South Woodford or Gidea Park??

(38 Posts)
ccmm Sat 08-Aug-20 22:12:27

DH and I are looking to buy our first home. After a long search, we found two properties that suit our needs best. One is in South Woodford, and the other is in gidea park. We haven't lived in any of those areas and feel it really difficult to choose. I would be grateful if you could share your thoughts about the two areas!

In short, we like the property (floor plan, conditions, etc.) in GP and SW the area. Some facts about the two properties.
1. SW is a purpose-built flat, while GP is a three-bed semi with a decent-sized garden.
2. Area-wise, both are good (approx. 90 sqm internal). But GP's floorpan is perfect for us.
3. We both commute to London. SW has the central line and GP has the TFL rail. DH's commute is 30-35min in both cases. For me SW is slightly shorter (SW 58min vs GP 70 min), but I heard that central line can get busy and hot. I don't know much about the TFL rail. Does anyone know how busy they can get during peak hours? Which of the two offer relatively better commuting experience?
4. We quite like the SW area because it has a good choice of supermarkets and restaurants, plenty of green space and even a cinema. Seems to be a convenient place to live. Not sure about GP. Is GP convenient to live? Is there much to do in GP?
5. We don't have kids, but are planning to have one soon. A good hospital with a reliable maternity unit is preferred. Will SW and GP provide this?

Thank you very much in advance smile

OP’s posts: |
Polyxena Sat 08-Aug-20 22:27:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ClaudiaWankleman Sat 08-Aug-20 22:34:52

You would probably get a seat most days from Gidea Park. It is on the TfL rail, which will become the Elizabeth line, probably in 2022 or 2023.

Gidea Park is one of the nicer parts of Havering, and you’re a short drive or train away from Brentwood or Shenfield. Many people who commute take the mainline trains to Shenfield and get the TfL rail backwards to get to Gidea Park (or reverse on the way in).

South Woodford is also a lovely area, with great bars and restaurants, open spaces and the properties are mostly of a good standard (not overcrowded maisonettes like some places).

I think you should probably choose based on the house/ property. Both locations have (in my opinion) enough pros and cons to be roughly equal to each other.

ccmm Sat 08-Aug-20 22:47:39

ClaudiaWankleman

You would probably get a seat most days from Gidea Park. It is on the TfL rail, which will become the Elizabeth line, probably in 2022 or 2023.

Gidea Park is one of the nicer parts of Havering, and you’re a short drive or train away from Brentwood or Shenfield. Many people who commute take the mainline trains to Shenfield and get the TfL rail backwards to get to Gidea Park (or reverse on the way in).

South Woodford is also a lovely area, with great bars and restaurants, open spaces and the properties are mostly of a good standard (not overcrowded maisonettes like some places).

I think you should probably choose based on the house/ property. Both locations have (in my opinion) enough pros and cons to be roughly equal to each other.

Thanks ClaudiaWankleman! We like the property/house on GP more. But on our short visit, GP feels like a very quiet residential area. Are there any nearby amenities (groceries, cafes, bars, restaurants) to still give a bit urban feel? smileAnd what about hospitals around GP?

OP’s posts: |
ccmm Sat 08-Aug-20 22:54:07

Polyxena

South Woodford is a nicer area and on the Central line (as you noted) therefore more desirable.

If you commute on the tube you will never get a seat starting at SW. I don’t have experience of the mainline to Gidea Park, but as far as I’m aware there are no other transport options from there apart from the bus.

Personally, I’d live in SW over GP.

Thanks Polyxena! Is it easy to get on the rush hour tube from SW? I used to live on the northern line. It can be a 20min wait to get on a tube...

OP’s posts: |
ElzP Sat 08-Aug-20 22:54:19

I live in SW ....

Central line is crazy busy - you'll never get a seat at peak times & it's even better when the rail replacement kicks in! Not ....

Parking is also a problem in SW as everywhere is residential permit.
The cinema causes untold amounts of trouble and there was talk of knocking it down recently - not sure what's going on with that now though

SW has whipps cross as its local hospital; I refuse to go there for anything let alone maternity / paediatrics.

I personally would move to GP - I've worked for families in GP and you get more for your money there

zippyswife Sat 08-Aug-20 22:56:45

I don’t know SW. I live local to GP. shops are nearby in Hornchurch or Upminster. GP is a nice area. What road is it?

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zippyswife Sat 08-Aug-20 22:57:22

Ardleigh green primary is outstanding I think. But you’d need to be close to that to get in.

JewelTheft Sat 08-Aug-20 22:59:55

Queens hospital in Romford is the closest to gidea park, it did have a bad reputation for maternity services but I think its improving. Restaurants and bars close by in Romford or hornchurch, but I wouldn't describe either as particularly exciting.

ireallyamthewalrus Sat 08-Aug-20 23:00:00

Presumably you’ll go to visit, not just the properties but also get a feel for the general area of both?

If you’re planning a baby soon, consider whether each house would adapt to your changing needs.

Cam2020 Sat 08-Aug-20 23:00:27

The central line is incredibly busy (in normal times). Tfl rail is much more pleasant, plus GP is a terminal so you're guaranteed a seat in the morning! You can be waiting a long time in the evening to get on the central.

TimeIhadaNameChange Sat 08-Aug-20 23:05:03

@ElzP - the cinema is on land owned by Sainsbury's which keeps wanting to knock it down. It was saved by the community many years ago which is when Odeon stepped in but who knows what will happen in the future.

No help for you OP. I grew up near SW but wouldn't move back to either there or GP. I'm a country girl at heart.

Puppylucky Sat 08-Aug-20 23:15:20

I live in Wanstead so just down the road from South Woodford
I really like SW - it's got a really useful shopping centre -maybe not as trendy as Wanstead but you are so close it's the best of both worlds really. Central line is shit but you have more chance of getting a seat than I do :-)

windthatbobbin Sat 08-Aug-20 23:16:42

I live in SW. Relative lives in GP.

I think SW is lovely, and you can walk to Wanstead too - lots of lovely shops and pubs, and green space. I commute on the Central line and hardly ever fail to get on the first tube - always the second (they're every minute or two) and usually can get a seat after 3 or 4 stops. Elizabeth line will be greet though. There are groups of idiots sometimes, but aren't they everywhere? Odeon never seems hugely problematic to me. SW feels just out of London but still in IYSWIM. But would consider GP too.

Polyxena Sat 08-Aug-20 23:18:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ccmm Sat 08-Aug-20 23:30:40

I see! Is Homerton University Hospital a good one?

OP’s posts: |
earsup Sun 09-Aug-20 01:00:35

For maternity people go to homerton and avoid whipps cross which has very poor reputation. !

zippyswife Sun 09-Aug-20 07:07:49

Or out to Broomfield. I’ve had a couple of my dcs there and really rate it.

JoJoSM2 Sun 09-Aug-20 07:08:58

You don’t need to go to your nearest hospital to have a baby. You can choose whichever one you’d like.

It’s very anecdotal by a friend used to use Whipps Cross and when she moved to another part of London, she was wowed on her first hospital visit by how friendly and professional it was compared to WC.

ccmm Sun 09-Aug-20 09:38:07

JoJoSM2

You don’t need to go to your nearest hospital to have a baby. You can choose whichever one you’d like.

It’s very anecdotal by a friend used to use Whipps Cross and when she moved to another part of London, she was wowed on her first hospital visit by how friendly and professional it was compared to WC.

This is reassuring. So I can choose one with good reputations even if it is not the closest!wink

OP’s posts: |
Cam2020 Sun 09-Aug-20 09:51:19

Wanstead is really lovely - one of my favourite places. Most of my negativity was around commuting! SW and surrounding areas are very nice - lots of nice restaurants. GP doesn't have very much and despite being close to Romford, most of that is pubs and bars rather than restaurants.

AwkwardPaws27 Sun 09-Aug-20 12:27:39

I prefer Gidea Park - we live nearby, but nearer to Romford.
Raphael's park is lovely, and you're a short journey to Bedfords, Thorndon, and other outdoor spaces.
There's some nice pubs and restaurants locally, and a bigger selection nearby at Hornchurch, Upminster, Romford or Brentwood.
The new Elizabeth Line trains have been running on that line about 50% of the time (well, they were in March, I've been working from home since then!), so you have new air conditioned trains. As PP said, you are likely to get a seat as every other train starts at GP.

Personally though, the thing that would swing it for me is owning a freehold property rather than a leasehold flat. No service charges, possible potential to extend, private garden, and no noisy neighbour clumping around above your head...

Cam2020 Sun 09-Aug-20 13:31:14

Personally though, the thing that would swing it for me is owning a freehold property rather than a leasehold flat. No service charges, possible potential to extend, private garden, and no noisy neighbour clumping around above your head...

Really good point. Both areas are nice! I lived SW way for 10 years and have lived in Brentwood now for a couple. I still think avoiding the central line would clinch it for me but you won't go wrong either way!

OVienna Sun 09-Aug-20 17:37:48

SW is my neck of the woods- here for over 20 years now. Yes, the Central Line is busy but it isnt so bad to make a house decision over, blimey. Easy access to mainline rail stations on the Chingford line (or even Ilford tbh) in extremis. No idea what you'd do in GP. They're very different areas. SW Wanstead are certainly more London in feel and access. If you arent from there, you may "feel" quite aware of that; people joke it's quite local. Excellent schools, particularly primary. Secondary trickier but not a disaster. From friends who live in Romford/GP the standard is similar to worse. If you want private in SW there are many many options as well.

I had my DCs at Homerton.

There is a beautiful conservation area in GP there but for me the house wouldn't outweigh the other aspects if living there I'd be less sure of....

No idea what the poster who mentioned the Odeon cinema is on about. Prior to lockdown we went lots with the DCs and in the evenings. No issues at all. [Hmm]

OVienna Sun 09-Aug-20 17:39:03

If you arent from "GP" that should be. Excellent schools in SW.

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