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Moving to Newbury?

(14 Posts)
Jo4Laurie Wed 13-May-20 09:51:40

So this may be lockdown dreaming but I am interested in leaving London for a more rural area within reach of London for work and keen on Newbury. Does anybody know what the commute is like? Reliable trains, not too crowded? Hopefully I will be able to continue WFH 1 or 2 days a week. Any info on commute or what town is like much appreciated!

SonT Wed 13-May-20 09:58:34

nice town; don't live there but in a village 10 miles away.

better than it was 20 years ago; pre lockdown there were enough shops to keep you entertained. Decent independent shops, and some lovely pubs.

No idea about the trains I'm afraid but they are (were!) fine on the mainline through Didcot; just expensive. Goes into Paddington of course, so depending on where you need to get to in London depends on whether that is good or not.

Countryside nearby is lovely, and still remarkably rural. Lot of scope for country activities.; if that's your bag.

Jo4Laurie Sun 17-May-20 10:48:25

Thanks for your response @SonT. I am viewing a house next weekend and really like the look of the town. Only doubt is commute, though I think it will be worth it!

LadyFuschia Sun 17-May-20 10:57:45

Trains from Newbury go through reading and can be fast ones, there is a local line which goes from great bedwyn (west of Newbury) through Hungerford, Kintbury and then after Newbury various other villages between Newbury and reading.
I would definitely think about what you want in terms of amenities / house prices / transport links as this will influence where you might be happier. For instance access to M4 or a34 / stations and train journeys, villages with a shop or edge of the town so you can walk in at weekends. Prices can be high for houses in desirable areas / school catchments.
You don’t say whether you have children or not, or are moving with a partner or as a single person, or your age. What interests and hobbies you have - smaller towns don’t always offer a huge range of things to do so check that out perhaps.

Jo4Laurie Sun 17-May-20 12:52:12

@LadyFuschia thank you. I have a teen at Uni in Cardiff and am single. My thinking is part of my social life happens on weekdays after work in London which I will still maintain, and weekends are quieter - a small town I think could offer a nice lifestyle, countryside, family nearby, and my budget which gets a 2 bed flat in NW London can get more space and garden...

LadyFuschia Sun 17-May-20 13:06:39

That sounds good! Wherever your DD ends up at least you aren’t far from most places. I have ended up in a village and find that as most people are ‘incomers’ there is a very welcoming vibe if you make the effort to mix & say hello. The corn exchange in Newbury usually has lots on, there is a cinema and the canal is a pretty place to start a walk. Lots of walking to be done. London friends like to visit at the weekends sometimes too! Just pay attention to the areas as there are pockets of good & bad. Definitely worth exploring when you are able to again.

Jo4Laurie Sun 17-May-20 15:13:15

Thanks @LadyFuschia great advice. Can you tell me where the pockets ‘to avoid’ are at all? I will try to do sole more research!

LadyFuschia Sun 17-May-20 16:35:13

It’s hard to say without knowing more about what you like / have as a budget etc. You can pm me if you like though...

Dani2020 Sat 23-May-20 10:49:47

Hi All, just keeping an eye on this thread, as we are also looking at moving to Newbury 🤞.
I’m interested in knowing which areas to avoid, plus which areas flood.
I will be moving with my husband and two kids (under 5), plus my parents will be moving with us.
My mum doesn’t drive, so would be looking for a property which is walking distance to local shops, plus a bus stop so she can get to the town centre.
The main reason we are moving is for better schools and hopefully a better way of life.
Any advice would be much appreciated.

AnnaMagnani Sat 23-May-20 11:06:34

Definitely check out which areas flood before you buy! It is only v small areas of the town and villages that are at risk and a lot of flood defence work has happened but my DM was v lucky to be the only house in her street that didn't flood, still had her whole garden ruined.

Some villages can be astronomical prices - full of wealthy actors, aristos, bankers, the Middletons.

However this does also mean there are a lot of 'naice' things about - the Watermill Theatre, Newbury Spring Festival, the Corn Exchange, a cinema, restaurants and country pubs at all price ranges, good schools.

Newbury has been transformed by Vodaphone + tech money - has had almost full employment for years. Plus loads of people commuting to London.

Compared to in my day where there was one good school or you went private, tech hadn't arrived, trains were terrible and the cinema shut.

Puppylucky Sat 23-May-20 11:11:09

I lived in Newbury a while ago now, but it is a pretty nice market town although the restaurants were terrible! I don't recall there being any areas to avoid TBH, as it's pretty prosperous. My only caveat is as a single employer town (Vodafone), it can be a bit cliquey, as a lot of residents know each other through work and the London commuters aren't around enough to make friends . I was self employed at the time, and found it hard to break into social circles because of that.
It's also quite vulnerable to house price fluctuations for some reason - maybe the single employer thing again. We got burned with a highly localised price crash, which meant it took us over a year to sell our house at a loss.

Dani2020 Sat 23-May-20 12:19:31

Thank you both for coming back to me, I really appreciate this information.
I’m a stay at home mum, so was thinking how easy it would be to make new friends, but was hoping to get to know school mums etc.
I have noticed a difference in house prices, so guess their must be a reason for this. Currently I’ve seen some nice houses (On Rightmove) in the Wash Common and Speen area. We are hoping to take a drive to the area soon, to get a feel for it, but will do my research on flood zones first.

AnnaMagnani Sat 23-May-20 12:59:25

I think it depends how outgoing you are. My DM still lives in our childhood home which was then a shithole area but would now be seen as more first time buyer and OK.

She knows everyone at her end of the street as she is terminally nosy - jobs are a mix, teachers, plumbers, police, SAHMs, builders, Vodaphone, other IT companies, personal trainers and so on. She of course expects me to remember who all these people are even though I haven't met most of them grin

So yes Vodaphone people do know each other but not everyone works there and there are other ways of socializing. As an elderly woman my DM has church, knitting group, book group, U3A etc etc and honestly just incessant cake baking for people whether they want cake or not. She knows people of all ages.

Puppylucky Sat 23-May-20 19:14:37

Ooh Speen that's where we lived! Bear in mind that it's on the outskirts of town and a good 30 mins walk back to the station. Very pretty houses though

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