What's Charlbury like?

(13 Posts)
threebymistake Sat 25-Jan-14 21:37:21

We moved to the UK from the US (I'm English and my husband is American) about 18 months ago and have been torturously looking for a place to live ever since. Today we looked at houses in Charlbury, including one we liked a lot, with the exception of its price! Is anyone on here from Charlbury? Can you tell us what it's like to live there? We have a four year old who will be starting in Reception in September and six month old twins. In America we lived in a small town in Vermont where the community was very strong; we're hoping to find somewhere in England with a similarly vibrant community.

A few questions:

How do you like the primary school?

It seems that people are very friendly in Charlbury -- is there a strong social life among residents? Are there lots of young families?

What do people do on a typical Saturday? We didn't see many people out and about!

Thanks for any thoughts!

Ninjasling Thu 06-Feb-14 10:57:11

Hello and welcome to the UK again. I have lived within a few miles of Charlbury for the last 6 years, first in Woodstock and then over by Burford. Charlbury seems pretty nice and I think has a fairly strong local feel - certainly it has a distinctive local accent which some of the older locals still have. I'm not actually sure it has many baby/toddler groups as some of the parents there come to my village toddler group on a Friday.

There are some nice walks around Charlbury. I think Chipping Norton is fabulous for families (theatre, a lido, leisure centre, park, lots of useful shops, and the ACE children's centre) and some colleagues who moved there said it is very welcoming to new families, unlike some of the places which are a bit 'born and bred' and not always very welcoming. I don't know much about the schools as my daughter isn't that age yet, but nearbyish Combe Primary has been one of the top ten state primaries (and is accordingly difficult to get into). All the schools in Oxfordshire seem to get decent Ofsted scores, but it depends what you really want in terms of education/pastoral care/extra curricular etc. Certainly the schools in West Oxon aren't very diverse in terms of intake.

Happy to try to answer more questions if it helps!

polster1 Tue 18-Feb-14 21:55:00

I'm also thinking of moving to Charlbury from Oxford and am interested to know what it's like especially in terms of a community feel and baby/toddler groups. Also if anyone has any idea of commuting time by car from charlbury to east oxford leaving between 7.30 and 8.

Ninjasling Tue 18-Feb-14 21:59:14

Polster I can tell you about Charlbury to East Oxford! Journey can be done in 25 minutes on a clear run but at that time of day I'd say anywhere between 1 hour on a good day and two or three on a bad day. I'm 10 minutes from Charlbury and it took me over 90 minutes to get to Headington from 6.30am last week, shudder to think what it was like later. No accidents, just heavy traffic.

Ninjasling Tue 18-Feb-14 22:00:25

Oh but there's a rail station in Charlbury which will get you to the station in Oxford and then a bus to East Oxford but that could be faster smile

polster1 Wed 19-Feb-14 19:45:27

I thought the travel time would be bad but that's really bad! I know about the train/bus option but that train route can be unreliable especially in bad weather and I'm a teacher so wouldn't want to be lugging home piles of books but if we were to move it might be only option. Thanks for your help.

Ninjasling Mon 24-Feb-14 19:24:10

Sorry I didn't have better news. Thankfully I only rarely commuted to Oxford - it's only as you get towards the A34/A40 and ring road that it backs up, generally. But there are lots of bits of dual carriageway into single carriageway which sometimes just fill up and don't move. I would find commuting it regularly very stressful. One morning in the floods last year it took me 90 minutes to do 4 miles and I missed my hospital appointment!

Hettieboo Tue 25-Feb-14 08:58:28

Hi! I lived in Charlbury for 6 years. That was before I was married, so a different life (but I was in my 30's). It is a great place as there is a community, but it is big enough to be a little bit anonymous......pluses are dr, vet, co-op, post office, chemist and a couple of pubs. Train station is definitely a bonus as well, but trains are limited and thats not great for London etc. I did commute for a bit and it was draining. Chipping Norton and the up and coming Witney are your most local towns. think small towns. Oxford or Cheltenham would be your larger towns. you can get train in to oxford in 15 mins which is good as parking in park and ride such a faff!
Its beautiful round there. I'm moving back up to Milton-under-Wychwood (6 miles freom Charlbury) in a couple of weeks....I have an 18 month old and one on the way - We have tried Sevenoaks area and HAslemere area in the last couple of years and didn't like either of them.....

Hettieboo Tue 25-Feb-14 08:59:21

ps I have a cottage coming up for rent in April time - its 2.5 bedrooms and a 10 min walk to station if anyone is looking to rent!

LocalEditorOxford Tue 25-Feb-14 10:27:44

Hettieboo - thanks for your input. Do feel free to add your cottage to our Classifieds section if you want

polster1 Fri 14-Mar-14 21:52:18

Thanks for all the tips and advice. Replying a bit late but just wondering if anyone knows anything about or has used the nurseries in charlbury? Thanks

Ninjasling Mon 17-Mar-14 14:05:17

Hi polster. I drive past the Railway Children Nursery in Charlbury every day but other than that I don't know much about them I'm afraid. Good luck!

Charlburygirl Mon 17-Mar-14 23:10:20

Several friends have children at Little Monkeys and are very happy with it.

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