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Small towns and villages near Southampton

(39 Posts)
AlohaMama Thu 02-May-13 01:51:06

We're planning on moving to the Southampton area. Either dh will be working at an office at the quayside, or will be self employed working from home (but would need to get on the train to London fairly regularly for meetings). I'll be not working to start off, but then likely employers for me would be in Southampton, Winchester, or Botley, or working from home. We'd prefer to live somewhere more rural, where we can go on walks, get to the coast, etc. but without being totally isolated. Also we'd prefer a small town/large village that has at least a few shops or a supermarket although I realise we could go to Southampton for shopping. We have 1 ds (2yrs) and 1 dd (due June) so schools will come into play in a few years time. Having done a bit of research online (currently living abroad so I can't really drive round these places yet) I've been looking at places like Dibden Purlieu/Hythe, Romsey, Bursledon, Warsash. Does anyone know anything about these places? Are they nice to live, have a good sense of community etc? And is there anywhere else I should be considering that's similar distance from Southampton? Thanks for any help!

Talkinpeace Mon 06-May-13 22:13:19

I live in the catchment of the Purple school : I know your pain!
Abbotswood is indeed dire : they are not having the roads adopted which is why they are too narrow, badly laid out and lack of parking.

Have you looked at Nursling? The estate is all within walking distance of the school and the number 4 bus route - or Upton Crescent - north of the M27 is safer from catchment changes for Mountbatten

vj32 Mon 06-May-13 22:05:20

Talkinpeace - we are looking for a house to buy within walking distance of a decent primary school, which isn't proving very easy as we don't have £££ to spend. Think we are going to try and get into the Halterworth catchment. Kind of desperate lower middle class thing to do, but hence all the research. I think the Abbottswood development is awful - caused major major disruption for us (currently a 2 mile diversion to get to our house that has been doing for 3 months) and they are so densely packed... I think the proposed Whitenap development will have more impact on school boundaries though as it will stop all the Southampton kids getting into Mountbatten - which will probably be a very good thing for Southampton schools.

So, to the OP, if you are looking at an area make sure you look at what big developments are planned locally, as many of the cute little towns and villages may not be very cute and rural much longer. Around here (Romsey) at least it seems they can just put up a thousand or so houses where ever they like!

raspberryshake Mon 06-May-13 21:46:23

Warsash lovely.... So are Hamble, Lee-on-Solent, Stubbington, Whiteley (woeful school situation, but planning given for new one in Sept 13 - all other local schools good), Locks Heath, Swanwick, Burridge, Sarisbury, Botley.... All the wee villages round here. I live here and wouldn't move for anything! Southampton, Gatwick and Bournemouth airports really close, the New Forest, Dorset, South Downs and Shipwrights Way on our doorstep. Ferries to France and Spain, London on 70min from
Southampton Parkway station, Winchester, Chichester and Salisbury in striking distance. Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Dockyard, Paulton's Park (home of Peppa Pig World!) why live anywhere else?!!!grin

Eve Mon 06-May-13 21:43:06

Herd of piglets is not correct is it? Litter?

Eve Mon 06-May-13 21:42:12

I'll forgive a baby donk anything, they are so gorgeous!!!

Though big donks not so cute when I was poo picking fields in the dark in winter when 1 right beside the fence called! Thought for a second was the flippin hound of the flippin Baskervilles!!

They got to know when I fed my horses & put out hay & about 7 of them would appear braying for hay. Cost me a fortune in exta hay as couldn't refuse those big eyes.

AlohaMama Mon 06-May-13 21:38:02

Talkinpeace, we'll be doing state. Oldest is only 2 though and youngest not yet born, so not a consideration just yet, though of course if we do buy we're hoping to be around for a few years unless jobs/circumstances change etc.

Eve that's exactly why I like the idea of living in/near the forest. Herds of piglets !! Looking forward to taking lots of nice walks with the kids.

Talkinpeace Mon 06-May-13 21:35:31

(((baby donkeys)))
but they do have a tendency to set off the car alarm headbutting my bumpers!

Eve Mon 06-May-13 21:32:15

North of the M27 is best, access to parts of new forest well of the tourist route of lyndhurst, lymington etc.

Today I saw a baby donk, a baby Shetland, a calf & a herd of piglets!!! I love the forest!!!

Romsey is lovely, schools are good & romsey school has quite a big catchment area. Stockbridge is lovely & close to Winchester though no supermarket.

Talkinpeace Mon 06-May-13 21:25:51

silly thought : will you be doing private or state?
Just that if you are doing private then the Waterside is a splendid place to live : easy acces to the Forest, Southampton, the London train line etc etc
if your kids are boarding age, then the villages in the north of the forest are great
if you have chauffeuring age kids, bus routes are good
Wellow, Bramshaw, Canada Common, Plaitford

this is a wonderful part of the world. I love living here but different bits work for different people

AlohaMama Mon 06-May-13 21:18:31

I'm not sure about the Isle of Wight, just seems like another step to travel anywhere but I'm liking the sound of villages close to the New Forest. We'll be moving back to England this summer so will start investigating our options then.

Thanks for all the info on schools, not something I'd put much thought into so far so good to know!

Talkinpeace Mon 06-May-13 20:20:04

great to holiday, MUCH less good if you want a good education for your kids.
OP I would never suggest moving to the Island unless you know exactly how you will make it work.

very interesting data the North Baddesley / Rownhams issue is entirely down to the threatened catchment boundary change linked to the purple school. Abbotswood has shaken up all the admissions round here.
The trouble with that "distance" guff is that schools like Mountbatten have "in catchment" houses that are over 8 miles from the school and yet much nearer houses are not in catchment.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 06-May-13 19:39:53

Have you considered the Isle of Wight if you live between Cowes and Ryde you are close to both the Fast cats. Cowes to Southampton and Ryde to Portsmouth and train to London. Beautiful Island with Beautiful beaches.

doglover Mon 06-May-13 18:17:51

I would also vote for Alresford. Perrins school is fantastic. I wish we lived there!!

vj32 Mon 06-May-13 18:11:26

Talkinpeace - North Baddesley Infants - last year the furtherest child who got in without a sibling link was 0.66 miles from the school, and so lots of children had to go to Rownhams, as they obviously didn't stand a chance of getting into Halterworth either. You certainly can't get into Kings from Southampton anymore either.

Data is here as the website is pretty hard to navigate:

fridayfreedom Sun 05-May-13 22:09:35

Lots of lovely villages in the Meon Valley, good schools both primary and secondary. Can use Southampton line or Havant line to London.

preggersbycheggers Sun 05-May-13 22:07:13

Alresford is lovely.
I used to date someone who lived in Romsey and I always thought it was a nice place to live.

Talkinpeace Sun 05-May-13 22:03:57

are you meaning Halterworth or North Baddesley?
as the latter has not been over subscribed for many years : too many Chilworth children at Stroud for that to happen.

And if OP can afford the forest, Rownhams is a bargain.

At secondary level, Mountbatten has not turned away a catchment kid for many years, nor has Romsey.
Thornden does not accept out of catchment (mostly) but pretty much all the in catchment get in.
Kings in Winchester take kids from Southampton - the bus goes near my house.

vj32 Sun 05-May-13 21:04:54

Read up closely on school admissions as well - we were looking at moving to North Baddesley until we discovered that children from large parts of the catchment area didn't get in last year because they had so many siblings. Next closest school was also oversubscribed so loads of children ended up miles down the road in the only school with places.

Also it really depends on your budget. Many of the places suggested are very expensive because they have good links to Southampton, nice community feel etc.

Littlefish Sat 04-May-13 18:47:16

Bursledon is lovely, but the school is not great.

Tommy Sat 04-May-13 18:36:45

Park Gate, Swanwick way? There are some nice places down there and think the schools are good.
Ashurst is nice and Lyndhurst.
Some friends live in Fordingbridges which is right in the Forest - but maybe a bit isolated?

lougle Sat 04-May-13 18:35:43

4 miles from Botley - Bishops Waltham. Outstanding school in village. Nearest 3 schools outside Bishops Waltham are all outstanding.

6 miles from Botley - Swanmore. Outstanding school in the village, nearest 2 schools outside Swanmore both outstanding.

SoulTrain Sat 04-May-13 18:32:19

There's just not a lot in Bursledon in my opinion. I'd definitely look at Emsworth, Rowlands Castle, Westbourne, Bosham...further East but sooo much nicer.

ChutesTooNarrow Sat 04-May-13 12:20:58

Hedge End/ Botley? Love living in Hedge End. We can walk to Berry theatre, swimming pool and gym at Wildern, library, lots of parks, Manor Farm country park. There are several outstanding primaries and a highly rated secondary school. Not quite a village but lots of community events including yearly carnival. I like most being a two minute drive from the m27 grin

If you want posher then maybe Chandlers Ford, Romsey or Warsash. Or smaller and more rural then def New Forest. I wouldn't suggest too small though - my mother lives in small village in New Forest, it can be quite bleak and isolating over winter, she has been snowed in for the last few years, with frequent power cuts.

I would say not Hamble or Lymmington as the traffic makes me weep.

Talkinpeace Sat 04-May-13 11:39:22

yup - anywhere in the catchment to applemore is .....

agree that Otterbourne is lovely

PleaseFindAlex Sat 04-May-13 08:18:22

I think Otterbourne is lovely with a village feel. Thorden secondary is very highly rated, the village infants/junior is nice. Its between Southampton and Winchester. 20 ish minute drive to Southampton.

Junction 12 on M3, so no jams. Direct buses to Winchester and Southampton. Can walk along the river Ichen from here right into the centre of Winchester though pretty countywide.

Can walk or cycle off road into Chandlers Ford for supermarkets. 3 pubs in village with a village green area.

I've lived in London, Salisbury, Winchester, Romsey, Southampton and a Lancashire small hill town and this is my favourite.

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