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Could you help me narrow down this list? - Essex and Herts locations

(9 Posts)
fightingforty Thu 27-Aug-15 10:30:18


Thinking of moving to be closer to aging parents who live in Suffolk, but may move to Norfolk - tsk! (though this may make it easier if we move to herts rather than essex)
Don't know areas at all. Have done some googling, and will visit but think we have too many places at the moment on the longlist.
They are:
Chelmsford (Old Moulsham) plus Writtle, Sandon, Danbury, Little Baddow, Stock, Great Waltham, Terling
Colchester (Lexden) plus Colne Valley villages, Castle Hedingham, Halstead, Stoke by Nayland, Great Tey, Wivenhoe
Saffron Walden or Clavering
Bishops Stortford and Much Hadham, Hatfield Broad Oak
Hertford or Ware

See what I mean!

Our needs are:-
Commute to city doable every day - no more than 1.5hr door to door, so realistically no more than 1hr on train max. DH will commute mostly every day. I'll be 2x week. We have 2 toddlers.
Good state schools, and poss private secondary, but prefer not.
Budget of £950k, 4 bed, period, large garden.
Things to do for children - both in terms of proper kid's stuff - playgroups and what not, and more family stuff, like National Trust, the beach, woods etc
Lively place with some culture and cafes- I appreciate the villages will not have this so much, but I'm also aware Chelmsford and Colchester are not quite the places I would like to live culture wise (again from google searches - I could be wrong but the picture I get is not great), and so perhaps a village would suit better, but with access to a few shops etc nearby.
Pretty countryside nearby
Not TOWIE Essex (I don't think these places are but I don't know them)
Friendly places

So which ones would you knock off, and which ones would you definitely visit? And have I missed anywhere?

Am very anxious about all this as had bad experience of moving in the past sad

Thanks v much

Myheadhurtsstill Sat 24-Mar-18 12:48:20

Resurrecting this thread to see if anyone can advise ? We are in a similar situation except with a teenager - looking main,y at Bishops Stortford area due to schooling and commuting . Local board is pretty quiet so posting here instead . Thanks

Belleende Sat 24-Mar-18 19:39:16

You have just described Hitchin, with the added bonus of great state secondaries.

This needs work but you would have the £ to do it
Period properties get snapped up quick.

tethersend Sat 24-Mar-18 20:04:31

Old thread, but this is an amazing house in Hitchin.

Myheadhurtsstill Sun 25-Mar-18 07:20:42

Thanks for the replies B and T . They’re both gorgeous but I’ve been map studying and need a little further east . I’m loving that agency you listed though - there are some amazing properties on it aren’t there - I’ll be wasting a lot of time looking at them !

WhereIsBlueRabbit Sun 25-Mar-18 08:22:38

Bishops Stortford meets most of your criteria and you'd get a house in budget. Fastest trains are under 40 minutes to Liverpool Street but total commute time obviously depends on where you're going to in London and how far you are from the station at the other end.

I think you'd have an easier time heading to Suffolk/Norfolk from BS than from Hitchin.

There's lots for young kids in BS and Hatfield Forest is nearby as well as lots of other country parks.

WhereIsBlueRabbit Sun 25-Mar-18 08:33:06

For schools, the big question is whether you want single-sex. I don't know much about secondaries or in-year admissions, etc.

Hockerill has an amazing reputation but my understanding is that you have to score highly on an aptitude test or live practically on top of the school in the absence of meeting other criteria like parent working there.

Herts and Essex is for girls, Bishop's Stortford High is for boys.

Birchwood is mixed but has a less good reputation than the schools above.

There is also a Catholic secondary school and the Leventhorpe in Sawbridgeworth if you're looking around there. Sawbridgeworth has a station and is another option if you commute though it's much smaller than BS.

All the above schools are state. I know there is a private school here (Bishop's Stortford College) but know nothing about it. Essentially for state, it's a question of how you feel about single sex. Then you can visit the school(s) in question and work out about admissions.

Myheadhurtsstill Sun 25-Mar-18 11:00:57

Thank you for all the information W.
We will investigate BS - doing it from overseas so it’s a bit of a sketchy search but hopefully coming back to have a good drive around in the next month - we have a place at Bishop Stortford college so am trying to balance travel time between London commute and school . Thanks

WhereIsBlueRabbit Sun 25-Mar-18 20:25:54

You're welcome and good luck! Feel free to PM me if you have questions about specific areas. There are lots of local Facebook groups too.

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