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Moving to North West(13 Posts)
Hello All, We are planning to move to the beautiful North West (Wilmslow being on top of my list) so I wanted to know your opinion on:
1. Commute to London: 2-3 times per week - is it realistic?
2. Drive to Withington/Fallowfield for school run (DD might be going to Manchester High or Withington Grammar) from Wilmslow
3. Any other recommendations in terms of areas? Our budget is 400-600k (could stretch to 750k)
What we need is:
1. Reasonable commute to London
2. Excellent schools Primary and Secondary (State or Independent) not more than 15-20 mins drive
3. Close to nature - we love cycling, running and being outdoors.
4. Relatively safe and a nice area (lived in Richmond during my London days and really loved it)
5. Cricket Club - our DS is cricket crazy so this could really be a big plus for him.
Have you looked at Chester? Christleton in particular. The secondary school is excellent as is the primary. You need to live IN Christleton though as it's oversubscribed.
Can't really comment on the realistic nature of the commute...it seems a LOT to commute 3 times per week from the NW though. My friend does it every fortnight and it's quite tough on her. She goes by train. www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/Christleton.html
I don't think a commute to London 3 days per week is going to be easy from Wilmslow, but it's do able.
I don't know about traffic now, but precovid I think a school run to withington and back would take about an hour and a half minimum.
Christleton looks lovely, but my concern would be the commute to London.
Well I don't think the distance from Chester to London is much different from Manchester. If you Google that, it's 2 hs and 17 mins from Chester to London and the same from Manchester.
I am talking about trains by the way. Are you thinking of driving? It will be very stressful if you are.
Look at Lymm. It's lovely and a quick drive to Warrington bank Quay station for a fast train to London. It's a lovely village, very desirable, small but got a sainsburies, good commute to Manchester but surrounded by lovely walks, Lymm dam etc.
I used to live around Wilmslow, and subsequently in Manchester. (I live in SW London now so know Richmond well too.)
When you say three times a week to London, do you mean there and back in a day? Wilmslow's on the west coast main line and there are usually a reasonable number of trains. It takes about 2 to 2.5 hours to Euston, depending on the train. As train journeys go it's alright -- it's fast and those Pendolinos that used to be Virgin Trains are comfortable especially if you can spring for first class. But it's expensive. You'd probably be looking at ~£140 each way unless you luck out and can travel at really weird times.
On Wilmslow itself... It's... fine... but I wouldn't describe it or its surrounding area as beautiful, particularly. It's a somewhat upmarket commuter town. Largely mid-century and later housing estates, not much period housing. I'm not trying to do it down but if you're expecting something like Ribble Valley/rolling hills type countryside, or indeed Richmond-esque period town prettiness, you're going to be disappointed I'm afraid. Knutsford is prettier in itself, although it's not especially well connected for London.
Driving to Withington from Wilmslow at school rush-hour time would be absolutely hellish IMO. The A34 looks handy -- and it often is -- but it also gets snarled up very frequently at rush-hour. A 20-minute journey could easily become well over an hour (I know this from bitter experience because I used to work in Stockport). Don't underestimate how much vehicular traffic there is in that part of the world; many more people drive everywhere because the public transport still isn't up to much compared to London.
The nearest thing to Richmond in that part of the world is probably Didsbury in Manchester, or perhaps Chorlton. Didsbury in particular would be handy for Withington and/or Fallowfield; you might be able to walk to the school.
Nastblouse- Thank you ever so much for the detailed insight. Yes, I was hoping to travel from Wilmslow to London and back, but most people I have spoken to suggest that it may not be a viable option in the long run so would end up considering the possibility of staying in London Tuesday-Thursday (but I am not too sure about that) We thought of Wilmslow as it appeared to be a 20min commute to the schools we had shortlisted, whereas it seems to be complete nightmare in reality. We did have a look at Didsbsury/Chorlton but didn’t fall in love with these areas (my better half didn’t seem too impressed).
Taking into account travel time, quality of life, commuting costs etc it is appearing to be a bit of a mountain to climb (considering I currently live 10mins away from work in Dubai)
My last hope now hinges on convincing my DW to move to Richmond/St Margarets (even if this would mean that we won’t be able to afford independent schools until secondary stage - but we may not even need to do that considering The Tiffins are just round the corner)
I still think you should look at Chester as an option. If you're happy for the DC to attend state schools for primary, then there's not only Christleton primary but also Mickle Trafford, both of which are lovely and do well.
Chester is beautiful as are the outlying villages and then there's Queens or Kings if you want private secondary.
I moved up to Manchester from South London and it was a HUGE culture shock. After 6 years, that shock has worn off and I enjoy living here.
Chester is a really easy commute to London (2h) especially if you live in Hoole which is in your price bracket and the nicest part of Chester IMO. Access to North Wales and the Cheshire countryside would suit and good choice of schools.
I live in the South Manchester suburbs now. Grammar schools here but all the state schools are great. Less easy access to the countryside however and getting to Euston is more of a mission (2h50 ish).
Lymm and getting the train from Warrington is feasible too.
We moved from Richmond to Bowdon nr Altrincham - love it here, but it’s slightly further away from the train line (pre pandemic I went to London once a week or so and would drive to Stockport station, can do that in about 20 min drive and then 2 hrs to London). It ticks the other boxes with excellent schools (although the Grammar system is not for everyone), very close to green space including Dunham Massey, has 2 cricket clubs, 2 tennis clubs. Not sure you would find anything decent for the budget though - how many beds are you wanting?
Heaton Moor or Bramhall nr Stockport might also be good, very close to the station for commuting to London, not a bad drive or bus ride to Withington, and not far from countryside/Peak District.