Moving from London to Oxfordshire(19 Posts)
Hello everyone! After about 10 years of living in London, we are considering moving to Oxfordshire (proximity to grandparents and DH work). Do you have any advice on areas and local schools? We are both from rural Scottish villages originally, but love the idea of being near a market town/Oxford to get a buzz when we need it. We have a 2 year old boy and another little one due at the end of the year, so starting to think about local prep schools too. I have heard that Burford and Witney are both lovely and close enough to St Hugh’s Prep, but I’m seriously lacking local knowledge. Any thoughts/advice, most appreciated! Thanks all x
Where do you need to be (e.g. for work) and do you have a budget in mind? There are lots of nice market towns around Oxford but you don't really want to have to traverse the city itself each day for schools and/or work. Traffic is always an issue.
The main market towns (if you are looking for quaint pubs/cafes/shops) are Woodstock (North), Abingdon (South), Thame (East), and Witney (West). There are smaller villages around the periphery of each town. If you want school choice, there are lots of preps south of Oxford (i.e. around Abingdon) and North Oxford is packed with schools. North Oxford (e.g. around Summertown) is probably "the place" to be with a young family but only if budget isn't really a consideration...
The prep schools that spring to mind are the Dragon School and Summerfields (North), St Hugh's (West), and Chandlings, The Manor Prep, Abingdon Prep (South). In central Oxford you also have the old choir schools: New College School, Magdalen College School, and Christ Church Cathedral School. There certainly isn't a shortage of choice.
Thanks for your reply JohnHunter. We can probably afford to be West of Oxford as DH will only need to be in London intermittently and can drive in off-peak times. We love the sound of Burford and Witney, but lack the local knowledge of nice villages around those towns?! Sense of community and good local pub are high on our list, so if you have any suggestions that spring to mind, do let me know We are looking into St. Hugh’s which looks lovely and have heard great things - thanks so much for the other school suggestions too!
I would have a think about transport links whilst Witney and Burford are very pretty with lively high streets. The traffic is a nightmare and that does affect your quality of life ultimately time is a valuable commodity in life!
I would recommend Wheatley/Horspath/Garsington for being close to M40 and Oxford.
Another thought is Bicester or the Villages between Bicester and Islip, Bicester doesn't have the most exciting high Street but it's getting better the transport links are brilliant you are close to London, Birmingham, Warwick, Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Private school wise there's some great ones in Buckinghamshire and Oxford both within easy reach.
If you want easy access to London and Oxford, then South Oxon/Berks are lovely places to live. I can particularly recommend Goring. Great local community, village shops and pubs, surrounding countryside, and the transport connections. It's more expensive there than West of Oxford thougn. If you are not fussed about the train to London then there are probably better value options.
The vast majority of people in the village (Including those in 2 million + homes) send their children to the local primary initially, but there are plenty of excellent schools nearby. The Abingdon schools are the most popular private option for secondary. Also Cranford, Moulsford for prep. And others.
Thank you everyone for your replies so far! It’s useful to know about the traffic issues Sickoffamilydrama, so thanks for highlighting those! As my DH can travel in off-peak times, I’m hoping we will be able to avoid those. Does anyone know of any nice villages surrounding Burford/Witney that they would recommend?
Thank you, Irregularegular for the Goring recommendation. We actually drove through it recently and really liked the look of it, so great to hear that it really is as good as it seems. We will definitely be considering it! Great that the local primary school is such a hit - sounds like there are lots of schooling options which is brilliant.
If anyone else has any recommendations, please do keep them coming Thanks again all x
Do you want to be in a narket town or a village outside a market town?
Senoritaviva, ideally a village outside of Burford/Witney. Do you know any in that area?
These are close to st Hugh's, 15/20 mins from Witney but lovely:
Buckland is stunning, great pub and close knit community - outstanding primary if you were considering state schools.
Standlake has a lovely community feel (lots of sports) and is closer to witney, I hear primary school is not as good as it was.
I'm less knowledgable about burford area.
Can recommend st Hugh's - great school
Also Filkins and villages around there are lovely
A bit further out but Ewelme/benson is lovely. And for schools you have Ewelme school which is the oldest in the country and like a mini hogwarts
Filkins is lovely...some beautiful houses.
Old Minster is just on the outskirts of Witney and is truly gorgeous... river running through the bottom of the village..all old stone cottages and beautiful houses, a large cricket field and the old ruins. My kids spent their summers playing in the river . I'd love to live there!
Eynsham is also worth a look... great community feel (just off the A40 between Witney and Oxford) small enough to feel friendly but has a couple of essential shops and some great pubs!
Thank you everyone! Really appreciate all your responses. Is the flight path to RAF Brize Norton noisy/an issue over some of these areas?
Honestly? No. You might notice now and again but I live literally alongside the runway and only occasionally am I aware of engine runs. Sometimes in the run up to an air tattoo (usually at Fairford) you get to see/hear the old WW2 aircraft going over, but that's quite cool to watch (even to me...ex RAF wife!) Day to day it really isn't an issue
Thank you for your honest reply, StillMedusa. Really useful to know
If you want Witney area, have a look at Cokethorpe, which goes right through from Nursery to Y13.
Try Combe, Stonesfield, Woodstock, Finstock, Charlbury. It's a lovely area to live in.
Ex St Hugh's parent here. For a very easy school run I would look at Bampton or Longworth if you want to be close to Witney. If easy access to the station at Didcot is important then East Hendred is a really lovely village, shopping is ok in Wantage. Other villages around Wantage to look at are the Letcombes, Challows, Stanford in the Vale, Uffington, all commutable to St. Hugh's.
Thanks so much everyone, such useful, loca info here! Do any of you have any personal knowledge of Clanfield as a village/area to live in?
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