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Anyone living in Harpenden, Herts?

(17 Posts)
AndDar Fri 19-Oct-12 15:43:16

We live in Broxbourne at the moment and we are not very happy with the area & would like to move to Harpenden.
Is there anyone in Harpenden who can tell me a bit about living there with kids? We've had a look around and think it looks great but some more info from people on the ground would be handy. Thanks a lot!

FishfingersAreOK Fri 19-Oct-12 16:49:03

It is expensive, the school are great, the links are great and some lovely houses. Lovely town centre.

On the negative side people can think that because they live in an outrageously expensive town they are too good to pick up their dog poo. And you can get some horrific, horrific competitive parenting. shudders

I grew up there. No longer live there. And we did consider stretching to afford it - the dog poo/stuck up your arse attitudes made me think seriously hard - and decline it. But the schools are great - and three good or outstanding secondaries in one town cannot be bad for helping you sleep at night.

CMOTDibbler Fri 19-Oct-12 18:24:39

My colleague has lived there for 18 years or so and loves it. Horrifically expensive due to the great commute, and seems like theres a big nanny/au pair scene (she's had both - big age gap).

SkiBumMum Fri 19-Oct-12 19:23:54

It's great for families but yes, expensive to buy a house. There are competitive parents but there are way more friendly, supportive ones in my experience. We moved here 2yrs ago and love it. Pm if you want more info. How old are your children? The NCT is excellent for all ages up to 5 not just babies.

chocolatebiscuit Sat 20-Oct-12 22:16:49

We've lived here for 4 years. I've heard all the stories about stuck up parents etc. but to be honest I have never encountered any of them. It is a bit more expensive than other areas but it feels like a safe and pleasant place to bring up children. There are some issues with over-subscribed schools but a new free school is opening so hopefully the situation will improve.

SkiBumMum Sat 20-Oct-12 23:01:54

The Free School is open now. It's quite liberal/Montisorri (sp?) though so not really a solution to the primary school debate.

AndDar Sat 20-Oct-12 23:58:37

Hi, All! THANKS A LOT for your info. I do appreciate it.

FishFingersareOK - First, the same "poo" attitude in Broxbourne, too. When I was taking my son to the nursery, there were more dogs than kids walking to the nursery actually. Each family had like 2 or 3 dogs. So ... "poo is in the air". I had to always repeat to my son: "Mind the poo, honey!" "Not on the grass, honey, too many poos". Most "ladies with the dogs" had no shame, they were waiting for the dogs to do their poo and then just moved on. I wanted to complain to the council but gave up.

Second, I'm after one of the secondary schools, in the long run.

CMOTDibbler - Brouxbourne is very expensive too, due to the great commute (just 24 min to London Liverpool Street). However, schools are not that good as in Harpenden plus I have to drive to Hoddesdon, Cheshunt or Ware for clubs, etc.

SkiBumMum - I'm alright with the idea of "competitive parents". I must admit that I'm in the same boat. I think it's normal to have such an attitude if you really care about your child's future. I will do my best to help sons get a good education.

My elder is 4 and my younger is 2. will write Pm.

chocolatebiscuit - Speaking of safety, I've read somewhere that the police is p/t in Harpenden as they don't have much to do.
I've checked Herts council list of primary vacancies and Lea, Manland, Sauncey Wood, Wood End and H. Free Schools have vacancies. I've read about the Ofsted reports for all the schools in Harpenden. I've also came across some discussions and most people suggested to avoid Lea and renting in that area. Acc. to Ofsted, Lea is "satisfactory" as Manland. However, on schoolguru I've read that Manland came 7 in Hertfordshire - most wanted primary schools in 2011.

MeFour Sun 21-Oct-12 00:01:33

Agree with fishfingers
(and wonder if we went to school/know each other shock )

FishfingersAreOK Sun 21-Oct-12 00:02:49

I went to Manland and St George's. Loved them both. Was years ago now so useless but just saying grin

MeFour Sun 21-Oct-12 00:24:51

I went to one of those too.
Didn't love it really

UnrequitedSkink Sun 21-Oct-12 00:30:02

What about Hertford OP? Seems as nice as Harpenden to me, but a bit less er... chichi?

germyrabbit Sun 21-Oct-12 00:32:50

harpenden is like stepford wives country, really you must have a gillet to fit it.

weird place imo and town is dull, still near luton wink

mycatlikestwiglets Mon 22-Oct-12 10:28:53

Another Harpendenite checking in grin

OP, it's a lovely place to live, especially with children. It's very friendly imo (have lived here for 7 years), with some lovely period housing and great facilities - loads of parks and open spaces (including the common), a decent council-run sports centre and a lot of baby/toddler groups. Schools are excellent, there are lots of nice independent shops in the town centre, transport links are good (although FCC unfortunately isn't always the most reliable for commuting) and there is very much a feeling of "community". I love it (and I don't have a gilet, although DH does smile).

The trade off is the price of housing - it's very, very expensive. I'm also very surprised to hear that there are apparently places in all the schools you mention - competition for school places is fierce, which is the one thing the locals tend to get worked up about.

GrumpyCrossPatch Mon 22-Oct-12 11:22:56

Sad to hear that The Lea is no longer desirable. It was my primary school (admittedly many years ago!) and I have such fond memories that it was the yardstick by which I measured school choice for my children. No real advice though I'm afraid OP as we moved out of the area many years ago. Seem to remember Rothampstead park and the common being fab places to run around as a kid! grin

Mira86 Tue 11-Jul-17 20:22:38

Hi there. Has anyone got any recommendations for nursery or au pair or full time nanny in Harpenden? Places to find them would be great. We are new to Harpenden and we are expecting a baby. Currently looking for a short list. Thank you

BachingMad Wed 12-Jul-17 08:00:08

Why don't you look at St. Albans, still a good commute but so much more character.

Mira86 Sun 16-Jul-17 21:57:40

I work towards the north of harpenden and my husband in London.

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