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HITCHIN & surrounding villages - is it worth moving to if so why?

(22 Posts)
cheshirecat777 Mon 10-Aug-20 15:42:02

Need to move to SE and Herts preferred for logistical reasons we have looked at a few places and Hitchin is our favourite but it does seem v pricey and housing stock quite limited.

we have looked at

st albans - too busy
tring - too countryside -ish
letchworth - didnt like
hatfield - didnt like
guilford - just not for us

we have not looked at hertford or ware which may both be very nice and do seem pretty with good transport links but we know nothing of them - any info anyone?

budget £600-900k for 4 bed detatched want good links to london pretty town eg canal/ countryside and ideally some personality and community fee

but we re worried on moving to hitchin because

1) will a suitable detached house ever become availble😄 so few nice detached houses available
2) what the villages outside hitchin are like are they fun liveable places or just dull dormitory type places
3) we would needing to do in yr transfers when their appear to be limited school places

anyone made the move and got some info or advice

OP’s posts: |
JellyBelly78 Mon 10-Aug-20 16:02:28

Hitchin is lovely, you need to consider what schools you want to be in catchment for if you have children. That would be my priority. Villages are nice enough, wouldn’t describe as fun, better to live in Hitchin and be more central so kids can walk into town etc with friends easily once they’re old enough. Plus makes access to station easier.

cheshirecat777 Mon 10-Aug-20 16:17:32

Thanks JellyBelly!

I agree Hitchin seem v nice

we would be needing in yr transfer at primary level and access to the priory and ideally HGS at secondary. Not sure how easy in yr transfer is which is one of my main worry points😄

OP’s posts: |
ablisha Mon 10-Aug-20 16:37:46

Hi @cheshirecat777
I live in Ware but if I had your budget I'd be looking at Stanstead Abbotts or Great Amwell just outside of Ware. It has a train line that runs to Liverpool St.
Ware is great if you're looking for an older house (although many have been modernised) and the town is popular. The train also runs to Liverpool St. and there's a canal which runs through the town to Hertford. Most houses are in easy walking distance to the high street which is mainly food and drink places.
Puckeridge is also lovely but has not got any train station.
Hertford has two train stations which may be a plus for you - one to Liverpool St. and one to Kings Cross. Some also stop at the likes of Moorgate too.

ablisha Mon 10-Aug-20 16:39:53

Also I am a teacher and in year admissions should be fine as long as the school has a place. You can check on the herts website. Once on the waiting list, you're place is dependent on how close you are to the school against others on the list e.g. a student who lives next door to the school would become number 1 on the list over someone who lives a 10 minute drive away even if they've been on it longer. Hope that helps.

cheshirecat777 Mon 10-Aug-20 17:12:33


thanks thats helpful!

really clueless about schools seem to be no places for i. yr transfer at all in hitchin. was not aware proximity to the school was given a priority when on a waiting list so thats good to know!

OP’s posts: |
Rebelwithallthecause Mon 10-Aug-20 17:18:49


Mothermorph Mon 10-Aug-20 17:28:34

Where do you need to commute to? Berkhamsted and hemel Hempstead (v different from each other) go into Euston, st albans, radlett and harpenden (all expensive) train line go to st pancras, farringdon blackfriars and london bridge, welwyn and hatfield go to kings cross and moorgate and hertford and ware go to liverpool street.

MotheringShites Mon 10-Aug-20 18:05:17

If you like Hitchin definitely look at Hertford. It has a very similar market town feel. You’ll get more for your money in Ware but it’s not considered as nice. Are you commuting by rail or road? Buntingford is much cheaper and has some lovely villages/countryside around it, but no station.

KoalasandRabbit Mon 10-Aug-20 20:11:58

We looked at Hertford and Ware, really liked them both - trains were better from Hertford which also has 2 stations - one into Kings Cross and one into Liverpool Street. We loved one in centre of Hertford but appeared to have history of flooding - was a while back now though.

Schools looked good in both but on a quick look seemed to be a boys school in Hertford and a girls school in Ware and we have one of each though other schools as well. If I had two girls I would have been tempted by Ware.

intheningnangnong Mon 10-Aug-20 20:38:06

I always think Hertford traffic is dreadful. Perhaps it’s just rush hour. I live in St Albans though so really no room to judge! I love the fact it’s busy here - or was.

The housing stock is better in Harpenden for family homes, as you’d not get 4 bed detached here for that just because there aren’t enough.

STAGS school though is excellent for girls.

Yellow1793 Mon 10-Aug-20 20:43:21

Berkhampstead, Kings Langley, abbots Langley, Chorleywood, Rickmansworth. The last 2 are in catchment for St Clement Danes which is an excellent secondary. If you looked at the wAtford suburbs you’d be in catchment for the wAtford grammars.

intheningnangnong Mon 10-Aug-20 20:50:32

Actually, I’ll retract that. You can. Not near town, but they exist.

MyCatReallyIsAGit Mon 10-Aug-20 21:13:56

You could look at Bishops Stortford in East Herts, or neighbouring villages like Stansted Mountfitchet/Elsenham further up the train line. Trains to Liverpool Street. The housing stock is more varied, in our experience, than in Hitchin.

ablisha Mon 10-Aug-20 21:14:20

Hertford traffic can be bad during rush hour on the main road, I do agree with that from @intheningnangnong

If schools are important, St Albans and Watford are highly thought of for schools but schools generally in Herts are very good. Ware and Hertford have some outstanding schools, Bishops Stortford also have a fair few but that is further out. But like I said, schools generally are good here.

MotheringShites Mon 10-Aug-20 21:16:29

Agree to look at Bishops Stortford. I hear the secondary schools are excellent there and the town has everything you want/need.

WeveGottaGetTherouxThis Mon 10-Aug-20 21:31:02

I live in a village about 5 mins from Hitchin. It is absolutely lovely and not dull at all. We have made life long friends, all of whose houses we can walk between / go to the pub. We often go into Hitchin for dinner (well, pre-Covid).

That being said, Hitchin is also wonderful and I think the primary schools are better than the village ones (where they may have mixed year groups, for example). We have gone down the private school route because of this. Also, better to be in central Hitchin to guarantee your chance of Hitchin Girls / Boys for secondary if those are your preference.

Hitchin has the most chilled, lovely vibe. Far nicer than St Albans area (where I grew up).

MyCatReallyIsAGit Mon 10-Aug-20 22:07:52

The schools are excellent in Stortford - the secondaries are boys single-sex, girls single-sex, Catholic mixed, selective mixed with boarding option (Hockerill) and non-selective mixed (Birchwood). Hockerill is difficult to get into so if you’re not in favour of single-sex, it may not be the town for you.

Have you looked at Baldock? That’s very near Hitchin and has a good school.

sluj Tue 11-Aug-20 08:43:28

I live in Herts and my favourite places in that area to live would be Hertford, Hitchin, Bishops Stortford or Ware. Though I also love Tring and Berkhampstead over the other side.
They are all safe places to live with easy access to London. Use the London mainline destination to filter down your choices. Hertford and Ware are closer to London so you can still easily tap into that for shopping and entertainment. Drive to Cockfosters and use the Picadilly line.
Hertford is having a new wharf style shopping area along the Riverside. Massive open common in the middle and excellent schools. The mixed All through school, Simon Balle, is rated outstanding so no need to identify separate primaries and secondary schooling. Thriving night time economy with loads of restaurants and lovely pubs. The other 3 towns are the same but Ware is much smaller. Stortford and Hitchin are further out so feel a bit more isolated though that's not always a bad thing. They are all lovely places to bring up a family.

cheshirecat777 Tue 11-Aug-20 10:31:19

Thanks Everyone really do appreciate it

WeveGottaGetTherouxThis - can I ask where you are or which villages around hitchin you would recommend

We have been to berkhamstead and harpenden and nothing wrong with either but we just preferred Hitchin its just about the right size of town with the right level of buzz to it st albans and berkhampstead felt too big and harpenden just didnt grab us

we like the market town kind of feel hertford sounds quite similiar

thanks again

OP’s posts: |
WeveGottaGetTherouxThis Tue 11-Aug-20 19:12:16

Hi OP, pls feel free to PM me.

Belleende Tue 11-Aug-20 21:32:06

I live in Hitchin and I think Covid will revive the place. It has a long history of independent traders, but this success has been followed by chains moving in. The chains are now all going bust. With people working from home more, locals are choosing to spend their £££ locally.

It is already a great place to live l, and I think it will get better. Villages wise, Ickleford is closest, has 2 pubs a shop and a church. I love Pirton, a cycle ride away. Preston also lovely.

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