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Brackenbury Village or Chiswick?

(25 Posts)
robelima Fri 19-Apr-13 15:03:22

Hi dear mums, please help me:

I have only one child who is almost 3, have few friends in London (I am Brazilian and moved here 4 years ago) hence I do not know many children/parents for my daughter to play with
We currently live in Kensington where I met lots of mums (most foreigners) but now we are moving from here as we want to buy a flat. I like being close to the city - my husband calls me a city sleeker (?) - and at the same time, I would like to be in a family area where my daughter can make new friends and try to get a GOOD Primary schools.
When I first moved here, I lived in Twickhenham and my experience was not good: too far away from the city and I made no friends even if I would go to all NCT coffees. Foreigners seem to be more open to make friendship with other foreigners and there are very few foreigners in the area of Twickenham.
Because I want to be close to the city, it seems that, within our budget, the best places are that meet our requirements:
1). Brackenbury Village
2). Chiswick
3). Putney
4). Battersea

What is your experience as mums, foriegners or not, in these areas? Specially Chiswick and B.Village?

Many many thanks!

MothershipG Fri 19-Apr-13 19:09:30

I don't know about the ratio of international Mums but there are definitely a couple of primaries rated outstanding in the Brackenbury Village area - but you do realise "Brakenbury Village" is largely estate agent speak, have you visited? It has some attractive (overpriced) housing stock but not much in the way of a centre and transport links aren't great. Also I do know the current head of Brackenbury Primary School is leaving - because she's moving to the school my DC go to. wink

I think Chiswick will probably be more cosmopolitan and it has a decent high street, but I don't know anything about the Primaries there.

You could get more for your money in South Ealing/Northfields without adding much on your travelling time. Good local primaries, reasonably cosmopolitan and not far from Ealing which has a bigger selection of shops, restaurants etc.

Afraid I don't know Putney or Battersea at all, sorry.

robelima Fri 19-Apr-13 22:27:08

thanks, mothershipG! Where does your DC study?

Devora Sat 20-Apr-13 00:47:52

Chiswick is lovely - great high street - but you need to be careful about schools. I think the really desirable one is called something like Belfield - it begins with B, anyway - but you have to be living on the doorstep to have a hope of getting in. Don't forget to look into secondaries too, unless you are planning on moving again.

Brackenbury Village is lovely, but doesn't have a great high street - though you're very near to Hammersmith, which has lots of useful shops but not the upmarket cafe culture of Chiswick. But the transport links are fantastic and will get you in and out of the City in no time. There is a great primary there. Hammersmith generally has some good schools, but again don't take catchment areas for granted.

Putney is nice enough but the high street is horrid. Battersea I'm not keen on.

So: of those areas I like Chiswick best, but if transport into town is important to you Brackenbury Village may be the one. For me it would really come down to schools, though, so do your homework!

Incidentally, I moved from Olympia down to Twickenham area. I completely understand what you are saying: in Olympia I was the only person in my mother and baby group who had been born in the UK. The others were a fantastic mix: there was one baby who was half Zimbabwean and half Estonian; another who was half Japanese and half Polish. Only in London! I love living down in TW but I do miss the diversity.

Herhonesty Sat 20-Apr-13 03:25:27

Chiswick or putney definitely. Brackenbury not very green and very busy, don't know battersea.

dimestore Sat 20-Apr-13 22:13:42

Just to reassure you if you are considering Chiswick, all the primary schools are great! The ChiswickW4 website is a good source of information and has a forum where you can post queries.

allaflutter Sun 21-Apr-13 00:00:32

Chiswick first choice, as has great High street and transport links, plus not far from Kew, and is cosmopolitan and upmarket!

Battersea - second as far as I'm concerned, great park, good bus links to South Ken with the museums (Dinosaurs!) for dc, etc. But no nice High st. You'd go to King's road, or Northcote rd in Clapham.

Putney is a bit strange, nice houses but not a nice High st and very fumey and busy (narrow unlike chiswick high road which is also busy). It's a bit far out too, tube not always frequent.

Blackenbury village is really Hammersmith - it's very convenient for transport and shops and very relaxed sort of place (unsnobbish, unlike some of Putney) but it's all a bit cramped and imo not best for a small child as you have to take some kind of transport to go anywhere (like a good park).

Devora Sun 21-Apr-13 00:23:26

Doesn't Brackenbury have a lovely big park? With a cafe full of organic children's food? Or am I confusing it with somewhere else?!

Devora Sun 21-Apr-13 00:24:02

Chiswick is the out and out winner, though. I'd go a long way for a high street as good as that one.

allaflutter Sun 21-Apr-13 13:43:46

Devora - do you mean Ravenscourt park a bit further out? that's almost chiswick. It's reasonable, but more of a green, with few trees/flowerbeds, not big! also it's a bit of a hike with a small child by foot.
Yes, love Ch high street, it's gone even better especially in last 5yrs - has Gail's!

Devora Sun 21-Apr-13 16:39:06

Ah, all the people I must have said to over the past half decade: "Go to Brackenbury Village. It's got a lovely park" blush

I stand corrected. Will insist on Chiswick from now on grin

robelima Sun 21-Apr-13 21:44:03

hehehe. I love Gail's too! Today we drove past some areas in Putney and Battersea and I much prefer Twickenham to these 2 areas

Thanks a lot, girls!!

swlmum Tue 23-Apr-13 20:23:32

Would disagree with some of the above posters and recommend Putney smile.
Not too far out at all as train to Waterloo v quick and 2 tube stations.
The west of Putney Bridge is much nicer I think (having lived both sides).
Living so near to the river is great.
High Street is not a chi chi pretty one BUT has all the shops you actually need and you can easily get elsewhere for others.
Easy bus rise to museums, Kings Road, Westfield.
Near to Richmond Park, Kew Gardens, Wetland Centre etc.
LOADS of different nationalities and very easy to meet people if you have kids.
Very villagey feel in the bit where I live.
Very good primary schools although admittedly getting harder and harder to get into and often need to go to church.

A friend lives in Brackenbury Village- she is about 3 minutes walk from Ravenscourt Park- all a bit too near Hammermith Broadway for me and Battersea feels too urban yet a bit cut off...

allaflutter Tue 23-Apr-13 21:26:03

OP, so have you looked at all these now? Chiswick is still the best for many on here!
swlmum, yes some people like Putney, but as OP already looked and didn't really like it, that's that I guess. also I disagree about easy buses - it's a very slow ride especially mornings or late afternoons, narrow High street and once over the bridge slow too, very busy with traffic! Also re Battersea, I did suggest the area by the park, imo it's the only nice bit - it's not urban there but nice and green and an easy walk across the bridge to chelsea with several very nice cafes two minutes the other side of the (beautiful)bridge, fast buses to South Ken also, whereas PUtney you have to take transport to get anywhere nice like Parsons green or South Ken. Also driving to Richmond Park can be a nightmare along Sheen rd. as it's so congested, often in the day. Do agree that river walks are nice there, and practical shops. I'd say Barnes is nicer in that direction, not as many amenities but more chi chi and more peaceful and by the river/parks - possibly a bit snobbish though, a bit surrey-like grin, and for me not lively enough, but it's good for families with small kids.

swlmum Tue 23-Apr-13 22:00:43

Please don't say Putney is Surrey-like- Surrey is my idea of absolute hell smile(apologies to Surrey dwellers!)....

Goodwordguide Tue 23-Apr-13 22:19:35

I lived in Putney, it's full of foreigners, especially Latin Americans! It's also very friendly and yes, the High Street is ugly but also very convenient - there is nothing you can't buy there, it has eg, a sewing shop, good toy shop, Gap, Waterstones, great library and leisure centre etc. Great train links to Waterloo, buses and tube to everywhere else. Primaries are great but catchment is tricky and the Putney parents are obsessed with schoolplaces in a very dull way!

It's a very easy place to live with children though, there's so much going on.

allaflutter Tue 23-Apr-13 23:49:58

not Putney - I compared Barnes to surrey (to some extent!).

robelima Wed 24-Apr-13 17:20:58

Goodwordguide, I am running from obsessed parents!! I know ONE parent in Putney who lives in a mansion block by the river and loves the area. But I the catchment area is really tricky there.
I went to Battersea 2 days ago, I saw a nice flat by the park (in a mansion block) but there was a HUGE council state just 5 mins from the mansion block and the outstanding school there is almost INSIDE the council state. If I had no children, I would have taken that place but... I am sorry if I am sounding too snobbish - I am new here and I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings.
I thought about Barnes but it is too expensive to buy there.
I also found a nice tiny house in B.Village but the price was too high and we lost the bid. I am crying for 3 days now...I need to find a house AND a school to my daughter at the same time...quite stressing.

Any thoughts about South Ealing? The high street is awful but apparently its very familiar.....

swlmum Wed 24-Apr-13 17:54:14

I have a few friends who have moved to Ealing as you get a lot of house for your money (relatively). They all love it and I am envious of their massive gardens...Feels a bit too far out for me but good tube line etc

Goodwordguide Wed 24-Apr-13 17:58:12

The catchment is not that difficult if you live in central Putney, you would probably get Hotham or Brandlehow, both are excellent (and full of foreigners, especially Hotham now it has the French stream). It's only tricky if you eg, want OLV or St Marys as they're very strict about church attendance etc and dominated by siblings.

I would choose the school first and then rent next to it before you decide where to buy. If you're going to stay in London I would consider secondary schools first. Most of the primaries are fine (despite parental gossip to the contrary, most English primaries, particularly in the early years, are very good by international standards) but London secondaries are veyr complicated and vary enormously in terms of admission criteria etc.

allaflutter Wed 24-Apr-13 23:20:49

OP, so what happened to the Chiswick option? it's not far from B.village - lots of frequent buses too if you need to go to Hammersmith, but it's quite self contained anyway.

robelima Thu 25-Apr-13 09:46:18

We are still considering Chiswick - we saw a flat last Saturday but the building was very ran down...
I would rather rent as well - see if I love the area, and then buy there (or not). But my husband is keen to stop paying rent - we would need to rent for a whole year...Anyway, we need to leave this flat where we are living in beginning of July!! So we will probably have to rent somewhere.
You are being so great trying to help me! Do you mums ever get together?

AltoPalo Thu 25-Apr-13 09:59:09

Brackenbury is a lovely area to raise a family. It's got Ravenscourt Park which has three seperate playgrounds and a cafe, there are three fab State primaries, a lovely sense of community and its less than 10 mins walk from 5 Tube lines. It feels much more central than Chiswick but you have no sense of being too nr Hammersmith Boradway or Shepherds Bush Green.

allaflutter Thu 25-Apr-13 21:35:12

Hmm, B.village is a very small area, to me it really does feel too close to Hammersmith broadway. Agree it's nice for schools and is a little enclave, but it's too cramped (houses quite narrow) and streets narrow - unlike Chiswick, more to the point it just hasn't got a nice, not-to crowded, useful High st within easy walk. Broadway is practical but not very nice, and too busy for tiny kids, though yes, you could take a bus to Chiswick or High st kensington. Chiswick is big, and I'm advocating Turnham Green/Stamford brook area, or anywhere around High St., not towards Acton really. It's just all there on the doorstep, lots of shops, market, cafes, all civilised and feels safe and more spacious, and Ravenscourt park couple of stops on bus, but you are also nearer Kew gardens, great with kids! I think it does feel quite central, the vibe is not suburban, it's lively. School catchment - I'm not sure about though, maybe someone else can narrow it down.
Of course it does come down to what OP likes.

robelima Wed 01-May-13 22:08:38

dear all, I saw a very nice house (much nicer than the ones in Brackenbury village) in Chiswick on Strand on the green. Close to the 2 primary schools there..they are obly "good" according to ofsted but it seems parents like it a lot. Any thoughts? many thanks again!!

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