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Can you suggest somewhere to live that has good access to Reading, Heathrow and central London please

(27 Posts)
chicaguapa Thu 01-Sep-11 17:14:04

I'm researching areas for my Spanish friends who are moving to the UK next summer. Looking for a good-sized town/city with facilities and good public transport. They were initially looking at central London but have since discovered that getting their 3 children into a state school in Westminster is going to be very difficult and private school is out of their budget.


Gonzo33 Thu 01-Sep-11 17:56:50

Fleet is nice, with good transport links. Not far from Reading, or Heathrow and the train goes into central London in about 45 mins/hour I think.

usingapseudonym Thu 01-Sep-11 18:47:39

Ruislip/Ickenham area is nice.

chrchrch Thu 01-Sep-11 19:37:39

What age are their DCs and are they boys/girls?

Paddington would fit the bill and Westminster secondary is very good for girls. Many boys have gone for Toby Young's free school, or commute further afield. Primary is fine around there, St George's and St Mary's are both very good.

Reading is also good for schools and only half an hour direct to Paddington.

Karbea Thu 01-Sep-11 19:48:16

Beaconsfield/gerrards cross?

Barbeasty Thu 01-Sep-11 19:49:09

Oxford? Bath? Both have direct trains to Reading an Paddington, near the M4 if they want to drive to Heathrow, and either the Heathrow Express trains from Paddington or the coach link from Reading.

ggirl Thu 01-Sep-11 19:49:46

Newbury and surrounding area .

2tired2bewitty Thu 01-Sep-11 19:51:31

Wokingham? Nice place to live, but a bit pricey

RustyBear Thu 01-Sep-11 20:11:58

I live in Wokingham, and I wouldn't really say it's that great for Central London or Heathrow. for London, you either go to Waterloo, which takes over an hour, or got to Reading & change for Paddington. It also doesn't have a good connection to Heathrow if you're relying on public transport - unless they ever build the Airtrack direct link, which was recently thrown out, you have to get a train to Reading & then a coach. It's not too bad by car, though, it takes about 40 minutes.

It does have good schools, though, both primary and secondary, and state or private, and it's a very nice place to live.

chicaguapa Thu 01-Sep-11 21:24:53

Thanks. They have 3 boys who'll be going into Y1, Y5 & Y6. Pricey isn't an issue, it's the connections that seem to be the main requirement, plus the schools. St Johns Wood was their preferred choice but I've been told by the school admissions team that it's nigh on impossible to get them into the same school, and even places in separate schools cannot be guaranteed! So they've reluctantly decided to look outside of London.

h2ohno Thu 01-Sep-11 23:18:17

Have they considered Richmond?

MeanMrsMustard Fri 02-Sep-11 00:08:30

There are direct trains from Ealing Broadway to paddington, Reading and heathrow. It's on the picadilly, Central, and District line so lots of scope for getting into Central London.
The road links are good to all those destinations too.
Schools are good, (mainly) and there are quite a few cheaper end private schools too.
There are areas of Ealing to suit pretty much every budget too.

MeanMrsMustard Fri 02-Sep-11 00:10:41

Gah. That was really badly written. Sorry.

Azure Sat 03-Sep-11 09:36:58

Chiswick? Nice area, convenient for central London and near the start of the M4 for Heathrow / Reading. Good local primary schools and improving for state secondaries.

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 03-Sep-11 09:39:21

Where will they be working? And why do they need connections to those specific locations? Is that for work or leisure purposes?

Gastonladybird Sat 03-Sep-11 09:41:58

Richmond may be problematic in terms of state school places as massively oversubscribed. Although they would get somewhere it may not be that close etc

orienteerer Sat 03-Sep-11 09:44:12


nondomesticgoddess Sat 03-Sep-11 10:19:11

10 minutes to Reading by train.
Heathrow is a 30 minute drive - not sure of the easiest way to train it.
Fast trains (ie during rush hour) are 25 minutes to Paddington.

Or Reading itself (look at Caversham and Caversham Heights). Again, fast trains to Paddington, think they're about 30 minutes.

chicaguapa Sun 04-Sep-11 16:33:42

They definitely want to be in London. He needs to get to Reading where the UK office will be (he won't need to go every day), be in central London for networking and be able to get to Heathrow for flying back to Spain on a regular basis. They are going to try and manage without a car so will be relying on public transport (though I guess a short taxi to Heathrow would be acceptable).

Ealing looks like it could be a good option. Where are the 'top budget' places in Ealing, considering that they were originally looking at St Johns Wood? I'll do a search and see what other info is on Mumsnet about Ealing.

Thanks for all the help. I struggle with justifying to people why they should live in London, it just seems so cramped. hmm

Ooopsadaisy Sun 04-Sep-11 16:40:14

I grew up around Hounslow. Tube/train to London. Tube/bus to Heathrow. Change at Staines for the Reading line (I think.) Also on the A4/M4.

Some of Hounslow is a bit rough but I've lived in far worse, believe me!

MeanMrsMustard Sun 04-Sep-11 21:00:39

I'd say look at Ealing green/St mary's rd area or castlebar. I'm not sure if those are too local for Internet searches, but ring estate agents get their advice. It's been a few years since I've lived there but I'd say castlebar is posher, but St mary's has got more character. There will be other areas I've forgotten about! North of Ealing broadway station was always quite grand.

Will try and think of some estate agent names for you that specialise in those areas.

loopy9 Mon 05-Sep-11 08:38:18

I live in Wokingham too...DH works at Heathrow, he drives down the m4 and we moved here because Wokingham is close to Heathrow, but has good schools and is a lovely place to live.

The train from Wham is slow an hour into Paddington but if I want to get a faster train I either drive to Twyford and get a 30 min service into Paddington or go to Wokingham and get a train to Reading (10 minute journey) and then a 30 minute train to Paddinqton.

I also know that there are a few Spanish families in the area and there was talk of someone setting up a Spanish toddler group but I'm not sure if it got off the ground..

Good luck to your friends

RickGhastley Mon 05-Sep-11 17:55:45

If you are looking at Ealing, have a look at Pitshanger, the area around Walpole park or South Ealing near Ealing Studios. I live in Ealing and it's OK, lots of families and lots to do with kids. Schools are on the whole pretty good. The high street is a bit grim tho.

If money is no object, Chiswick is considered to be "nicer" than Ealing. Certainly the high street is much nicer! If your friends are relying on public transport they will need to be near Turnham Green Tube, there are some lovely homes there. The area around Chiswick Park tube is not so nice for houses (that's where all the shops are). You have the river there and loads to do for kids. There seem to be a lot of "international" families there.

My personal favourite place round that area would be near Ravenscourt Park tube. It is pricey but there are loads of families and the park is the nicest in west London IMHO. Not sure about state schools there but the private schools (eg ravenscourt park prep) are excellent. There is a new "free school" - secondary - nearby which everyone is very excited about.

Hope that helps!!

PANCHEY Mon 05-Sep-11 20:37:28

Twickenham, Teddington or Hampton Hill. Twickenham got fast link into London.

PANCHEY Mon 05-Sep-11 20:38:18

These areas are near Bushy Park, RIchmond Park and Kew Gardens.

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