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Need help finding somewhere to live between Buckingham and Watford!!!

(20 Posts)
user1484042606 Tue 10-Jan-17 10:27:12

Hi Everyone,

I am starting a new job soon and DH and I are looking for a nice area to rent a place in (for now at least). My new job is in Hemel Hempstead but they will move to somewhere around Watford by mid year. DH works in Buckingham. We're looking for somewhere in between to bring commute time to a minimum and prefer car travel as train travel time can easily add up.

According to Google maps, Dunstable looks bang in the middle but have heard horrible things about that place(sorry, mean no offense to anyone living in Dunstable). Leighton Buzzard is sorta 'ok' but I feel like the commute will be longer than I would prefer. Cheddington also looks like its commutable but unsure whether it will be too small a town for us.

We are a young couple in our early 30s, no kids, enjoy movies, shopping and good food. We would love to live somewhere that caters to a diverse, young population with good restaurant options and a great market as we love cooking all kinds of cuisines at home.

I would appreciate any suggestions and really welcome your thoughts and experiences.

Thanks

RTKangaMummy Wed 11-Jan-17 02:15:40

Think about flight paths to Luton airport around there

Low flying planes etc

user1484042606 Wed 11-Jan-17 09:34:19

Hi RTKangaMummy, not sure what that means.

elvisola Wed 11-Jan-17 09:50:35

Leighton Buzzard is closer to Hemel than Dunstable if you come round the back way.

I would go for Leighton Buzzard in your shoes, it's affordable and I have lots of friends there that like it. A good choice of housing as well. Cheddington is quite expensive but I know people that are very happy there.

Flitwick and Ampthill are lovely but your commute will be longer as your coming from the other side of Bucks.

user1484042606 Wed 11-Jan-17 10:24:54

Hi elvisola, thank you so much for your response. LB does look good. I also like the fact that it has good connections to London (we like days out in London 😊). I will definitely check it out. Are there any areas to avoid there?

longtermsinglemummy Wed 11-Jan-17 10:30:45

Have a look at Wendover. It's near Aylesbury so you have the amenities there, but it's close to the A41 so direct route into Watford. Tring is nice too but a little bit further from Buckingham.

FruJustFru Wed 11-Jan-17 10:32:31

How about looking somewhere on/near the A41? Tring? Aylesbury? Although I don't know the area at all.

What RTKanga means is that as Luton Airport is close by, you'll have to take into account aircraft noise from take-offs/landings and the flight paths in and out of the airport. The noise can take some getting used to - that's if you're prepared to put up with it in the first place.

user1484042606 Wed 11-Jan-17 10:56:00

Thanks for these suggestions. I will look into both Aylesbury and Wendover as well. I have heard that Tring may be a little too quiet for a young couple like us.
@FruJustFru That makes sense, thanks for the explanation. Don't think we'll enjoy all that noise.

elvisola Wed 11-Jan-17 10:59:17

As far as I know if you aim for the Linslade side you will be fine.

cornflowerblu Wed 11-Jan-17 15:13:31

Believe me if you're considering Cheddington then Tring will be like being in central London. It's a very nice town and plenty going on. Otherwise, what about somewhere like Berkhampstead, it's not cheap but it's a lovely lively town with some good restaurants, bars, shops, cool cinema and lots of young couples and families.

ShortLass Wed 11-Jan-17 15:23:27

Tring and Wendover are very expensive. Although nice. Leighton Buzzard and Dunstable is much more affordable.

The flight path around Luton is only an issue for surrounding villages such as Slip End (and parts of Luton itself, obviously). Not an issue in the areas you're looking at.

user1484042606 Wed 11-Jan-17 15:53:18

Oh, didn't realise Cheddington is that quiet!
I love how exciting Berkhamsted sounds but worried the daily car travel of ~1hr to Buckingham maybe a bit much for DH. We're trying to limit road travel time as much as possible for both of us (not sure if realistically possible tbh).
I'm veering towards Tring or Leighton Buzzard as of now for practicality. Worst care scenario if traffic is horrendous around LB, I have the option of taking a quick train to Watford. Does anyone have any experience of peak time travel around LB or Tring?

WorldsSmallestPatio Wed 11-Jan-17 16:46:52

I don't think you want to live in Leighton at all. It's a crap journey to Hemel in rush hour due to the one way (weight restriction) bridge at water end. You can easily queue for 10 minutes in the morning and half an hour on the way home. I think it makes both yours and your dh's journey crap.

There's a lot of work going on in Aylesbury on the ring road and there's queuing every morning.

Wendovers a much better journey wise for both of you though not cheap, and also not thrilling if you're only 30 with no kids. He comes into Aylesbury the other side and skirts the worst of the traffic and you get on the A41 to Hemel.

I'm going to suggest that one of you has a slightly crapper journey than the other if you're thinking slightly longer term and want a house/children/ and suggest Chesham. You would have the easier journey to Watford/Hemel and he would have the longer journey but would choose to go over the back roads. You would also go over back roads to Watford.

Also Chesham is on the end of the Met line so you can get into London for fun if you want to.

If you're prematurely middle aged grinand don't go out without driving then Wendovers great. Also good for children and dogs as there's the woods for walking.

Berkhamsted is the best for everything if you have decent money i.e. £500 ish plus as you can walk everywhere in town, very easy to get to A41 for both of you. Great bars/restaurants/fantastic schools/amazing cinema. I still think that's a crappy every day journey for your husband because of driving round the bloody Aylesbury ring road. I think in general it's a boring and overly long journey to Buckingham.

I have literally lived in all of these places. Trings also great, just a smaller Berkhamsted - really makes no difference to either of your journeys.

Think about what you want and if you're going to have kids and if you're going to stay at home or if dh is.

How much money do you have to spend on a house?

user1484042606 Wed 11-Jan-17 18:10:02

That is wonderful insight @WorldsSmallestPatio!
We are happy to pay up to £800 for renting a small apartment or house, whatever is feasible in the area we select. Buying a house is something we'll commit to maybe in a few year's time once we feel more 'settled'...
Love the fact that Chesham is on the Met line but will have to discuss the travel times closely with DH.

WorldsSmallestPatio Wed 11-Jan-17 18:13:27

That is a very small budget for a flat/house. You're going to really struggle to find somewhere for £800 a month in a nice area.

I will have a look and see if there's anything that's good smile

WorldsSmallestPatio Wed 11-Jan-17 18:17:34

One in wendover that's ok. A flat in tring on the high street (Its not nicely done though) nothing in berkhamsted.

There's more in Leighton though.

user1484042606 Wed 11-Jan-17 19:31:49

Thanks @WorldsSmallestPatio for sharing these. Seems we have no option other than to increase our budget. I think once we know where we want to move, we can adjust our budget accordingly.

confuugled1 Wed 11-Jan-17 21:11:36

Is there any reason why you haven't mentioned Milton Keynes to live?

I know it's closer to Buckingham but because of the fact it's a bigger station there are a lot of fast trains that will only stop at Watford and Euston so there are trains that take 20 minutes. Obviously there are also slow trains too so there are other services that take from 25 mins up to about 40 minutes. However it usually takes about 30 mins from LB to Watford - they miss out on the faster trains. So whilst it's counter intuitive, you could get to Watford more quickly by train from MK even though it's further away.

HH probably takes about half an hour to get to from here or 20-25 mins from LB.

It's a great place to live - one of the youngest in the UK. Loads to do / eat/ etc both centrally and in surrounding villages. Fantastic cinemas (first place in uk to get the 4fx? something like that! cinemas). Great market centrally and lots of specialist food shops plus a wide choice of supermarkets big and small. Loads of shops. MK was the original shopping centre and it's been expanded several times over the years.
Amazing parks and woods. Top class theatre. A handful of other good music and comedy venues. Home of the Open University and lots of companies so a good jobs market. Some excellent shops. 30 mins into London if you get a fast train.
And this year is its 50th birthday so there's loads of extra stuff going on for celebrations.

Definitely worth investigating if you are looking for something between Buckingham and Watford! There are quite a few people that are quite snotty about MK but actually if you ask people that live here most people find it a great place to live.

user1484042606 Fri 13-Jan-17 17:18:09

Thank you all so much for your suggestions. Really sorry, but my circumstances have changed now and I won't be joining that company (I rejected the offer as I was not happy with some things). But the good news is that I have just accepted the offer from the company I was actually hoping to join....yay!!! It was such a long wait for a callback that I had almost given up on that role.

This job is in Birmingham, so as you can imagine I'm back to square one, this time looking for a place between Buckingham and Birmingham. I realise I may have to seriously consider train travel, but maybe some good options come up.

Do you think I need to create a new thread or is it possible to change the title of this thread to reflect the new 'destination'?

JillJ72 Fri 13-Jan-17 17:33:45

You could still consider Milton Keynes as an option as the train goes to Birmingham.

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