Confused about Letchworth(4 Posts)
We're looking to move out of London, and on paper Letchworth Garden City seems to be a great option for us. We've visited a couple of times to view houses and it's got some big postitives - 30min trains to London, large open spaces and parks, houses which are cheaper than other similar commuter towns - and which are not too close together with larger than average gardens, two decent looking secondary schools which are rated good by Ofsted, lots of other families around.
But we've also read a lot of negative things about Letchworth, mostly involving the council estates which make up the town. But we're worrying that is colouring our attitute to the less positive things we've seen. The town centre definately isn't exactly "thriving" on either weekdays or weekends, and there seem to be a larger than average number of boy racers in loud cars parping around everywhere. We also saw a gang of kids with what looked like several 10 or 11 year old smoking. But I'm worried we're actively looking for bad stuff due to the negative comments we've read, and are making more of this than we should. We're a bit conflicted as cosmetically this seems like such a nice place to live.
Does anyone have any thoughts on Letchworth to help us figure this out?
The bad news is Letchworth is dully dull dull dull, and a bit rough in places. The good news is, it is 6m by train to hitchin which has a lot more life to it, 20m to Cambridge and 30m to London. It all depends on your priorities, if you want max space for your £ then it is a reasonable choice, if you want somewhere with a bit of life then hitchin is better, but pricier.
I live in a naice area in Letchworth close to the town centre and I never see gangs hanging around or boy racers. Avoid Jackmans. The Grange council but quite pleasant roads where most people have bought their houses. Lordship is very middle class and the most desirable areas are the roads off Broadway Gardens / The Broadway
The town is perfectly pleasant at the weekends and is looking up with a lot of cultural stuff in the summer (Letchworth festival a highlight) and a new live stage coming at the fab independent cinema. It is a bit dull but a nice small town to bring kids up in and commute is very good. Whereabouts are you looking? I have to say though that the secondary schools do not have that great a reputation. Baldock's Knights Templar is better regarded and you can possibly get into it from that side of town, or Baldock is a lovely town I think, still good value compared to Hitchin and Letchworth although that much quieter as is smaller (not necessarily a bad thing). Or I know quite a few teens living on the Hitchin side of Letchworth who go to Hitchin Girls but I suspect more oversubscribed nowadays. I will try to get mine into the catholic secondary in Stevenage which is meant to be excellent although I have reservations about it being in Stevenage! I think Letchworth can be a town of two halves but I honestly never see the bad bits you've described although they are probably there in particular areas. Same in Hitchin!
Personally prefer Letchworth to Hitchin get to be much closer to train station and town with bigger houses in Letchworth, I think Hitchin is getting seriously overcrowded and traffic can be appalling. Being close to the action in Hitchin means a house on a cramped road with no off road parking in my experience!
Howard gardens and Broadway gardens are lovely open spaces in Letchworth and the garden space in the original built Letchworth houses are amazing
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