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Thinking of moving to Oxford from London (via NZ for 5 years) any suggestions where to live?

(17 Posts)
shakespeare Wed 18-Dec-13 00:32:08

I'm a Kiwi, my partner is English. After 4 years, he is really unhappy here in NZ so we're sadly (for me) thinking of returning to the UK. I'm not so keen to live back in East London with two under 5's so am contemplating Oxford where I lived/studied back in the early 2000's.

If we do return, I think I'd like to do a stint in the country (semi-rural) not too far from Oxford City, in an area with a kind of alternative/creative/lefty vibe to it. Anyone who knows Oxford got any suggestions? Schools important to as my daughter will be starting primary next year.

Cheers x

Smiled at this as I did it the other way around -grew up near Oxford, moved to London then lived in NZ for a couple of years.

Actually suspect your DH is in for a bit of a let down .... homesickness always drags you back, but its a rose coloured glasses vibe, and once 'home' you remember all the reasons why you were happy to leave in the first place!
However that wasn't your post smile

Wallingford is worth a look, and does have some crafty style going on, Annual "Bunkfest" gives an indicator. Surrounding villages (Brightwell, Ewelme etc) are lovely ... but pricey.
Thame used to be super, but I haven't been in the longest time.
Charlbury is nice at about the same distance, but north,

If you have the money .... just pick Woodstock.

Good luck. At least you will get two summers grin

kiwidreamer Thu 19-Dec-13 13:40:01

Sorry to hear your DH hasn't settled, DH and I are both kiwi have been in the UK almost 12yrs now... came with backpacks and never left lol... tho we are always adamant we'll be going back one day / soon / three years ;)

We live on the Berkshire / Oxfordshire boarder and have been happy here but we do have easy access to proper shops etc, I'm not sure I'd be happy stuck in a wee village with just a pub and post office!!!

Good luck smile

shakespeare Fri 20-Dec-13 07:37:26

Yeah I hope so Festive (and thank you for the recommendations).Unfortunately my partner never really wanted to leave in the first place. He's a born and bred Londoner who misses the hustle and bustle of London but he knew after I had baby no. 1 I was keen to get back to NZ (after 20 years) and be with my family. He is however, promising my the world if I would consider moving back to the UK and I have always said I loved Oxford and fancied a stint in the country.

But I agree Kiwi, I'd definitely only want 'semi-rural. I think moving to a teeny tiny village with nothing but a pub and a post office might just be a bit too parochial for me! I'd sort of want a big-ish village/small town but if push came to shove, I'd probably settle in one of the Oxford City suburbs. I just want easy access to the countryside which I love so much in the UK.

Man, international relationships are not easy sad

MyBachisworsethanmybite Fri 20-Dec-13 07:57:13

I studied in Oxford and loved it, then some years later moved to a place just outside, while working on the ring road.

It is a totally different experience. I loved my house in the stone village with lots of shops, but it's in no way like the life you have as a student in the city. In fact Oxford city council makes it so hard to get into town that I found I never went I and did all my shopping in the market town the other side (Oxon market towns are booming because of this effect).

Any of the places mentioned, or Witney or Thame or Abingdon, would be much the same in these aspects.

GhettoPrincess001 Sat 21-Dec-13 01:56:09

I would consider moving to Oxford if we return to Britain from NZ. We used to live in Surrey until 2011, which is when we relocated to NZ.

shakespeare Sun 22-Dec-13 02:09:34

Can I ask where you lived out of the city Bach?

It is important to remember though - depressing as it is - that this is no longer about student life, and (I assume) none of us are students anymore sad

I would reiterate that Wallingford is worth a look, as are all the other aforementioned country towns. Staying on the London side would seem sensible if Londoner DH would like easy, speedy access.

shakespeare Tue 24-Dec-13 07:30:47

Yeah absolutely Festive. Easy access to London is definitely important. Ok, will start having a look at Wallingford and the surrounding areas. Thanks for your help and have a lovely Xmas! Its hot here so it never quite feels as Xmas'y as it did back in old Blighty...

MyBachisworsethanmybite Tue 24-Dec-13 08:06:58

There's no station at Wallingford. You have to go to Didcot or Cholsey.

I was in West Oxon. There are stations at Charlbury and Hanborough.

Depends how fast and how often you need to be in London.

LoveSewingBee Tue 24-Dec-13 21:02:59

Why not settle in Oxford itself with its good connections to London, town life and country side nearby? Do check school catchment areas though (primary AND secondary) unless you are going private. There are lots of nice small towns to visit, but may be harder to settle and may become boring after a little while though ...

mbabanemummy Wed 25-Dec-13 04:26:24

We were in a village outside Oxford until we moved abroad this year. I agree that Wallingford and Thame are both worth a look, both have well regarded schools (teacher) and would throw Eynsham in too. I think you get better access to countryside on the non-London side so you'd have to weigh that up. We were just outside Woodstock which is lovely but pricey. East Oxford (Florence Park etc.) is very popular with families but city school choices are much harder, in the city I'd love Jericho, if you've got cash! I do miss Oxfordshire a lot, just not the terrible traffic!

claraschu Wed 25-Dec-13 05:38:30

I live in a village near Oxford, and I find it pretty conservative and provincial. Thame is certainly not lefty by any stretch of the imagination. I would live in Oxford; there is good walking, and easy access to the countryside. Some of the schools are very good too-

shakespeare Mon 30-Dec-13 09:00:00

I guess I'm just trying to find something similar to what my sister had when she moved down from Hackney to Devon many years ago. She just found a bunch of hippies, ex-ravers and artists that had sold up in London and had moved to the South West.

I'm no artist and definitely no hippy (ok, possibly an ex-raver) but it was just a really nice vibe in the area that she lived and something I'd like to find a little closer to London. I am not sure however whether Oxfordshire is that place. Maybe Oxford City is the better option as other posters have suggested (yes I loved Jericho too)? I just kind a fancied a bit of space around us, looking out over countryside rather than the back of someone elses back garden. Think I've been watching too much River Cottage! wink.

CMOTDibbler Mon 30-Dec-13 09:13:12

I grew up in Wallingford, and my parents still live there. I'd describe it as green rather than left iyswim.
Lovely town, but there isn't a station, and no swimming pool (well, a seasonal outdoor one), and options for teens is a bit limited.

If you want lefty artistic, then you'd be better looking north of Oxford where house prices are lower and so the alternative scene flourishes

LoveSewingBee Mon 30-Dec-13 15:39:13

TBH I wouldn't describe any of the places near Oxford as leftish/artistic. Oxford is a beautiful town, as is Woodstock and many other places, but not very leftish/artistic. For that you need to be in certain areas in London I think.

shakespeare Tue 31-Dec-13 07:54:51

Hmmm no swimming pool isn't a great thing. Weekly swimming lessons for both my two is important to me being a NZ'er (of course we could drive to Oxford).

Dibbler, what area's where you thinking north of Oxford?

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