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Leaving London for East Anglia - where to go?

(73 Posts)
AveEldon Tue 01-Mar-16 11:13:24

With secondary school decisions looming it may be time for us to leave London. But where to go?
OH needs to commute into the City.

We have previously looked at Buckhurst Hill but it was a bit too TOWIE
St Albans seems so expensive
Saffron Walden lovely but very little for sale

Any suggestions welcomed

Lilymaid Tue 01-Mar-16 11:15:53

I was going to suggest Saffron Walden but you have already investigated that area! Excellent secondary school. Good schools also in South Cambridgeshire. Unfortunately, the Cambridge effect and comparative ease of commute into London makes these areas quite expensive.

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Tue 01-Mar-16 11:21:50

I live in Saffron Walden - it is absolutely lovely BUT there is a severe shortage of school places; primary places pretty much non existent and the high school is massively oversubscribed. There is talk of a new primary school being built as there is so much development going on, not that it will resolve the secondary issue.

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Tue 01-Mar-16 11:28:30

Just to put it in perspective - if you're in a village just outside of Saffron Walden you are in no way guaranteed a place at the high school, and quite a few kids in Saffron Walden itself haven't been given a place (secondary school allocations were announced last night!). That's not to say that the other secondary schools are bad (there are 2 others in reasonable distance that are also pretty good - not sure how full they are).

mrsmortis Tue 01-Mar-16 12:15:15

How far out and how far east are you willing to go? What sort of budget are you looking at?

Essex is grammar school territory, if you feel your kids are likely to pass the 11+ then Colchester, Chelmsford or Southend might be a good place to start, though kids are bussed in from further afield.

HeyMacWey Tue 01-Mar-16 12:21:55

Bury St Edmunds is lovely - its commutable at a push.

HeyMacWey Tue 01-Mar-16 12:23:06

Or even Norwich - they're pushing to make it 90 mins to Liverpool Street.

AveEldon Tue 01-Mar-16 13:06:41

Thanks for your replies

For Saffron W - I want to be in town itself. There is just a total lack of houses for sale at the moment

Bury StE & Norwich are too far out

Budget up to £1.2M

PancakesAndMapleSyrup Tue 01-Mar-16 20:59:41

If thats your budget look at cambridge/surrounding villages up to 20mins is drive away from the station. You will find some beautiful houses. Are you looking at state or indie for secondary?

AveEldon Tue 01-Mar-16 21:31:50

Looking to go state for both primary and secondary
Surely driving into the station is a nightmare due to the traffic

I had also looked at Whittlesford

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Tue 01-Mar-16 22:57:34

We live in a village just outside Cambridge. Most South Cambs schools are excellent. My ds is at Comberton, which is a state secondary. My dh works in London 2 days per week and commutes from Royston which is a 15 minute drive for us, then 45 minutes into Kings Cross. If your dh needs to go into Liverpool St then youd be best looking at villages near Whittlesford.

Your budget would allow you to buy in Great Shelfird, which is fab as it has a station, is an easy cycle ride into Cambridge and has a lot going on gor a village.

Cambridge is great as it has lots on offer for a small city. I love it.

Belleende Tue 01-Mar-16 23:02:03

I will give my usual reply. Hitchin.
Excellent secondaries. Good commute.
Georgian 5 bed town house for £1m

My personal favourite. Lovely village of pirton. Barn conversion opportunity
(I would be happy to take the leftover budget off your hands)

gardeningsarah Tue 01-Mar-16 23:09:53

Would east suffolk be to far out? Commute from Ipswich to Liverpool street is an hour ish. Around Woodbridge has good state schools and could buy a fab place with your budget.

EssexCat Tue 01-Mar-16 23:17:38

How funny - we're looking at the exact same places and with a similar budget. There is pretty much nothing in SW is there?

That's also quite worrying re school places, I have a senior age boy already so he definitely won't get a place there now, but I was hoping for the other two to be likely! Seems a bit pointless moving somewhere and still not being able to get a place.

We've looked at the villages too, and have been tempted by Linton.

PerspicaciaTick Tue 01-Mar-16 23:18:13

Have a look at Billericay and the villages around it like Stock and Ramsden Heath.

CuppaTeaAndAJammieDodger Wed 02-Mar-16 03:35:16

Linton's nice - and Linton Village College is very good.

EssexCat Wed 02-Mar-16 07:30:55

Thanks CuppaTea - LVC is a definite draw for us. Would prefer a town rather than village for my Y7 reluctant mover, but he might just have to suck it up!

BlimeyCrikey Wed 02-Mar-16 07:32:22

Long Melford and Lavenham have beautiful houses, as do stanstead, hawstead etc you'd have to get to Colchester for a London train though, probably about a 30 min drive. You'd do well there with your budget.

Otherwise how about villages around halstead and Braintree?

Branleuse Wed 02-Mar-16 07:34:11


justaweeone Wed 02-Mar-16 07:35:39

Have you looked at Diss?

AveEldon Wed 02-Mar-16 09:11:30

Belleende - we have considered Hitchin. Herts helpfully publishes their school vacancy lists. The Georgian house is interesting but the drive to the carport ruins the garden for me. Barn definitely out.

I think East Suffolk and Diss are too far away.
Not massively keen on Colchester but did look at Kelvedon and surrounds.

EssexCat - we saw a place in SW before Xmas but it was overpriced. Now price reduced and under offer

BlimeyCrikey Wed 02-Mar-16 09:17:05

I wouldn't head to Colchester, I'm not a fan of the town at all despite its rich history.

Are you able to consider Norfolk? Norfolk is the most beautiful area in my opinion. Probably too far for you.

To the poster who wanted a lively area for their teenage sons (I think), Norwich is a lovely city.

Apparently, with money to spend on a nice house, Sudbury is meant to be a good place to live. I seem to recall hearing about it in a national list of nice places to live. Water meadows, market twice a week...if you go just outside Sudbury there are nice villages. There's a small train line to marks tey, which connects to a London train.

EssexCat Wed 02-Mar-16 09:53:13

AveEldon - We saw somewhere nice the other day but it was on a new build estate which wouldn't be my personal choice. We live in a nice Essex mkt town but I'd like somewhere more rural as I grew up in the middle of nowhere!

Love Norfolk (my home as a small child) but it's too far - if we were going that far we'd go back home to West Country.

Had never really thought about hitchin despite having friends who lived there before - husband v keen when I showed him what you could buy! Not sure re Herts tho for some reason....

EssexCat Wed 02-Mar-16 09:54:27

BlimeyCrikey - think you mean me, I just have one preteen son (others are much younger) and norwich would be great but too far really.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Wed 02-Mar-16 11:37:56

Ipswich and go private for schools? You don't have to but your budget would buy something very substantial with plenty left over. Depends how many children you need to put through secondary school admittedly.

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