ow to live?!?!?
We're a young family relocating to either Elmbridge (Weybridge or Cobham) OR Ascot/Windsor, OR Marlow. We have 2 children; a four year old and a 8 month old. We aren't familiar with the areas, and have just visited for the weekend to try to get a feel for them.
Our criteria is a village feel, so no where too busy but with a local pub, coffee shop and on a green or somewhere we can walk the dog without having to drive. We would like to be in the catchment area for good state primary schools. I'd also like to be close to activities for the children such as parks, soft play and baby groups etc.
We moved to Bookham, which is a large, friendly village that is close to Cobham, when I was on maternity leave, and we've loved it here too much to move away. My kids are at the Howard now! There are several toddler groups, which are a great way to meet other mums. Regardless of which schools the children went on to, we've kept meeting up over the years, so it seems that most people feel the same way as we do. As well as a thriving high street (with coffee shops), there is great countryside all around the village with loads of things to do within dog walking distance. On one side you have Bookham Common, which is tag-bike friendly, great for walks and has ponds for ducks, and on the other you have the Polesden Lacey estate (National Trust so fab coffee shop) and Ranmore Common beyond. Bocketts childrens' farm (also has a fab coffee shop) and the Leatherhead Leisure Centre have extensive soft-play areas, and a bit further away there is pond-dipping at Nower Wood (education centre on Box Hill) plus open days at the Wildlife centre in Leatherhead, Chessington (zoo, sealife centre and plenty of rides suitable for tinies), the leisure pool at Guildford Spectrum ... There are great schools here as well. Polesden Lacey Infants and the Howard are consistently outstanding, and you have the choice of Eastwick and The Dawnay at juniors. Although both have had "issues" in recent years due to a period with ropey heads, there are now new heads at both schools who are putting things right again. It doesn't take long for a good head to turn things around, so I wouldn't be worried.
Sunninghill is more village like than Ascot in my view. Has a pub, coffee shop, small convenience store, other shops, recreation ground.
St Michaels primary and Charters senior schools are currently good state schools. There are independent schools in the area as well.
No soft play but Bagshot and Bracknell are in driving distance.
There are childminders, nurseries (one does ad-hoc care).
Ascot and Sunningdale train stations are in short drive, or cycle.
Good playground at Sunningdale.
SL5 9AF - try that postcode on Google Maps and have a look around the map and use StreetView to look down the main road (Sunninghill Road).
Best playground a short drive away in Sunningdale
Babysat for a family tonight who went to the Carpenters Arms pub in Sunninghill. It is now a French resturant come pub type place.
If you are after a traditional pub, not sure how many still exist. Many these days focus on food.
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