From Oz to ???(13 Posts)
Hi there, we are hoping to move back to the UK after 10 years in Australia. My parents live in Sussex and hubby will need to work in London so we are looking to locate ourselves somewhere rural or semi-rural in Sussex or Hampshire with good transport links to London. Our children will be 6, 4 and 2. We are looking to locate close to or in a village with a family friendly and lively vibe so that we can feel part of a community. Any advice on where to head to or where to avoid would be much appreciated. TIA.
Hi, I'm in Hartley Wintney in Hampshire. It's a lovely village with lots going on and loads of families. Nearest train station Winchfield (About a mile away) is just under an hour from Waterloo. Lots of pretty villages in this area although none I can think of as real 'family' places as they are mostly small and more rural. Southern trains have had some real problems so that may affect you in some of Sussex? (Not sure if it would or not!) but the South West trains line has generally been fine. Further afield and more rural, there are some stunning villages in the New Forest but that may be a little far for the London commute...
Good luck in your search. I know how hard it can be when you are so far away and need to narrow your search!
Lots of nice villages around Winchester - commute is just over an hour to London. Micheldever and Shawford have their own stations. We're in Kings Worthy, just outside Winchester - quite a big village but very friendly and family orientated, with lots going on and a lovely primary school. The secondary schools in town are also excellent (as are the restaurants etc)! House prices are steep though, and the commute could be a drag, depending whereabouts in London your husband's office is... does he know where he'll be working? Might be best to work out which major station is nearest his office and see where the trains run to from there, if that makes sense!
Thank you HDub and Toptack, I hadn't heard of Hartley Witney but will look into it. Somewhere around Winchester would be amazing and I have been pressing for that but hubby thinks it might be a bit far. Likely he will need to get to docklands so would need to get into Waterloo or London bridge. Best place for us would probably be Kent but that seems so far from family and friends and so difficult to get anywhere from (except London). Its interesting that Winchester is only an hour and then other than Guildford everywhere in that stretch around Farnham, Godalming etc seems to also be an hour despite being so much closer to London.
Hi HDub, I've just been looking at a map and wondered whether you could describe what fleet, hook and camberley are like too. Would they be worth looking at? We are coming back for a visit and I need to plan a route of the places to look at. I don't know your area at all. Thanks so much
Saw this and came on to suggest Fleet - I love here! It's a lovely town, very near to Hartley Wintney. Town centre's nothing special to look at, it looks like it was dropped into existence in the 70s, but there is a library, brand new leisure centre, all schools in area are good or outstanding, and it's a great little town with a good community vibe. Plenty of fb groups for the area.
Shopping (ie a big shopping expedition) really has to be done in Camberley, Basingstoke or Reading. Fleet has a small shopping centre but not that many great shops.
There are tonnes of playgrounds and one behind the library has a cool little skate ramp that attracts a lot of kids on boards and scooters.
Housing is quite expensive but we found a perfect place in our budget. I think you'd find a number of properties in many ranges as Fleet and Church Crookham are kind of lumped together and there are slightly more affordable hours in CC.
DH works in Canary Wharf. Fast train takes 45 mins to Waterloo and 15 mins on to CW.
Luckily we're close to the station so he cycles in. Parking is dire. There are seats available in, but DH has found if he gets to work for 8 or 10 there are always more seats than if he's on a peak train (to work for 9), as expected.
I am a copper on a career break and I used to cover Camberley so I only know about the bad side of it. Basically, I wouldn't move there. Great shops and few restaurants but there are a few very dodgy estates and the local school isn't fab.
Also there are often large fights at night between trainee officers from Sandhurst and the local lads.
Don't know anything about Hook I'm afraid. Don't go to Aldershot. Frimley is quite nice I've heard.
Having moved to Fleet I am very happy here, crime wise and town wise. Lovely place.
Should add, Fleet is right next to M3 so good for
traipsing around the country visiting rellies.
Hi Charmag, I agree with hotfuzzra's comments about Fleet - it's definitely a town rather than a village but has some lovely residential roads and great amenities. I'll be using the fancy new leisure centre when it opens on 1st April. The library is also closed for a refurb. The town centre is pretty ugly but gets buzzy on weekend evenings with some decent restaurants and bars.
Camberley is over the border into Surrey so if you'd consider that area you could look at villages around Woking. The train link from there to Waterloo is fast (maybe 25 mins?) and Chobham is a lovely area that I know of.
Hook has a great reputation but to me it just seems like a crossroads very convenient for the train station and M3. Little shopping area is ugly but there is a lot going on for families and I have friends there who like it a lot. It's a little cheaper than Hartley Wintney.
Other places to consider - Odiham (lovely high street and river walks, decent sized place but no train station), Rotherwick (pretty, rural), Dogmersfield (pretty, gorgeous houses), Greywell (chocolate box pretty! Rural). All the above within close driving distance of the train. No problems with parking at Winchfield station.
What are you looking for and what's the budget?
Jumping onto this threat as there are mentions of Winchfield here that are interesting. I really like the look of Hartley Wintley but can see that the nearest station is Winchfield. Is there anything at Winchfield - i.e. shops etc? There are affordable houses at St Mary's Place can anybody tell me what that is like is it a huge housing estate or more modest? Damson Drive houses are also currently for sale.
There is almost nothing at all in Winchfield friendly it's almsot only the train station.
I second Winchester area. Take a look at Stockbridge, Kings Worthy, Preston Candover, Alresford, also Odiham, Farnham and Alton. I would avoid Farnborough, Hook, Basingstoke and Fleet.
Winchester is lovely, but if you want somewhere cheaper, there are some lovely villages on the outskirts of Basingstoke. Basingstoke is 45 minutes by train to Waterloo, and the lovely villages are Oakley, Bramley (but be careful not to be too near the MOD camp) and Sherborne St John.
Nether wallop, over wallop, Stockbridge, Houghton, broughton using grately train station
Brought on primary school is great but if you chose private schools salisbury cathedral school is wonderful
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