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Where to live in hampshire / Berks??

(31 Posts)
Oddjob555 Sat 16-Nov-13 08:07:14

We may be moving back to the UK from Germany after 5 years away. My partner will work in Newbury and we need to find somewhere to live that is commutable but maybe between Newbury and the coast /rural areas. Commute no more than an hour.

Need good schools, primary and secondary (more important), fun but relaxed place to live with all amenities (cant wait for these to be in English!) shops, pub, things for kids to do etc, in walking distance if possible. A market town or lively village and nice people. probably asking a lot, all with house within budget!

We will be renting first but need to rent near the school as dont want to move the kids around again.
My kids have never been to a British school so advice on finding a good school also welcome!
Saw a similar previous thread from a few years ago and wondered if comments still relevant.

Thanks so much in advance!

Herhonesty Sat 16-Nov-13 08:17:08

What is your budget?

Oddjob555 Sat 16-Nov-13 13:14:39

Firstly renting around 1500. To buy around 600k. Thanks for help!

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Nov-13 13:26:22

What age are your children? Do you want state or private schools? What kind of house are you looking for for 600k?
The coast is only about an hour from Newbury so whole distance is not very far.
If any of you have specific hobbies being closer to Newbury would be better as due to type of town it is you get market town feel with wide range of clubs - recently a friend looked at how many choirs there are in Newbury and Thatcham it was over 25, just one example.
I live in Newbury and work in North Hants so if you want specific info then pm me.

Oddjob555 Sat 16-Nov-13 13:48:16

Thanks for the info. Sorry i wasnt clearer, i didnt want to write too much in the first entry.
My kids will be 7 and 9,
Acess to kids swimming, music clubs, judo clubs etc would be great. market town feel ideal, min 3 bed house, space for a veggie plot! Houses in germany are kight, spacious and airy and I would love that, so not cottagy type houses unless they feel spacious. Not in a road that is too busy, but with life and good access. most important thing is a good school. State, with good pastoral care and encourages open thinking. Our kids go to an IB school here and like the method very much.
i was a homeopath so access to things like open minded Doctors, alternative health good too. but as I said the most important thing is the acess (ideally walking distance) to good schools as we dont want to have to move again.
Thanks again,

ajandjjmum Sat 16-Nov-13 13:52:30

I like the area around Kintbury/Inkpen/Hungerford - so West Berkshire. Half hour commute into Newbury at most.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Nov-13 15:44:00

State senior school provision not the best in Hungerford. You would get everything you are looking for in Wash Common in Newbury. £600 would buy you 4 beds and room for veggie patch like this,catchment for Falkland Primary School, Park house and St Barts senior schools is like a little village whilst still actually in Newbury.
Berkshire Maestros music school run at Trinity School on a Saturday, Newbury and District Swimming club and several judo clubs in town.
It's a very Mumsnet area.

Herhonesty Sat 16-Nov-13 17:23:04

winchester and surrounding villages (stockbridge, arlesford, whitchurch) but you will be surprised how little 600k buys you in the south east now

odiham, hartley wintney, although a little further i think?

Talkinpeace Sat 16-Nov-13 17:49:36


vj32 Sat 16-Nov-13 20:36:47

If you are looking to stay near Newbury I would look at the Kennet School catchment around Thatcham - really good school and sixth form. My info is a bit out of date but I would certainly choose Kennet over Park House.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 16-Nov-13 20:41:25

Kennet Catchment is now microscopic. I would say now Kennet Park House and St Barts are on a par. Trinity isn't far behind, but it is a bit behind. Head of Kennet is also Head of Trinity and also primary all one big Academy Trust.

5amisnotmorning Sat 16-Nov-13 20:50:04

We are just relocating from London to this area as DH grew up there. Outstanding primaries are the Priory in Ramsdell but don't hold your breath trying to buy in that catchment.

However the state secondaries in that area aren't great - you really need to be in the catchment for St Barts which means Newbury and the villages north of there. If you don't mind town living then there is also supposed to be a good school north of Reading.

You could also look at Oxford - lovely place to live, more school choices and seems to fit what you are looking for. Only issue there may be your budget..

5amisnotmorning Sat 16-Nov-13 20:55:15

Sorry I was actually thinking about the Downs school and not St Barts but catchment is tiny.

Oddjob555 Sun 17-Nov-13 09:59:52

This information about schools is really useful. We were hoping for between Newbury and the coast, but as you said cost of housing is just ridiculous now.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 17-Nov-13 11:20:29

Between the two you are much more likely to get cottage type properties and the small towns and villages tend to be much more traditional.
The reason I suppose most of us are suggesting the Newbury area is because it ticks most of your boxes, the fact that several large companies have their UK headquarters here means that whilst it still a market town you get a wide variety of activities and types of people.
I moved to Newbury 15 years ago as a temporary thing and joined the huge numbers who stay. Only two days ago I had a new client who has moved from Bristol tell me how pleased he has made the move due to the friendliness and wide variety of activities Newbury offers.

Oddjob555 Sun 17-Nov-13 11:54:11

Yes I see what you mean. Good advice lonecat. More of what we are used to...more international?

TheLeftovermonster Wed 20-Nov-13 15:22:02

There is a European school (primary and secondary) in Culham near Abingdon in Oxfordshire, you might want to have a look at it. It was an independent school, funded by the EU and it's now a free school, I think.

Oddjob555 Tue 26-Nov-13 16:40:57

Thanks for the tip.

doglover Tue 26-Nov-13 20:28:28

My sister lives in Newbury and I am very envious!! It's a bustling market town, packed with clubs, activities and a great swimming club! I would move there like a shot! smile

Sunnyshores Fri 29-Nov-13 14:10:08

Winchester is in a great position - nearer the coast, surrounded by countryside, small villages, great country pubs, mainline train station. Yet the city itself is lively, has 2 very good senior schools and a 6th form college. I much prefer it to Newbury as it has more independent shops, restaurants and character than Newbury.

I've never lived there though, so dont know what areas your budget would get you into.

Oddjob555 Mon 02-Dec-13 22:07:29

Thanks for the info everyone. Sorry for the delay, i dont know how to get replies emailed to me, so it is only when i remember to log on that i see the replies!!!

EBearhug Mon 02-Dec-13 22:11:11

I lived in Whitchurch for a few years - it's lovely, and straight up the A34 to Newbury.

Oddjob555 Sun 26-Jan-14 09:40:39

Thanks for the info.

we took a look around for the one day we had over xmas!

Whitchurch was very nice actually, what is the Testbourne school like anyone?

We also drove to Compton which looked like it was in quite a remote area, and Kennet school in Thatcham, which looked quite a small area. Do most people get the bus from here?

Also in the Telegraph 2014 league tables, St Barts tops the other schools in Newbury, is that expected given the Ofsted reports seem to favour the others I have mentioned.?

I see Parkhouse is an Academy, what does that mean?!! Is it 'lessons brought to you by IBM' or is it a postive thing. being out of the country I have no idea what the implications of these different types of schools are.

Also another question, if you want to get to a good family beach / coastal area from ehre, where is the best / closest place?

thanks all

Twitterqueen Mon 27-Jan-14 13:41:18

I rate Kennet over St Barts (and I've had children at both and went to St Barts myself many years ago). Though tbh, I don't think there's much to choose between Kennet, St Barts & Park House.

Park House is very sporty. 'Academy' is pretty meaningless - don't read anything into that. But PH got (maybe still does) additional funding because it has great sporting ethos and facilities.

St Barts got/gets additional funding for focusing more on Business and IT (even though the last Business teacher was absolute total crap).

Compton is way out in the sticks. Think about how you would ferry children around for the next 10 years ago. But The Downs School has a good reputation.

I don't know Whitchurch but it looks lovely. Look at Overton too (kingsclere / Tadley way.

The sea is a bugger to get to from Newbury. it's at least an hour + to get anywhere decent.

mrsseed Mon 27-Jan-14 14:19:55

I'm in Thatcham..could get more for money than in Newbury. but good access, by bus/trai, but reasonable amount going on too. Kennet school is great, but as someone pointed out the catchment ares us small despite them having 9 classes in each year!

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