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Southwater, West Sussex - what's it like?

(28 Posts)
youpeskykids Fri 01-Aug-08 16:12:12

Hi,wonder if you can help?

Me, DH, DS1 (4.5) and DS2 (16months) are considering moving to Southwater (currently live in South East London/Kent borders).

We need to be within a reasonable commuting drive to Gatwick Airport as my new job is based there.

Is it a nightmare journey? How long woudl it take to drive to Gatwick from Southwater?What's Southwater like? Good schools? Is it rural- ish? I've had a look on Upmystreet etc and have got some info which looks quite positive, but I don't know anyone who lives there or who knows of the area.

Please help?! Any comments, good or bad, will help me!

LIZS Fri 01-Aug-08 16:25:42

You'd probably have to allow at least 25 minutes as the road across to Crawley and A23 isn't that great.

captainpig Fri 01-Aug-08 16:27:17

What is a reasonble commuting time to you? Will you be working shifts, thus travelling outside main rush-hour?

Will you be putting DS2 in a nursery and will you need to factor a drop off/pick up time into your commute. Schools in West Sussex are very oversubscribed at the moment, have you checked the the local primary (I think there are 2 in Southwater)has spaces for September?

I once worked with someone who lived in Southwater and she loved it, however she was childless, so can't comment on child facilities. I think the nearest secondary schools (looking very far ahead!) would be in Horsham, of which there are three. One mixed sex, one all boy and one all girl.

Southwater village centre has a few shops and a Somerfield I think. Southwater Country Park is nice, I've been a few times. Horsham nearby is also nice for shopping.

youpeskykids Fri 01-Aug-08 16:40:28

Cheers for all your help.

I need to be at Gatwick for 9.30am, finish at 5.30pm alhtough DH can pick up. I didn't want to be travelling for any longer than 45mins max each way.

I don't expect to be moved until the new year, so am hoping that might get DS1 in then - do you know if there is a Jan entry too? Locally here there are 2 entries, Sept and Jan. I have no idea of how to handle the school move - I've never had to do it before. Obviously my concern is that we choose an area to live, put an offer in on a house only to find out that can't get DS1 into any local schools!!!!

Its so hard to know where to choose to live! I wanted somewhere not too close to a Town Centre, so quite suburban/rural.

captainpig Fri 01-Aug-08 17:11:34

http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/education/information-for-parents/admission-to-school/

this is the website for admissions, with contact numbers on, ring them and ask. There are 2 schools in Southwater, one is a primary and one is just an infants. For entry in Sept 2007 (2008 figures not out yet) there were 37 applications for 30 places at the primary, and 106 applications for 90 places. I don't think you can even apply for a reception place until you have got proof of address ie exchange of contracts, or a rental agreement. You may need to rent first to get school place, then look to buy.

captainpig Mon 04-Aug-08 08:32:26

Just a thought but have you also looked at Handcross, Staplefield, Ardingly, Balcombe. These are small villages with small village schools that you "may" have a chance of getting into.

youpeskykids Wed 06-Aug-08 22:44:35

Hi Captainpig - yes, we have included those places in our search.

Is Billingshurst to far to travel everyday?

captainpig Fri 08-Aug-08 00:38:10

Sorry, never done that journey in rush hour so wouldn't know.

Edge of Haywards Heath, ie Cuckfield or Lindfield are nice, but again I think you would have a real problem getting a school place.

youpeskykids Sat 09-Aug-08 22:23:28

Hey CaptainPig

We saw a lovely property in Broadbridge Heath - ticks all our 'requirements' boxes as well as being within our price range and having a wow factor.

BUT, I don't know what the area is like. The local school, Shelley Primary, looks good.

This would also be perfect commuting time for me for work.

Know the area?

thisisyesterday Sat 09-Aug-08 22:28:36

lol I grew up in handcross and it's a crappy place to live. just thought i'd add my 2 pence worth.
actually, it isn't too bad, my parents still live there, but it was a bad place to grow up in.

wouldn't want to live in broadbridge heath either, but Horsham in general is a lovely place.
Nicer than neighbouring Crawley anyway, that's for sure.

are you looking for rural or more town?

captainpig Sat 09-Aug-08 23:59:09

Sorry, don't know anything about Broadbridge Heath.

Maybe you should come and stay for a few days to get the feel of the places you would consider.

It's quite possible that the places I would think perfect to bring up a young family might not meet your ideals.

I have a 3 year old and personally wouldn't want to live in a very small village (I know you mentioned rural-ish which is why I suggested some villages). I always look long term and would want to live somewhere within walking distances of schools (both primary and secondary) and where my child (when much older) could get out and about on their own with regular public transport. My ideal would be to live on the very edge/outskirts of a town. Best of both worlds then, plenty of green nearby, but also facilities too.

Sorry couldn't give you any info on Broadbridge Heath, maybe someone else will come along that can.

captainpig Sun 10-Aug-08 10:38:38

Why don't you also post on the west sussex netmums website. You may get more local advice there.

Love2bake Sun 10-Aug-08 10:46:07

It would take at least an hour to get from Billingshurst - Gatwick.

Don't much about Broadbridge Heath.

Alborne is another smaller village which would take about 30-40 mins to get to Gatwick.

Love2bake Sun 10-Aug-08 10:48:09

Sorry - meant don't KNOW much

hatrick Sun 10-Aug-08 10:54:52

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Love2bake Sun 10-Aug-08 10:57:37

Hat -I've heard there is a super park in Horsham, is it really that great.

Was thinking of bringing the kids in the holiday (if it stops rainig!!!), Im about 25 mins away.

hatrick Sun 10-Aug-08 11:01:18

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Love2bake Sun 10-Aug-08 11:03:13

Thats ok, I live in Burgess Hill.

Will definately bring the kids up then, maybe if I let them play for a few hours I could do some shopping after grin, as I love the shopping too!!!

WelliesAndPyjamas Sun 10-Aug-08 11:05:37

Agree - Horsham park is fab.

The road to Gatwick Airport from Southwater is very very busy at rush hour. DH used to travel there every day and it was a nightmare.

hatrick Sun 10-Aug-08 11:08:13

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Love2bake Sun 10-Aug-08 11:11:37

Oh I've probably seen you there before, as I seem to be at the triangle ALL THE TIME!!! Swim lessons, soft-play etc.

Yes I wanted to buy in Bolnore when they first started buliding a few years back, glad I didn't now as it's just huge now. Love the area we ended up in smile

youpeskykids Mon 11-Aug-08 14:56:11

Love2bake - where do you live now then?
Thisisyesterday - just out of interest, what is it about Broadbridge Heath you don't like?

Thanks for your help, good idea re West Sussex mumsnet area. Will try that,

Love2bake Mon 11-Aug-08 15:23:10

Im still in Burgess Hill, we ended up moving 5 mins down the road!

youpeskykids Mon 11-Aug-08 16:25:40

Hatrick - whereabouts in Horsham do you live? What are your views on Broadbridge Heath?

I've tried searching for a West Sussex/Horsham local site but I don't think one exists?

hatrick Mon 11-Aug-08 22:31:49

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