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Moving out of London - but where?!

(53 Posts)
MyUserName1234 Fri 09-Jan-15 19:59:52

DP and I have been talking about moving, as it feels about time to leave our rented 1 bedroom place (near London bridge) and move somewhere where we can raise a family.
We both need to commute to the centre (near the city and waterloo). We love where we currently live, short commute and lovely vibrant area. Though primary schools are good in the area, it seems like secondary schools are only an option if you can afford to go private, which we are unable to do. Hence our primary aim is to move somewhere with:
1 good secondary schools. Ideally non religious.
2 a vibrant atmosphere, we definitely prefer a city/town to countryside.
3 ideally less than 30 mins on the train
4 prefer to be north of London as our families live in the Midlands, though we wouldn't discount other places that fill the above criteria.

I know that being somewhere with good schools and good transport links is going to be pricey. We'd like to spend around 650k, but at a push could look to spend 700k-750k. 3 bedrooms minimum and some outdoor space.

Due to go to St Albans on Sunday for a look around, any other advice for places and areas would be appreciated!

wotlarks Sat 10-Jan-15 06:47:22

I know you've said north of London but in case you do want to consider the south, you could look at the fast South West Trains route into Waterloo. Places like Esher and Walton on Thames are lovely with good schools and only approx 25 mins from Waterloo. Good luck with the house hunting!

MuscatBouschet Sat 10-Jan-15 19:24:20

The ideal is to avoid getting on the tube once in London. So SW trains out of Waterloo is a good option for one of you. St Albans works well for thameslink, depending where in the city you want to be. It isn't cheap though. Most places within 30 mins of London are either expensive or horrible.

MyUserName1234 Sat 10-Jan-15 19:58:08

Wotlarks - Esher looks beautiful, definitely on the list to visit. Are there any areas/streets to focus my attention?
MuscatBouschet - completely understand about the price, i know we'll have a trade off between space, price and commute.

Other areas we've added to the list:
West - maidenhead (cross rail), Beaconsfield came recommended but the commute seems quite long.
South - sevenoaks, appears to be more of a small town feeling, but quite fast into central
East - Shenfield (cross rail), Chelmsford might be bit too far
North - berkhamstead, hitchin, harpenden
Any thoughts on the above would be appreciated.

MaraThonbar Sat 10-Jan-15 20:20:22

Shenfield is nice but take a look at Brentwood, too - better value for money and also getting Crossrail, with current good services into Liverpool St (for city) and Stratford (Jubilee to Waterloo).

boxoftissues Sat 10-Jan-15 20:24:33

Surbiton. 17 mins into waterloo on fast train.

Artandco Sat 10-Jan-15 20:25:50

Kingston area- £650-700 gets decent sized 3/4 bed houses. Train 25mins to Waterloo

OrangeOwl Sat 10-Jan-15 20:30:20


mewkins Sat 10-Jan-15 20:31:04

I would say St Albans too as you are basically right by the M1 and you have the Thameslink service into london. However, prices are high (although you may well find them reasonable coming from London). Schools are very good and there is quite a lot going on in the city (it feels like a town though and there will be loads of people with babies to meet).

Amee Sat 10-Jan-15 20:37:23

St Albans. Look at the Marshalswick area in particular.

sunnyfrostyday Sat 10-Jan-15 20:39:51

St Albans. Great, buzzy, town. Good links to London and easy to get on the M1.

notquiteruralbliss Sun 11-Jan-15 10:35:15

Berkhamsted is a nice little town and may be just within budget. The train goes into Euston. From what you have said, St Albans sounds perfect though.

spotty26 Mon 12-Jan-15 12:37:08

Bedford! You could get a cracker of a house for that budget and loads of new restaurants and cafés opening. 37 mins to St Pancras on East Midlands trains! I do like Hitchin too.

minibmw2010 Mon 12-Jan-15 13:22:13

Berkhamstead is lovely. £675 would get you a lovely house in walking distance to the High Street and a bit of a longer walk to the train station.

offer but you get the idea ink{\]]l}

St. Albans is lovely too but so so busy, especially at weekends, plus just that bit pricier.

minibmw2010 Mon 12-Jan-15 13:23:30

Sorry, my links went mad, this is the Berkhamsted example.

minibmw2010 Mon 12-Jan-15 13:24:12

Sigh ..

Nolim Mon 12-Jan-15 13:27:48

If you consider south look into woking. Also, sutton has good secondaries (5 grammar, non religious).

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Mon 12-Jan-15 13:45:35

Bedford and the little villages around it might work for you. Train comes straight into Kings Cross or London Bridge I believe

Apatite1 Mon 12-Jan-15 15:12:03

I'd stay south if I were you. Crossing London by tube in the morning is a nightmare and takes a lot longer than you'd think

MyUserName1234 Mon 12-Jan-15 19:20:50

The trip to St Albans was good. It was a nice atmosphere and quite buzzy. With the right move app we were able to gauge a how far our budget would go.
Near the train station the period properties were elegant, but a bit on the smaller size (understandable). Marshalswick was better value, but seemed to be quite a distance to the station. Ideally we'd like to be a 15min journey to the station by foot. Did like the fact that the journey was very quick from farringdon.

I will be looking into Bedford - though the train journey might be a bit too long for us.
Will take a look at Kingston and Woking. I think the next trip will be south or berkhamsted and hitchen.

Keep the ideas coming smile

mewkins Mon 12-Jan-15 19:37:14

With St Albans, around the Camp area will be about a ten minute walk to the station. Marshalwick wouldn't take more than 15 mins by bike!

BrightestAndBest Mon 12-Jan-15 20:07:50

You'd get a lot of house for your budget in Bedford:

Or spend a bit less on the house (and send your children to one of the independent schools):

Blondie1984 Mon 12-Jan-15 22:46:08

I wouldn't recommend Shenfield if you want vibrancy - Brentwood would be better for that - and cheaper as already mentioned

Blondie1984 Mon 12-Jan-15 22:47:04

Would you consider Banbury?

MyUserName1234 Tue 13-Jan-15 19:49:23

Bedford properties look amazing, but unfortunately it is a bit too long for us.

I would rather not cycle to the station, we both use Boris bikes to get to work, but when the weather is terrible its not a particularly nice option (joys of a good bus service here... Well not today due to the strike, but normally they are excellent!)

Will look into Banbury and Brentwood!

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