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Thinking of moving to Watford near Beechfield School

(10 Posts)
cat81m Sat 22-Aug-15 22:38:25

Hello, we are thinking of moving out of London to Watford to get more for our money whilst still being not too far from work in London. We like a few properties near Callowland recreation park and Beechfield School, but not sure what the area is like. We have a 2 year old son so also need childcare, thinking possibly the courtyard nursery on the Leavesden road, followed by Beechfield school when he is older. Does anyone know this area of Watford and have any advice about the school or nursery or general community feel/ things to do locally?

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sat 22-Aug-15 22:48:27

I did the same. The property values are going up fast though especially near the station (the tube and cross rail are probably going to be at the Junction)
I looked at some near Callowland but opted for nearer the station for ease. Seems like a nice area. The road right by the park (Ashby I think) has a lot of properties with a public right of way across the back, so you can't extend back and people can use it. Estate agents tended not to mention this!

Wigeon Sat 22-Aug-15 23:01:52

I live near! We moved to Watford 5 years ago exactly to get more for our money - we were in St. Albans, but when we were thinking of buying a bigger house the St. Albans prices just made our eyes water. Now one child going into Y3 and one about to start reception.

Afraid pretty much everyone doesn't want to send their children to Beechfield because it's actually near some rough areas and the intake is very...mixed council estate. I feel I can say this because when I'd recently moved to Watford and didn't know anyone, I actually visited the nursery there briefly and thought it seemed quite nice. I would say that it's one of the least desirable primaries in Watford. I know this sounds desperately snobby. Sorry.

Callowland park is lovely though. Have you thought of North Watford (nearest schools are Parkgate and Knutsford), or the area round Orchard School, or Abbots or Kings Langley if you fancy a more village-y feel? Knutsford estate (near Watford North train station), or the Tudor area (roads near there with Tudor in the names!) are nice.

Nascot Wood (area and primary school) is very nice but the school is very oversubscribed and houses can be expensive because it's close to town and the train station, and has some lovely properties. Knutsford is also very over subscribed.

You have to be pretty on the ball if you are choosing where to live based on which primary school,you think you'd get a place at - this year, you had to live no more than 386m away to get into Knutsford, and only 237m for Nascot Wood. Stats for each school are all here.

What's your property budget and what are you hoping to get for that?

Happy to answer any other Watford based questions!

cat81m Sun 23-Aug-15 15:27:23

Hi, thanks for your replies. That's a shame about the school, saw some lovely properties within our price budget near there, but maybe that's because no one wants to send their kids there. We are looking for a good sized 3 bed house with a biggish garden that is walking distance to the train station - within 20 mins and near a reasonable school. Max budget 560. Is that do-able?

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sun 23-Aug-15 17:15:53

That should be possible. A 3 bed terrace where I am - North Watford near station is 350k ish. So with that budget you could get a bigger place or a different area if you wanted, next to one of the schools

Wigeon Sun 23-Aug-15 20:38:45

That should definitely be possible. I am in a 3 bed, North Watford, 13 mins walk (actually I cycle it in 5 mins) to station, which is worth less than that. Garden isn't massive though. wonders if AbbeyRoad and I actually know each other or have children at the same school...

Looking at Right Move, the houses currently for sale around that budget near Callowland (the ones on Sussex Road) are also adjacent to the train line and that will definitely be bringing the price down. It's a busy line and there would be train noise absolutely all day and evening.

Worth reading Beechfield's Ofsted report - rated 'good' overall, pupils have higher than average pupil premium (ie indicator of deprivation) and high levels of in-year admissions from children who don't speak English or speak little English. The fact that they have space to admit in year is an indicator of their lack of popularity because other primaries in Watford are over subscribed and are often unable to admit in year because they are right up to maximum numbers.

With that budget, you may be able to afford areas near Cassiobury school - lovely area, v good school.

Have you considered Bushey? Commute into London from Bushey station - about half the Watford trains stop there. Nice area with lots of lovely houses! Don't know about the primaries there.

Levesden or Garston would also have houses in that budget, with bigger gardens than those nearer the station, but then you'd definitely need to cycle (or drive) to the train station - have you considered that? Don't know about the primaries in those areas.

dietstartstomorrowok Sun 23-Aug-15 21:30:17

Move to Hitchin, Watford is very grotty, I am sorry to say so, but it is. A posher Luton with a miserable town centre surrounded by ring roads - nightmare. Quite rough with all the football supporters too. Sure I'll get flamed for this, but my opinion.....

AbbeyRoadCrossing Sun 23-Aug-15 23:01:01

Wigeon we might live near each other, but DS is 1 so haven't started thinking about schools for a while!

The football ground is in town, so nowhere near where you're looking OP. And DH has gone to the football since he was about 4 and never seen any trouble, so I wouldn't worry about that. I used to live by West Ham now that was er.....interesting (without going wildly off topic)

Having moved from London like you I find the fact that there's regular trains into London that are quick and on oyster brilliant. If you go further out you won't have that. Also the metropolitan line is moving to Watford junction and so will crossrail (if it happens) which will be 30 minutes into Canary Wharf. It'll takes years but if you buy somewhere the value is only going to go up IMO because of the transport into London. It's about 20 minutes into Euston and there's also direct trains on Southern into Clapham. So depending if / where you work it's quite good.

I don't know much about specific schools but a lot can change in 3 years. If there's a school that's improving it might be good in 3 years, it's hard to tell

I forgot to reply about things to do locally with a 2 year old.
There's the children's centres - there's one at Beechfield actually!
Toddler tales and various activities at the libraries
Cassiobury Park
Cheslyn house and gardens
There's loads of toddler groups etc
Also the council put on quite a lot of stuff, there was a fake beach in town recently which was good fun for DS!

I was a bit apprehensive about moving out of London but we love it, everyone is so friendly

JeffsanArsehole Sun 23-Aug-15 23:04:50

You can live in the nice area (Nascot Wood) for £560.

user1475504778 Mon 03-Oct-16 22:56:55

Can someone shed light on the north watford. Planning to buy a house near park gate junior school bit haven't got a clue about the area ?

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