Relocating to Letchworth/Baldock areas??(10 Posts)
We moved to Letchworth when I was 10 - moved out of London, my dad used to commute into the city by train (think fast trains are about 35 mins now).
My parents still live there, so visit with my two DC (5 and 2). It is definitely lovely and green! I quite like the town centre, still some independent shops, cafes etc. Good playgrounds, nice to walk around generally.
Can't help with schools as I think my primary is now 'luxury' flats . For secondary I went to the Girls' School in Hitchin.
I moved to Welwyn Garden City from London and its been/is a great place for bringing up DC.
Its got all you asked for but you have to take 10 mins in the car in various directions for gastro pubs rather than the town centre.
Well connected to road networks and 20 minutes to London on the train.
Not very cheap though
We are in Letchworth and love it. We moved here from SE London 4 years ago and have since had ds who's 3 and dd who's 15 months. Dh still commutes to central London, as I did before ds was born, and that works really well. One of the things which i think makes it different from many towns people commute from is that you can buydecent houses in walkig distance from the station for not ridiculous prices.
It is very family friendly - lots of babies and lots of stuff to do with them. I think it ticks all the boxes on your list save the gastropubs in the town. The town centre is a bit quirky - not too many high street shops - but I quite like that. It is a beautifully green town and I like the fact that it can seem a million miles from London when you step off the train, even though you were at Kings Cross only 25mins ago.
I dont think schools are an issue. Primary wise there are lots of 'good' ones and people don't fret too much about it. My ds is starting nursery school at one of them in two weeks (Lorship Farm). Quite a few friends are going to Hillshott Infants as that is slightly nearer them. St Nicholas in Norton (basically the edge of Letchworth but not so near the station) is also very well thought of.
Secondary wise one of the two schools was put in Special measures this year,which might be what your Dh's friend was referring to. I must admit to being quite relaxed about this as it is still a long way off for our two and the school isn't our nearest. Plus it got very reasonable results in the summer exams anyway and the head seems committed to changing things. You can also apply to schools in Hitchin and Baldock too and there is plenty of public transport for secondary school pupils to get there. My friends Ds starts at Hitchin Boys this term and she lives on the opposite side of town from there.
Hope all of this helps. Can you tell I like Letchworth?! You could also look at Hitchin - a more London-like town centre I think and lots going on. More places to eat out. But personally I think it feels too crowded. There are lots of Victorian terraces of various sizes there if that is your thing. Baldock is also pleasant but quite a bit smaller. Not so green and special as Letchworth IMO! But lots of people use the facilities of all 3 towns as they are very close and get to know people in all of them through NCT, baby groups etc etc. Basically they are all very nice places.
Definitely come and have a look! I'd suggest popping into Esquires - coffee shop - on Leys Square and then have a wonder around the parts of town you might be thinking of. Good luck!
Glad to be of help Tempingmaniac
And happy to write more if there is anything else you wanted to know. I don't work for the local estate agents, btw (just in case it might seem like that!!)
Re-reading your OP I see you mention villages. The only ones I know really are Ashwell, and Steeple and Guilden Morden, as my parents live in SM. They are all nice villages; the school in SM is well thought of, don't know so much about the other two. Trains go from Ashwell and Morden station to London - they are fairly quick and frequent but you have to get in a car to get there from any of the villages themselves. I think house prices are typically higher, though you get a different type of house, I suppose.
We did think a bit about villages ourselves, but in the end decided that we wanted the convenience of walking to the station and also better activities on tap with little ones. I still very much feel we made the right decision (for us). We actually have just moved within Letchworth - so obviously could have gone somewhere else - but in fact moved just round the corner.
What school was it that made Special Measures?
(Just being nosey as I used to go to school in Letchworth)
OP. For a good secondary school Knights Templar in Baldock always had really really high exam grades. I dont know if they still do it now, but they do exams every single year to make sure the kids KNOW what they are learning. I always thought it was a good way to keep track on the kids education.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.