Chipstead Surrey vs Sevenoaks

(12 Posts)
mum22sa Mon 23-May-16 10:16:18

Hi all,

Need some advice. We are currently searching for a new family home in either Chipstead Surrey or Sevenoaks. We currently live in West Sussex which all in is about 1h30 commute into London door to door and we are looking to reduce this by a fair bit.

We love Sevenoaks and think it will be a great place to bring up our two children (currently 2 and newborn) with a great variety of schools and lovely (but very expensive) properties. The problem is currently there is very little on the market within our price range in the areas we like there. We have been pretty set on Sevenoaks but...

We have been visiting and researching Chipstead, Surrey and found a brilliant property that offers us everything we want however I am struggling to find good schools within the catchment area. It is in Hazelwood Road so out of reach from Chipstead Village Primary and while Banstead Primary is in the catchment area, the Junior school is not. The commute from Coulsdon South is brilliant for both hubby and I.

So my question is, would you choose Sevenoaks or Chipstead? And is there enough to do as a family in Chipstead plus what are your thoughts on schools. And are there good nursery schools/day cares in the area?

Thanks for your help.

twofingersfinal Mon 23-May-16 13:22:49

Hi There

I've lived in Coulsdon and commuted from Coulsdon South (now up the road in Caterham) and agree its a great commute. The are has loads of family activities on offer and is improving socially I'd say. I can't comment on the schools as mine are in independent schools (as we failed to get them into any decent primaries!) but I know Chipstead Valley (which is what I think you must mean) is very popular.

I'd say your only issue here is schools - slightly remote location not that near schools so if state schools are your only option I'd check out catchment areas very carefully as the schools in the area are very oversubscribed. yo can check how far they went out to in teh last admissions round as a guide.

mum22sa Mon 23-May-16 13:40:49

Thanks so much. That is our concern that we may buy and find that we too don't get into the schools we want. While independent schools could be an option I'd prefer to make that choice based on preference rather than need. Out of curiosity would you recommend any independent schools in the area? Appreciate your thoughts smile

twofingersfinal Mon 23-May-16 16:12:36

Oakhyrst Grange School and Caterham Prep are popular. Chipstead Valley has good reputation for the state primaries and Woodcote also seems popular but I'm not sure what there is at the banstead end. You're probablynear enough for the Reigate Independent schools too but not for the state I wouldn't have thought.

State schools are very tight in the area it basically has to come up as 'childs nearest school' for a realistic chance of getting in (probably same in sevenoaks as well no doubt)

You have got the Sutton grammar schools for secondary within reach as well but that is no walk in the park ....

have you been online at Surrey schools and put the postcode in? whatever primary school that is nearest is what you would most probably get so of that's acceptable then you're probably fine. I think smitham and Woodcote might be doable from chipstead? seem to have good reputation too.

mum22sa Mon 23-May-16 16:39:24

Thanks again. Brilliant suggestion - I'll check out Surrey schools. Am new to schooling system in UK smile appreciate your advice

twofingersfinal Mon 23-May-16 16:51:58

you're very welcome smile

The school system here is a minefield and I'm very happy to pass on any info I might have gleaned along the way (eldest about to start secondary school) to hopefully save people some of the pain!

The the area are all very good really, you just have to get into them. I'll try and find the Surrey County Council schools when I get in, you can put the postcode in and see all schools within a radius and also which is your nearest. From there you can contact schools etc and see how far they offered out to this spring for September etc.

The (good) independent schools have waiting lists from 1 or 2 (or before birth!) so if you did go ahead
and buy in the area and wanted to keep that a San option you might want to thibk about buying g the bullet and paying to reserve a place in case.

LIZS Mon 23-May-16 16:58:26

Chipstead is quite an active community ( theatre, rugby club, cricket etc) and an easy drive to Banstead, Coulsdon and Reigate for other activities. Chipstead Valley Primary is expanding, like many others in the area, so its catchment may well go further ( although SCC don't use fixed catchments) but there is a new housing development going up locally too. If you can go private , look at Aberdour and Priory Banstead, both mixed.

mum22sa Mon 23-May-16 17:06:37

Twofingersfinal - that's exactly what I did here. Have my daughter registered for an independent school incase we don't get our choice of state school. It's much more complicated than back home where you simply apply directly to the schools you want to go to. smile

LIZS - thanks for the suggestions about independent schools, will take a look at them. I have been a bit concerned about being in such a small village in terms of activities as we're pretty busy here but guess I drive about the same distances within town here anyway.

Appreciate the advice

twofingersfinal Mon 23-May-16 18:00:05

where are you at the moment?

I'd second what LIZS said, the area looks quite leafy and rural but there's actually loads going on in terms of activities - esp for the children, ballet, karate, gymnastics etc etc etc everything you'd expect from a family oriented suburb really. And you're not much more than half an hour from London, hour from the coast, near the motorways for getting further afield.

mum22sa Mon 23-May-16 20:07:43

We're in Horsham currently (which we love) but needs must and we have to move.

Am definitely feeling more confident in our choice of area after these suggestions. Thank you!

LIZS Mon 23-May-16 20:11:36

Iirc there's no commuter parking at Coulsdon South station but there is a station in Chipstead.

mum22sa Tue 24-May-16 02:18:57

That's a good point to know - will check out the parking situation or alternative ways of I get there. The Chipstead station is about five minutes walk to where we're interested in buying.

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