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New job in Luton - where should we live?

(58 Posts)
ecofreckle Sun 29-Dec-13 21:43:49

My DP has just taken a job at the Uni of Bedfordshire based in Luton. We have a 9mo dd and have lived in Norfolk for nearly 20 years. We know no one in Luton so have nothing (other than the job) to take us there and I am scared of very urban living. We have family in Leicestershire. We are wondering where to move to!
As we are selling in Norfolk we will not be able to afford the 'southern' prices of the beautiful and nearby Chilterns sad. We ideally would like to be somewhere with a good community, good school, good transport link to Luton with some lovely countryside/walking nearby. Happy to commute up to an hour but prefer more like 45 mins.
We have looked at Market Harborough but it seems expensive (we have up to £200K). Anyone have any other inside info or ideas please?

Glittertwins Sun 05-Jan-14 18:13:39

And I certainly don't blame the residents of Harpenden being vigilant! We see the planes quite low near us but we aren't affected by the noise.

OddBoots Sun 05-Jan-14 13:59:12

I think it depends which way the wind is blowing as to where in the vicinity the noise can be heard. I live near the airport but only sometimes hear the planes, we used to visit Harpenden a lot (to swim before Luton got a lovely new pool) and could sometimes hear aircraft.

Ifancyashandy Sun 05-Jan-14 13:57:31

Leighton Buzzard. Good schools, small market town, sense of its own identity and community. Big enough that you won't get treated as a 'incommer'. Small enough to feel 'community'. Look at the Linslade side. Canal runs through it, good transport but surrounded by the Downs.

Underrated and thus you might get a bargain.

LibraryBook Sun 05-Jan-14 13:50:03

We live in central Harpenden and plane noise isn't a problem.

LibraryBook Sun 05-Jan-14 13:47:56

TheWomanTheyCallJayne Sun 05-Jan-14 13:19:49

I remember flights over our house. Pretty central harpenden.
There was one that always went over at 9.30

LibraryBook Sun 05-Jan-14 13:14:54

Glittertwins - it's a an urban myth than Harpenden is affected by plane noise. It isn't. Harpenden is hyper vigilant at making sure planes don't fly over Harpenden. And the expansion plans use the same runway which runs east west orientation and the same flight paths - just more flights.

If you need to verify this, you can see the flight routes here:

Glittertwins Sat 04-Jan-14 19:51:19

Check out the Luton Airport expansion plans which have just been agreed in the past few weeks. You really don't want to be living under a flight path. People in Harpenden are not happy!
We looked at a lovely house in Caddington but it was 3 miles from the end of the runway and rather loud when planes went over.

Undercoverme Sat 04-Jan-14 19:41:52

Hiya, hope you had fun today! My dh wondered why I waved to a stranger! Lol. Best wishes, melissa

Coconutty Fri 03-Jan-14 20:42:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fridayschild Fri 03-Jan-14 20:38:10

My dad worked in. Luton. We lived in hitchin, chosen almost solely on the basis of good secondary schools. That was 20 years ago of course.

ecofreckle Fri 03-Jan-14 19:42:26

hi zipzap. interesting what you said about market Harborough. Why are you so glad you are not there? is it because Milton Keynes is so great or because Harborough is so bad? Please do let me know because literally everyone who has mentioned market Harborough has said how naice it is....maybe that's the
problem? Thanks for your insight

zipzap Fri 03-Jan-14 17:30:06

If you're looking as far afield as Bedford and Market Harborough then it's worth looking at Milton Keynes too, especially on the motorway side for a quick trip down the M1 (plus there's a uni of Bedford campus here, not sure what subjects).

It's got some good schools (especially at primary - haven't got senior kids so don't know as much about that age). Excellent shops, good transport, loads of nice parks (both open country and kids play parks), plenty of stuff to do, nice local communities within the different areas in most places. Reasonable house prices. We've been here about 8 years and love it so I'm probably biased grin but I also have relatives near MH, one of whom used to commute down near here, so I do know the area around there and I do feel very glad to have ended up here rather than there!

Happypiglet Fri 03-Jan-14 15:29:28

Whatever you do try the commute one week day morning if at all possible before deciding...when the schools are back...

vestandknickers Fri 03-Jan-14 15:21:23

Luton isn't great, but it is a nice part of the world. I grew up in Leighton Buzzard which is a lovely market town. Some of the villages are very pretty and there is some great countryside for walks/country pubs etc.

Quenelle Fri 03-Jan-14 15:16:35

Shefford isn't the quaintest place in the world but it's ok. There is some nice countryside around it.

It has a good GP practice, and good middle/upper schools. Don't know what the lowers are like though. It has a small Morrisons supermarket, a few pubs, bakery, cafe, and a couple of Indian restaurants. It's not too far from Hitchin for shopping or a night out.

There has been a lot of new development in Shefford, it has increased in population quite significantly over the last 20 years.

I don't know Campton, apart from running through it on one of my circuits. It looks very nice, very quiet.

Elstow is practically Bedford. So it would be handy for all the things a large town has to offer, without the urban living. If you don't fancy a new development, look at Wilstead. It's opposite Wixams, just before Elstow on the A6 and maybe a bit more villagey.

Kitttty Fri 03-Jan-14 15:06:07

looked thru your list above -- looks like you have loads of great houses to choose from within your budget which is exciting -- just need to get the nicest location.

Kitttty Fri 03-Jan-14 15:02:45

I always do a load of "drive bys" first - each time we have moved I have only seen 2 houses inside - although I have considered 20-30 online and as drive by....always location, location, location! I would imagine that your criteria is different now -- looking for family friendly activities/playgroups etc -- are you likely to still be in the same house when you child goes to school?

CockBollocks Fri 03-Jan-14 14:59:39

We lived in Leighton buzzard (linslade too) for 3 years. Loved it, it's a short trip to Luton, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes. I did an evening class in Luton.

Lots of lovely countryside and nice schools. Would highly recommend.

Kitttty Fri 03-Jan-14 14:53:57

Why don't you rent somewhere for 6 months - then you will be living in the area and will be in the best position to offer as a chain free buyer.

How exciting. I wouldn't bother seeing houses this time around - would use my time to visit more different villages to decide where you want to live.

Would imagine that the best approach is to go as far north as you can.

Trooperslane Fri 03-Jan-14 14:33:17

Agree Harpenden is beautiful but £££.

Welwyn Garden city or Wheathampstead.

No for Luton. Horrible. (Sorry)

ecofreckle Fri 03-Jan-14 14:31:22

You guys are very kind! Thank you everyone for your ongoing contributions.
So, I have set up a weekend from hell (heaven in my eyes normally, nosing around houses and dreaming of our new little life, but with a babe in tow and on a tight schedule.....eeek) and we are viewing 12 properties spread between Campton/Shefford in the south, all the way through to Market Harborough in the north. If any of you know the following areas and fancy giving me your opinion then please do; I provide links in case, like me, you are nosey. I will let you know how we get on after the weekend. Thanks for making this exciting rather than a drag. I love the sound of Bedfordshire now smile
Shefford end terrace cottage
Ravendsden thatched cottage
Finedon stone cottage
Rushden post war detached
Rushden bay fronted semi
Irthlingborough mock tudor detached
Irthlingborough three storey detached
Market Harborough semi
Campton opposite a MNer semi
Lbenham ex LA semi
Bedford Elstow 1930s semi

Thanks in advance for any inside info or heads-up about areas that you might have.
Thanks also for the most recent suggestions; sadly our itinerary for thsi weekend is now full, but maybe next time thanks

Quenelle Fri 03-Jan-14 13:42:03

£200k wouldn't get you much in villages like Shillington, Gravenhurst, although they are all lovely.

Would you consider a new development? If so look at The Wixams on the A6 just before Bedford. Luton is 20 mins south on the A6 from there. And it will have its own station on the Bed-Pan line opening in 2015. The school is rated good and due to convert from lower to primary in the next couple of years. Houses are starting to be resold there now so you wouldn't have to pay the newbuild premium.

Happypiglet Thu 02-Jan-14 21:50:28

I live in a village to NW of Bedord and really rate Bedford and surrounding villages!
I grew up in Leighton Buzzard which is also great. Went kite flying on Dunstable Downs today what a magic place... Yep love Bedfordshire!

LibraryBook Thu 02-Jan-14 20:36:25

Harpenden or Hitchin. Or if you like village life how about Kensworth or Caddington or Wheathampstead or Redbourn? But Harpenden is best. It's a brilliant place to live with small children.

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