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Ashtead/Epsom/Hinchley Wood/Thames Ditton - any insider info you can give me?

(79 Posts)
Falcon1 Thu 05-Jan-17 10:18:15

We're looking to move. We want a 4-bed family home, decent commute to London, a leafy area with lots of green space, catchment to good schools and within walking distance to shops. Moon on a stick basically.

We're considering the above areas mainly because the secondary schools are good, they're not too far from where we are at the moment and they seem to tick a lot of boxes. Can anyone tell me about what it's like to live in any of these areas?

Ashtead - concerned that it might be a bit dull with not great shops? Would we spend our life in the car?
Epsom - does it have a good community feel?
Hinchley Wood - is the road noise from the Kingston bypass really bad?
Thames Ditton - is there much in the way of green space? Is flight noise an issue?

Yes, I know we need to go an look at all these areas ourselves and we have started to. Just want to get insider info from people who actually live there.


littlestar34 Thu 05-Jan-17 14:37:27

Epson centre is nice in my opinion. I like shopping there. Large enough for variety but not too big! I don't know enough to comment on living there but it has its good and bad bits as does everywhere. Expensive but you probably know that if you live nearby already. We live in Worcester Park, the bit that comes under Epsom and Ewell council.

Falcon1 Thu 05-Jan-17 14:52:44

Thanks Little Star, i appreciate the response. Good to hear something positive about Epsom town centre. A lot of people I've spoken to are about scathing of it.

What's worcester park like? Not considered that area.

littlestar34 Thu 05-Jan-17 22:50:18

Hiya. Worcester Park is further up the train line closer to Waterloo than Epsom and in the Oyster zone (which Epson isn't). It is very suburban but has a small high street which includes a Waitrose (and a lot of charity shops!!!). Good schools but is a junction between three different boroughs so I know secondary schools can be an issue depending on which part you live in. Lots of three bed 1930's housing. Not sure about 4 bed houses as not looked for those. Nice community feel. Good commuter links to London. Easy to get to nearby Kingston, Sutton, Wimbledon and Epsom for shopping and leisure.

3strikes Thu 05-Jan-17 23:09:44

Hi, we live in ashtead and love it.

Lots of green space
Very family orientated
Great community vibe

The shops aren't fantastic but perfectly adequate for a large village. Epsom has a much larger range and is very close in the car. I like using the local shops though. There are a couple of great butchers and a lovely little cafe on the high street.

And more questions about ashtead specifically just ask.

3strikes Fri 06-Jan-17 10:36:35

Just to add, I have also lived in Epsom, and much prefer ashtead as a place to live.

NetballHoop Fri 06-Jan-17 11:59:16

Epsom has trains that go to Waterloo, Victoria and London Bridge which might tip the balance for you, and of the places you listed it has by far the biggest variety of shops.

Ashtead is lovely and St Andrews is a good school perhaps not quite as highly Ofstead rated as Glyn and Roseberry in Epsom, but both of those are single sex (at least to 6th form) which is not for everyone.

Falcon1 Fri 06-Jan-17 13:58:57

Thanks for all your replies.

Little star - I think Worcester Park might be a bit surburban of me. Really hankering after lots of green space (and good shops!).

3strikes - that's really interesting that you've lived in both Epsom and Ashtead and prefer the latter. Can you tell me why you prefer Ashtead?

NetballHoop - Good point regarding trains. Although how does it work when you have a season ticket rather than oyster card? Do you have the flexibility to go from any station? Sorry, dull question!

I've heard St Andrews is good but definitely don't want a faith school. Not particularly keen on single sex either, but have heard really good things about Roseberry (i've got 2 DDs). Do you know if you can still get into Roseberry from parts of Ashtead?

littlestar34 Fri 06-Jan-17 14:15:21

I think you are right Falcon1. ☺ There are lovely parks near Worcester Park. Nonsuch being one of my favourites but it isn't great for shopping. Have you considered Ewell? Quite green, village feel and a few lovely independent shops but nothing high street like Epsom. Ewell west on same train line as Epsom and Ashtead. I am pretty certain Ewell village within catchment for Roseberry but not certain as I have 2 boys. My eldest at Blenheim which is mixed. Lots for you to think about. ☺

3strikes Fri 06-Jan-17 14:27:42

I just prefer the village feel that ashtead has as opposed to the towns feel of Epsom if that makes sense. Feel much more like part of a community. We also have primary aged children and the primary schools are lovely here (was a big part of our decision to move to Ashtead)

With regard to secondary schools- Rosebery is meant to be fantastic, and I think the catchment area extends to some parts of ashtead. I think if you look at houses for sale on rightmove, the school checker will show you the catchment area for the previous year (not sure how accurate this is though)

Quartz2208 Fri 06-Jan-17 16:19:02

Worcester park can be a black hole for secondary schools. Half of ashtead is for rosebery. Have lived in Epsom (now Stoneleigh) and prefer being slightly away from it. Ewell village has done lovely houses and I think,nicer than ashtead

Falcon1 Fri 06-Jan-17 17:09:07

Quartz - can you tell me why you prefer being away from Epsom? Is there something wrong with it?! No one has been that positive about it yet.

We had a look at Ewell. I don't know if we didn't see the right parts but there didn't seem to be much there. Think it might be too quiet for us. Am I right in thinking it's just for the few shops on the high street?

PatriciaHolm Fri 06-Jan-17 17:33:48

We're very happy here in Epsom ;-)

Ewell is smaller with one main high street and no larger shops, whereas Epsom has a Waitrose/M&S/House of Fraser/Fat Face/White Stuff etc. It's not perfect, far from it, but Kingston is just 20 minutes down the road for major shopping. We have a cinema, decent restaurants and pubs.

Schools were a big attraction for us - our kids have been very happy at an Outstanding primary, and DD is very happy at Rosebery; DS will almost certainly move to Glyn post primary.

The train flexibility works very well when, for example, next week Southern Trains are on strike! So you still have the option of SW trains (and vice versa) - getting home from London is pretty easy even when one line is buggered, though of course trains get busy.

You'd need 700k+ minimum for a decent 4 bed in catchment for good primaries/Rosebery & Glyn/walking to station etc. If you only have one gender of child that will help as the overlap of Rosebery and Glyn isn't huge and pushes prices up. State secondary school more problematic from Ashtead I think - some will get into Rosebery (girls), there is a catholic school, but other than that I'm not sure where you end up. Therfield in Leatherhead probably?

Quartz2208 Fri 06-Jan-17 17:58:41

Stoneleigh is smaller it's one of those places where you know lots of people it's split in two by the train line and each side has a primary school so it's a smaller community. I liked Epsom when I lived there but it's a bit too big for us. The local library, butchers etc you know rather than just being a shop.

For you Epsom sounds perfect if you want bigger for m I prefer being short drive from bigger. Also the primary schools vary and are distinct areas. We do go into Epsom every other weekend though

Also we drive a lot and Stoneleigh is better like located for the A3

spydie Fri 06-Jan-17 18:45:50

DH's Aunt/Uncle live in Thames Ditton. Never heard any flight noise when we have been out in the garden, but we are under the Gatwick flight path so I could be immune.

Very good schools.... I'm not sure on the commute though, as only ever heard negative reviews from his cousin commuting into London from her parents house!!

HTKB Fri 06-Jan-17 18:54:21

Thames Ditton is nice, not too much in the way of plane noise. No shopping to speak of, couple of toot shops in the high street but v close to Kingston. Bushy park is walkable which is a lovely green space and Hampton Court is lovely for cafes and restaurants. Hinchley wood is a slightly odd place in that I can't figure out what it actually is but either way it's got a good secondary school and you can drive easily to esher or Surbiton which are actual places. Noise is fine, slight background but really nothing noticeable, it's not a hugely busy road.

Falcon1 Fri 06-Jan-17 19:21:04

Patricia - great to hear positive vibes about Epsom as I really think that might suit us best - we're definite townies.

Thanks for the posts about Thames Ditton too. I like how near it is to Kingston, but worry I would miss the shops being walkable and you don't get an awful lot more for your money...

I agree that Hinchley Wood seems a bit of a nowhere place - but the schools are really good. So hard to get everything we want!

hooliodancer Fri 06-Jan-17 19:30:33

I love Epsom. If you live on the side of town nearest the Downs ( the more expensive side! ) you can walk easily to proper countryside, fields with horses etc. In the same time you can be at the station/in Waitrose! It's the best of both worlds really.

Lovely pubs outside the Town Centre- Rising Sun, Barley Mow, Amato, Kings Head.

Town centre should be lots better I think. But there are good chain restaurants and a few independents. House of Fraser is great.

M25 is very close so great for travelling. Gatwick is 25 minutes in the car.

Quartz2208 Fri 06-Jan-17 19:41:05

Epsom sounds best if you a townie and if you can afford it not sure on your budget but was one of my favourite roads

Not sure if the link has worked on my iPad but it's copse edge avenue in Epsom from rightmove

CardinalSin Fri 06-Jan-17 19:53:04

Hinchley Wood has some nice shops and seems very pleasant, but my problem with the place would be the total absence of pubs!

eviloops Fri 06-Jan-17 19:53:20

What about Cobham? Great schools and improvements to high street imminent.

Falcon1 Fri 06-Jan-17 19:56:27

Quartz - that's a great house! So that's a good area is it? Very interesting. Really starting to lean towards Epsom.

Falcon1 Fri 06-Jan-17 19:57:42

Evil loops - hadn't considered cobham - I thought that was just for the rich and famous!

hooliodancer Fri 06-Jan-17 20:01:22

Cobham is gorgeous but SO expensive. I can't imagine you would get a 4 bed house for 700k there. I could be wrong, might have a little look on rightmove!

Headley Heath is close to Epsom and fabulous for walks in the country, as is Box Hill. Dorking has lovely antique shops and is also a short drive away.

Quartz2208 Fri 06-Jan-17 20:04:06

Yep it's the college area it's near a park area, the local primary school (Wallace fields is outstanding) and its catchment for Rosebery. It's close to town and a pleasant 25 minute walk to the downs. It's a private Road as well so no traffic. There are allotments at the end of the road. My friend lives there I have slight house envy.

Epsom works well for houses like this and for flats (we used to live college area of Epsom) it lacks the in between 3 bed semis which is why Stoneleigh worked for us but if I had the budget I would buy it

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