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Surbiton and Tonbridge...which one would be better?

(12 Posts)
redberries1 Wed 01-Feb-17 09:33:34

Not enthralled by either tbh but they seem to tick the boxes of commute and affordability.
Need to get to Cannon Street for work. Need state schools (Surbiton seems better for primaries but Ton for secondaries). Would prefer a period house which seems possible on a £1m budget?
Love London but also the country so can't work out if London burbs with good green space (love the royal parks!) or commuter town with great countryside would be best. We have friends in both areas.
Can anyone give me an idea of what each area is really like to live in? I like my shopping! I know TW is better for shops (but commute longer and pricier) and Surbiton is near Kingston and Richmond (Richmond too pricey and Kingston too busy for me to live in).
I don't want to live anywhere that has a provincial feel to it, and I'd like a place that has a bit of a buzz - some markets, festivals etc or lots for kids to do. TBH I'm a bit scared of suburbia but can't find anywhere else that would work - either commute too long or too expensive :-(

FatBottomedGal Wed 01-Feb-17 12:42:38

I've lived around Surbiton most of my life so can offer some advice on this area. The town itself is nice, good shops and restaurants (Sainsburys and Waitrose on the main highstreet) and has a very nice feel to it. Very difficult to park though, so perhaps be within walking distance of this if you feel you'd use the highstreet regularly. I've never seen or experienced any 'bad sorts' around there. Kingston also has a great shopping centre and even more restaurants and bars - very nice by the riverside in the summer, although very busy.

The trains can be extremely busy during rush hour in the morning - I sometimes get the train from the stop before and people have issues getting on when we get to Surbiton - you'll rarely get a seat but it's only about 20 minutes from there to Waterloo.

There isn't a huge amount of green space nearby, but you are within easy driving distance of Richmond and Bushy parks which are both lovely. I've always thought Surbiton would be a nice place to raise a family smile

Chickiwick Fri 03-Feb-17 23:18:28

Have you looked at Teddington? The journey to London is longer - more like 30mins on the slower line but it's got a nice villagey feel, Bushy Park is on your doorstep and it's about the same distance to Kingston for proper shopping the other way. I've lived in both - I marginally preferred Surbiton but that's more because of the time of my life than the location. I think Teddington might be more expensive but it's cheaper than Richmond for sure.

redberries1 Tue 07-Feb-17 12:59:03

Thanks! Yes love Teddington but think commute too long :-(

WindwardCircle Tue 07-Feb-17 13:05:43

Tonbridge is okay, it's a lot better than it used to be ten years or so ago but it's still quite a small town, shopping is limited and it doesn't have much in the way of amenities. No cinema, the only theatres are attached to Tonbridge school and west Kent college and imho very little buzz, although it does have some decent restaurants.

TW is only ten minutes further on the train, but there are fewer trains which serve it and the house prices are greater, but I suspect in terms of a livelyish small town it's more what you're looking for.

redberries1 Thu 09-Feb-17 08:48:12

Ha! Yes also like TW but worried commute may just be too far (same as Teddington). Also looking around Wimbledon as commute quicker and green and safe there but a lot more urban. Not sure quite what we want really for kids growing up....

Chickiwick Thu 09-Feb-17 13:00:29

I suppose it depends on where you work... Raynes Park is a bit more affordable than Wimbledon because if Richmond is too expensive you might have trouble in Wimbledon. I live about 2miles from Wimbledon in Lower Morden - if my house were in Raynes Park would be £300k more than it is here and more still in Wimbledon. It's bloody crazy. Merton high schools aren't amazing so I'd personally favour Kingston or Surbiton myself. I'd live there again tomorrow if I could.

redberries1 Thu 09-Feb-17 19:52:00

Thanks - we can afford Merton Park or Southfields not quite Wimbledon!. The commute from both however is much better than Tedd or TW but is more urban. Hence then can round to Surbiton or Tonbridge as commute ok still, though prefer other locations as described! Swings ad roundabouts! Have to decide on priorities I guess 😬

cujo Thu 09-Feb-17 23:36:27

What about the other side of Tonbridge, so Sevenoaks? Better commute and nicer feel. Access to schools is good too.

AndShesGone Thu 09-Feb-17 23:40:19

Hither Green

Trains to Cannon Street every 12 minutes in the morning. Takes just under 20 minutes. Always get a seat.

Beautiful houses for your budget. It's a really nice area. 5 minute drive, 15 minute walk to Blackheath. Lee green is ugly at the moment but has improved loads in the last couple of years.

AndShesGone Thu 09-Feb-17 23:41:24

This is one of my favourite roads

JoJoSM2 Fri 10-Feb-17 08:20:11

Tonbridge and Surbiton are both lovely locations. In your position, I'd go with Surbiton and save a few grand on commuting + when your children get older, they will probably appreciate being able to use public transport to get places including central London. The schools in the borough of Kingston are fantastic so I wouldn't worry about secondaries + you get a choice of 2 grammar schools. A lot of children also commute to one of the 5 grammars in the borough of Sutton.
Personally, I live in Sutton itself and think it could also fit the bill for you. The trains go into Blackfriars and City Thameslink - getting a seat is currently not a problem either. It's also very green around South Sutton and Carshalton Beeches including lavender fields, farms with farm shops etc. whilst being in zone 5. The schools are amongst the highest attaining in all of England too. For 1M, you'd get a 4-5 bed detached with a big garden.

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