34, divorced, no kids. Would Rickmansworth/St Albans suit me?(5 Posts)
Following my split from my husband in June I am sadly looking to relocate from London. We spent the last 10 years in a lovely Docklands flat which he is probably going to buy me out of. I'm currently renting in Hampstead village, which is very nice, but way way out of my price range for buying and also a little too... erm, day I say it, bourgeois.
I need to be able to get into London easily for work (I am a contractor, so place of work will change, but ever likely to be pretty central) and I'd like to find somewhere where I can put down roots, make friends, be active (gym/running/tennis) and basically make my home for the next 5/10 years with my two gorgeous cats. I'm orginally from a small village in South Derbyshire and I feel like I want to get back to something which has some kind of community feel, and has green and pretty spaces, decent shops/pubs/other facilities within walking distance, but isn't 100% full of families and totally centred around children since that isn't a factor for me (and likely to make me a bit sad if it's everywhere I look).
The two places I have in mind are Rickmansworth and St Albans. Richmond/Chiswick would be amazing but I just can't afford the 2 bedrooms/small garden/parking space that I would ideally like (not yet certain of the budget I'll have to play with but guessing it'll be around £375k).
For those of you that know the areas do you think they're good for singletons to move to? Would one be better than the other? I'm guessing St Albans would be the most expensive out of the two but could be wrong.
Any advice, or ideas for alternatives, would be most welcome. I'm already sick of paying someone else's mortgage and want to get on with my new life as soon as I can, so really grateful for all input.
St A as a city has a mix of people and plenty to do eg great sports facilities, 4 tennis clubs, great running club. New cinema on the way. But many people move here for schools and great kids life too so you will definitely notice lots families!
Hi - I don't know much about Ricksmansworth, but St. Albans is great. It's a best-of-both-worlds kind of place. Close enough to London to still experience everything it has to offer, but with countryside close-by. Great parks, restaurants, pubs, and bars, and enough retail just to keep you interested! I moved here from Hampstead a few years ago and can't imagine going back. Good luck with everything!
I've lived in St Albans about 20 years - I think they are both good choices, both have lots and lots of nice open spaces for you and good transport links. Both are inevitably going to attract lots of families due to decent schools and general quality of life, but I'd hate to think that St Albans is overrun by families!
Probably important to you as well - St Albans feels very safe (I'm sure Ricky does too, I don't know it quite so well). I run happily on my own mostly offroad and on country routes, and I have never, ever felt unsafe or threatened. Plenty of sports groups for you to join, from running clubs to orienteering to tri-clubs (and I'm sure tennis though I don't play myself).
Wishing you all the best for a new start in life xx
Thanks everyone, that's really good stuff to hear. And thanks also for the kind wishes
I had a trip to SA last weekend and liked it, so I've subscribed to the RightMove alerts for when rental properties in Jan start coming up...
I'm hopefully going to check out Ricky soon too, and also Berkhamsted which seems to be very well thought of.
Berko might be somewhere to think about if and when kids ever happen though - I don't want to be climbing the walls at weekends!
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