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So where *is* the best place to bring up children?

(199 Posts)
BananaSkin Sun 06-Jul-08 18:45:19

Following on from the thread on Parenting about bringing up children in London, where do you think would be a good place to bring them up? Is there anywhere that is safer, interesting, has cultural richness, good schools etc?

MissingMyHeels Sun 06-Jul-08 18:48:42

I think Surrey is a good compromise (I am possibly biased), close to London so you have all the cultural stuff but with a low crime rate and very good schools on the whole.

Downside is it's pretty expensive!

MissingMyHeels Sun 06-Jul-08 18:49:20

In fact, I say Surrey but I think pretty much any of the home counties are a good place to bring up children for the above reasons.

butwhybutwhy Sun 06-Jul-08 18:49:36


deanychip Sun 06-Jul-08 18:51:24

i live just outside Blackpool.
tis absolutely gorgeous, quiet, rural yet 10 mins from busy town. Manchester 1.5 hours away lake district 1 hour away.
house prices low, crime low, schools good,
we love it.
looking out of the bedroom window we see sheep in the fields around us. bliss

deanychip Sun 06-Jul-08 18:51:56

ah yes Yorkshore is another fab place, we love it there as well.

Elibean Sun 06-Jul-08 19:18:45

We live in SW London, thought about moving to Surrey but I felt sort of claustrophobic there, personally...just doesn't fit for me. My BF is happy there, just not me.

Have wondered about Oxford (my childhood home), and Bristol (my early adulthood home). Any views??

Though I'm very happy here for now, tbh smile

Rachmumoftwo Sun 06-Jul-08 19:21:45

I love bringing mine up in Somerset. We are a stones throw from Bristol, 2 hours by train to London, have Devon and Cornwall on our doorstep and can be in Wales in less than an hour. The local school is good, and compared to the home counties, houses are affordable.

ScottishMummy Sun 06-Jul-08 19:29:02

good is where you feel safe and settled.we all have different opinions/ person's idyll is another person's dump

Piccalilli2 Sun 06-Jul-08 19:35:23

Yorkshire, definitely. I'm in SW Sheffield, all the benefits of a reasonable size city but still friendly and the Peak District is on our doorstep.

staranise Sun 06-Jul-08 19:38:37

agree with PP, it would be impossible for everyone to agree. For me a smallish town by the sea would be perfect ie, has all the facilities of shops, schools, community etc but lots of open space as well. Worst place for me is anywhere you have to drive lots.
We used to live in Barcelona which was perfect for me but once we had children the constant flying to and from the UK was unbearable. Without kids, I'd move back there tomorrow.

Squirdle Sun 06-Jul-08 20:34:02

We are in Winchester. I think it's a great place to bring up children. All 3 of the local secondary schools are excellent (one of the reasons we chose to move here from London 3 yrs ago when DS1 started secondary) We are in a village just outside, but it is not too far for DS to cycle into town. If we'd satyed in London he wouldn't have had as much freedom, I'd have been too worried.

silvermum Sun 06-Jul-08 21:27:08

we're seriously wondering about France hmm. feels much less crowded that the south east of England; better weather (in the south), good state schools, great healthcare, lovely food, WAAY cheaper than London...only problem is earning a good living!

IAteRosemaryConleyForBreakfast Sun 06-Jul-08 21:28:56

We're in rural Highland Scotland in a small town. We've got good schools, real community spirit, local shops, moderate transport, and low crime rates. However, we're miles from DP's family and to get anywhere that's somewhere is at least an hour's drive. For kids it's great though.

bungalowbelle Sun 06-Jul-08 21:30:03

The new forest if you need to be able to get to London easily now and again.

Otherwise, Dorset.

misdee Sun 06-Jul-08 21:30:44

we are in hertfordshire. apparently has one of the lowest rates of crime in the country, according to the ad on the back of the bus.

i like it here due to the greeness, not far from the countryside, not far from london if we want to go there, and generally its quite a pleasent place to be.

BananaSkin Mon 07-Jul-08 12:04:52

Does anyone have any experience of Bath or Marlborough areas?

MogTheForgetfulCat Mon 07-Jul-08 12:08:21

I'm in Bath, it's fab - small but still a city with city things going on, masses for kids to do, lovely big parks and really close to countryside. Just needs a beach, and it'd be perfect!

DartmoorMama Mon 07-Jul-08 12:14:36

I live in Devon, Its pretty nice, plenty of space my only negative would be that I end up driving quite far to find a lot of activities maybe up to an hour each way, longer in the summer when the tourists are around, clogging up the lanes. I grew up here and facilities for children have definitely got worse since I was a child, think its more tailored to the huge retired population. It is beautiful though but we are thinking of moving to get better access to amenities, either to Bath area or Hertfordshire.

Devon is good if you have money and don't mind driving. Houses are expensive in the nicest areas but wages are very low and there are limited opportunities for work.

Lazza03 Mon 07-Jul-08 12:41:57

Bananaskin, I was born and brought up in Bath. I don't think it's so great for bringing up kids....why? Because of the drugs, no kidding, because there is alot of middle class cash there are a lot of kids who spend it on lots of drugs, class A's go down a treat when they're trying to look cool. The private schools are rife with them, and the state schools. The parents have NO idea.
I live in Croydon and am leaving next week because the schools are crap. I have lived in Wolverhampton, Ok but not pretty, Brighton, again lots of drugs and thinks it's way cooler than it is, Bristol, I love but schools are a problem, Stoke Newington, fun but I don't want my kids going to Hackney schools and Brixton, NO way.
We're moving to Cirencester. Can't wait. Great schools, quite arty, beautiful, close to lots of other places and doubtless not for everyone (thank goodness!)

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Mon 07-Jul-08 12:43:54

We moved from London to Devon (grew up here so it was a return home for me). I need to be near Dartmoor and the kids benefit from the moors and beaches too.

Kewcumber Mon 07-Jul-08 12:45:02

I grew up in a small town on the south wales coast. Lots a green areas around and some pretty country side. But couldn't get around as a teenager and had to rely on my dad for transport and really not much cultural and hardly a non-white person to be seen for miles. I rushed to London as soon as I could and here I will stay until DS is independent.

jammi Mon 07-Jul-08 12:46:37

Message withdrawn

sophiewd Mon 07-Jul-08 12:47:55

Dorset, beach is walkable, lots of good friends, good schools.

HeadFairy Mon 07-Jul-08 12:49:15

I think somewhere like Oxford has the best of both worlds, still near enough London for you to realistically be able to do a day out but far enough away to be near gorgeous countryside, I love the cotswolds... it's also a beautiful city and because of the university it's cultured and interesting. I know someone at work who commutes from Oxford to London (we're in west London so it's not too bad) and I'm very tempted if I ever left London/SE, that's where it would be to. A close second would be somewhere in Hampshire, maybe the Chichester area, so we could have a boat for weekends pottering about in the Solent.

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