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What is Alton really like?

(12 Posts)
friendlycat Fri 08-Sep-17 14:26:30

It's going to be a big move next year from Wandsworth to Hampshire. I already love Haslemere (my sister in law lives there) and also Petersfield (my MIL lives in nearby Liss) and these two are on the list of possibles. Alton is next to visit as I can see that property is much cheaper there than the above two places. Now that normally has a reason attached?! What is Alton really like in comparison to say Petersfield and Hastlemere?
We don't need schools, but we do need the train line as hubby commutes daily into London. My sister will also be moving in the next two years to Southampton so this seems a good area.
I know I am not a village person but really need a nice market town. Winchester is too big (and expensive) and likewise Farnham.
Can anybody describe their thoughts on Alton please and also Petersfield versus Haslemere.
Many thanks in advance.

Ionacat Thu 21-Sep-17 21:49:38

I live in Alton and its lovely. There's lots going on and it's a very friendly place - I can walk everywhere and normally bump into several people I know. Quite a few people commute into London and you are guaranteed a seat on the train! To be honest the town centre isn't much, but you can get most things and there are some lovely cafes - I can recommend Bottega dei Sapori which is an Italian coffee shop.
Alton tends to be cheaper than Petersfield and Haslemere as the trains aren't as good. Petersfield and Haslemere are on the Portsmouth mainline and Alton is on its own branch.
If you have any specifics about Alton let me know and I'll do my best to answer them!

FourForYouGlenCoco Thu 21-Sep-17 23:14:19

We live just up the road from Alton (Bordon). It's nice enough, we go there a fair bit. There's definitely plenty going on - I have a tiny so do a couple of baby groups there, but there's stuff for all ages. Nice play park, decent shops (better than Bordon!). It does feel a bit tired and the high street can be a wee bit scabby but bits of it are really nice.
Tbh I prefer Alton to Haslemere - Haslemere is much nicer to visit but it's soooo posh that I find it a bit off putting and wouldn't want to live there - Alton feels much friendlier! If it was a case of Petersfield vs Haslemere, I'd definitely go Petersfield, but you can get a much much nicer house in Alton for your money! I'd go for it, you can always sell up and move in a few years if you want to once you know the area better.

friendlycat Tue 26-Sep-17 18:58:16

Thank you both. At the moment I'm rather drawn to Petersfield.

flupi Tue 26-Sep-17 19:14:13

I don't live in Alton but I do live nearby. Alton is a lovely small town. It has a real sense of community- with loads going on- orchestra, choirs, amateur dramatics, sports.... and puts on a few great events every year. The people are friendly and not snobby or too moneyed like you can get in Haslemere or Petersfield. Depends on the type of people you are maybe? All have good train links - half hourly trains to London from Alton. Good luck with your decision.

bloodyiphone Tue 26-Sep-17 19:51:23

Hi friendly -we live just outside Alton and are looking at moving to Petersfield, we have lived there before, but with our boys getting older it suits us for them to have links on the trainline, the Heath is lovely, and the shops and town are great. I've lived near Alton for 4 years now and haven't ventured past the Sainsburys, Aldi and a few pizza places for nights out... we tend to head towards Petersfield, or Winchester for an evening meal or few drinks.. But I will add all of the people we have met are lovely!

Schools are equally good in all areas.

Haslemere as the other poster said can be really stuck up, it's surrey, rather than Hampshire and I have no idea what happens when you cross that border!! but having lived in Surrey I'd choose Hampshire, much friendly.

Also for London I have occasional meetings and I drive to Guilford and park up –there are only a couple of trains an hour from Alton–so when you are standing in Waterloo at least with guildford you have numerous options.. likewise with the Portsmouth line..

Ionacat Tue 26-Sep-17 20:38:23

Go and have a good look round both Petersfield and Alton and see what you can get for your money and which appeals to you. I only go to Petersfield occasionally but Alton is friendly and sometimes we get people posting on sites saying they are new to the area and how do we meet people and they tend to get lots of offers to meet for coffee or show them the town.
There is no difference in train times between Alton and Petersfield at peak times and don't forget you are guaranteed a seat in the morning at Alton.

Tottyandmarchpane1 Sun 01-Oct-17 22:12:45

We live just outside Alton. It is very functional, Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, good train line to London etc. It doesn’t have the shops of Farnham but is only 15 mins away and there are lovely surrounding villages. Petersfield I always found a bit dull but the shops are better than Alton. However I would say that if you find Winchester and Farnham too expensive (we moved from Winchester) then I will be really surprised if you don’t find Haslemere exactly the same and petersfield only marginally less so. Alton and surrounding villages you will get way more for your money (it’s why we moved out of Winchester and are much happier for it).

Hissy Mon 02-Oct-17 07:37:56

I grew up not far from Alton, learned to drive there (a gazillion years ago) and am a swim member at the sports centre

My son has just started secondary school there, and he’s soooo happy!

Sure it’s not Farnham, but you can get most things there, and thankfully it’s not like every other identikit town around and actually has some lovely independent shops.

In terms of going out there, I’d probably lean towards Farnham, or if I needed big stores, I’d go to Basingstoke- but I live more that way anyway

Petersfield etc are higher in price as they have good train services and have the A3 on their doorsteps.

Wherever you choose to live in this kind of area will be nice. I particularly love the countryside between Alton and Petersfield, so pretty!

Audreyhelp Mon 02-Oct-17 19:31:14

I have lived in bordon all my life. I am a nanny I have nannies in petersfield haslemere Alton and Farnham.
The town isn’t great in Alton but it is such a lovely friendly place.
Petersfield fine but not as friendly.
Haslemere has no atmosphere .
Farnham quite nice but not as friendly as Alton.
If I was choosing regardless of house prices it would be Alton loads to do with little ones unlike petersfield .

friendlycat Tue 03-Oct-17 16:31:59

Thanks to everyone for the replies. I think it is now really down to just which houses come up. My partner really wants Petersfield for the trains and access to the seaside and I do see what he means.
Hey ho, decisions decisions but thank for all your input.

Hissy Tue 03-Oct-17 22:50:36

Lovely decisions decisions to have, eh?

I’m in Petersfield all day Sunday and will be driving through shalden and other lovely villages, my other half will be very tempted I reckon 😊

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