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Where is best to live in Cambridgeshire/Hertfordshire?

(12 Posts)
sempla Mon 08-Jun-15 12:22:12

Hello wise mums,

I need your help. My husband and I are thinking to relocate to Cambridgeshire/Hertfordshire from the busy Ealing in London, we have a budget of 400k and we would like to be able to afford a 4 bed. My husband will need to commute to Kings Cross and he would like to have about an hour journey. We have two small children (they will soon go to primary school) so good school catchment area is quite important.

We are after small towns or big villages where the life is not too busy but not too quite.

Do you have any suggestions?

Thank you so so much!

VeryPunny Mon 08-Jun-15 14:25:56

We live just south of Cambridge, close to the small stations on the Kings X line (Foxton, Shepreth, Meldreth). 400K would probably get you a 4bed but probably nothing special. Most schools round here are at least Ofsted Good, but many of the village primaries have combined year groups. Lots going on here, and there's always Cambridge for things to do.

You get more for your money on the Peterborough - Kings X line (Biggleswade, St Neots etc) but I have no idea what they are like to live in.

swooosh Mon 08-Jun-15 14:32:18

I am in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. Great schools, direct train to Liverpool Street is around 35 minutes, not far from the M11/M25. There are many surrounding villages.

Here's what's in your budget

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 08-Jun-15 17:46:14

I would seriously consider looking at Lower or Greater Cambourne. You get quite a lot of house for your money, it's only 20 minutes to Cambridge and it's also only a 15 minute drive to St Neots where there are fast trains to Kings Cross.

It's a new build village, which puts people off, but I know several people who live there and it's got a great sense of community. There is absolutely loads going on for children. Plus the schools are good and in most of the Cambourne primaries there are two classes per year group I think, rather than the other way round.

As a pp said, it's better not to have mixed year groups if possible.

orangina01 Tue 09-Jun-15 04:09:33

Definitely look in St Neots and surrounding villages, fast train to Kings X from St Neots is 38 min and you could get a large home for £400k. It is the last stop on that line where you are pretty much guaranteed a seat on the train. It is big enough to have supporting amenities like cinema, library, leisure centre etc but small enough that you can walk to shops, parks and have a sense of community too. And it is on the river, which is just lovely... and close to Cambridge if you fancy the city life for a day.

MonoNoAware Tue 09-Jun-15 09:36:10

I lived in Ely for a little while and would warn you that as soon as you head north of Cambridge the towns and villages quickly become very rural and isolated. Very different from the towns and villages you find in south Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. Not always immediately apparent when looking on Rightmove...

Luckystar1 Tue 09-Jun-15 10:00:52

I live in a very small village 10 minutes south of Cambridge, close to Saffron Walden. While it's lovely here, we are moving back to Bishop's Stortford next month. Ultimately the choice of exceptional schools there won out.

With greater development around Saffron Walden, the catchment areas are becoming quite narrow and village schools are very oversubscribed. It is beautiful around here, and we will miss village life, but Saffron Walden County High now has over 2000 pupils (so I believe) and so the surrounding villages are no longer within catchment.

Saffron Walden itself is gorgeous too though. Trains from Audley End take 50 mins (fast train), but your DH will need to drive to the station or get the bus and then take the tube to Kings Cross - my season ticket was circa £5,500 pa.

We are also moving to a four bed... we're spending over 100k more than your budget and we will have to do a LOT of work to make it what we want (and that's not me being picky!!), not to put you off, but it is very expensive to live around here.

Good luck with your search!

Personally, I would not (for my family) consider either St Neots or Cambourne, or really anywhere north of Cambridge. But that's just me!!

mrswolf Tue 09-Jun-15 10:48:23

Godmanchester in Cambridgeshire via Huntingdon station or Oundle or Kings Cliffe via Peterborough are pretty/nice places to live with good primary schools and fall within the 1 hr to Kings Cross. Prices should be within your budget, so worth considering.

sempla Tue 09-Jun-15 15:44:46

Thank you so much for the tips, I really feel lost with my search and anything is really appreciated!

IsabellaofFrance Tue 09-Jun-15 17:25:13

I grew up close to where Luckystar must live. I have to also say that I wouldn't consider the north of the city, but you will probably find something closer to your budget there. Many of my friends have had to move to be able to even consider buying.

Luckystar1 Tue 09-Jun-15 17:33:31

isabella small world! Lovely place! We're sad in many ways to leave.

IsabellaofFrance Tue 09-Jun-15 18:37:27

I was really sad. love going back and love the villagy feel of the area, love the open farm days and the small primary schools. Instead we upped and moved to a massive midlands city and its the total opposite.

I miss it, but there are several reasons why it wouldn't work for us, hose prices being one of them, and secondary schooling another.

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