Looking for London suburbs with good schools given the unique conditions (in the post)(15 Posts)
Don't you ever have enough of this topic
Yup, we are yet another London family with two young boys (and planning more children in future) looking to settle long term in nice suburb.
We are currently in St John's Wood, which is a perfect location but of course we cannot live there long-term - can't afford beyond bedsit, no good state secondary schools and we failed to get into the first 4 preferences for reception year So it's high time to make a move.
Which area? Here's a challenge for you Because ALL the conditions below have to be met:
1) need to be convenient commute to London Bridge (my husband)/Moorgate (my work)
2) my parents and inlaws live up North (Manchester and Birmingham) so getting to/from Euston train station shouldn't be too painful with luggages and towing kids. Even if any of us owns a car, the drive shouldn't be too painful...
3) Our excellent nanny lives SE London (Hither Green/Lee). She's too unique (both into attachment parenting, excellent friend, speaks Russian) to be easily replaceable. So I guess somewhere nice like Mill Hill is out of the question :-(
4) We don't do too well in very quiet suburbs Daily Mail enclaves...but Richmond/Kingston are too far for everybody.
5) 3+ bedroom with garden for no more than £2-2.3K per month
6) good schools available
everything else we can compromise on...
Blackheath? Good for your transport needs and your nanny. Quiet groovy down there, and good schools I believe (don't live there but have friends there)
£2.2 a month will get you this
Thanks squeaver, we did consider Blackheath. And we can always hide out in Lee if poshness gets too much I wasn't sure if there were any good secondary school options in Blackheath that were not fee-paying. Because mortgage+private tuition fees for 2+ boys = not possible (((
Hither Green, new Trinity Primary school has direct entry into Trinity secondary which is very much improving.
Forest Hill/Honor Oak primaries like Fairlawn and Stillness are popular, not sure about secondaries.
Somewhere around Telegraph Hill for Haberdashers?
The house squeaver links to is a really good location, only moments from Greenwich park, best of both Blackheath and Greenwich on your doorstep there.
Being near the centre of Greenwich can be crazy on the weekends.
But your boys won't be in secondary for a long time... I would consider not worrying about secondary for a while and basing your decision on your current education issues (i.e. good primary). You can move again. And in any case the reputation of schools go up and down (and up and down) a lot in 6-7 years and personal circumstances might change too (you might be offered the perfect job in Devon - you never know!). I honestly think worrying about secondary now is going to scupper you. Be aware of it, yes, but don't make it a major decision factor.
p.s. I think Hither Green area itself is pretty good. I'm in SW London and have family in north west so know the pita commute from Euston, but personally that's the lowest thing on my priority list (but I only go back a couple of times a year - and parents do the same in reverse - and realise this may be different for you).
Interesting conundrum! Very likely the others are right and SE London would suit you best, but have you thought about the Barn Hill area of Wembley Park? Houses like this or this well within budget, straightforward journeys to work and to Euston, Ark Academy for primary and secondary school, or Preston Manor for secondary. Not posh or poncey! Not ideal for your nanny, admittedly, but if she uses the Jubilee line to get to you now, she could just stay on the train, or switch to the Met line at Baker St.
Personally in your position I think I'd stay more central, eg Maida Hill, near to Ark Atwood primary school, and keep an eye on Paddington Academy as the time for secondary school came nearer. Your choice may well be different, though. Have fun looking!
Not sure if Petts Wood is too far for you and too quiet. Probably, but you could get a 5 bed house and garden and it is 12 minutes on train from Hither Green for your nanny. You could get this http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-to-rent/property-41667983.html
About 25 minutes into London Bridge from Petts Wood and quite close to M25. There is a slower train into Victoria for change to Euston for Manchester train. Lots of families here in your position. The local boys "superselective" grammar in Orpington (St Olaves) is very good and there are also good comprehensives (e.g. Darrick Wood and an all boys comprehensive called Ravenswood which is closer to Bromley Common). There is also a new secondary called Bishop Justus which apparently is improving quickly. From Petts Wood, lots of people also apply to some of other Kent grammars eg Dartford Grammar. If you don't want to go into green suburbia proper, then I would second Brockley and catchment for Haberdasher's. Greenwich village and Blackheath don't currently have lots of good secondaries but that could all change in a few years. Apparently the new free secondary school in Woolwich is great.
Upminster Essex. Good travel connections. Excellent schools. Pretty area. Beautiful countryside.
Housing relatively affordable, in London terms.
On Thameslink (from Tulse Hill) and has trains to L Bridge
By picking carefully you could be in catchment for excellent schools - Streatham Wells, Hitherfield, the new Dunraven primary, and a choice of excellent secondaries - or towards W Dulwich for Rosendale Primary and then also Dunraven or Elmgreen, or in West Norwood for Julian's and the secondaries.
Not sure how all that effects your nanny's journey?
I second the vote for Upminster. Quick commute into Fenchurch St/Tower Hill, very pleasant area, great primary & secondary schools.
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