Moving to Woking advice please

(59 Posts)
nzmummyinblighty Thu 30-Jul-09 10:44:36

Hi all
We have decided to move from Redhill to Woking. Reason for move is better rail connections for my husband into London and closer to friends.
We are looking to rent a property no more than 1 mile from the Woking station. This is so my husband can walk to and from the train (hope to get rid of second car) and I can walk into town to look around the shops. We visited Woking for the first time on Sunday to have a look at the town centre. It is very much like Redhill - shops ok, pedestrian friendly for children to walk around. Have read other forums (some a few years old) and they make to town centre sound a bit miserable. Is it really like this? We will make a couple more visits (during the week), to get a petty feel for the place, before we move.

I have 2 DD (2yrs 10mths and 15mths) and baby #3 due December 31st. I would need to find a pre-school for eldest DD - can anyone recommend any? Extremely pleased with the one she is in at present (Kiwi's Meadvale), so feeling a bit sad she will need to leave. Also want to take younger DD to toddler group - recommendations?
Also what other sorts of activities are there to do with youngsters.

hippipotamiHasLost53lbs Thu 30-Jul-09 11:02:36

Hello smile
I did not want this to go un-answered. I live outside of Woking (in Knaphill) so Woking is my nearest town.
The town centre is a little bit 1960's concrete jungle but has massively improved in recent years. Coffee shops with tables outside have sprung up, and the lightbox artcentre by the canal is FAB!
I find people in Woking friendly and have never had a problem.

I can't really help with regards to nursery / preschool. My life revolved around Knaphill which has an excellent preschool, nursery, infant school and junior school.

There are lots and lots of toddlergroups locally, both NCT and non NCT. Pop into the library in Woking town square and pick up a leaflet / book called 'Around about Woking'. It lists all local children's activities, clubs, pre-schools, schools and things to do. It was my bible when I first had ds (10 years ago, but I believe they do a new updated book every year) If you are going to live in Woking itself then the library will also be the place to go for children's story time etc.

The leisure centre and pool in the park complex also has lots for littlies. Can't give exact details as my two are now 10 and 6 so I have not done toddler activities for quite a few years smile

Also, have a think about schools. If you are going to go down the private route then there are some great schools in Woking. (St Andrews and Greenfields for starters, or Halstead if you are thinking girls-school)
On the state-school front Woking town centre is lacking somewhat. The best school in teh area would be Goldsworth Primary School but it is very very popular, always oversubscribed and has a tiny catchment area.
On the state school front howerver, both Knaphill and Horsell have outstanding schools. (There are other good schools in other villages surrounding Woking too, but these are the two I know most about due to where I live)

Good luck smile

nzmummyinblighty Thu 30-Jul-09 12:59:48

Wow thanks so much for the info.
Thought i better add i'm a full-time mum so am really hoping to make some friends in the area

AnnieLobeseder Thu 30-Jul-09 13:10:24

If you're not desperate to live in the centre of town, you might want to try Knaphill or Brookwood, since then your DH can walk to Brookwood station (only one stop further out then Woking), and it's so much nicer! I'm just not a town person, and can't imagine living in central Woking! It's OK for a town I guess, but always seems full of teenage mums and not much else when I'm there!

There are lots of Toddler groups and the likes in the area. Just get hold of the local Grapevine and you'll be spoilt for choie!

Good luck with the move.

hippipotamiHasLost53lbs Thu 30-Jul-09 14:39:20

Yes, Knaphill or Brookwood a good idea (and you can come for coffee at mine grin)
Brookwood primary school has a nursery/preschool attached. It is a good enough school from what I know. And there is a good (but huge) toddlergroup in the village hall every Monday morning.
Knaphill is a much bigger village than Brookwood, has a highstreet with shops for starters smile
Knaphill has two pre-schools, at least 2 toddler groups that I know of and an Ofsted outstanding infant school which is linked to a very good junior school. (my dc are at those schools and thriving smile

hippipotamiHasLost53lbs Thu 30-Jul-09 14:39:52

Extends coffee invitation to Annie too smile

AnnieLobeseder Thu 30-Jul-09 14:49:50

Would love to meet up Hippo - I live in Bisley.

And when you're here, we can show you around town, nzmummy.

AnnieLobeseder Thu 30-Jul-09 14:50:12

Sorry, hippi.... blush

hippipotamiHasLost53lbs Thu 30-Jul-09 14:54:05

hippi, hippo - 'tis fine smile
Great idea about showing nz round town too!

hf128219 Thu 30-Jul-09 15:14:31

I live in Woking Town Centre - 12 minute walk to station for the 23 minute commute to London! DD goes to nursery and loves it.

I give Woking a big thumbs up. The town centre is functional but there are all the shops you need on a day to day basis. The Big Apple has a soft play - as does the Leisure Centre in the Park. The park is fab and full of families at the weekend. Great swimming pool etc.

Lovely walks in the area too - along the canal etc. Good for cycling too.

If you want posh shops Guidlford is only 7 mins away on the train.

nzmummyinblighty Thu 30-Jul-09 17:49:23

thanks ladies
the idea behind living in Woking centre is for me to be able to find something t do with my time. At present we live over 2 miles from town so no chance for me to just stroll into town to look around the shops (not that i ever buy anything for myself). We used to live 20 minutes walk from Putney high-street and i used t walk down there 3-4 days a week with eldest DD (moved to redhill because youngest was going to arrive). I would really prefer to walk to things rather than having to take the car all the time, which i have to do now. There are no shops near me, just a service station and off-licence in walking distance. Will have to check out the difference for my husbands commute from the other stations (I'm sure a few minutes extra wouldn't be too bad for him). I would prefer to live in a village setting

nzmummyinblighty Thu 30-Jul-09 17:53:55

wow just checked national rail for trains from brookwood - they only stop at Woking!!!!! only adding about 2 minutes to journey time. Will have to chat to husband

hippipotamiHasLost53lbs Thu 30-Jul-09 18:12:59

You may find Brookwood a bit too rural if you want to walk to shops - although some people I know find everythign they need within walking distance in Knaphill (including a very nice Italian coffee bar smile
Must do a Woking meet - hf are you in too?

hf128219 Thu 30-Jul-09 18:21:39

I work F/T but up for a meet!

hippipotamiHasLost53lbs Thu 30-Jul-09 18:27:32

Am sure we could work around that smile

AnnieLobeseder Thu 30-Jul-09 23:18:11

Yay, a Woking meet-up! We could do a Sat am to fit hf in.....

AnnieLobeseder Thu 30-Jul-09 23:21:48

nz - like Hippi said, Brookwood is very sleepy if you want to walk around shops. You must be a more 'towny' person than me! Personally I get into Woking town centre once every couple of months tops - less if I can help it! I'd rather take the DDs and the dogs for a lovely long walk in the countryside and look at horses. Though I do actually go to the leisure centre a couple of times a week.

Though if you like the countryside too, there's plenty of it around Woking, even walkable from the city centre.

hippipotamiHasLost53lbs Fri 31-Jul-09 10:41:46

Hi Annie smile I go to the leisure centre a few times a week too [wonder if we have passed eachother emoticon]
And I sometimes take a lovely walk in Bisley to take a look at the horses behind my friend's house smile

I go to Woking every month or so - but when the children were smaller I would go more often (to fill the time blush)

My newfound favourite activity is to cycle into Woking along the canal. It takes me around 45minutes. I go with a friend and we treat ourselves to a coffee at a cafe somewhere (want to try the one at the lightbox next)

hf128219 Fri 31-Jul-09 11:41:49

I am in the playground and feeding the ducks in the park every Sat and Sun!

AnnieLobeseder Fri 31-Jul-09 12:44:17

Hippi - I'm at the gym Mon and Fri mornings, and do a class Tue evening. Are your LOs ever in the creche? I'll definitly have seen you if they are. Of course now it's hols my morning workouts are slightly screwed. I cycle in too, but along the road rather than the canal cos my racing bike wouldn't like the stones! Even when I'm on my hybrid with DD2 on the back I still take the road cos I like to ride fast! grin

We should do a playground meetup some weekend soon.

hf128219 Fri 31-Jul-09 12:50:11

How old are everyone's dc's? My dd is 18 months.

AnnieLobeseder Fri 31-Jul-09 13:11:47

DD1 is 4 at the end of the month, DD2 is 17mo, so should get on well with your DD!

hf128219 Fri 31-Jul-09 13:28:52

Oh that's nice!

misscreosote Fri 31-Jul-09 13:49:58

Hi nzmummy - just want to put in a vote for the Horsell area of Woking, which you might want to have a look at as well? We moved here a couple of years ago, and really love having a young family here (DD1 is 23 months and DD2 is 8 weeks). Its got a villagey feel (much greener than Woking centre) but with everything you need close by. My DH can walk to Woking station in 15 mins, or cycles in 5 mins, and its a bit more kid friendly than the centre of Woking. It has all the necessary local shops, a really great pub (Red Lion), and other pubs, a couple of good restaurants and a nice park, plus lots of toddler groups/pre schools, and good primary and middle schools.

<disclaimer, am not an estate agent trying to flog houses in Horsell grin>

<<waves at all other Woking localites, not realising it was such a popular area!>>

hippipotamiHasLost53lbs Fri 31-Jul-09 13:50:24

Mine are older - I have a nearly 10 year old boy and a 6 year old girl.

I have a Dutch road bike but it deals with the gravel path along the canal quite nicely (and I go quite slowly!)

I go to the pool to swim. Am not brave enough to go to the gym yet. Have lost nearly 4 stone but need to lose at least that amount again to become an anywhere near acceptable size.

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