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Another leaving London thread...

(23 Posts)
LittlePickleHead Sat 09-Apr-16 16:15:35

So, could do with some advice and experiences.

DH and I have toyed with the idea of moving out of London closer to family for a while, but we seem to go round in circles about where to go which results in heads back in the sand and doing nothing. We have one DC in year 2, and another due to start reception in 2017. So I figure if we are going to do it, timing it for DC2s school application makes sense.

We are currently in lovely part of SE London in a 3 bed flat. We are short on space and no chance of upsizing to a more sizeable house in this area due to crazy surge in prices.

Also it's a pain in the bum to visit friends and family outside of London from where we are (hours stuck in traffic on south circular is the norm).

DH will need to commute to central London. Areas that we would like to be able to reach easily for family and friends are Glocestershire, West Country, Birmingham and we have good friends in Bucks and Herts.

We both LOVE Bath and I would move there in a second if the commute wasn't such an issue for DH. Whilst he can probably work from home 1 day a week, it would currently be around 2 hours each way to commute which I worry would become wearing very quickly.

Another place we have consisted is Thame but when we briefly visited, although it is very lovely, the size of it freaked us both out (I guess we are SO used to city life). Also wasn't clear if there is anywhere for meals out in the evening etc.

So I'm just looking for any more suggestions or recommendations, taking into account school needs, commute, family and area. Top top budget is £650k and would prefer 4 beds if possible.

Hoping for a MN brainwave here!

shopaholic85 Sat 09-Apr-16 16:38:55

Hi OP. DH and I have recently moved from SE London to Bath and agree that it is not a commutable distance. Have you considered Chippenham? It is closer to London (1hr, 15mins to Paddington). You could definitely get a lovely 4-bed house with your budget and the schools are good. Good luck! smile

LifeIsGoodish Sat 09-Apr-16 16:44:58


Good train and road connection to London, easy journeys to W Country and B'ham etc. Some very nice towns. Many schools are excellent, price of housing often reflects this, but not toLondon extremes.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 09-Apr-16 16:46:40

Someone I used to work with commuted from Bristol to London and that wasn't too bad.

Where are your friends in Bucks and Herts? Tbh most towns and cities will have places to eat out. Villages aren't really my thing and I'm pleased when we moved from London we moved to a town because I would have gone demented in a village with everyone knowing your business and nothing to do.

hesterton Sat 09-Apr-16 16:48:18

I seconf Chippenham. They are electrifying that line - so it will continue to become better and better. Plus your property will up in value pretty smartly. Chippenham has great secondary schools.

5amisnotmorning Sat 09-Apr-16 17:15:52

We are in Berks and have a 2 hour door to door commute. The quality of life is worth it versus London for us but half of the commute is to Paddington and the othw4 half across London.

snowspider Sat 09-Apr-16 17:30:09

what about Leamington Spa or Banbury

Roygrace Sat 09-Apr-16 17:40:59

Manchester 2hr 2min commute to London!

Rahgh Sat 09-Apr-16 17:56:34

We are in the process of going to Market Harborough, a smidge over an hour to St Pancras! Just need our house to sell!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 09-Apr-16 18:13:50

Where about in London does your dh need to get to because that can make a big difference to his commute. Also sitting for an hour is nowhere near as bad as standing for 40. My dh works on the train because we're far enough out for a seat.

LittlePickleHead Sat 09-Apr-16 18:50:19

See, I grew up very very close to Chippenham and I just don't think I could move back there! I think it's probably been improved a lot since I left 18 years ago but it's just not where I imagined settling down (Bath is!).

DH works in Victoria, so from Paddington/Marylebone/Euston it's a pretty easy and quick tube ride.

We have friends near Leighton buzzard and near Milton Keynes, and also some more nearer WGC way.

Lifeisgoodish can you recommend anywhere particular in Berks?

Will check out leamington spa and Banbury as know nothing about them

ThisFenceIsComfy Sat 09-Apr-16 18:54:26


Hobbes8 Sat 09-Apr-16 22:32:26

The Bedforshire villages near Milton Keynes / Leighton Buzzard are much cheaper than the Buckinghamshire side, and they seem just as nice. You're at the mercy of the crappy Thameslink service though (perhaps that's why?)

Spickle Sun 10-Apr-16 10:01:56

Newbury, Berkshire, good links to M4, London and fairly doable to MK. These have four bedrooms and are within walking distance of the main line train station to London Paddington:

puggymummy1 Sun 10-Apr-16 10:52:35

North Bedfordshire villages? Three stations within half an hour. Bedford, Milton Keynes, Wellingborough.

LittlePickleHead Sun 10-Apr-16 13:14:01

I like the look of Newbury and those houses are lovely. Any experiences of what it's like to live there? Is there a good community and a lot to do with children?

I'm definitely more keen on a town than a village.

Also don't know a lot about Oxford (other than its very pretty!). I had assumed our money wouldn't go very far in relation to the areas with good schools there.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Apr-16 14:45:06

I live near Bath and with the current works then the train times are going to get better so possible to commute 4 days a week. However in reality everyone I know who is in London a lot stays up several nights a week.

Bath is also pretty expensive and if you wanted proximity to the station to ease the commute then £650k is unlikely to get you a 4 bedroom house.

There are many lovely villages around Chippenham but of course that adds to the commute time.

LittlePickleHead Sun 10-Apr-16 15:55:21

MrsCampbell - I read an article from
Jan this year saying the electrification is 4 years behind schedule shock it's annoying as would seriously help.

I have seen a few houses on the eastern side of Oldfield park and even bear flat under budget or 3 beds leaving enough left to do a loft conversion. There does seem to be very little coming on the market though according to my Rightmove alert. I should probably turn the alert off though as it's just showing me what we can't have!

Does anyone have any experience of Berkhamsted? I realise our money won't go as far there, but It's seems lovely from what I read online, and is v close to friends and around 2 hours from most family.

MrsJamin Sun 10-Apr-16 16:16:11

How much do you have to spend, OP? Hundreds of people commute from Reading to Paddington every day, it's the first major stop out of london (that everything stops at) and will have crosslink in a few years. House prices are on the way up but people coming out of London (of which there seem a lot at the moment) still laugh at them. 3/4 bed semi is about 350/400k upwards.

LittlePickleHead Sun 10-Apr-16 17:02:17

£650k tops MrsJamin

Which areas of Reading would you recommend looking at?

LifeIsGoodish Sun 10-Apr-16 18:00:27

If you're a townie, then Maidenhead or Reading could be good for you. If you're willing to try out small-town but-not-village, have a look at Wokingham and Ascot.

I have several friends who are either ex-Londoners or London commuters (sometimes both), who are very happy in those four towns, plus more who live in the villages around these towns.

I don't hear much good aboutBracknell, sadly, though some of the outlying villages/suburbs seem nice.

cruusshed Sun 10-Apr-16 18:45:40

Windsor? Great fun town, great upmarket shops & restaurants, theatre - just avoid the main street with the tourists - road and rail connections are excellent, period properties, river Thames, Windsor Great Park, countryside nearby and v green....& your kids could have daily Legoland passes!

MrsJamin Sun 10-Apr-16 18:55:59

Reading is very mixed, I'd avoid South Reading (whitley), suburban area is south east Reading (Earley and Woodley), Caversham and Sonning the most expensive areas, but your budget might afford them. I live in West Reading and you get a lot of bang for your buck compared to other areas, and it's very diverse ethnically like London. It has a reputation for crime/red light but that very much in its own bubble and doesn't really affect your daily life (again probably similar to London). East Reading (around cemetery junction) is similar but more expensive as it's near the university. It depends what floats your boat, we'd never be happy in the 'burbs.

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