Where to live in Surrey or hampshire?(24 Posts)
We are currently living overseas but have to move back to the UK for family reasons. We are looking at the south side of outer London as we work from home and are pretty flexible with areas.
Schools are really important (non grammar state schools). We also want to be somewhere picturesque. I"m thinking market town with pretty outlying villages with good pubs and countryside around it for walks, cycling etc. Within 90 mins of the coast would be good and good transport links down to the south-west.
We were looking at Winchester but have decided that is far too close to my MIL for sanity to prevail!!
We've also been looking at Farnham but i'm not sure what the schools are like and would probably want to live in one of the villages which might be a problem for schools.
Our house budget is around 800K.
We have fantastic state schools where we live at the moment so to have to worry about where to educate our kids when we return on top of all the other stuff is stressing me out especially when i don't know that area of England at all.
We will probably head back summer next year - we will have twins in year 5 then ( boy and girl) and a 5 year old girl.
Does anybody have any idea of areas that might be good to look at (not godalming/guildford area) or know anything about Farnham??.
Thanks very much
Farnham is lovely
Why not Guildford / Godalming ?
Alton - or the surrounding villages - rail links to London and SW via Basingstoke, also the dreaded A303. State Primary Schools generally Ofsted Good/Outstanding. 3 local State secondaries all Good/Outstanding and Outstanding 6th Form in Alton or other choices in Winchester, Farnham, Farnborough.
Plenty of local pubs, lots of countryside and coast about 60 mins away.
Quite a lot of new building so £800k should get you a 4-5 bed new house. Villages can be expensive but there are detached houses at your price point.
I came on to say Winchester!
Would Romsey be further away from MIL?
Why is Farnham a problem for schools? The popular secondary Weydon has 5/6 feeder primaries and it is not just South Farnham primary which is popular.
E/W Horsley, Effingham and Bookham all have good primaries feeding into Howard of Effingham, sought after state secondary. But nearerst 'market' town is G'ford. But v close to A3/M25 for easy get aways.
Opposite side of Winchester from the MiL
anywhere that eventually feeds into Farnborough College, Peter Symonds, Barton Peveril basically
Hi everyone - thanks for your replies
MIL is in the New Forest near Brockenhurst so that whole Winchester surrounds area is too close for comfort - i need to be an hour away i.e. close enough for Sunday lunch but not to pop around!!
HOlidaysrcoming - i've looked at Weydon and it looks good. I wasn't sure how it worked though if we live in one of the villages outside Farnham - if it is oversubscribed which most good schools tend to be then would we get in? I was looking at villages like Frensham, Bentley, Crondall, Tilford etc.
Its more than likely that we will be applying for school places as late entrants so that makes things more difficult with 3 kids to place. Does anyone know if 2006 (March) is a popular birth year for school placements?
Surrey have got the furthest distance people were offered a place from for different schools on their website, which would give an idea
Your five year old will either be joining year 1 or year 2 (depending when she turns 6) which are subject to infant class size restrictions so are likely to be harder to access.
For your older kids, you will be in the usual round for secondary school applications if you arrive next summer though obviously joining a current cohort for year 6 in sep 2015.
Alton to Brock is definitely far enough : so Perins school
esp in the summer when the grockles are on the roads
or Petersfield - a bugger to get to the Forest from there
Also in Winchester sadly £800k does not buy much. Ugly modern house or if it's a nice house it's about to be swamped with new housing nearby.
But anywhere on the Stagecoach 64 bus route - up the A31 gives access to Winchester restaurants without having to drive home
It also means teenage children can go shopping without permanent lifts
The trouble with a lot of Surrey is that there is a lot of money so there is a lot of segregation- people either pay a lot to live on the doorstep of an excellent school or they send their children private. This leads to excellent schools and very poor schools (and you can't always tell this from their Ofsted resports). I know that is not very helpful and very negative, it is just a warning.
its all so mind boggling...even if i live on the doorstep of a good a feeder primary school my kids still probably won't go there because we are late entrants and the good primaries will be over subscribed. And unless you are in one of the feeder primaries you're unlikely to get in to the good secondary, again even if you're on the doorstep. Aaargh!
I like the Farnham area over Winchester as its closer to my parents (1 hour) and my mum is sick so thats important.
There are lots of good schools in Hampshire - there are in Surrey too but catchments seem more exclusive/expensive in Surrey - have you looked on www.locrating.com ? it shows up all the schools with links to ofsted rating and exam performance - all colour coded!
I am not sure that feeder schools override catchment do they for secondary? I thought that if you live in catchment then it's on distance but if you are out of catchment then being in a feeder primary school would give you priority - you need to look at each school's admissions' criteria - they all seem to be different!
Personally I would concentrate on finding a good secondary school - obviously you don't want a failing primary school but a good as opposed to outstanding primary school is fine but I think getting into secondary is more important.
Farnham is brilliant. Crondall is gorgeous and well positioned. Most children in Crondall end up at one of the Fleet schools and then Farnborough 6th form (which is outstanding)
I would second holidays suggestion of E/W Horsley, Effingham or Bookham. This area is all in catchment of Howard and all the primaries have pretty good reputations (irrespective of OFSTED grades). You would be able to get into one as they are not all full and then if you are in one of these feeders and in catchment you would be high up admission criteria for Howard. Having said that I have also heard good things about Farnham, but I don't know area well enough to comment more.
I would suggest Dorking. It is a very nice town with leisure centre, cinema/theatre etc, train links to London and easy access to M25. There are two seconday schools in the town - The Ashcombe School and Priory School both with good reputations. If you live in the town or even the surrounding villages you would have no problem getting a place at one of the two schools. My daughter is at The Ashcombe and loving it. As for the primary schools you would just have to see what is available but there are various to choose from most with goods reputations.
Also meant to say the surrounding countryside is really beautiful - area of outstanding beauty. Is fantastic for cycling and lovely walks!
I would support the Horsley's, much better transport links than Fanham (I know people who drove from Farnham to Guildford and then got the train to London as its a quicker line). Also The Howard will be moving and increasing in size (and have a lovely new school), I have worked in the school and it was lovely.
Guildford has the advantage of the schools having sixth forms (as does the Howard) but you can easily get to Woking, Godalming, Farnborough for Sixth form college (best of both worlds). Not sure why you hate it.
I'd suggest Fleet - all the primary schools are good or outstanding and the two secondary schools are very good - Court Moor probably has the edge on Calthorpe Park but the head at Court Moor is changing soon which may change things (maybe even better who knows). Or you could live in Odiham/Hook and go for Robert Mays. As others have mentioned, Farnborough sixth form college is excellent. The only thing against moving to the Fleet area is the amount of development but I suspect you're getting that everywhere and Fleet is not on its own in that regard.
You could also consider Yateley - good primary schools and a secondary school with a sixth form. But a bit off transport connections if they are important to you.
The Weydon school in Farnham is good - my cousin's daughters went there and ended up at Oxford and Edinburgh unis respectively. I'm not so sure about Heath End, but I don't think it's awful by any means. Alton College has a good reputation for sixth form. As others have said, Crondall feeds to Fleet. It's a pretty village but down some narrow hilly country lanes. I wouldn't want to live there in the winter.
Tilford has good primary level schools which are a bit like state prep schools - I was impressed when I read the junior school website (Waverley Abbey?) a couple of years ago.
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