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Best places in London to live if you have young children and plan on staying

(29 Posts)
whalingaround Thu 17-Dec-15 10:19:47

Hi all
I would love some inspiration on lovely places to live in London if you have small children. We plan on staying long term - we may move again but don't want to move far i.e we'd like them to stay in the same school and not leave their friends if possible.
We have 1.25mill.
Would like 4 bed min and garden. Period pref. Love to do some work but not huge start from scratch stuff. Happy to put in extensions etc.
So stuff we need: great primaries, secondaries - great if there are good state, but we will think of private too if the area we find does not have good secondaries. Leafy - parks nearby. Community feel. Safe. A centre - ie not just swathes of houses. A bit of cafe culture and indie shops. Easy commute to the city i.e under the hour, preferably under 45 minutes.
Um think that's it - I do have some ideas, but would love to hear about your recommendations and why you love that area.

Wiifitmama Thu 17-Dec-15 10:28:55

My area fits that bill. NW London, not West hampstead but not far ( a couple of stops along the jubilee line). We are in a conservation area. Very leafy and green. Cafe culture on the up. We just had a free range specialist butcher, a gourmet deli and a greek cafe/deli place all open up along the same stretch of road. Because its conservation area, the gardens are all protected. I could not tell you about schools. I think most people in the conservation area go private. Excellent transport links with the Jubilee line on our doorstep. My husband commutes to the city each day in around 45 minutes.

I have been here 7 years now. Moved from further in London. I love it now. We are selling our flat (3 bed massive garden 1890's) for around 950,000 and buying a house in same area. The house is huge - 5-6 bedrooms. Valued at 1.35 m (we are not paying that though smile ) and is a complete doer upper. It should give you an idea of prices though.

RiverTam Thu 17-Dec-15 10:37:19

SE London, especially if you are in the market for private schools - JAPS, Alleyn's and Dulwich College here, but state are pretty good too. Loads of parks, lots to do with children, cafe culture a go-go. Peckham, Camberwell, Herne Hill, Dulwich (East, West and Village), Brockley, Crifton Park. And you'll get a lot more bang for your buck than in North London.

sparechange Thu 17-Dec-15 10:42:23

SW - Clapham, Battersea, Balham
Not for nothing is it called 'Nappy Valley', and they all have loads of independent shops (and the all-important waitrose wink )
Balham is the most affordable of those, with great transport links with the tube and overground. Also have a look at Abbeville Village.
The 'between the commons' area of Battersea off Northcote road has the best schools, but might be slightly out of your price range. You can definitely get something in the Clapham Common northside area though

scribblegirl Thu 17-Dec-15 10:47:56

Definitely seconding Balham/Abbeville Road area, pretty much fits your requirements exactly. I love it here (only renting, mind - wish I could afford to buy!)

sparechange Thu 17-Dec-15 10:48:29

Clapham Common Northside:



slicedfinger Thu 17-Dec-15 10:49:06

Twickenham? May feel a little far out if you don't know it, but 20mins to Waterloo and lots of trains. Some of the best state primary and secondary schools in the country, and very highly regarded private at both primary and secondary. Richmond Hill and Bushy Park are just fabulous, and there are lots of smaller play parks etc too. A whole street of indie shops, and the main street in nearby Teddington is largely indie too. Richmond and Kingston are both 10 minutes away for bigger shops. A house in your price range will be very competitive, but definitely doable, and you'd have a choice of victorian/edwardian/new build.

bialystockandbloom Thu 17-Dec-15 10:51:10

Everything rivertam said. Lovely architecture, lots of period property, great community for small and older children, areas round Peckham/camberwell becoming seriously hip but still fab for families, lots of green spaces, indie shops etc. and great transport links - 10/15 mins to London Bridge, victoria, Blackfriars, plus thameslink across London to Clapham junction and North (Highbury, shore ditch etc), and East London line. Can still get 4-bed in lots of places.

MumOfTheMoos Thu 17-Dec-15 11:20:42

I'm with RiverTam - you could even add Crystal Palace to the SE London list.

I've lived in the area 20 years (!!!) and I love it and have watched it get more and more family orientated. Great state and private schools (DS starting at Dulwich Prep next year and there's lots of other really great schools out there - we were spoilt for choice).

There are so many parks and so much to do with kids - having the national sports centre at Crystal Palace is great, as are the dinosaurs.

There is a fantastic sense of community as well - there's a festival every year at Crystal Palace, the food market there also got to the finals in the BBC Food Programme Awards, there's great food shops and the restaurants are fab!

I came to live here in my 20s when I got my first job in London and am so pleased that I stayed!

MumOfTheMoos Thu 17-Dec-15 11:21:28

Did I mention the fab transport links, including the London Overground?

wtftodo Thu 17-Dec-15 15:39:43

Dulwich, the village school is great, Charter or Kingsdale secondaries, or around - eg Herne Hill (rosendale is a great primary).
Telegraph Hill has beautiful houses and views of London with outstanding primaries and secondaries.

ftm123 Thu 17-Dec-15 16:22:25

I think we need a bit more detail about the type of house you are after. I suspect for your money you could have a small family home in nappy valley, or a mansion if you looked elsewhere, for example in east London (say around Wanstead).

I still don't get London, because I clicked on some of the links provided and noted that for 1.2million you don't "luxury" features I would want (not need) in a family home, like more than one bathroom or more than two bedrooms per floor. Personally, if I had 1.2 million and a family, I would rather look away from the more prestigious areas and try to get a bit more house. Mainly because I think 1.2 million should be enough for a small castle! This is an incredibly personal thing, but it is worth considering what your expectations are(not all 4 beds are equal).

EssentialHummus Thu 17-Dec-15 16:27:45

What Tam said. I live in Brockley and think north londoners are missing out big time grin

Millionprammiles Thu 17-Dec-15 16:38:20

I'd start by looking at where you need to commute into. 45 mins on a train into a London station can easily become a 90 min door to door commute if you have to factor a long walk/drive to the station and a tube journey at the other end.

I'd rather have less commuting time than a bigger house if I had to choose (as it translates into more time with dd).

ftm123 Thu 17-Dec-15 17:18:37

Yep, as million prammiles said, commute time is really important. If this is a long term move consider where future jobs may be. For example if you currently commute to the city how likely is it that in the future, given whatever industries you and your OH work in, you may need to commute to, say, Canary Wharf or the West End. Obviously you can't plan for every eventuality, but it's worth considering if change if likely.

Moving15 Thu 17-Dec-15 18:35:35

I agree with Dulwich

RiverTam Thu 17-Dec-15 19:15:23

Commuting - I think you need to choose somewhere with goid connections in general. Just because you work in Kings X now doesn't mean you will in a year's time. Out if the places I listed Peckham has the best connections - on the Overground so trains to Clapham junction and Canada Water (for the jubilee line) and into London Bridge, Victoria, Blackfriars and St Pancras. Squillions of buses. We may be getting trams in the future and possibly the Bakerloo line.

dontcallmelen Thu 17-Dec-15 19:32:43

Would also consider crystal palace/beckenham good transport links, great open spaces, good schools state & private for your budget would get a large garden, good stock of Victorian/Edwardian houses in both areas.

RiverTam Thu 17-Dec-15 21:15:18

Oh, and Sydenham.

whalingaround Fri 18-Dec-15 18:28:05

Thanks all.
Commute - will be Moorgate/liv street way and can't see it moving for a long time.
House - yeh, difficult. In an ideal world id want a Georgian townhouse with high ceilings, a huge garden, en suites and a separate study. Oh and parking!! Ha!! But in reality I'd like high ceilings, period features, home to feel roomy at least. I'd want something a bit more than a small 4 bed bog standard terraced Victorian. At the v least a downstairs toilet and ok sized rooms. V aware money doesn't go far in London but sure your budget would get something decent? Surely? Right? smile

whalingaround Fri 18-Dec-15 18:36:15

And if money were no object then where would you say you would like to bring up children in London and why? (Not that money is no object, I'm just trying to get a feel in my gut where I'd like to start looking)

whalingaround Fri 18-Dec-15 18:37:51

Ie for me it would probably be Hampstead coz it's near the Heath and great transport links and architecture, or Barnes (though hate the plane noise so that one out even if I could afford it)

Rockingaround Fri 18-Dec-15 18:40:50

If you've got £1.25 I'd do Crouch End, Muswell Hill - Finsbury Park has great links and the W7 goes all the way down. Great schools too. I love Hampstead and Highgate but not sure toe money would stretch as far - how exciting! Good luck!

Rockingaround Fri 18-Dec-15 18:41:13

*your not toe

IpsyUpsyDaisyDo Fri 18-Dec-15 18:49:24

Ealing, Northfields, Hanwell. Leafy, loads of parks & cafes (even a small free zoo!), buzzing with young families. Good community feel, good state schools & some nice independent ones too. Tons of large period family houses. It's on the cross rail route - Hanwell to L'pool St in 20mins.

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