Moving London - Oxford, advice needed please!

(11 Posts)
Lolly747 Sun 20-Jan-13 09:53:31

Hi, I realise there are a few threads like this already but in need of advice!

I have just been offered a job in Headington, so we're looking to move from London to Oxfordshire! I do not know the area at all, apart from some initial Internet research & driving round the ring road!

I have a 3 year old son, who would be set to start school in 2014, so good schooling is a big incentive for location! My OH will also be commuting to London periodically on his motorbike, so need to be in close proximity of A40 etc
We are selling our small 3 bed house here & keen to get a larger 3 bed or 4 bed, so would welcome advice on areas which are good for families, schools, house prices etc!
I have been told Headington is nice but has a high student population! I would love to live in Summertown but this may be over budget! Thame would be great location, but also considering Bicester as it looks like house prices are lower!
I was also told Bicester may be more preferable to Abingdon! Any thoughts?
I've been warned away from places like Barton, Sandhills etc, but any other insider tips on places to avoid or consider would be great!

I would also really like to live somewhere that has good preschool groups, soft play, parks or family friendly gym etc Might be a big ask to get everything & appreciate some compromise will be needed! I drive so would be happy to travel for these!

Many Thanks!

akebia Mon 21-Jan-13 16:53:54

Hi Lolly,
Headington would provide many of the things you're looking for - great parks, groups and activities - either within Headington or a short drive. You can also pick up the Oxford tube and x90 into London easily. Whilst there are lots of students in certain areas, there are also lots of families. If you want to be in the hub then there are 30's estates off Windmill Road and round the back of BUry Knowle Park. You could also look at Old Headington and the side-streets off the London Road. There are plenty of good schools, but it's worth checking the catchment areas as this might your choice of location within each area. Schools are over-subscribed so it's hard to get into schools from out of catchment.
Headington is much cheaper than Summertown, but more expensive than some of the towns you mentioned out of Oxford.
Marston is a more affordable place if you want to be near Summertown (but still quite pricey!).
My neighbour moved to Thame with a young family and loves it. She got much more house for her money, lives 5 minutes walk from the town centre and there's plenty to do.
It may also be worth looking at villages near to Oxford e.g. Wheatley and Islip (not sure how the prices compare or how much there is to do).
I think Abingdon is worth looking at. I hear lots of positives from people living there and you can get so much more house for your money.
Good luck and please shout if you have any more questions.

Lolly747 Mon 21-Jan-13 23:19:38

Thanks Rachel,
There's certainly a lot of places to consider & I guess it all depends what's on the market when we're looking, hopefully we can start to narrow it down! We are hoping to come to Oxford for a few days, so will get a feel for the places & distances etc i will take a look at Marston, Wheatley & Islip, as I've not looked into these places, so thanks!
Does anyone know what the rush hour commutes from Abingdon / Bicester to Headington are like??
I've been looking at Bicester & maybe a bit premature (since my son is only 3) but get the feeling The Cooper secondary school catchment would be the better one to be in looking at Ofsted, is this the case??

Notnearlyoldenough Tue 05-Feb-13 21:09:52

Not sure why you were advised to avoid Abingdon but I think it has all your requirements. My children are older but there was always lots to do locally when they were small.
Traffic anywhere around Oxford is bad I'm afraid. I think the Abingdon commute may be better than Bicester but others may disagree. You don't say where you will be working but if it is at any of the hospitals you might want to look at the parking policy as well, it is very restrictive and having a small child does not automatically get you a permit anymore.

Zimbolino Wed 06-Feb-13 22:38:43

Much of headington is not as student as all that. If you avoid the area around Brookes and focus more on the area around the Headington shops, you'll be fine. Tis very family friendly, actually. I don't know why someone said avoid Sandhills? Yes, it's next to Barton but I have friends there with no problems. Also look at Risinghurst.

Big fat NO to commuting from Bicester - I find this drive annoying when it's not rush hour. Abingdon might be ok but still trafficky.

patrickroy Thu 07-Feb-13 09:27:45

Not sure why you've been told Bicester over Abingdon - Abingdon is 100x better as far as I'm concerned. Bicester will be 1hr+ on a good day in rush hour to Headington (I have friends who do this commute to the hospital) in the morning, Abingdon (I do this commute) 20-25mins. Abingdon is also cycle distance - 30-40mins bike. Abingdon has excellent primary schools, great walks / parks, children's groups etc. We moved from East Ox and looked at lots of areas (my other half has previously lived in Bicester) and so know lots of areas around Oxford quite well.
Out of rush hour, it's 10mins from our house in Abingdon to Ox city centre (drive) which is quicker than it was when we lived inside the ring road (east ox).

Lolly747 Thu 14-Feb-13 23:51:51

Thanks for all your responses, our house search continues this weekend!
So far Bicester is proving to be our best choice for house sizes & access to M40, but I did think the commute could be a problem due to roads etc!!

LauraMusic Tue 19-Mar-13 09:42:47

I'm in Risinghurst (just off Headington Roundabout) and it's less than 10 mins walk to the OxTube from here. You can grab a bargain house-wise and London is less than an hour away! Avoid Bicester at all costs.

CrowmarshGibbon Thu 28-Mar-13 18:15:45

I'm further South than Abingdon, down near Wallingford. It's an amazing place to have a family, all the schools are good or outstanding, there are lots of playgroups and a great community feel. The commute to London is pretty easy as we're near the M4 and M40, but obviously slightly further away from Oxford. It's well worth looking around at the smaller towns and villages in Oxfordshire - one of the benefits of living in a more compact county!

OxfordToLondoner Tue 16-Apr-13 21:57:12

Hi. You've probably moved by now, but as a regular London commuter (hence the name) i thought i'd reply.

I live in Kidlington (the old bit). It's got easy access to the M40 (via A34, going against rush hour traffic), great bus links into Oxford, good primary schools (secondary a no no in my opinion) and is far more affordable than being in Oxford. There's quite a lot of post war not very attractive housing, but also a lot of lovely cotswold stone houses in the old bit (CHurch Street, Mill Street, The Moors area). Ring road to Headington is busy in rush hour though...but all traffic in Oxford is crap!

Another thought...Wheatley?

honestmum Tue 08-Nov-16 22:56:18

hi - just wondering if you did move to Oxfordshire and whereabouts - we are considering this now and would appreciate any advice? Thanks

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