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The most family friendly place in Essex?

(165 Posts)
nousernamesareworking Tue 25-Dec-12 17:47:02

My husband and I were born and raised in Central London. However, were tired of the scenery and want a nice, quiet place to move to where we can raise a family. Our initial thought was Essex and a family member suggested moving to Rainham. Unfortunately, were both very ignorant of places outside of London and I was hoping that some of you mumsnetters could help!
Is Rainham a nice, family friendly place to raise children? (we have only visited a couple of times, but we like what we have seen. However, the opinion of someone who is there more often/perhaps lives there would be more helpful).
Are there other areas in Essex that are nicer to bring up a family?
Thanks! smile

Orchidskeepdying Tue 25-Dec-12 17:51:28

Loughton! On the central line in to london!

Shinyshoes1 Tue 25-Dec-12 18:30:38

I'm about 5 mins from rainham . It's erm .... Uhm .. There's no greenery as such . oh wait you've got rainham marshes !!! I think there's a bird thingy there .
It's very grey lots of brick houses and concrete .

Chelmsford is meant to be nice , someOne suggested loughton , or Brentwood , but that's a bit pricey and that's where most of TOWIE live grin the 'wealds ' the South being particularly nice .

Colchester is nice ,

Shinyshoes1 Tue 25-Dec-12 18:32:50

Oh and ongar , Blackmore that way is very villagey and old town

Sammytastix Tue 25-Dec-12 18:44:41

I grew up in Rainham now live in Kent, enough said lol. No green spaces really just the marshes, I personally would go further out into Essex

thegriffon Tue 25-Dec-12 19:06:04

Wivenhoe's got the river, woods and marshes. Loads of stuff going on for people of all ages. Colchester 3 miles away, you can cycle there along the Wivenhoe Trail that runs by the river. Has a railway station, London just over an hour away by train

MadameCastafiore Tue 25-Dec-12 19:16:11

I'd stay away from the Nam's. North essex is much nicer. We live in a small village north of Chelmsford and is lovely. Great schools, lovely people, lots of green open spaces. Danbury, Great Dunmow, Kelvedon are all nice places to live as are Writtle and Wickham Bishops.

Most important factor is how much you have to spend and what sort of house you looking for.

Ilovecrossfit Tue 25-Dec-12 19:22:05

Colchester is lovely and quite a few nice villages around, it depends what your budget of course and what are you looking for.

babamummy Tue 25-Dec-12 19:35:22

Are you looking to live in a town or a village? North Essex is lovely. We moved out of London six years ago and wouldn't move back. We looked at lots of different counties and i think Essex offers the most house for your money. We had four years in a very picture postcard village north of Braintree/ great Dunmow but the commute was a pig. We now live outside a village in the Colne Valley. Lovely rural location, just seven minutes cross country drive to Marks Tey station (about 50 mins to Liverpool Strret) and a 20 min drive to Colchester. Someone might know different but would think you might get a bit of traffic going to/from the station at Colchester which would add to the commute.

GailTheGoldfish Tue 25-Dec-12 19:40:23

North Essex is my adopted homeland and has made me realise that Essex is one of the most maligned counties in England. The are some beautiful places round here including those that have been mentioned already, however Rainham is not really one of them....!

PessaryPam Tue 25-Dec-12 19:52:21

God I was born in Essex, near Southend. Wouldn't touch the place now. Don't do it.

breatheslowly Tue 25-Dec-12 20:07:14

Saffron Walden and Newport are good. Further south/Colchester way are grammar school areas, so if that appeals to you then head there. If I could live anywhere then I would start by looking at the schools and their catchment.

freddiefrog Tue 25-Dec-12 20:12:33

Some of the villages between Saffron Walden and Bishop's Stortford are lovely. Direct train line into Liverpool Street

ihatethecold Tue 25-Dec-12 20:13:59

I spent my about 15 yrs in Colchester.
Would never live there again
Lots of drinking and fighting in the town at night.
Also lived in black notley near Braintree for 3 years. Couldn't wait to leave. My DH commuted to London and it was a pain. Far too long a journey and the trains are not frequent enough.
Colchester may have good grammar schools but the state schools are pretty bad sad

minibmw2010 Tue 25-Dec-12 20:22:19

North Essex is good, Colchester, Kelvedon, Chelmsford. Dont go near South Essex which is Basildon. Southend, etc.

Bobyan Tue 25-Dec-12 20:26:39

Buckhurst hill, Loughton and Chigwell are all on the central line, which will get you into town in about 30 minutes but right on the edge of Epping Forest.

VelvetSpoon Tue 25-Dec-12 20:33:34

I grew up in Rainham, lived there until 10 years ago. Half of my schoolfriends still live there, or very nearby.

It was quite village-y when I was a child, and not a bad place to live. It has gone downhill a lot in the last few years, I would never move back there.

If you are looking in that area, Hornchurch is much nicer, and Upminster nicer still (though scarily expensive). Both have far better schools as well.

Onebadbackandalostpelvicfloor Tue 25-Dec-12 21:37:32

Mid to north Essex are your best bet. Colchester and up to Dedham are lovely but shockingly crap schools.

Braintree district is lovely but shocking crime rate although very rural

Chelmsford is your best bet but very expensive as its prime commuter belt land. The Essex villages are lovely but have a lot of webbed toes going on in the communities (joke!) places like tollesbury, great and little totham, tiptree, writtle, little and great Waltham, wickham bishops, boreham, ongar etc and surrounding little hamlet type places.

Also avoid Tendring district.

LaCiccolina Tue 25-Dec-12 21:41:40

Gidea park?

Onebadbackandalostpelvicfloor Tue 25-Dec-12 21:43:45

Oh if you're aiming for a grammar Chelmsford and Colchester have now put a 15 mile radius on for applicants

Thisisaeuphemism Tue 25-Dec-12 21:55:30

Oy! parts of south Essex are lovely too. In Leigh on sea, there are beaches, great commute into London, growing arts community, grammars, lots of families, etc etc.

laluna Tue 25-Dec-12 22:42:56

Just to clarify - Colchester Grammars do not have a catchment; Amy Chelmsford do.

MmeGuillotine Wed 26-Dec-12 00:59:37

I grew up in Coggeshall, which is in north Essex near Colchester and loved it. It is a lovely old town. Lots of my old school friends still live in the area and it sounds like it is just as nice as it always was. I'd happily live in Colchester as well - I went to the Sixth Form college there and always really lived that town, although I keep being told it's gone a bit dodgy since I left.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 26-Dec-12 01:08:24

Buckhurst Hill, parts of Chigwell and Loughton are £££

What about Barkingside/Fairlop/Gants Hill/Redbridge?

Still on your Central Line and some good schools?

MyCatHasStaff Wed 26-Dec-12 01:12:42

We moved to Colchester 7 years ago for similar reasons to yourself. My DS left school in May, and started 6th Form College this September. His secondary is much maligned, but frankly, compared to the London school he would have gone to it really wasn't that bad. He got mostly A grade GCSE's so he did ok, and he loves college. The Colchester 6th Form college has a really good reputation.
The primary schools are mostly quite small and will encourage a community atmosphere.
It's true that Colchester Town can be a bit lairy at night, but where isn't?

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