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Moving to Bedfordshire, does anyone know it well?

(69 Posts)
MovingBeds Mon 02-Aug-10 17:49:48

Hi, I am new to mumsnet and have problems navigating the topics section, let alone starting athread, so please bear with me blush I have been offered a job in Bedfordshire recently which involves relocation. My contract starts end of September so I need to get a move on with finding a rental property (though I hope to buy eventually witgh the sale of my current property) I have school age children so there is alot to consider.

What is Bedford town centre like as a place to live? Are there any areas that a nice (as in safe, not posh) and what are the areas to avoid?

What are the surrounding villages like also? Which ones are okay, which ones not so okay? (or are they all okay?)

Job is south of Bedford itself.

Many thanks for any input. I really do not have a clue!

MovingBeds Tue 03-Aug-10 08:47:46

So no-one knows it at all then?confused

NoahAndTheWhale Tue 03-Aug-10 09:00:21

We lived in Henlow which is about 10 miles south of Bedford for about 5 years. It is a nice village although not the most exciting place!

What ages are your children? I know that Bedford Borough was going to change to two tier schools but they may be going to keep with three tier (ie changing school in year 5 and year 9) like the rest of Beds now.

Butterbur Tue 03-Aug-10 09:05:14

My sister has recently moved from Bedford town after living there for many years.All the following is second hand.

Although their are good facilities in the way of sports centre, swimming pools, toddler groups etc, she hated it in the end and couldn't wait to leave. There is a high crime rate, especially in roads near the centre of town.The secondary schools are crap too.

I think the area called "poets" (all the roads are named after poets) is supposed to be nice,and the streets around the big park.She would have moved to one of the surrounding villages if she could have afforded it.

MovingBeds Tue 03-Aug-10 09:07:00

I don't mind that it isn't exciting I can catch the train to London . I have an 11 year old who will not be in the normal school system, a 9 year old and a toddler.

Apart from having to change schools, is there any problem with the three tier system?

I am quite worried about flooding, are there any areas that flood alot? If you know that is

MovingBeds Tue 03-Aug-10 10:43:25

Thank you for your help butterbur and noahthewhale

I have viewing in kempston, clapham, bromham and thurleigh. Do either of you know of these?

MovingBeds Tue 03-Aug-10 10:44:28

oh and haynes too!

NoahAndTheWhale Wed 04-Aug-10 09:56:17

I don't really know Bedford and its surroundings too well - have been to Kempston I think but to buy something (think there is retail park somewhere around there).

Hopefully people with better knowledge than me might see this smile

MovingBeds Wed 04-Aug-10 10:05:31

thank you noah

edam Wed 04-Aug-10 10:09:05

Moving, my sister lives in a village near Bedford and is very happy there. Lovely little village primary for her dd, nice countryside with plenty of great walks for her dog. Not sure what else, though, she's not been there for long. Personally having driven through Bedford itself on the way to her house I'm not sure it'd be on my list of top 10 locations. So perhaps you need to look at the villages?

MrsJohnDeere Wed 04-Aug-10 10:12:39

I'm just over the border in Herts. Not a huge fan of Bedford town itself. Lots of petty (and not so petty) crime, and I wouldn't walk around there on my own at night. Grim and ugly place imho but, like everywhere, I'm sure it has its good bits.

My only experience of Kempston is the industrial estate, I'm afraid. Haven't heard of the other villages on your list.

Woburn and Ampthill are OK villages. Flitwick, Barton-le-Clay are fine, if unexciting.

If your budget allowed I'd be inclined to live in a Herts or Cambs village and just travel a bit further to work.

edam Wed 04-Aug-10 10:14:11

I hear Ampthill is v. nice although my informant lives in Luton so her perspective may be skewed. grin (Apologies to any Lutonites but afraid I think the place is rather grim.)

MovingBeds Wed 04-Aug-10 10:27:44

Isnt Herts a bit more expensive? and isnt the school system a bit more selective?

GypsyMoth Wed 04-Aug-10 10:30:38

i'm in a village just south of Bedford.....please be aware the school sysytem down this end is 3 tier primary schools. its lower,middle and upper schools.....and the roadworks on the 421 are a nightmare,but nearly done now!!

where are you considering?

i would avoid kempston!!!

MovingBeds Wed 04-Aug-10 10:32:35

I am more confused by the Bedford/Central Beds divide thing than the three tier system!

GypsyMoth Wed 04-Aug-10 10:32:51

thurleigh is north of would you get through town??

bromham is easily accesible to south Bedford as the new bypass brings you down quicker.....

dont know clapham

CuppaTeaJanice Wed 04-Aug-10 10:33:18

My parents live in Houghton Conquest which is a village near Ampthill. It seems very nice - there's a mum & toddler group and lots of other village activities, good play area, shop etc.

There's another village nearby which was built for the brick workers - it looks lovely and immaculate but it's name escapes me at the moment!!

Ampthill looks good too if you want somewhere a bit bigger - it has lots of sports facilities, a good selection of shops etc.

All I know about Kempston is there's a good Sainsburys and a £5 shop, although the shopping area is a bit grim, and Dad goes swimming there once a week so I guess there must be a pool somewhere!

Flitwick has a direct train line to London, if that's important to you.

Sorry I can't be more help, I've never actually lived in Bedfordshire myself!!

GypsyMoth Wed 04-Aug-10 10:33:34

ah yes,recently restructured....we're all confused too!

GypsyMoth Wed 04-Aug-10 10:36:36

Houghton is nice...agreed,as is A mpthill.

yes janice,theres a pool in kempston....and a good park too. i know a family who moved out because of the nightime troubles with kids....but thats everywhere!

FoghornLeghorn Wed 04-Aug-10 10:38:31

Luton is grim and having lived there for 23 years I can say that without getting flamed grin

Bedford itself isn't fantastic but then I'm not sure many town centres are. If you head out of Bedford on the A428 towards Northampton there are a few nice villages. Elstow is just outside of Bedford and OK.

Ampthill and Flitwick are nice although pricey. Barton-le-clay is a lovely village and only a 10-15 minute drive from Bedford town centre

MovingBeds Wed 04-Aug-10 10:38:34

No, it is all of help

the route planner says 37mins from north to south hmmm that is if my job was in Flitwick for example....which it isn't but it is near. I am not very good at this trying to be anonymous thing!

NonnoMum Wed 04-Aug-10 10:39:38

Just like to reiterate the direct line to London from Flitwick (which seems nice and good value)

moonmother Wed 04-Aug-10 10:39:55

Flitwick,Ampthill,Clophill, Marston Moretain, Houghton Conquest are all nice villages, and within easy reach of Bedford Town.

Personally I wouldn't live in Bedford Centre myself. my Dp lived there when I met him and it can be quite grim. Having said that the Priory park, and river etc are lovely- I just wouldn't want to live in the town centre anywhere.

My Brother lives in the Goldington area of Bedford, he seems quite happy there, although he lives right on the edge of the town(literally) and is surrounded bu countryside.

Edam as a fellow Lutonian I take no offence- Luton is grim, and luckily I moved out of Luton (albeit not very far) a few years ago. Although it's my nearest town I would rather travel to Mk or London to shop than go there.grin

taokiddy Wed 04-Aug-10 10:41:06

I'm originally from Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire. Close to Milton Keynes for shops, cinema, skiiing etc. Only 40 mins on train into Euston. Old market town, good schools, nice parks, and lots of cafes and pubs, leisure centre etc. I'd move back like a shot if i could afford the house prices hmm

FoghornLeghorn Wed 04-Aug-10 10:42:45

Westoning is another nice village but on the other side of Flitwick/Ampthill so may be a bit too far

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