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Where to live - market towns - help

(13 Posts)
Jenni646 Sun 01-Nov-15 11:47:05

My husband and I are looking to buy a property in the next 6 months or so and are trying to figure out where we should live. Currently we are in Bedford but to be honest, we know it's not where we want to stay so we're looking at different areas in cambridgeshire/bedfordshire/hertfordshire.

It needs to be commutable to Kettering (ie within an hour) and we love market towns with lots of charm but still with shops and amenities. We have Hitchin, Market Harborough, St Albans, Bishops Stortford and maybe Sandy on our lists but wanted to get some advice as to if there are any other towns or villages that fit the bill?

We will be starting a family soon so schools are important. Nice cafes and pubs are a must, along with a good selection of shops and ideally a market.

We're really open to different areas, as long as they are fairly well connected travel wise!

Thanks!

TremoloGreen Sun 01-Nov-15 13:55:41

We're in Hitchin and really like it. Buying a house here has been absolute hell though and taken us a year. What's your budget and what are you hoping for house-wise? Just that there's quite a wide price range between some of the places you mention.

TremoloGreen Sun 01-Nov-15 14:01:47

We also checked out Bishop's Stortford and preferred Hitchin. You will get a bit more for your money in BS though. Have friends in Shefford and Baldock who are very happy too.

Shefford's like a big village with lots of new builds. Has a little high street and access to good schools, she has fields and nice walks behind her house. Much cheaper than Hitchin but commute to London is from Arlesey/Stotfold, I think.

Baldock is a very twee little market town, smaller than Hitchin, with a very good co-ed comprehensive school and some new builds on the edge of town.

Hitchin and BS, you would have access to single-sex schools if that's what you want. Think the BS are semi-selective too. Hitchin is selection by house price!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 01-Nov-15 14:02:55

Sandy is horrible, sorry. St Albans is super expensive nowadays and you really won't get much for your money. Market Harborough is nice and money goes further but is in Leicestershire so not any of the counties you have listed and may be too far out. Hitchin is nice and still fairly reasonable.

I quite like bits of Northampton and Wellingborough which is handy for Kettering but if you're looking round Hitchin then Baldock might be worth a look? No idea about market but schools are good and it has some nice shops.

St Ives in Cambridgeshire has excellent schools and would fit your brief if the travel time isn't too bad but might be a bit far out. St Neots has a market but schools are only ok but improving. Little Paxton has a great school and Buckden Primary was just given an outstanding ofsted - both are within 5 miles of St Neots. Secondaries aren't brilliant there but if you're thinking independent for secondary then Bedford and Cambridge schools are an option.

Jenni646 Sun 01-Nov-15 14:27:07

Thanks everyone! We'll definitely look a bit more into Baldock and Shefford - I hadn't even thought about them!

Has anyone heard anything about Stanwick? It keeps coming up in my searches too

Budget wise, we are looking at 350,000 max and would like at least 2 bedrooms, ideally 3 with garden and parking

I've heard mixed reviews of sandy and st albans looks nice but lots of people have said its very expensive which probably cuts them off the list.

Are there any other towns or villages around wellingborough that people would recommend?

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sun 01-Nov-15 14:30:02

Stanwick Lakes has a great adventure playground for kids but no idea what it's like to live there!

You could get 3 beds with garden and parking in St Neots and Baldock and in Northampton you could get a big, period house for that money (unless it's gone mad since I looked about 9 months ago).

nmg85 Sun 01-Nov-15 14:47:08

Another vote for st Neots here, little Paxton is also lovely.

nmg85 Sun 01-Nov-15 14:48:08

Forgot to add we live in a 4 bed townhouse with garden and parking for under 300k

Sadik Sun 01-Nov-15 15:03:15

I'm a few years out of date, but what about Rothwell? Close to Kettering, and Montsaye always used to be well regarded.

It's funny, when I was growing up, the thought of anyone choosing to live in Harborough over and above Kettering would have been hilarious, things definitely change!

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Mon 02-Nov-15 05:22:41

I think St Neots would be a good option. I don't know what the schools are like though.

I've got friends who live in St Ives and they love it. It's prettier than St Neots but has less faciliities. It's easy to get to Cambridge from there, though, which has loads to offer. I think it would be pricier than St Neots.

I agree that Sandy is dire.

AnnaLP Mon 02-Nov-15 14:59:13

Really do check out the schools first even if you think you might go private as you don't know how you'll feel about working ft once you have your little ones. We moved when we first got married with no thought for schools and then had lots of anguish about schools. Luckily primary turned out OK just because we were lucky to get out-of-catchment places. We then ended up moving to a new town for secondaries. Schools might not seem so important now but they soon will -believe me...

Maki79 Tue 03-Nov-15 11:51:56

Biggleswade! One of my family members has just moved there and it's really nice and much more reasonably priced than St Albans.

TheWildRumpyPumpus Wed 04-Nov-15 08:50:13

Olney or Oundle?

Both nice little towns not too far from Kettering.

I live in a lovely small village just outside Kettering but we've got one pub, 2 shops and a Chinese takeaway so I'm not sure we're what you are looking for!

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