Advice on moving to Aylesbury/surroundin
Briefly, my family is looking to move from our London borough to Aylesbury due to a new job. We (DH, DS (5), DD (2) and I) are pretty flexible on location, we will be buying a house and need a good local school but would like to know if there are any areas to avoid? Can anyone tell me anything useful about different areas of Aylesbury or the surrounding villages? I've looked on Rightmove and seen a few houses in Berryfields - what is it like there?
Aylesbury is handy for the train line but there are lots of nice villages on the line as well. Wendover, Stoke Mandeville and Great Missenden are all on the direct line into Marylebone.
Sorry Housemover, I read it as you would be commuting into London.
Oh no, sorry about that. DH has a new job based just outside of Aylesbury, basically on the A41 between Aylesbury and Aylesbury Vale stations. I'm currently a SAHM.
What kind of budget and buying or renting ? Aylesbury has really improved and there are lots of lovely villages like Stone, Quainton, Wing, Wingrave. Tring is also lovely and about 20 mins away towards London.
Berryfields is right on the A41 so that would be good location wise. It's a new build estate located right next to Aylesbury Vale station. Only issue may be getting into Aylesbury itself as you would be reliant on public transport if you didn't have a car. If he's working on that side of town then ignore any of the villages I mentioned as he would have to battle through Aylesbury to get to work and that isn't fun at rush hour. What is important to you when it comes to location? I can't help with schools but I know the area pretty well
I'd go for outside Aylesbury itself personally. Is the job in Aylesbury itself?
Towns - Thame, Buckingham, Wendover are all nice with good community feel. Villages might be a bit quiet if you're used to London but lots of pretty villages all over, I would look between Waddesdon and Leighton Buzzard, in that arc for villages.
The school problem in Buckinghamshire is that it is a fully grammar school/Upper School county. Everyone takes the 11+ then the top 30% go to the grammar schools (of which Aylesbury has 3 very good ones), everyone else either goes private or to one of the Upper schools, which do tend to struggle.
There are no comprehensives, that take students of all abilities (with a few exceptions such as Waddesdon, which has a tiny catchment area, Lord Williams in Thame, which is Oxfordshire and catchment is getting smaller). If you will move again before your children are in year 5/6 then you don't need to worry about that now.
I do go to Aylesbury for food shopping but for retail/clothes/homewares, its a bit rubbish, I'd go to either Milton Keynes, Oxford or High Wycombe all of which have better choice of shops.
Ooh great responses, thanks. Was trying not to make my OP too long but should’ve added more details:
New office is off the A41 very near what looks like leisure area with Homebase/McDonald’s/harvester/bowling. DH currently commutes by bike and could easily do upto 5 miles.
We are looking to buy with a budget of around 350k, for that we’d like a 3 bed semi detached house with driveway, garden. Less than half a mile to school as we prefer to walk (but do own a car).
I’m a little saddened to hear that it is a grammar area as DS is a lovely boy but I’m not convinced he will be academic and private is not on the cards. Don’t know what to say/think about that really. DD has additional needs and is unlikely to go to mainstream secondary so that’s not an issue.
Location wise we do generally prefer a city location but maybe it’s time for a change? I love being able to walk to the supermarket, school, and to walk or get public transport into town but I have a car so it’s not actually a problem to drive - except school, I don’t want to drive to school unless there is absolutely no choice.
Ok, I know exactly where you mean now. Easily bikeable for hubby but not really walkable from Berryfields. Berryfields won't give you the feeling of a city location, you'd need to head towards Milton Keynes or Oxford for that. I'll put my thinking cap on tonight and see what other areas might suit you
Ooh, thanks. We need to visit the city as a family and will do so in the next few weeks. From Rightmove this is the sort of thing that appeals to me. Close to work, close to a “good” school.
Rowland Way, Aylesbury
I wrote a long post then lost it! I'll try to remember what I wrote.
Some Aylesbury schools don't have a great reputation. Some people prefer to send their kids to village schools. As well as Berryfields you might consider Buckingham Park as it's on the right side of town for you. Fairford Leys is a popular area and has a bit of a 'village centre' to it with a few shops. The school there is good but the catchment area is small. Consider the HS2 effect though.
If you are planning to settle long term, you might want to think about secondary schools as it is a bit of a nightmare! Waddesdon is a village just along the A41 that has an outstanding primary and secondary modern school. The catchment area is small for the secondary but if you are a practising christian you stand more chance of getting in even if you are not in catchment.
Aylesbury is a town and will probably seem quiet compared to London but the train service is good and the surrounding countryside is lovely.
think about going just over the border into Hertfordshire to avoid the grammar school issue?
Aww man, this grammar issue is going to be a nightmare isn’t it? I really wasn’t planning on even thinking about secondary, it’s not even on my radar but ideally I would like this to be a forever home so need to think about it. I see there is a “good” state secondary around stoke Mandeville (John colet school) - maybe that’s the way I need to be thinking? Looks like a pricey area though.
I don’t think anywhere in Hertfordshire would be a sensible commute.
John Colet is a popular choice and the feeder primaries have a good reputation but you will get less house for your money.
It's only 15 mins from Tring to Aylesbury, particularly if you're on the right side of town for the A41
Is Tring Hertfordshire then? That’s good to know thanks.
the primary schools around Berryfields are oversubscribed - this it typical for a new build area - as lots of people are starting families. There are some pretty unpopular primary schools in the town that hopefully would have a space at least for your 5 year old? Or if you go towards the villages like Quainton/Dinton etc they have primary schools too perhaps they may have space
Ok I got freaked out about the grammar issue last night having never even had to think of it before but I think I will put a pin in it. It seems ridiculous to restrict our move based on expecting DS to fail a test in 5 years time when he is only 5 years old now and just learning to read! Who knows what will happen in 5 years? Maybe DS will be a top student, maybe we will win the lottery and be able to afford private school. Maybe DH will hate the new job and we will have to move anyway. Maybe the job will be great and he will get a fab pay rise and we will move to the catchment of a great state secondary. Basically anything could happen so I am not going to worry about it, I am going to concentrate on getting him into a fab primary.
Re primary school places: this is a good point and is certainly on my mind. Thus far I’ve been looking on Rightmove at whether the local school was oversubscribed last year and also using the Bucks Council in year place checker pdf to see if there are vacancies in the current year R - vacancies in this years year R means spaces in next years year 1 (hopefully).
Tells me about Berryfields please - is it a nice area?
Berryfields is a new build estate, I don't think it has a shop yet after a number of years. It has great access to lovely countryside, a big main road going into Aylesbury. I would look at if they have built/will build shops/church/community hall like they did with Fairford Leys, which was the esate before Berryfields, built about 10-15 years ago. Also there is no social housing on Fairford Leys as it wasn't required then, there will be quite a bit in Berryfields, if that is a concern for you (no reason it should be.....but if you are an owner occupier next to lots of social housing tenants you may just want to know that before buying)
Thanks sky, Fairford Leys has come up a few times on my search. That’s interesting re social housing too. I’m currently an owner-occupier on an estate with approx 50/50 council housing and as much as I want to say it ‘doesn’t matter to me’ the fact is it does seem to effect how much people care about the area. We sadly had some kids break a window with a football a few years ago, it was an accident done thru carelessness but an accident none-the-less the annoying thing was that the lads who did it just shrugged and said the council will take care it! They didn’t seem to understand that we would have to pay to replace it.
Waddesdon which is a few miles up the A41 from Aylesbury has a good secondary modern school where those who do not pass the 11+ go. You could look at villages around there which are within their catchment area.
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