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Moving to London - Tower Bridge area?? Thoughts?

(28 Posts)
lily3 Sat 29-Jun-13 15:34:11

We are moving to London from NYC and currently looking at a development called One Tower Bridge. We are used to high-rise living and would love to be in a building with amenities. While the development looks amazing, I don't know much about the area. I would love some input/thoughts on living in that part of London. Our main questions are safety, demographic (who lives there? Stereotype?) and commute into Chelsea as our children will be attending school there. Husband will be working in the city, which is clearly nearby, but I will have to drive the kids to and from Chelsea every day... is this doable?

MothershipG Sat 29-Jun-13 15:39:40

I've never lived anywhere so central, I'm in Ealing currently (I love leafy suburbia grin), but I have to say living in Tower Bridge wouldn't be my first choice even if I had that sort of money. The area is very built up and, I think, largely offices so in your position I think I'd prefer to live in Chelsea and let your DH do the driving!

sarahbanshee Sat 29-Jun-13 15:40:10

Driving to Chelsea from Tower Bridge every day would be horrendous, to be frank - the traffic at that time of day in the centre will be awful and it could take you an hour each way easily.

If you are keen on that sort of development there are several in Chelsea, Battersea, Kensington which would be handy for school and not a bad commute into the city by tube for your husband.

sammisatt Sat 29-Jun-13 15:45:01

If you like high rise living and need to be near Chelsea then hiw about a development in Chelsea harbour? Of the other side of the river is slightly cheaper (vauxhall/batteries) and also has some nice riverside developments. Far more child friendly as more families live round there and you'd be near the green spaces of Battersea Park.

lucidlady Sat 29-Jun-13 15:45:50

London Bridge to Chelsea will be a nightmare drive in rush hour. You'd be better off using the tube.

As an area, London Bridge is very commercial and touristy. Lots of office developments, pubs and restaurants. Shad Thames is just across from 1 Tower Bridge but it's not overly child friendly and there's not a lot of outdoor space. I lived in Shad Thames for a while and loved it but we moved after I got pregnant.

lily3 Sat 29-Jun-13 16:07:57

Thanks for the input! The other area we have looked at is Notting Hill (sacrifice modern high-rise for location), but DH is concerned about travel time to work. He would prefer to drive as opposed to taking the tube - even thought the tube is probably faster/more efficient! Anyone guess how long a drive that would be? From Notting Hill to the city?

MelanieCheeks Sat 29-Jun-13 16:10:30

Srsly, don't think about driving in London, not for a daily commute.

Thurlow Sat 29-Jun-13 16:30:47

I work at Tower Bridge, and I wouldn't say it's an ideal area for kids. Plenty of people work there but it's generally twenty or thirty-somethings who work in the area, and not many kids, though the area does back on to Bermondsey which is a much more residential area.

Notting Hill sounds like a better bet.

And I really don't know anyone who tries to drive to work in central London, it would be an absolute nightmare.

piprabbit Sat 29-Jun-13 16:33:22

Having worked very near Tower Hill for many years, I wouldn't ever considering living there.

lucidlady Sat 29-Jun-13 16:56:52

Driving in London is an absolute nightmare. There's a daily congestion charge when driving into city and parking costs a fortune.

Mumzy Sat 29-Jun-13 17:06:05

I agree the drive would be horrendous. Suggest you live in Chelsea and your dh commutes to city (Blackfriars/Bankside or Canary Wharf) using the river by Thames Clipper which is very civilised.www.thamesclippers.com/routes-times-prices-booking/routes-times-prices-booking.html

spotty26 Sat 29-Jun-13 20:00:54

Notting Hill to Bank on the central line is so easy and half the time of driving. The commute really needs to be that way around, ie Dad commuting because how will you do play dates, parents' evenings etc with the kids. Not practical at all to drive twice daily to and from Tower Bridge to Chelsea.

Families just do not tend to live in those developments in London. Do you have a relocation consultant? That is my job and I would strongly recommend you put your roots around the school.

Lots of American families like Primrose Hill/St Johns Wood because of the American school... Have you looked anywhere else?

tribpot Sat 29-Jun-13 20:05:26

Honestly - driving in London is not really an option. Your DH may be worried about his daily commute but that's how London works. You live near the schools, not near the offices.

LIZS Sat 29-Jun-13 20:12:31

You just don't drive in central London at peak hours, especially with kids. tbh your dh commute will not significantly increase from Notting Hill, Maida Vale et al. Being so central in a high-rise is very much a young single/couple professional 's game with the surrounding bar and cafe culture. As a family you'd be better off further out. Have you visited yet ?

Mumzy Sat 29-Jun-13 22:45:35

Alternatively your children go to school near Tower Bridge. St Paul's cathedral school is coed and goes up to 13 yrs old. City of London girls and charterhouse square for boys

mummytime Sat 29-Jun-13 22:59:49

If you really have to live in the City, I would be still looking at the Barbician, its the only place that has kids living there. Most of those flats are for childless singles/couples or "pied a terres".

Do not commute by driving if you can help it, really people do not in London, that includes the presidents of Investment Banks.

I would also live closer to the school. Chelsea is nicer too.

Awks Sat 29-Jun-13 23:10:04

I walk past that development every week. It's right on the corner of Tooley Street and Tower Bridge Road. It's also where one of the older TV talent shows (maybe BGT) was filmed years ago in the old bit.

Anyway, it's big. On a corner. Opposite the Nat West and the Bridge House pub:0) .

With kids theres a fair bit of green space naer there with the more london gardens etc. There are fountains in the pavement the kids can play in and there are nice walks along the river.

Easy commutes from London |Bridge. Lots of busses. Shit shopping though, seriosusly shit shopping. Its only got a Tesco metro in the last 6 months.

I know others are saying about traffic but I drive regularly between waterloo/tooley st/city and yes its often a pain but rarely a fucking nightmare - Chelsea's a whole different thing though. Good luck

forevergreek Sun 30-Jun-13 08:22:56

Notting hill to Chelsea in a car will take forever! The traffic around earls court alone is a nightmare during commuting times.

I would live in/ as close to Chelsea as possible for the schools. Then you can walk to school and use tube from earls court/ Gloucester road etc if needed.

What's your monthly rental budget?

Vatta Sun 30-Jun-13 08:32:32

Sorry but as everybody else has said it's a really bad idea! Driving across London for a daily commute (either to school or work) would be a total nightmare.

Your dh just has to suck up a commute on public transport so you can live near the school, that's how everybody does it.

Out of interest, is there a reason you're set on a school in Chelsea? There are a lot of good schools nearer to the city.

SconeInSixtySeconds Sun 30-Jun-13 08:41:49

I agree, if you are absolutely set on a school in Chelsea then you really need to live as close to it as possible. Driving through London isn't fun (although I did it regularly and survived grin) but you don't want to be doing it every day with the time restraints of pick up/drop off.

There are some gorgeous areas around Chelsea that are child friendly, and Kings Road is one of my old stomping grounds lovely and has most of the shops you need, and lots that you don't!

Iwillorderthefood Sun 30-Jun-13 08:44:55

Driving is crazy, I used to work in transport planning, and have a bit of insight into transport for London policies. Effectively, these policies try to get as many people out of their cars and onto public transport as possible. The roads are often designed to make travel by bus and bicycle more direct and easier, whilst forcing cars to follow convoluted one way systems, and prohibiting them to turn left or right frequently, which also forces them to travel further.

Many people who live in zone one do not even own a car due to the cost of insuring them, the slow and frustrating nature of driving at the average speed in London which is around 9mph plus parking could set you back £30 plus per day.

You need to get a feel for the city before you make any decisions, wherever you move first of all can always be changed if you find it does not suit. Kensington etc is a much more attractive place to live than The Tower area and has the beautiful Hyde Park just around the corner.

Good luck.

Kewcumber Sun 30-Jun-13 08:57:44

does your husband currently drive into manhattan? because if he thinks its comparable... it isn't! london traffic is way worse. I drove for years into the west end from richmond and it was easy but anywhere closer into the city than Picadilly and I tubed it.

Also live as close to school as you can unless you want to spend your life sitting in traffic not only ferrying your children to/from school but also swimming/classes/playdates etc

Kewcumber Sun 30-Jun-13 09:01:49

but if he's planning to work very long hours - in before 7.30 home after 7 then driving commute not so bad whether from chelsea or tower hill.

SconeInSixtySeconds Sun 30-Jun-13 09:03:23

That is true, and those were my commute times when I used to do Chelsea to Wimbledon. Left at 7.30am no problem, leave at 7.45 hell on toast.

bico Sun 30-Jun-13 09:13:13

I work opposite that development and commute in from west of London. I have parking available at work but I rarely drive in. The drive into London isn't bad but it can take an hour to drive from Chelsea to Tower Bridge some days (and that is getting to Chelsea at 7am).

It isn't a place I'd live with children. I sit overlooking flats that cost more than £1m and the residents' lives are completely on view (and sometimes quite distracting). My colleagues on the other side of our building will have a similarly close view to that development. We always wonder why people with that sort of money would ever choose to live there rather than somewhere like Chelsea or South Ken.

There are some nice restaurants, not much green space, a nice Waitrose the other side of Tower Bridge but that's it.

To think of a NYC equivalent it would be a bit like living near Wall Street.

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