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Where best to live in SE England? Help please.

(51 Posts)
EspressoMonkey Wed 29-May-13 19:58:00

Last week DH hit me with the bombshell, he has been offered a good job in London and wants to take it. We lived in London previously and still have our house there but i don't want to move back in. I want a fresh start. DD is due to start school in September so this move will really screw up her start of school. I'm terrified she won't get a good place anywhere.

So...I want to move to a naice village/town commutable to London.

I want naice neighbours, good schools. I don't want to live next door to Peter Andre. I was thinking of somewhere in Kent. DH has said no to Surrey as he thinks it is a sea of botoxed middle aged borings. I really have no idea what it is like or where we should move to.

Help me please, DH's potential new company want to fly us over for an inticement day and have arranged for me to meet with a home search agent. They have asked me where to start looking and i said i have no idea so they showed me a house on Dormans Park in East Grinstead and i emailed it to my sister and she laughed and said it was the street where Peter fecking Andre lives.

Please help me find my naice new neighbourhood. I need to email back the home search agent by the end of the week with a list of potential areas.

CerealMom Thu 30-May-13 09:34:05

Do you have to be in Kent? How long, door to door, does your DH want to commute for?

We used to live in St Albans, now live in a village near Berkhamsted. This area (Harpenden through to Berkhamsted) is popular because it has a short commute time, good transport links (M25/M1/Luton airport etc...), good selection of independent schools and lovely countryside.

My DH's commute is 1hr 10mins door to door to the city.

If you want a village - Ashridge, Aldbury, Ringshall, Little Gaddesden, St Margrets, Nettleden, Great Gaddesden, Frithsden. All these have 'naice' village schools available and other village entertainments - odd shaped veg competition, brownies, cricket... You get the jist :-)

fapl Thu 30-May-13 16:58:24

Maybe it would be best to move in to Peter Andre's old house, I am quite certain he is not moving one house along, then you know you won't be living next door to him (or was the agent actually trying to sell you Peter Andre's house?)

EspressoMonkey Thu 30-May-13 19:10:50

Back again. Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have nothing against Surrey. To be blunt what DH and i want is to live in a nice village and not in a footballers wives type private estate, such as the one Peter Andre lived in. We want to be part of a nice community IYSWIM. Got the impression that Surrey was very Footballers Wives, but i may well be wrong. I just don't know.

CerealMom bingo, just what i mean, thanks for the list

TheRealFellatio Thu 30-May-13 19:21:41

if you are commuting in to the city then I would definitely pick somewhere where the train comes into near where DH will be working. So it could be Kent, Essex or Herts depending on where he will be based. I would stick to somewhere where the mainline train journey is under an hour.

getting on a tube or a bus from the station is okay in theory but a nightmare in practice.

LIZS Thu 30-May-13 19:21:59

No not at all unless you choose compounds like Dormans Park, St George's Hill Weybridge or Lunghurst Road area in Woldingham . Lots of nice village , aorund the Surrey/Kent/West Sussex border. Perhaps you should take a trip over and drive around once you have a few school options?

Bowlersarm Thu 30-May-13 19:51:31

OP How many football teams do you think there are in Surrey? It is a large county. You give me an impression of not being able to walk down the street without bumping into hoards of these pesky footballers.

LIZS Fri 31-May-13 08:32:07

but to be fair those playing for London teams do often live in the Home Counties - including Surrey, Kent , Essex and Herts. Perhaps best to ask agent to avoid all new build detached £m+ houses, just in case a C-list celeb or Premier League footballer lives next door ! smile

blueshoes Fri 31-May-13 09:06:56

Blackheath SE3/Greenwich SE10, of course. This will be Zone 2/3 in London. If you are closer to Greenwich, your dh can take the DLR straight into Canary Wharf.

Generalising very broadly, London is less of an artificial segregated environment like the Home Counties, due to the diversity in London, with affluent and less affluent areas being cheek by jowl. It is also more vibrant with facilities and entertainment at your doorstep.

There are nice schools but in this area of London, you have to be able to go private as the choice of good state schools, particularly at secondary is limited.

blueshoes Fri 31-May-13 09:10:45

Having said that, for Greenwich/Blackheath, there is a wide choice of grammar schools at secondary in nearby Kent that many parents in the area send their children to

takeaway2 Fri 31-May-13 09:34:23

Canterbury in kent? Under an hour to st pancreas in London. At least three private schools (st Edmunds, kent college, kings/junior kings). Near Whitstable which has a pebbly beach. Sandy beach is also nearby. Grammar school system.

beachyhead Fri 31-May-13 09:37:23

Which station will your husband be nearest to, at his new place of work?

Gingersnap88 Fri 31-May-13 10:00:20

There's an international school in Sevenoaks which might be nice for her, lots of other children who have been living in different countries and who speak multiple languages.

Good luck smile

flatmum Fri 31-May-13 10:46:02

I grew up in a small village on the edge I lake geneva and it was the most boring place I have ever been. Nothing happened. Ever. Any town or village you choose within commuting distance to London will have more going on, even in Surrey so your DH will be quids in.

Em2121 Fri 31-May-13 11:00:17

In St Albans (where we live), there are YR places at a few schools - would happily send mine to Bernard's Heath or the new Alban City School (I know a couple of the people involved in setting up the latter).

ACTUALLY there is a place at St Michael's, if you don't mind COfE. It's small (better for focussing on her language skills?), and right in the old villagey naice medieval area of town, by the park etc.. If I had a decent budget I would go for that, and get a place on Fishpool Street. AL3 4SJ is the postcode if you want to put it into RightMove.

I am sure other councils will have similar lists on their websites.


Em2121 Fri 31-May-13 11:04:30

Just read your other message. St Michael's is a little community all of its own, with pubs, waffle house, museum, church, and it's footballer's wife-free. Walking distance up Fishpool Street past the cathedral and boutiquey shops into town :-).

CerealMom Fri 31-May-13 15:05:07

Em2121 ahh, we used to live on Fishpool St. Just a short stroll to the Waffle House.... <malted choc milkshake, slurrrrrrp>

Jenny580 Thu 27-Jun-13 15:32:26

DH has commuted into London for over 20 years, from every direction (Berks, Surrey, Herts, Kent, Essex). We've now settled in a village outside Chelmsford, which is the best commute for speed and reliability and overall quality of life. House prices very reasonable and you get a lot more for your money than in Surrey. Attractive villages in the countryside around if you prefer that e.g. Boreham, Dedham, Saffron Walden. Certainly not a boring place. Plenty to do, lively communities, people are friendly, not stuffy and snobby. Essex, and Chelmsford in particular, comes top in lots of surveys for best places to live and quality of life. Great schools too - some of the best independent and grammar schools in the country, as well as some quality maintained schools.

Branleuse Thu 27-Jun-13 15:38:19

dp commutes to the city. We're in colchester. I love it here

PanicMode Thu 27-Jun-13 21:00:42

We are in Tunbridge Wells and love it - but I think you'd struggle to get a school place, state or private for September!

Toughasoldboots Thu 27-Jun-13 21:04:00

I am in Tunbridge Wells too- it's a great place to live.

RFLmum Thu 27-Jun-13 21:08:57

You'd get a place at The mead in tunbridge wells if you can afford private. It's a lovely school.

PanicMode Thu 27-Jun-13 21:30:13

Oh yes, forgot the Mead - they always have spaces!

RFLmum Thu 27-Jun-13 22:20:06

Ooo ouchy Panic! ;-)

Toughasoldboots Fri 28-Jun-13 11:42:36


PanicMode Sat 29-Jun-13 10:08:18

Sorry was feeling a bit punchy after a crap day...... it's lovely and they can usually accommodate children looking for late spaces grin

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