Moving to UK (Hemel Hempstead)(14 Posts)
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Hello everyone, this is my first ever interaction with mumsnet. I have just moved to the UK from Norway with husband and 6yo daughter. I'm also expecting baby #2 due in November. My husband has been relocated to an office in Watford and we are looking for places around here to rent. I have been a bit disappointed with the houses I saw in Watford and decided to look further out. We found a lovely place in Boxmoor but since I do not know the place at all, I feel a bit concerned. I read threads here from previous years saying that the town centre is very bad and that the city is not all that. Would anyone have any updates on this? I saw that they have some renovations done to the centre, but dont know if its a nice place after all. All help would be appreciated regarding schools, things to do, etc. Thanks for all the help!
Hi @momfromabroad, we're just giving this thread a bump for you in case there are any Mumsnetters on hand to give you a bit of advice and support. We've also moved this to the Living overseas section.
I cant help with the area, but if you want help with general "help I've just landed in the uk" I got here 2 weeks ago. Shout if there is anything you want to know
Boxmoor has some lovely parts to it but yes, Hemel Hempstead itself can leave a little to be desired.
You don’t have to go far to find some nicer places close to Watford though. Have a look at Berkhamsted, Bovingdon, Rickmansworth, Chorleywood, Amersham and Sarratt.
Berkhamsted is definitely the place to be with small children. All the primary schools are rated good or outstanding and there is heaps going on for small people and mums. Direct trains to Watford Junction or a straightforward drive.
my brother and his wife and 4 boys live in Hemel Hempstead and they love it there. The boys have done well at local schools and there is are some lovely walks along the canal.
Boxmoor if it is the place I am thinking of is quite nice but is let down be Hemel.
Have you tried going south or west to Radlett, Elstree, Bushey or Rickmansworth and Chorleywood.
There are some lovely parts of Hemel, and though the town centre isn't as upmarket as St Alban's, Harpenden etc it is not a bad place. There is a lot to do for children and beautiful countryside nearby.
Feel free to DM me if you want any detailed advice as I know the area very well.
Thank you all for the replies! As its the first time I have used mumsnet, I didnt know where to look for the replies. So happy to see the interaction! We have just made an offer on a house in Boxmoor, found it very calm and cute. Did not go to the town centre in Hemel but I think my standards are pretty low. Coming from a small town in Norway, I'll be happy if there are any open stores and restaurants on a sunday. Hopefully my daughter will adapt well in school as this is the most important for us.
What places would you guys recommend to go with her during the summer vacation?
Thank you for all the help!
I second a recommendation for Berkhamsted. Absolutely lovely for young children, playgrounds/child friendly restaurants/lots of playgroups and a lot of people who are new to the are having moved from London. Good train into London and easy commute to Watford by car or train. Its all very walkable and a very cosy, safe place to live with a cafe and boutique high street.
Oh, Hemel’s fine. Not as upmarket as Berkhamstead or Harpenden but neither are the house prices! Sapphire Gymnastics has some lovely drop-ins for little children and good classes too. Also look at the Mums Guide to Harpenden website - stuff there will be local to you too. There’s a newish and very large soft play at Jarman Park and a cinema there too
There’s also a snow dome and an indoor rock climbing centre with classes for smaller kids. You’re close to pools at St Albans and Harpenden (Hemel must have a pool too). I agree high street shopping is poor but it’s not awful (and you’ve a stonking Tesco Extra) - but it’s best to go to Watford - and that would be the same if you lived in any of the other mentioned areas too!
"Hemel must have a pool too"
Yes it does. Agree with both your comments!
Hemel Town centre isn't amazing but it's so close to Watford (has a huge shopping centre) and St Albans (roman city, very pretty) that you could avoid it altogether if you really wanted to
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