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Where to move to... Help!

(28 Posts)
nappydays2 Thu 20-Nov-14 10:21:57

We have had 15 years of apartment living in London and really enjoyed it... until the LO came along. Now I hate it! We need to move as soon as possible but have no idea to where. We need a commute no longer than an hour or so, definitely want the countryside not a suburb, fantastic schools - state or independent and don't mind if it is a little secluded (after so many years of living on top of neighbours, some seclusion would be bliss. I moved to London from a remote part of Scotland so understand what it entails).

We have no family down here so no starting point as to where to look and an hours commute around London covers a massive area! My LO is only a few months old so I know nothing about schools but would pick an area purely based on the schools as that is our only given at the moment. Ideally an area that has great choice of schools for all ages - do these places exist? - as we wouldn't really want to move again in the future. We have a London flat in a sought after area to sell so will be able to afford a decent property.

If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be so grateful!

sailorsgal Thu 20-Nov-14 20:54:21

is Winchester about an hour?

WantToGoingTo Thu 20-Nov-14 21:15:26

I was about to say Winchester sailorsgal! Good schools there, state and independent. There are lovely villages around and about Hampshire, although that area is quite pricey. Guessing that won't be a problem if you are moving from London though!

nappydays2 Thu 20-Nov-14 23:28:32

Thanks both. I'll have a look. We had already thought of Hampshire but do not know the county at all so it's like sticking a pin in a map! Money is not really a problem as, as you've said, we are moving from London and property prices are silly money here at the moment.

specialsubject Fri 21-Nov-14 11:17:31

an hour from which side of London?

Pinkje Fri 21-Nov-14 11:32:59

There's a book and probably a website or app that'll help you decide. Don't forget to factor in nursery drop off which add to your commute. Even the shortest kiss and run will take 5 minutes.

Pinkje Fri 21-Nov-14 11:33:55

And meant to say watch where they are building the new high speed train line.

Pinkje Fri 21-Nov-14 11:35:05

Quick google search gave me this.

Pinkje Fri 21-Nov-14 11:36:45

Couldn't find an app. There's a business opportunity for someone.

nappydays2 Fri 21-Nov-14 11:43:49

specialsubject, an hour into any main line station.

nappydays2 Fri 21-Nov-14 11:55:12

Thanks Pinkje, I had come across that site but couldn't get it to work - think I was using it wrong. As for the new high speed train line, I don't know whether that will be a good thing or a bad thing to live near - it may mean that villages will be overrun with estates when builders cash in on the new commute times.

Pinkje Fri 21-Nov-14 11:59:15

Yes, I was thinking more that the landscape would change and there'd be years and years of building work going on. If you narrow down your search area I would recommend you google that local council's planning.

nappydays2 Fri 21-Nov-14 12:06:47

Pinkje, good idea, thanks.

wonderstuff Fri 21-Nov-14 12:18:43

Nice villages near Winchester - we have a station an are an hour from London (Overton). Some nice villages on the outskirts of Reading and Basingstoke, though state schools in Basingstoke aren't outstanding. Robert Mays in Odiham is though - Odiham is lovely, £££ though.

Ukfield in Sussex is a similar commute, and a cheaper season ticket, and you're near Brighton..

meadowquark Fri 21-Nov-14 12:50:42

An hour on train could easily mean 1h 30mins door to door. And tha't's too long if you have children and work full time. London zone 3-4 are full of 'green pockets'. I am moving from zone 4 (London) to zone 5 (suburbs) and that is already proper shock to me. I would not willingly increase my commute if I could afford to stay.

abear Fri 21-Nov-14 12:55:02

Kent is good for schools and commuting. Lots of attractive villages in easy distance of stations at Paddock Wood, Marden and Staplehurst which are between 50 minutes and just over an hour from London. Kent has lots of private schools, plus still has good state primaries and grammar schools.

IssyStark Fri 21-Nov-14 14:08:34

I know people do London from Winchester daily (and some do it from southampton where I am) but the trains are packed from the times I've had to do it. And although the train is 1hr, by the time you get to the station with nursery drop-off, you are looking at 1.5hr minimum, probably more like 1.45 until you set foot in London. It is really far when you have a little one.

Personally I would look to stay within Greater London, for example to the east Upminster/Hornchurch or north to Enfield.

cowbiscuits74 Fri 21-Nov-14 15:31:25

Try Life After London Site
Lots of 'home in an hour' posts

nappydays2 Fri 21-Nov-14 17:02:23

My situation is a bit different perhaps to the norm. DH will be the one travelling and after 15 years of a 15 minute walk to work... 1. I'm sure it will be a shock to him, and 2. He is willing to commute 1.5 hours in total as he realises he has had it easy all this time. Thing is, he works a lot overseas plus he will be doing one day a week working from home when he is in the country, so it works out as a four day week for the half the year (approx) that he will commute.

I probably won't go back to my job but look for something local.

nappydays2 Fri 21-Nov-14 17:04:07

Thanks to all that have replied - I shall be researching all the suggestions when LO decides they need a sleep!

jinnybag Sat 22-Nov-14 00:05:16

If he travels a lot look at areas near to Heathrow. Richmond borough? Great schools too.

nappydays2 Sat 22-Nov-14 02:15:57

jinnybag - when DH goes away it tends to be for quite a while so although he works overseas for a big chunk of the year, his actually travelling isn't that frequent if you see what I mean. Richmond looks nice though.

When the baby is a bit older we'll be going with him (when he goes to a baby friendly country) but for shorter trips or when he goes to places where it's not easy to take a child, we'll be at home. Thinking about it, I suppose that is another criteria - we'll need a community that is locally child friendly so that I am not going miles to find activity groups etc.

SoMuchForSubtlety Sat 22-Nov-14 04:33:30

For good schools what about Reigate, Guildford, High Wycombe, Reading, Slough? All fairly easy to get to Heathrow from too, unlike Kent (I speak from experience - don't move to Kent if you need to get to Heathrow regularly!).

Singmetosleepzzz Sat 22-Nov-14 21:06:30

Look at East Grinstead. One hour to Victoria and it is the end of the line so DH would get a seat each morning. Smallish town, good schools and beautiful countryside. Lots of fantastic National trust properties and places like Ashdown forest. Only 45-50 mins drive from Brighton.

SkyHighWhy Sat 22-Nov-14 23:15:20

There's a poster on AIBU trying to sell a house within an hour's commute of London. No idea if the area fits your criteria but I'm sure she'll be happy to answer questions! [[ thread]]

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