Moving to Godalming! Schools? Nurseries? Things to do?

(18 Posts)
DanielleGiornandi Tue 30-Jun-15 10:41:31

Hey everyone - so excited, our bid on a property in Godalming has been accepted, and it might all move very quickly. I'm going to need to apply my older son to the state schools. It's within the catchment of essentially all of the godlaming schools, should I put Moss Lane down as my first? I know he will only get what is available at the moment, but just wondering about preferences. Also, need to find a nursery for my little boy (2 1/2). I saw a really cute nursery in Milford (when we were looking at a house there), which I loved. But was hoping to find something a bit closer. Any suggestions? Hoping for a pre-school and not a day nursery (too expensive! and don't work, so not necessary). Lastly, hoping to find all of the activities that my older son does up here down there. Karate? Swimming? Would love to find street dancing classes. Any suggestions? Also for classes and activities for the little one?

Thanks so much and I hope that I meet nice people. Scared about leaving our community here, but excited about starting a new life as well....

DanielleGiornandi Thu 02-Jul-15 22:29:19

I've found some karate lessons and emailed for information. Does anyone have any idea where to go for swimming lessons for a nearly 5 year old and nearly 3 year old??

Missrabbitworkstoohard Fri 03-Jul-15 18:12:10

Hi Danielle,
Godalming is fab! Nursery wise there are a few preschools - Goslings in the town centre and Little Lanes in Farncombe. There are also a few more out in the sticks in Shackleford and Hambledon and some others I cant remember off the top of my head! Many of the other nurseries are more day care orientated, but you can still use your 15 hours free allocation.
Godalming leisure centre is good for swimming lessons - my three year old started a while back and is loving it. At 5 and 3 you may find a slot after school where they can both do a lesson at the same or consecutive times.

If you are a facebook user there are loads of local mums on there. Facebook Groups to hunt out include Godalming mummas, Childrens Activities in Godalming and Godalming Community Board.

Feel free to pm me if you need to know any more x

DanielleGiornandi Mon 06-Jul-15 17:41:35

Thanks so much for the response, Missrabbitworkstoohard!! I will PM you for sure! Starting to pack, and getting excited now!

cominguprosie7 Tue 07-Jul-15 12:49:12

Hello both!
I'm also due to move to Godalming at the end of this month (fingers and toes crossed) and can't wait! I've got a 3 year old and a newborn and a couple of friends locally but really looking forward to exploring and making lots of new friends.
If anyone has any recommendations/advice on the day nurseries in the town centre that would be fab too.
Thanks! X

DanielleGiornandi Wed 08-Jul-15 22:21:06

Hi cominguprosie7,

We're looking at a couple of nurseries - Goslings, Little Lanes, and Orchard in Milford. Already seen Orchard and it seems very nice. Very nice people and great outdoor space. That's when we were thinking of purchasing a house in Milford though, which we were not now. Whereabout will you be?

Good to hear about other newbies coming to the area as well!


FlightofFancy Thu 09-Jul-15 14:20:29

Welcome to Godalming - it's a lovely place to live! I'd second Godalming leisure centre for swimming lessons - it's where most people seem to go. Either Monday after school or Saturday morning are very popular.
I can't help much on pre-schools, as I work full time, but for day nurseries, I can't recommend Major Minors (part of Busy Bees) on Bridge Rd enough. DS went there for four years and I've just signed up DC2 (yet to arrive!) to start this time next year. It's quite big, but a fab place with a lovely team. It does depend where you live though, as there are lots of other nurseries - Losely Fields if you're in Farncombe/Binscombe, Teddies on the High St, Rocking Horse in Catteshall (also very lovely).

cominguprosie7 Thu 09-Jul-15 14:41:50

HI Danielle,

We're going to be in central Godalming - will be visiting all the nurseries once we're all settled in so have just been trying to read up online. Bell House Nursery is on my list...? Don't have any personal childcare recommendations though. I'll prob need a private nursery as I'll be back at work after my mat leave.

SO excited about moving to Godalming! It seems just fab for families and pretty much ticks every box for us. Looking forward to enjoying the rest of the summer in our new home - music in the park is on my list! If you fancy helping me eat/drink/explore do message me and we can meet up! X

cominguprosie7 Thu 09-Jul-15 14:46:46

HI FlightofFancy
I just saw your message. Thanks so much for the big shout out for Major Minors - what a lovely recommendation. I will definitely pay them a visit as soon as we move! I was thinking Bell House and Teddies were quite handy location-wise, as I'll be commuting to London on the train - have you got any thoughts on either of those? Massive thanks! X

DanielleGiornandi Fri 10-Jul-15 20:40:32

Cominguprosie - I've heard very good things about Bell House from friends that live in Godalming! When do you move? We're exchanging ASAP but not moving until the end of August. We'll be up on Frith Hill, looking down on to central Godalming. Let's definitely get together for a drink/eat/explore mission! I'll PM you!

Missrabbitworkstoohard and FlightsofFancy - what have you guys heard about the Charterhouse leisure center? Someone else mentioned it to me that it's nice and has swimming. Would you say you prefer the Godalming Leisure Center? Also, do you have anything to say about the local primary schools? Ones to prefer/to avoid? I know beggars can't be choosers, but thought I should try and at least see which order of preference I should put down.

Godalminggranny Sun 12-Jul-15 19:02:14

I may be able to help as I have lived in Godalming since 1984!Have brought up my children and taught here. Obviously some of my information will be out of date as my DC are in their 20s now but I think I have a feel for the area . Happy to meet for a cuppa or pm me
Charter house is a great Sports club but pool is only really good for older children
I can recommend good swimming teacher if interested

HNotfromSteps Sun 12-Jul-15 19:41:10

Welcome to Godalming - it's a really nice place, with plenty going on for families.

Just to answer one or two of your questions:

Nurseries: all of those mentioned above are good (Major Minors is very much in demand and I've also heard good things about Rocking Horse. I don't know much about Bell House or Teddies, but both are in the centre of town so don't have much in the way of outdoor space, although the park is nearby and I think most of the local nurseries take the kids out there). If you want a pre-school setting rather than a daycare setting, you might also want to consider (if you're happy to drive a short distance) Acorns in Shackleford (only about 1.5 miles away if you're in the Charterhouse area), Blue Willow in Busbridge and the nursery at St Hilary's School - it's a very nice nursery, the location is convenient and you don't need to be intending to send your children to the school - many of the kids there go to other schools in Reception.

Schools: most of the infant schools in Godalming are very nice, so it's very much a personal choice. I've no idea where you'd be offered a place if you apply at this stage, but Moss Lane, Farncombe Infants and Busbridge Infants are all popular choices. If you are in Frith Hill and can drive, then definitely think about Shackleford Infants and Puttenham Infants - both schools in nearby villages with very good OFSTED reports and very accessible from that side of town.

Activities: Godalming Leisure Centre is popular for swimming lessons - it does get pretty hectic at weekends, though, so if you can manage a weekday evening then that might be better. Charterhouse Club is an amazing sports club and well worth the membership if you're looking for a health club (they have a nice little crèche there which is very useful) but the pool is deep and quite chilly, so it's not the ideal place to take small kids, although we do brave it from time to time! I think that swimming lessons there start from 5 years up, so not for pre-schoolers.

Hope that's helpful. Do PM me if you want to know anything more.

Missrabbitworkstoohard Sun 12-Jul-15 21:58:18

I agree re Charterhouse - great for grownups but when I was a member a while back we didnt tend to take the small people swimming there as it was chilly! Godalming Leisure Centre you can PAYG on classes too which I like rather than paying a membership. We do after school swimming classes which works great for us. There are also morning slots too - some mums I know use it as a chance to get a lane swim in for themselves while little one has their lesson!
Re nurseries, Im sure Teddies has lots of happy customers, but it is the only nursery I have heard people not to be so happy with. For daycare, Ladybird is another option and is very close to Farncombe Station if commuting. We use Little Lanes and are very happy there.
Most of the local schools are good - it is such an individual choice. The schools will all do open days in Sept/Oct/Nov so give them all a call in Sept to find out the dates and go to visit - it is the best way to get a feel for the places you like. From Frith Hill you could look at Moss Lane, Farncombe ( although often has a v small catchment), Loseley Fields, Shackleford and Puttenham. It is worth bearing in mind that most children from Shackleford go on to Waverley Abbey which is further out in the Farnham direction.

Also if you are here first week of August, look up Godalming Staycation as there is lots going on there. The local NCT branch is very active and has a Facebook page 'Godalming and Cranleigh District NCT' with all the local info on.

Happy moving smile

DanielleGiornandi Mon 13-Jul-15 20:30:31

Thank you so much, everyone!!! Your help has been invaluable.

We signed our youngest up today for Goslings in Godalming town center. Was really sweet and absolutely loved the staff. Also like that it's right there next to everything, think it will help me settle in. I also sent off the applications for schools. Put him down for Moss Lane, Busbridge, and Farncombe. I've heard great things about Shackleford and was going to put that down, but I like the idea of being closer to town and not having to drive all the time (though, to be honest, we actually would have to drive to Busbridge, unless there a bus....shoot!). Maybe I should call them back and put Shackleford as my fourth choice!!

I'm now going to sign the kids up for swimming at Godalming leisure centre. We found a karate class. Went to see the house again today - so excited!! It's all coming together. So thrilled. Thank you again, everyone!

And I look forward to meeting y'all in person!!


JHH15 Tue 14-Jul-15 10:30:39

Just want to say hello! I'm moving to Fancombe on Friday with DH and 7 week old DS smile SO EXCITED!! V good tips here, thanks for sharing.

JHH15 Tue 14-Jul-15 10:44:56

And Danielle we looked at a house on Frith Hill... Maybe it's the one you bought! grin it was lovely. Good luck with the move!

DanielleGiornandi Tue 14-Jul-15 18:51:13

Oh how funny, JHH15! Was it a 60s house looking over Godalming?

Good luck with your move! Hopefully see you around!

JHH15 Wed 15-Jul-15 16:10:18

Ah no it must have been a different one. Although we did go on to buy a 60's house on the other side of Farncombe!

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