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what are the best yet affordable London suburbs?

(66 Posts)
allchangeplease Wed 14-Nov-12 16:52:30

My Mum needs to move from abroad so we are looking for somewhere quite safe for her. Either suburbs or the counties within an hour travel time on trains, no more than an hour! Prefer trains to long noisy/rattling tube journeys but would consider the tube.

By 'best' I really mean not too sleepy and lifeless in the weekdays, low crime rate, easy commute to Paddington or Victoria, at a push Waterloo, also some choice of shops and cafes right there without having to travel by transport to the nearest shop. She doesn't drive. Also not too old an area even though she is in her 60s.

Looking for a 2-bed plus study or large loft storage, or even a 3-bed for about 280K max! she would have guests staying, maybe even a lodger in one room. Ideally period property as good ceiling height/light space is a must,
the garden can be minimal or none, but with a park nearby somewhere, and she would prefer a large conversion flat or top floor maisonette (no basements) to a house, for less maintenance and security issues. Ah and also somewhere in good-ish condition for that price.

Does such a place exist?

DanielRodson Mon 26-Nov-12 18:16:05

Yes Bexleyheath is a nice enough area. Strictly speaking it is not in Kent and hasn't been since 1965, but a lot of the older locals like to think that it is because its postcode is not SE, although it was once upon a time in the 1800's before they changed it to DA (talk about confusing)!

BigBirdisSaved Mon 26-Nov-12 18:37:55

You can get from Reading to Paddington in less than 30 minutes if you are lucky and less than an hour on the slow trains. So you really don't need to be that close to London.

cabbageandbeans Mon 26-Nov-12 19:30:45

West Wickham, Beckenham smaller than bromley but with good transport. Sanderstead? Coulsdon? Look for anywhere with a waitrose and you on the money.

allchangeplease Mon 26-Nov-12 21:46:21

grin @ cabbage! can you expand a bit on places you mention esp trains/safety/parks? we'd prefer not a tiny place and i assume these two are (though sorry if wrong!)
BigBird, yes I'm familiar with Reading being close andlots of trains but from what I've read here it is NOT nice, and if it is where are those areas - are they anywhere near the train, as if not it defeats the purpose (she wouldn't be driving). Near the station it looks all big scary blocks etc - but maybe there is a good bus link to a better area? I always pass Reading and think ;I wish it was nice, so convenient for London!' - and Paddington is great, you can walk to places through the park, plus many tube lines.
Still haven' had a chance to gfo and look at Beckenham, but it's a plan! Bexleyheath well maybe too - how long is a train to Victoria (Londpn Bridge is nop good).

allchangeplease Mon 26-Nov-12 21:47:17

thank you again for all contributors! really grateful for taking your time. waiting for weather to improve to go and see these places.

allchangeplease Mon 26-Nov-12 21:49:44

'thank you again TO all ..' sorry for all the typos!

JingleBel Tue 27-Nov-12 18:20:41

Coulsdon is lovely. Fast trains to London, 18min to clapham junction at rush hour. Near m25, on the edge of the downs. Great park recently refurbished. Waitrose, cafe Nero, boots, outstanding primary schools and a new academy which is getting good results.

Sleepingbunnies Tue 27-Nov-12 18:26:41

I live in a large 3 bed house in Bexleyheath... We love it, avoid the town centre at school closing time though!

cabbageandbeans Tue 27-Nov-12 22:37:09

Perhaps sanderstead yes smaller than you are looking for, but I think coulsdon is a nice size. Coulsdon has everything you want shops wise as jingle says but it's not a shopping centre. Whereas Bromley has a huge shopping centre and I personally think it might be too big. Couldsdon is on a par with beckenham or west wickham IMO, except one word of warning, couldson is exceptionally hilly which is why I don't live there! Good luck!

BigBirdisSaved Wed 28-Nov-12 16:45:24

Just like anywhere there are good parts and bad. Caversham is considered a naive area for instance. There are buses from Caversham to the train station.

JingleBel Wed 28-Nov-12 20:15:59

Coulsdon has 2 parts.
Coulsdon Town which is in catchment for Woodcote, an outstanding co ed.
Old Coulsdon, which, as cabbageandbeans mentions is high above sea level, and more villagey.

Gingersnap88 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:34:11

I prefer Teddington, it's really lovely around there (I grew up in Kingston and would love to move back).

Used to live in Beckenham, which is nice but still a bit iffy in places as its so close to Penge..

Devora Fri 30-Nov-12 00:05:16

I agree, Gingersnap. There are NO bad parts to Teddington [smug emoticon]

cabbageandbeans Sat 01-Dec-12 00:04:54

Now I think about it, yes Teddington IS lovely. I used to work in Twickenham which is nice but for the huge stadium and rugby fans!

Richmond is fab - great shops, river, pubs, green, theatre......prefer Richmond to Bromley but prices shock! Additionally, Kingston is great but has a bad rep for the night time action, as it is a lively university town and there are lots of bars/nightclubs but it is still a lovely area IMO. However, just walking distance you can be in Hampton wick which I believe is nice. All very pricey though.....

Devora Sat 01-Dec-12 08:15:11

It IS all very pricey, I agree. Richmond is the priciest, and where I'm going to live when I marry George Clooney. Teddington is cheaper, but getting increasingly pricey as it rapidly gentrifies and because ALL the schools are good. Hampton Wick also very nice, but I prefer Tedd because it has a proper centre and good shops, whereas HW is really part of the Kingston sprawl. Kingston has lovely and not-so-lovely bits, great shopping, but yes the centre is to be avoided on a Saturday night. (Whereas Teddington is very dull for young people and therefore always feel safe, despite the murder last week.)

Devora Sat 01-Dec-12 08:18:00

Actually, Teddington is the safest I have ever felt in London. It has an almost total absence of that sense of aggro, something about to kick off. No graffiti, no hoodies, everybody very polite.... it's like living in the Truman Show. Which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your personal preferences.

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