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Would anyone be able to talk to me about working in London but living in Ipswich or Stowmarket?

(27 Posts)
bunjies Sun 26-Dec-10 14:07:55

I'm going to be starting a job in London but we don't want to live there. We've narrowed our options to either Ipswich or Stowmarket although have lived in neither before.

Does anyone commute from either or those places to London? Whereabouts do you live in relation to the station? What time do you have to get up etc.

What are the decent areas for schools? Our dcs will be yrs 8, 4 & 2 so we'd need primary and secondary.

Would appreciate any comments, good or bad grin.

MollieO Sun 26-Dec-10 14:18:41

Why so far out of London?

bunjies Sun 26-Dec-10 14:29:02

It's cheaper grin.

RectalNourishment Sun 26-Dec-10 14:30:27

You know there's just one line don't you? Any problem anywhere between Norwich and Liverpool St and you're screwed unless you go Bury St Eds >>> Cambridge >>> Kings Cross and those trains are always packed.

Have you thought of the other side of Colchester, Witham ish? Shorter commute, more trains.

LadyLapsang Sun 26-Dec-10 20:39:10

Have you worked out how much you will see your children (and other half) on weekdays, especially if the trains are delayed. I know plenty of people with long commutes, OK if you like getting up and 5am and never seeing your children. Also factor in the cost of the season ticket for the next two decades and your partner not having much choice of good jobs.

KarenG Sun 26-Dec-10 21:35:03

Also very cheap for property - Colchester itself and surrounding villages. Wivenhoe has a mainline station and a nice old town/quayside (I was brought up there). Train's about an hour to Liv St.

petalpower Sun 26-Dec-10 21:42:32

Stowmarket's a bit grim IMHO. Not great for schools there either. My DH works in London and we live in Suffolk but he stays there during the week. My friend's husband does the daily commute from Ipswich - 6.30am train i think. Not home before 8pm

cece Sun 26-Dec-10 21:42:47

Ipswich is run down and not very nice in the town centre. MIL has just moved away from it after 25 years because of it.

Alouiseg Sun 26-Dec-10 21:47:15

It might be a false economy, a season ticket plus station parking will set you back 5k + a year.

Ipswich is a long commute, minimum 65minutes and that's on a fast train with no delays.

I agree with the poster who suggested looking at Colchester and the surrounding areas.

fel1x Sun 26-Dec-10 22:01:39

Dh does it. It's been much better than expected. He always gets a seat on the train and it's air conditioned with good leg room. We live a 10 min walk away from the station so that's easy enough.
I'm at home with the children though as would be too long a day for both oc us to commute into London.
We like Ipswich, have really grown attached to it despite the town being a bit crappy!
Stowmarket not as ideal at all I'd say. Train would take much longe as would be less frequent and stop more often but you'd have to live further away from the station so would need parking etc
I've got a few friends here that are xommuters too and all think it's fine

Oblomov Sun 26-Dec-10 22:46:22

Quite a few of my friends live in Sudbury and commute to London every day.
My bil lives in Ayrelsford Colchester and he commutes most days, for top contracts IT.

Both live in lovely areas. Greta areas.

midnightexpress Sun 26-Dec-10 22:48:59

I think it depends on where in London your DH is working too, as that could add a lot onto the commute. If he's in the city perhaps OK, but if West End it would be another half hour or so on each end.

bunjies Mon 27-Dec-10 08:29:45

Thank you all for the comments.

It would only be me working in London. Dh would be a sahd. My job will provide subsidised rail so I would only need to pay a fraction of the cost.

I am prepared for long days and not seeing dcs much during the week, although as they're getting older they're up later in the evenings. To be honest by the time we make the move I will just be grateful to be living in the same house as them as to begin with I'll be living with my parents while they'll be in France with dh and I'll only be with them for a few days every few weeks sad.

We're thinking Ipswich as my job will be easily reached from Stratford tube which is on the mainline route. I'm thinking up to a 2 hour commute each way including getting to the station at either end.

The rents in Colchester seem a bit too high for us. We'd be looking for a 4 bed house for under £900 a month.

fel1x - if i's not too revealing which part of Ipswich are you in, north, south etc? Are their good schools locally? Our main consideration is for good schools first then accessibility to the station. Walking distance would be great as don't want to drive.

bunjies Mon 27-Dec-10 13:16:54

Are there good schools blush.

Actually had another look at rent prices in Colchester on rightmove and it may be doable. I think I'll start a thread about it too!

anonandlikeit Mon 27-Dec-10 13:23:05

Suffolk is lovely, you would have to carfelluy look at the train times but if you can cope with an extra 15 mins on the train Woodbridge is lovely and the schools fantastic.

If its not going to add too much ont o your journey I would aim for one of the villages on the outskirts. Bealings always looks nice although I don'r knwo much about it.

I know a few people that commute from Ipswich and one from Saxmundham (which is even further) They always get a seat and the trains are pretty good for timekeeping barring leaves, snow, ice or heat effecting the tracks grin

anonandlikeit Mon 27-Dec-10 13:24:26

Oh & kesgrave is OK but would still have to drive to stations, I don't know any nice Ipswich areas within wlaking distance of station, but i'm not that familiar with that part of the town.

mrsmeadweed Mon 27-Dec-10 14:12:23

No, not many nice places within walking distance of the station.The ones which are are quite expensive (Stone Lodge Lane / Ancaster Road).
Pinewood is a modern housing estate to the SW of Ipswich (less than 10 mins drive to the station), it's actually within Babergh Council, not Ipswich Borough Council. I think a lot of the kids who live there go to local primary schools, and then go to East Bergholt High School by bus. A new 6th form college has just opened there too (Suffolk One).
The best state schools in Ipswich are Northgate High School & Kesgrave High School, which are bit further out from the station.
Kesgrave got an outstanding rating from Ofsted, I think Northgate did too. I think the Primary schools in those areas are good too.
Hope this helps.

fel1x Mon 27-Dec-10 16:01:41

Bunjies, there are some lovely houses on Gippeswyke Avenue, Stone Lodge Lane, Ancaster Road, Willoughby Road, Belstead Road and all around that area.
I live not too far from those but in an estate/road with newer style town houses.

I dont know about secondary schools but there are a fair few good primaries in this area. My DS goes to a wonderful school which is ofsted outstanding and v high in the league tables.

Am happy to give more info on where I am, prices of houses by me and names of schools by email if you'd like to PM me smile

ragged Mon 27-Dec-10 16:28:04

What are prices and schools like in Manningtree? I've a few friends who commuted to London from there.

bunjies Tue 28-Dec-10 10:26:28

Really appreciate all the invaluable info.

I'm not sure we'll want to live in a village any more as that's what we have here in France and we don't fancy being the local taxi firm for the dcs when they want to go anywhere!

Fel1x - thanks for the offer of more info. I'll PM you smile.

sincitylover Tue 28-Dec-10 16:30:14

I come from there but have lived in London for 23 years. My family still live there but I rarely go back.

Think my family would like me to go back to live (dcs would not want to) but any saving in rent would be offset by cost of season ticket. So am planning to stay here for as long as I can.

Agree with other posters about Kesgrave and Northgate being the best schools but they are located on the other side of the town.

The areas close to the station which are nice are as mentioned by the previous poster but not sure which secondary school would be closest probably Chantry or the one in Stoke Park.

The surrounding countryside is indeed lovely and many people love the quaint feel of Suffolk. For me though its too provincial and claustrophobic (prob because I was born and brought up there but may feel different to an outsider) and I think Colchester has slightly more of a different feel and think it may have some very good schools.

sincitylover Tue 28-Dec-10 16:32:37

cece - where did your MIL move to ? (Nosey emoticon)

spudballoo Tue 28-Dec-10 20:30:56

We live in Bealings. We moved out here from London a few years ago and love it. I work in London every couple of weeks but my husband commutes every day. He cycles from here to Ipswich station (about 30 mins or so) but he's insane so don't try that wink

I know lots of people who commute from ipswich to London. It's OK and doable but I don't think anyone thinks it's much fun to be honest. The trains here have NOT been at all good on a regular basis, especially when the weather is even vaguely inclement. And a 4 hour round commute is a long, long day. I think it's really taking its toll on my husband TBH, he looks very tired a lot of the time and basically commutes/works/sleeps during the week. He works a short day, leaves home at 7.40am and is in the office for 9.45ish..gets the 5pm train and is home around 6.45pm.

There are LOTS of excellent primary and high schools around here, we're spoilt for choice to be honest. Primary schools are still allocated by catchment.

If you're going to tackle the commute then I would recommend buying somewhere that is walkable to the station, it will make a massive difference to the commute. The fast trains ARE fast, but don't seem it if you tack on a drive to the station AND a tube at the other end.

that said, this is a wonderful place to live. We are so happy to brining up our boys in such a gorgeous place with easy access to beaches, the forrest, wonderful countryside, brilliant schools. We have never regretted the move but, as I said, i think my husband really pays the price with the commute and I hope he can cut down his days in the office (currently does 4 a week).

If you can afford somewhere up the line (maningtree, colchester, chelmsford, ingatestone etc) I would seriously consider it.


cece Tue 28-Dec-10 22:10:43

Felixstowe - which to be honest I am not so sure about, but she likes it there better.

sincitylover Tue 28-Dec-10 23:01:49

parts of felixtowe are very nice. I spnet many happy hours there as a child and teenager.

But since going back have been very shocked at how grey the sea is.

Bealings also very nice.Very impressed that your dh cycles to the station from there.

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