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Where can we move to that is family friendly, an hours commute to London?

(57 Posts)
stropicana Mon 15-Nov-10 10:44:04

Thats it really kind M'Netters.

We are moving somewhere near London. Needs to be no more than an hour to central London, family friendly, reasonable priced housing, good schools, would like village location - not asking for much. grin

Ideally would like a new build so we can try and part exchange.

midnightexpress Mon 15-Nov-10 10:47:44

We've been looking at the same - have you looked at Kent/East Sussex? It seems to be cheaper than other areas around London, as the commutes are a wee bit longer, but you can still get into town in less than an hour. Tunbrdige Wells/Tonbridge sort of area is nice.

stropicana Mon 15-Nov-10 10:51:06

Thanks mid, will do. Am completley clueless, am up north. I've only been to London once. blush

TheFowlAndThePussycat Mon 15-Nov-10 10:54:28

Cambridge! Try Waterbeach, it has a station which will get you to London Kings Cross in an hour but Cambridgeshire is not at all 'commuter-belt-y' has lovely schools and Cambridge is a great town. There is new build all around Cambridgeshire as the local high tech industry has not been as badly effected (affected? Eek!) by the recession as other areas. Blimey, I sound like I work for the tourist board, but I don't, honest!

Downsides are, house prices are higher than some parts of the country, but nowhere near London or Surrey or anywhere like that. Also countryside is a complete dud - no hills for 40 miles at least!

I've lived in and around Cambridge most of my life, I love it & specifically came back here to raise my kids.

TarkaLiotta Mon 15-Nov-10 11:31:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CMOTdibbler Mon 15-Nov-10 11:37:31

East Grinstead/Lingfield sort of direction is good - nice area, and prices are less as the train line is slower, although still an hour into London bridge, and is good as terminus to terminus so you have a good chance of getting a seat

ProfessorLaytonIsMyLoveSlave Mon 15-Nov-10 11:38:36

I've had Letchworth recommended to me (same train line as Cambridge but nearer to London and house prices are lower).

St Alban's?

GooseyLoosey Mon 15-Nov-10 11:39:29

You need to be careful working out commuting times. I live in a village near Chippenham and commute into London. The train take 1 hour 15 minutes. However on top of that is the 15 minute drive to the station and the 30 minutes it takes to get from Paddington to the city. This means that a commute that looks like just over an hour in reality takes over 2 hours.

The other thing that you need to look at is the cost of train tickets. The cost of an annual season ticket from Chippenham to London is in excess of £7k.

I love living in a village and would not swap it, but you do need to clearly understand what you are taking on.

sherby Mon 15-Nov-10 11:39:49


Lovely big park in the middle of town, lots of nice shops, top grammer schools (if you like that kind of thing), 55 mins on train

GypsyMoth Mon 15-Nov-10 11:41:12

Milton Keynes/Bedford?

We live in this area and are in a village, but in 20 mons can be in town. 40 mins from mk to euston by train.

A1 and m1 very accessible. Lots of new builds......and work/jobs soon as they ate building a center parcs here amongst other things ( massive asda apparently)

MrsJohnDeere Mon 15-Nov-10 11:43:15

North Herts villages 1-1.5 hours from London via Hitchin or Luton Airport Parkway stations. Lovely place to live but not many new builds (we spend all our time stopping those from happening grin.
Hitchin is nice too.

St Albans or Harpenden if money no object?

3littlefrogs Mon 15-Nov-10 11:43:42

Hitchinand surrounding area - lots of villages, good rail links.

Don't know anything about schools though.

3littlefrogs Mon 15-Nov-10 11:44:05

X posts

silverfrog Mon 15-Nov-10 11:46:40

where in London do you need to be?

Agree with others who have said be wary of "commute" times of an hour - you need to look at total journey time, and also think about things like tube trains adding on extra hassle too.

we are in Surrey, and it's great here. 35 mins in to London Bridge, which is perfect for dh. he has a total journey time of just under an hour, door to desk. 10 ins walk to the station, 35 mins on the train, then another 10 min walk (he prefers not to use the tube unless essential - too hot, sweaty, smelly, full etc)

so, my advice is to start form where you need to end up (ie at work), and work out a reasonable journey back form there - crossing London at peak times (ie if you work near a Southern terminus, but need to commute form a North bound terminus) is a nightmare, and to be avoided at all costs, if you ask me.

silverfrog Mon 15-Nov-10 11:47:26

oh, alos, if you want to know about areas of Kent/Sussex, ask away - have lived throughout both counties before, so can answer (most) questions.

Decorhate Mon 15-Nov-10 11:47:28

What is your definition of reasonably priced OP?

Tbh most places within easy commuting distance of London are not reasonably priced... and in many areas villages are to be avoided if your dcs are nearing secondary school age as village children tend to lose out where distance to the school is given priority...

AnnieLobeseder Mon 15-Nov-10 11:48:42

I live near Woking in Surrey (40 mins to Waterloo) and it's lovely out here. Lots of villages, great schools. Very rural.

Houses are crazy expensive though.

I would suggest you find out where in London you'll be working, the nearest mainline station, and then move somewhere that links directly to that station.

When my DH worked at Tower Bridge it took him 40 mins to London, but then another hour to get across central London IYSWIM.

ByThePowerOfGreyskull Mon 15-Nov-10 11:50:33

I agree witht he other people who have said that it depends where in london you need to be.

eg my brother lives in london and it takes him an hour to get to work, where as we live in Cambridge and it takes us 45 minutes to get to Kings Cross.

My friend lives in Cirencester and it is on a great train route to London (think it is over an hour though)

Door to door time is what is important though

elvislives Mon 15-Nov-10 12:13:06

I would advise against building your hopes up on PX as well. We relocated from the SE to the SW last year, and thought PX would be easiest. All but one of the big housebuilders refused to consider PX on a property that was "out of area". When they do offer it the differential has to be at last 70%, and we've found that the new builds we were looking at last year at £180k resell at only about £150k once someone has lived in them.

RibenaBerry Mon 15-Nov-10 12:28:16

As others have said, where in London does the commuter/do the commuters need to get to? In reality, there is no such thing as 'central London' for commuting purposes. It's all about what stations are near where you need to work and which stations your trainline goes into. For example, a train line into Liverpool Street might suggest a good time, but if you need to get to Oxford Street, or Holborn, it will add a fair extra chunk. That is especially true if you are coming into Paddington or Kings Cross and need to get to any of the City areas.

zipzap Mon 15-Nov-10 12:30:21

another vote for Milton Keynes - good rail service into london - 30mins fast, 1hour during peak times - and hopefully going to get better as the railways (network rail?) are moving their HQ here soon so hopefully they will make sure they get a good service for themselves grin

very easy life for families, lots of things to do, plenty of parks, libraries, skate parks and free stuff as well as paying stuff like the indoor ski-ing, indoor sky diving, ice skating, bowling, swimming etc. local football team is very community orientated and runs very cheap holiday courses if kids are into footie

schools - bit of a mixture but there are some great ones around

loads of shops - massive supermarkets, big ikea, shopping centre with John Lewis, M&S, Debenhams, TKMaxx and all the usual high street stuff, plus plenty of little local shops

traffic is easy, some people are scared of the roundabouts but it makes driving around the city very fast usually, keeps cars away from pedestrians and if you make a mistake you know you can turn around at the next roundabout which you will be at shortly instead of panic-ing about where to go next.

areas between the main roads that divide the place up tend to be known as grid squares - all like little self contained villages, some are new and still being built, others have been around since the doomsday book, most seem to have a local community feel and things going on.

stropicana Mon 15-Nov-10 17:22:28

Thanks everyone. smile No ti me to reply individually now, back later. smile

linspins Mon 15-Nov-10 20:40:28

Tonbridge! Very child friendly, less expensive than Tunbridge wells. But obviously depends on where in London you need to be. My DH walks 10 mins to station and is in office on near Charing cross, all in an hour.

JarethThePomBearKing Mon 15-Nov-10 20:42:28

NOT Didcot.

Long Hanborough is nice, but not that reasonably priced tbh, depends what you are after. Direct train links and about 1 hour 10 mins I think

PanicMode Mon 15-Nov-10 21:42:20

We moved out of London to Tunbridge Wells three years ago and haven't regretted it for a second. However, I echo what everyone else says about where you need to be once you have commuted in, and the cost of doing so - with the spending review allowing uncapped rises, we're looking at the cost of commuting rising by a grand over the next 3 years. (DH's office is about two doors down from Charing X station, but mine was off Oxford Street so my commute was 20-30 mins longer than his....and that was before the walk to the station at the home end.)

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