Returning to Oxford, I'd like your thoughts

(11 Posts)
Ineedachange Wed 12-Dec-18 14:38:53

Hello Mumsnetters,

I would really appreciate your thoughts.
It is looking more and more likely we will be returning prematurely to Oxford next summer.
Our family is currently located in the US currently on a work secondment with my husbands employer.

In a less than ideal scenario our DD will be 15, her peers will be smack dab in the middle of the GCSE pathway, therefore I am already looking at alternative options for her via an educational consultant.
Our DS will be 13 and would be going into Yr 9 in September. He has not settled atall in the US, and is absolutely desperate to go home to England.

I am a nurse and intend to work at the JR. OH works in Didcot and he plans to take the train.

Our plan is to rent a house in Oxford. We know exactly what the traffic is like around Oxford, and we plan to avoid it as much as possible. We used to commute in from Faringdon, and as much as we loved it the commuting was horrible.
One of the things we struggle with most here in the US is the fact we have to drive everywhere. The DC's miss their fledgling independence; walking to school, visiting friends, going to Costa ....very much.
Headington seems like an obvious choice because of it's proximity to the JR. However, with no experience of living in either, I love Summertown and Jericho.

Your thoughts will be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance smile

OP’s posts: |
Bobbycatz Wed 12-Dec-18 14:50:48

Jericho and summertown are more trendy. I would rather Jericho as it’s closer to town and has a nice range of bars and restaurants. Headington is ok and I imagine a bit cheaper but it’s very student heavy and the range of restaurants aren’t as nice. I think it depends on what you enjoy doing out of work as summertown and headington are quite close so there’s not much in it. Do you know which schools you’ll be choosing as that will be a major consideration.

oxfordbumble Fri 21-Dec-18 09:59:28

I live in Headington and don't find it student heavy at all. Most of the students prefer to live in the Cowley Road area where all the bars and restaurants are. Jericho also a lot more students. Headington itself is much more a family area, fairly quiet in the evenings. Headington had got a lot more expensive in the last 5 years (but not as expensive as Summertown or Jericho). Bus connections into town are excellent, and you would be able to walk to work (though getting to the station for your husband would be a bit of a pain). We lived in Summertown for about 10 years and now in Headington for 2.5 - Summertown certainly poster and closer to town but Headington has more of a community vibe, more ordinary shops, and I prefer it now as a family place to live. Let me know if you want any more info

whifflesqueak Fri 21-Dec-18 10:05:22

I lived in Headington and it was lovely. Mind you, I was a student!

I’ve moved way out into the sticks now but some of my friends in my tiny village commute to the JR. frankly I think they’re nuts.

Jericho and Summertown will be insanely expensive although since you haven’t mentioned a budget perhaps that’s not an issue.

CommanderShepard Sat 05-Jan-19 18:21:38

I also live in Headington and I don't find it student-heavy. If you live towards Gipsy Lane, sure there are a fair few student HMOs but we're further out towards Bury Knowle and it's a lovely place to live. The 400 bus goes from London Road right to the station.

Ineedachange Sat 05-Jan-19 21:08:27

This is fascinating stuff. Thank you. Keep it coming.
I’m flying over on a recon. mission in March.
I’m hoping to secure at house by the Easter holidays.
Wish me luck smile

OP’s posts: |
Nomorerainplease Sat 05-Jan-19 21:11:49

What’s your budget? That is key..

Churchillian Sat 05-Jan-19 21:22:52

Which school do you want to get your kids into? Marston as well as summertown and Jericho is in the catchment for the Cherwelland is much cheaper, Osney and Abingdon Road are handier for the train station and are in the Matthew Arnold catchment area, Headington is in catchment for the Cheney. I think this is key when considering which area, as well as budget. Cutteslowe would also be good - near to the ring road for getting to the JR, but also close to Oxford North for commuting and also in Cherwell catchment.

shelikesemwithamoustache Wed 13-Feb-19 15:45:29

How about Abingdon or Radley. Short drive to the JR - I used to work next to it and it took me 15 minutes. Station to Didcot from Radley. Walkable to lots of areas and town centre. Buses to Oxford every 5-10mins from Abingdon. Would take less time from Abingdon to JR than from the other side of Oxford (if you didn't live in Headington itself).

Ineedachange Wed 06-Mar-19 18:24:43

Our budget is £2500, and to be honest I'm fairly confident we'll get what we need in Summertown or Headington for that.

I'm over next week and I have viewings in Headington and Summertown.
Online I prefer the Headington house, but the Summertown house has the better location for the majority of the family.

For us the deciding issues are;
school - either Cherwell or Cheney. I know there's a horrible waiting list for all Oxford city schools. I've spoken to the County Council admissions and they told me essentially we could be placed anywhere, but obviously the closer to the school would be better. They also advised me apply to our choice of schools rather than try an navigate the difficulties. DS is desperate to cycle to school, he wants that independence.

I will be working at the JR. Parking is horrendous, and that was 2 years ago, I know it's worse now.

DH works at Milton Park and he really, really, really doesn't want to drive either. He wants to ditch the cars altogether. It's not practical but it tells you where his mind is at. The house in Headington will be a be a pain to get to the train station. It'll take forever to get DH to get to work.

DD will be at school in Oxford so essentially she's the easiest to accommodate.

I think we've written off Jericho. In 3 months of looking I haven't seen anything come up that would manage that criteria, especially since we have 2 dogs too.

Thanks for all the feedback Peeps smile

OP’s posts: |
Ineedachange Wed 06-Mar-19 18:30:41

@shelikesmewithamoustache - Our best friends live in Radley. But the school issue is problematic. They're not happy with their options, and DS is adamant he wants to cycle to school. He's been so miserable for the last two years I'm desperate to give that to him.

OP’s posts: |

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