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Shall we move to Haywards Heath or Bath?

(45 Posts)
horriblehistory Sun 02-Nov-14 18:53:34

So... we have to leave London, but DH needs to be there a few times a week. We want to stay in the South. We have 5 (yes 5!) children under the age of six! We LOVE London - particularly central London and the galleries, museums, theatres, concert halls, libraries etc., and I want my children to have access to them too.

Anyone else who loves the same things - would you live in Haywards Heath with its amazing London connections, just 45 mins from Victoria and London Bridge and relatively cheap travel, but a place that doesn't itself provide any of the cultural amenities we love and want to provide for our children

OR

would you live in Bath, which provides more of the cultural amenities we would like for ourselves and to give our children (Bath Abbey, little museums, a good theatre, independent cinema, plus Bristol's amenities) BUT has a train service that would be, for us, prohibitively expensive for many visits for me or family visits to London (it really is that expensive, if anyone doesn't know!) and takes 45 mins longer (twice as long) into Paddington (so you then also need to catch bus to National Gallery etc.).

I'm torn. I would never have thought of living somewhere that wasn't a city and didn't have the cultural amenities - but it's so much closer/cheaper to get to London. On the other hand, with many small children, local life is important too - and I suppose Bath would win on that front. But it's London's attractions that really attract me, and I worry that Bath would seem too small very quickly, but then I wouldn't be able to access London either.

What do you think? Any thoughts/experience very gratefully received!

BikeRunSki Sun 02-Nov-14 19:00:55

Why do you need to leave London? I grew up in London, and frequently (once a fortnight or more) travelled to my GPs in HAssocks, so
I know how easy that journey is.

I know Bath a bit. I think you'd find it too provincial if you have made the most of Central London. Sounds like you are a real London lover, and I think you'd prefer nothing on your doorstep, and frequent access to London, rather than a lot of "almost but not quite London culture" close to hand.

horriblehistory Sun 02-Nov-14 19:22:51

Yes, BikeRunSki, I think that's how I'm feeling. The only thing I worry about is the day-to-day life in a very small town - what I'd do with the children each day etc. - and would I really be up in London as often as I think.

I also don't know anything about HHeath - I'm not sure who lives there etc.

We have to leave due to a severe lack of space, and the need for a garden - it's just too hard trying to exercise them all enough in parks. And we're just FAR too on top of each other.

Galvanized Sun 02-Nov-14 19:31:38

Would you be able to afford more space and a garden in Bath? Sounds like you'd want to be central enough to walk into Bath and to the station so that'd bump the price up, might as well live in London suburbs for some prices I've seen! Bath and Bristol are great cities to bring up kids in so you might not miss it. The public transport is terrible in comparison with London though! Expensive and irregular buses for example.

Which London station does your husband need to commute to? That should be a factor in your decision.

Sparkletastic Sun 02-Nov-14 19:35:04

I'm a few miles from HH - it is fine, useful amenities but charmless. Bath is lovely but too out of the way and expensive for you surely? Why not London-on-Sea aka Brighton?

WhatKatyDidnt Sun 02-Nov-14 20:21:45

Bristol would be better than Bath IMO, but yes too far for frequent visits to London. Maybe Cambridge would be better?

FishWithABicycle Sun 02-Nov-14 20:28:04

Bath would be very small and provincial and the culture isn't all that. Bristol would be better, a lot more going on. Train into London only 10 mins more than from Bath. Or how about Brighton?

horriblehistory Sun 02-Nov-14 20:49:20

Sorry had to feed baby.
We can't afford what we want in Brighton, and there are no gardens there (we know it very well). We really want a good garden. DH works from home, so there are 7 of us there, so a big-enough house plus a good garden is out of our reach in Brighton.
We can just afford Bath, and being used to a 'soft' part of central London (Marylebone), where we can walk everywhere, I don't feel up to managing 5 under 6s where you need to use public transport and things are 'edgier'. (I don't mind 'edgy' bits of outer London at all for me, but I find it hard to look after all the children in edgier places.

horriblehistory Sun 02-Nov-14 20:51:17

And we can afford H Heath - but no museums, galleries, concert halls or theatres at all! Is 45 mins to Victoria/London Bridge close enough so that it doesn't matter?

horriblehistory Sun 02-Nov-14 20:53:47

Sparkletastic - are there places near to HHeath that have more charm, but still quick into London?

Coconutty Sun 02-Nov-14 20:54:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sparkletastic Sun 02-Nov-14 20:56:49

Horrible - have a look at Lindfield - 5 mins to HH station. Wivelsfield and Plumpton are pretty villages with stations of their own and on HH line. Worthing too far for you?

TheReluctantBiker Sun 02-Nov-14 21:02:28

Brighton!

Hour to London by train

By the sea, cultured, lovely green spaces, student city so vibrant and multi cultured

TheReluctantBiker Sun 02-Nov-14 21:03:38

And great shops, pubs, restaurants
Close to Downs

I'd avoid HH personally. Bit bland

TheReluctantBiker Sun 02-Nov-14 21:04:23

Sorry, missed your earlier post

TheReluctantBiker Sun 02-Nov-14 21:06:26

Do you mind me asking what your budget is?

Tell me to get my beak out if you want, though grin

MissWimpyDimple Sun 02-Nov-14 21:09:55

I grew up in Lindfield after my parents made a similar move from London. Haywards Heath is pretty charmless but it's a nice enough place. The trouble is that anywhere on that line with easy station access is very expensive.

I don't know Bath at all. But I would look at some of the villages around Haywards Heath. You do need to think about how your DH is going to get to the station. There is no parking at HH station, but there may well be at Hassocks or Balcombe. Avoid Burgess Hill, it's even less appealing!

heritagewarrior Sun 02-Nov-14 21:10:56

Bath is wonderful. I didn't live there as a parent, but found it and Bristol far enough away from London to have their own distinct cultural identity, which is reasonably high brow but also has a charming hippy-ish quirky side (the West Country influence). Think great theatre, university night classes and choirs, as well as speaking circles, belly dancing clubs and cider festivals! I lived there in my late twenties and still miss it now (mid-forties)....

horriblehistory Sun 02-Nov-14 21:11:24

£830k max, and we want a big garden and 6 bedrooms, and easy fast access to London, somewhere 'easy' (as in not edgy or run-down).

Auntimatter Sun 02-Nov-14 21:14:07

What about Oxford?
There are some huge houses (v pricy but you are coming from London...), plenty going on and a frequent train service into Paddington, with Marylebone coming up next year.
Oxford has lots of museums, concerts, etc, for its size and there are some nice parks too.

Sparkletastic Sun 02-Nov-14 21:15:54

There's a massive car park at HH station so that's not an issue.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 02-Nov-14 21:18:13

I'd choose shoreham by sea or shoreham beach with that budget

TheReluctantBiker Sun 02-Nov-14 21:21:01

With a budget of 830 I reckon you'd find something decent in brighton or hove... (I've just done a quick look on right move!)

Checkout Fiveways for easy commuter links, great schools and lovely parks. And character houses with gardens. Remember in brighton and hove the beach is your back garden, too...

Buscake Sun 02-Nov-14 21:21:16

I'd say you may struggle to find a 6 bed in a 'good' area of Bath for your budget. The only houses with decent gardens are pretty much on the very outskirts of the city ie not near to the station.

Coconutty Sun 02-Nov-14 21:41:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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