moving to herts/beds border

(16 Posts)
thenaturallook Wed 09-Feb-11 23:04:01

HI all,

I've just registered today so I could come on and get some first hand information from people who might actually know what they're talking about.

My family is relocating (due to husbands job) to Herts and we have been considering Stotfold since it has a nice house that we both like.

Problem is, I can't find any information out about the area (online or from anyone I know) and neither can my husband.

I can't decide if that is a good or a bad thing!

Can anybody tell me about the area; schools, facilities, nearby towns, etc...

many thanks

InmyheadIminParis Thu 10-Feb-11 18:25:24

Hi, we're just a little bit further up the A1 from Stotfold. I don't know Stotfold well, but do shop / eat out now and again in Baldock, Letchworth and Hitchin... so if that's any use, do ask!
Good luck with the move, welcome to the 'hood, and I hope someone pops along in a mo to give you some info on Stotfold.

Amieesmum Thu 10-Feb-11 18:40:20

Hi, I lived in Stotfold for a few months. There are a few schools in the area, not sure which are good ones, Last time i checked they go by the bedfordshire systems of lower/middle and upper schools. I don't know much about the Lower schools, But the Middle school eatonburry used to be a fairly good school. Baldock and Hitchin has the best secondary schools with an all boys & all girls school, but both are VERY difficult to get into.
No upper school in the area, is a bus ride away from the kids.

The local Doctors surgery is quite good and the doctors are friendly but the nearest hospitals are Bedford of Lister in stevenage which is frankly terrible. Avoid it like the plague.

It's a fairly quiet area, not a huge amount of facilities.There are a few childrens parks & some nice areas for walking. One of the parks has a small stream where the kids like to paddle in the summer.
Baldock just down the road has a massive tesco & Hitchin has a Sainburys Waitrose & M&S
Letchworth has a large morrisons
I'd say the best town for retail like clothes etc is stevenage which is about a 20 minute drive down the A1

Nearest Station is Arlsey, and semi regular local busses going out to most of the major towns.

Anything else you'd like to know?

thenaturallook Thu 10-Feb-11 19:35:11

thanks for this everyone.
I'm coming from Surrey and so it's quite suburban here and I love it hear so much that I'm desperate to move to the nicest place possible.

Going out to this general area next weekend to take a look.

I'm told repeatedly that hitchin is lovely and I've been looking for properties but have found none that suit us.

Are Baldock/Hitchin/Letchworth all quite family friendly then?

I just keep having this image of stotfold being one street with a corner shop and not much to do - I don't know why, but it doesn't sound as if I'm too far wrong.

Amieesmum Thu 10-Feb-11 21:22:59

Hitchin? A nice Area? You've got to be kidding! It was about 15 years ago, but has gone dramatically down hill unless you're in the right street, in the right area. (which are few and far between)

Don't get me wrong it's not really awful, but no where near as nice as it used to be, and house prices now reflect that.

Letchworth is mainly pretty cruddy, although has some very very nice area's I'll see if i can find the postcodes of the nice bits.

Stotfold is up and coming, it's never been a bad area, and has alot of new build going on.

Baldock is lovely but you'll be hard pressed finding places to live there, and not a huge amount of family friendly fun.

Stotfold is alot more than one street & a corner shop, it's about 30 streets and a corner shop! although rapidly expanding. Seems to be more houses every time i drive past it!There are a few parks too. It doesn't have much along the line of amenities. The co-op is pretty big though. Don't get me wrong it's a lovely place to live.

That said, Letchworth has an outdoor & indoor swimming pool, which are both pretty good, as does Hitchin. Letchworth also has a cinema, but it's a bit run down.
If i'm honest again best place for family activities is Stevenage, which is about 20 mins away by car, they have a large kids indoor play center, with lazer tag, cinema, bowling ally, plenty of parks & fairlands lakes which have paddling pools, sailing & a cafe. There's also loads of restaurants. (don't be put off by Stevenage's reputation it's got miles better in the last 10 years (again house prices reflect this)

thenaturallook Fri 11-Feb-11 07:28:16

Really Aimee? People bang on about how lovely it is and (although despite being a little new age and hippiesh; also something I'm told) that it is a really pleasant place to live.
Which parts of it are nice then? Not much from the sounds of it.

I too said to my husband after doing a little research that it seemed as though Stotfol was up and coming and I'm glad to hear that it's pleasant enough. Also glad it's not just one street with a butchers (league of gentleman anyone?!) smile

I had heard that Letchworth had lots going on and this is obviously quite close by which is good.

I'm a little confused about your reference to house prices though. You're saying Hitchin prices used to be higher and now they've come down and that Stevenage's prices are now higher because it is nicer place? I'm guessing then Hitchin used to be seriously overpriced and Stevenage seriously cheap because Hitchin for the most part still seems to cost more than Stevenage when I've looked.

Some right bargains in Stevenage so it seems to me.

Is this right?

thanks for all this by the way, very useful

Amieesmum Fri 11-Feb-11 12:03:02

Ok, i may have belittled Hitchin a little too much thinking about it, there are quite a few areas of Hitchen that are nice. The town center quite pretty if i'm honest, although there aren't a huge amount of retail shops, it's mainly coffee shops which are quite nice, and it certainly has a lot of history too it. It does also have some of the better schools but usually very over subscribed. And has some incredibly poor schools. Areas to avoid are Westmill and parts of Sunnyside. Which are all very council estate. On the plus side the outskirts of Hitchin are really quite pleasant. It's just the estates that are problematic, i'm sure you'll see what i mean when you go take a look anyway. I'm more used to venturing into the rougher areas if i'm honest as dd's father plays for a football team which tends to find the run down bits to play in somehow.

We lived in a road called Heron way in Stotfold and it was lovely i must say, reasonably new build large houses, surrounded by fields back then. The neighborer's were all really friendly and we never had any problems there at all. I used to volunteer in the local St Johns ambulance, which was something to get me out the house i guess. They also had a great dentist in stotfold it's self (which is like gold dust these days apparently) I don't know if they are still their.

Hitchin used to be over priced but the properties haven't risen too much in value over the years although still more expensive than Stevenage. Stevenage used to be incredibly cheap (my mum bought a 3 bed house on the outskirts of stevenage in 2003 for £84k & sold last year for just over £200k. So the prices rose quite dramatically, i'm guessing they're probably more standstill at the moment though.

The nicer areas in stevenage are Great Ashby which is very up and coming, they are building new bits onto it all the time, with great facilities nurseries it's own school, play groups, shops and doctors. Poplars (which is where my mums house was) is also nice enough. Mostly all areas on the outskirts again if i'm honest.

Letchworth also has standalone farm, which is on the Stotfold road i think, and a brilliant place for a day out. It's quite reasonably priced and especially fun during lambing. Theres a cafe & farm shop too.

InmyheadIminParis Fri 11-Feb-11 17:36:34

Amieesmum - it might be a little while since you've been to Hitchin? I think it's by far nicer than Baldock. Letchworth's definitely up and coming (and fantastic if you're into Arts and Crafts architecture) - there's been a huge investment recently in the town centre and its starting to show. The cinema's had a make-over too.

I'm not sure I've ever really 'found' Stotfold, all I really know about it is the huge new housing development (it's all Dickens Ways and Bronte Roads).

We live a little bit further north, and use Cambridge as our main shopping town - 35 mins drive. It's also just 35mins by train from our town to Kings Cross - super quick.

Quenelle Thu 24-Feb-11 15:51:59

Hi the naturallook. If you're still there I'd like to add my support for Hitchin.

I was born in Hitchin and grew up in a nearby village. I recently moved near Bedford and am desperate to go back to Hitchin. It's a very friendly town with some nice areas to live in. Admittedly the town centre could do with a few more shops but many town centres are suffering at the moment. Many of the villages surrounding it are very nice too. Some of them are close enough to Hitchin to be considered suburbs if that's what you prefer.

Are you moving to the new Fairfield development near Stotfold? It does have very nice new houses.

ilovebooks1470 Sat 04-Aug-12 01:31:43

Ditto Hitchin <3

1mummylove Tue 07-Aug-12 12:31:43

Gosh Stevenage really? It does have lots of facilities but is very easy to drive to from the nicer locations of Hitchin and Baldock. Letchworth is a lovely town with fab properties but the schools don't have such good reputations. Coming from leafy Surrey I think Stevenage would be a terrible shock. Hitchin or Baldock would be a much easier transition. Good luck and bw Sarah

OwlLady Tue 07-Aug-12 12:40:35

I love Hitchin and I am quite tickled that it's gone downhill grin downhill from that very steep park?

I don't live there mind, can't afford to grin

I am going to be no help on this thread whasoever as I have a friend who lives in Baldock, loves it there and that's all i know! i have been stevenage a few times to the leisure park and have been in their tesco where everyone was rather unfriendly. Does that help? wink

regnamechange Wed 29-Aug-12 15:13:55

I'm stopsley in Luton which I love. To stay in herts I would look at hitchin. Where's DH work based? Are you fixed to that side of herts? How about Welwyn garden city?

Motherhubbard1 Mon 10-Sep-12 17:36:44

Hi, We have lived in Clifton (a little way from Stotfold) for the past 18 years. We moved here with my husband's work. He travels into London from Arlesey (5 mins drive). My children are now grown up and at Uni but when we moved here they were only 2 and 3 years old. The village has a great pre-school group and a well regarded lower school right in the village. Middle School is 2 miles away in Henlow and there is an upper school also in the village. My kids went to great independent schools in Bedford and got the school bus so I have never done 'the school run'. The village has loads going on and good rail and road links. There are pubs, restaurant and village shop. I can definitely recommend the area for great family life.

arleseeya Sun 10-Mar-13 09:51:46

I live next door in Arlesey and thought I would tell you how we find it. There is a fairly good cycle network inn the area and lots of nice countrysde walks. If you drive 10 minutes in either direction you can get to a nice wooded area in Chicksands where you can spend a couple of hours with th kids. The other way is Ashwell where you can spend hours at the springs inthe summer with younger kids( 3 - 10) picknic etc.
As for going to the cimema in Stevenage instead of letchworth.... NO. Letcwort is an independently owned, art deco cinema with an interest in films. Stevenage is a sticky floored cineworld the same as all the others. There is a kids club at Letchworth cina on Saturday morning .Each adult must be accompanied by s child, £1 each.
Eatonbury Middle school had a bad reputation a few years ago but got a new head 2 or 3 years ago and he is really insperational and has started to transform it. The local upper school is Samuel Whitbread if you want to look it up.,
Tjere is soft play of various sizes in Hitchin, Biggleswade, Bedford amd Stevenage.
Stevenage is a bog standard high street, if you want to hit the sales or go christmas shopping Milton Keynes is your only local option(45min.- 1hour), or Cambridge at a push.
If you do move here welcome to the area!

Also Stotfold is where Victoria Pendelton is from so it has its own gold post box!

deploymentbeckons Wed 04-Sep-13 00:12:14

Am about to purchase a home on one of the sunnyside estate roads, can anyone provide an insight to the area and residents?

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