than 1 hour 15, TBH. Have you considered Cambridgeshire, maybe St Neots?

Stilldreamingofsun Sat 24-Sep-16 08:22:41

DH reckons the seaside towns are too far for him commute wise. What a shame!

SoftSheen Sat 24-Sep-16 08:23:54

Southwold and Aldeburgh are both several hours from London, and are not commuter towns- more used as holiday/weekend retreats by rich Londoners.

Stilldreamingofsun Sat 24-Sep-16 08:24:04

No- haven't looked at St Neots but thank you for the tip!

user1473583408 Sat 24-Sep-16 08:25:27

Saffron Walden and the surounding villages are worth looking at.

mrsboombastic Sat 24-Sep-16 08:26:26

Renting first is probably a sensible option. It's a fairly small town and like anywhere it has nice parts and not so nice parts, but has a lovely water meadows and as a mum of two boys I found there was plenty of places to take them when they were very little. smile

SoftSheen Sat 24-Sep-16 08:26:55

Woodbridge might also be worth considering- also a lovely small town with a rail station.

WhatTheActualFugg Sat 24-Sep-16 08:30:00

Have you thought about spending weekends in and around Suffolk before to decide on an area?

It can be very lovely but also very rural, very conservative, very quiet. You don't want to jump straight in and give yourself a huge culture shock.

justicewomen Sat 24-Sep-16 08:31:09

To get the just over hour commute, focus your search to Suffolk villages that will allow commuting from Manningtree Station, just over the border into Essex.

So East Bergholt, and the villages around Alton Water would be ideal.

However, my suggestion would be the town of Hadleigh, which is a short car hop to Manningtree. It is very pretty, got good community facilities and very friendly. I don't live there but have many friends there.

Stilldreamingofsun Sat 24-Sep-16 08:31:21

I think the commuting time is going to be very important for us. DH works long hours already and we are not willing to move 2 hours away as he needs to see our children sometimes! That's why we are thinking around Dedham Vale- the commute from Colchester isn't too bad.

29redshoes Sat 24-Sep-16 08:32:19

Most of the suggestions above, although lovely places, are too far to commute. I'm not sure you could go from anywhere in Suffolk and get to Canary Wharf in 1hr 15. Ipswich would be the closest and you could maybe do it in 1hr 30 on a good day if you're close to the station at each end.

I think Essex is a better bet. How about Ingatestone? Maybe worth looking at Shenfield too.

ProfYaffle Sat 24-Sep-16 08:32:48

Renting is a good idea, it can be a bit of a culture shock moving from somewhere very urban to a rural area - it's not for everyone.

Although this area is very conservative there's also a fairly sizeable hippy/lefty community who are earnestly setting up community projects all over the place.

mrsboombastic Sat 24-Sep-16 08:34:01

Wivenhoe near Colchester is lovely

user1471521456 Sat 24-Sep-16 08:35:46

Even from Colchester, you are looking at an hour on the train to get to Stratford, plus travel to the station, plus onward commute to Canary Wharf. Either you need to reconsider how long a commute you can do or look at stations closer to London - Marks Tey, Kelvedon, Witham, Hatfield Peverel, Chelmsford. Obviously the closer you get to London the more £££s housing will cost. £900,000 would get you somewhere absolutely lovely in the Ipswich area and further out but the cost would be in the additional commute.

babbafishbabe Sat 24-Sep-16 08:39:37

We are in a village 6 miles out of Bury St Edmunds. Wonderful place to live with beautiful surrounding villages and countryside.

justicewomen Sat 24-Sep-16 08:40:18

Actually if you really want access to lots of activities then why not consider the best parts of Ipswich like Christchurch Park, so you can walk to cinemas, theatre, shops, the Waterfront.

Ipswich has become a really excited artistic hub. We have excellent festivals, dance, experimental and mainstream theatre..... more nationally funded companies than Cambridge. It is still quite cheap so lots of arty types (who cannot afford rural Suffolk let alone London) live and work here. But a lot of activities are slightly under the radar so not as obvious as other places.

Stilldreamingofsun Sat 24-Sep-16 08:44:01

Is there a direct train from Ipswich to Stratford? DH thinks easiest would be a direct train to Stratford (about an hour from Colchester) then on to DLR for Canary Wharf. Hopefully work will allow him to do some work on train and then slightly less office hours. Perhaps I'm being outrageously optimistic!!!

austenozzy Sat 24-Sep-16 08:44:33

We used to live in bury and it was a great town. Not a huge amount for small kids to do, though. We now live in Cornwall and are spoiled for that sort of thing!

austenozzy Sat 24-Sep-16 08:45:17

You'll need to get a dog, though, the countryside is lovely for walks and rambles!

Stilldreamingofsun Sat 24-Sep-16 08:46:29

The dog is probably the main reason DH wants to move out of London (and lack of space in our 2 bed garden flat!!)

austenozzy Sat 24-Sep-16 08:46:39

Actually, friends lived in gt Barton, and he used to drive to CW most days. I think he averaged 75-80 minutes.

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