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Ideas for places to move within an hour of central London

(30 Posts)
locationideas Mon 22-Feb-21 20:07:31

We want to move house in the next year or so but not sure where. I thought MN is bound to have some good ideas!

Our criteria are:

1. Excellent school options. This is our main reason for moving so definitely our top focus. Our current area has good primaries but mediocre secondaries. We can't afford private, wouldn't be against a grammar area but only if there are also good non-selective options. Single sex would be fine, we have two girls (eldest aged 7).
2. We need to be able to commute to Waterloo, Charing Cross or Victoria in 1 hour 15 (door to door, not time spent on train).
3. We would like a nice, safe, family-friendly area. It would be good to have a decent (pretty?) high street but we really don't need anything too exciting, we don't mind somewhere a bit dull (we are getting old and boring smile)
4. Our budget is up to 800k for a four bed house.
5. We would prefer somewhere on the tube but it's not essential.

Any suggestions wise mumsnetters?

OP’s posts: |
locationideas Mon 22-Feb-21 20:38:21

Hopeful bump...

OP’s posts: |
Heronwatcher Mon 22-Feb-21 21:34:45

Do you need to be coming into a particular station? Buckinghamshire has the grammar school system and many of the non-selective options are good (avoid central Aylesbury as the non grammars there don’t have such a great reputation). Areas to consider might be Tring, Wendover, Great Missendon, Princes Risborough and Olney. A lot of Buckinghamshire is quite rural though, don’t know whether that would be an issue. There are parts of the county which are on the tube (Amersham etc), but they are pricey. Other friends have moved to Tonbridge Wells and Haslemere and are happy there. A bit closer into London I have a friend who raves about Highams Park and I think there’s a very good girls school there.

Heronwatcher Mon 22-Feb-21 21:46:17

The good non selectives I have heard about in Buckinghamshire are Waddesdon and Cottesloe- I am sure there are others. I think that all of the grammars have a pretty good reputation. Milton Keynes is non selective but has some good schools- not amazing but very good and the area is much nicer than you might think!

dalrympy Mon 22-Feb-21 23:01:18

Hayward's Heath.

Mainline station to Victoria. Decent schools, nice high street and nicer villages attached to it.

30 minutes to the beach max and close to Brighton for shopping and fun.

Finallygrowingup Tue 23-Feb-21 03:18:38

Rickmansworth, Upminster, Surbiton/Kingston

Happyhippy99 Tue 23-Feb-21 04:34:24

Ripley or Send village near Guildford. Both lovely villages with rural and community feel. Ripley has a lovely high street with independent shops & cafes. Excellent primary school in Send village. George Abbott school in nearby Guildford is a mixed comprehensive with high standards.

SecretDoor Tue 23-Feb-21 05:16:33

Winchester?

waitingforgranny Tue 23-Feb-21 09:29:59

Tonbridge or surrounding area

CityDweller Tue 23-Feb-21 15:50:54

A friend moved to Epsom with similar criteria.

beckypv Tue 23-Feb-21 16:48:08

Horsell, Woking.

Grimbelina Tue 23-Feb-21 21:08:24

South Farnham, excellent primary and secondaries.

annieannietomjoe Tue 23-Feb-21 21:21:29

Palmers Green, Southgate, Winchmorehill, Enfield, Cockfosters- it's lovely all round there, need to be careful for catchments but lots of things to do and lots of amazing green space

annieannietomjoe Tue 23-Feb-21 21:22:14

annieannietomjoe

Palmers Green, Southgate, Winchmorehill, Enfield, Cockfosters- it's lovely all round there, need to be careful for catchments but lots of things to do and lots of amazing green space


Forgot to say Grammar options for boys and girls or a couple of fairly decent secondary's

EnfieldLady Tue 23-Feb-21 21:42:53

I was going to say Winchmore Hill. So pretty! Aim for Highlands School catchment ideally.

gingercatsarebest Tue 23-Feb-21 21:55:18

Watford? on the tube and mainline station 20 mins to Euston . boys/girls grammar. Both well regarded plus other good secondary. lovely central park with canal running through. good shopping centre. nice high street.

locationideas Wed 24-Feb-21 07:40:38

Thank you everybody, all these ideas are excellent and I have been noting them down and checking out rightmove and locrating.

I particularly like the idea of Epsom (for the Rosebery school).

Does anyone know anything about Chorleywood, Hitchin or Ware? Or any other ideas?

OP’s posts: |
Laffinalltheway Wed 24-Feb-21 12:13:34

Chorleywood is lovely. Watford not so much, especially West Watford where the football ground is, that is just plain horrible. There are nice parts, around Cassiobury Park, but avoid West Watford like the plague.
Rickmansworth, Northwood, Croxley Green are all nice.

locationideas Wed 24-Feb-21 22:34:12

@laffinalltheway thank you, that's v helpful. Do you know anything about how close we would need to be to get a place at St Clement Danes? Is Croxley Green close enough - it seems much more affordable than Chorleywood itself.

OP’s posts: |
Laffinalltheway Thu 25-Feb-21 08:38:04

Not sure if Croxley would get you into Clement Danes, but Chorleywood yes.
There's now Clement Dane's sister school, Croxley Danes, but i'm not sure what its like. Alternatively you've got Rickmansworth School which I've heard is really good.

Laffinalltheway Thu 25-Feb-21 08:40:37

Also, with Croxley, there's a good chance of getting into Watford Grammar Boys and Girls schools which are both recommended highly.

locationideas Thu 25-Feb-21 09:06:12

@laffinalltheway ah that's helpful, thank you. This is something I am still getting my head around as we aren't in a grammar area currently.

Have I understood correctly that I'm Rickmansworth/Croxley Green/Chorleywood, children have the option of applying to the grammars (Watford, Chesham, Dr Challoners etc) but not all do? But in Buckinghamshire, everyone sits the 11+?

We'd be happy to have the option of grammars as long as the alternatives are still good. But want to avoid a full grammar school system. It's still a bit early to tell but I think our eldest DD in particular wouldn't really enjoy that level of pressure.

OP’s posts: |
SarahMused Thu 25-Feb-21 09:13:14

Is Winchester too far out? The state schools are fab, including Peter Symonds for sixth form. Train to Waterloo is about an hour. Access to lively countryside and £800,000 should buy you a decent property too.

Silkies Thu 25-Feb-21 09:17:41

Don't know Ware well but it looks lovely when we've been there, seems very safe and seems to have an excellent girls school on paper at least. Think when we considered there the gaps between trains where quite long and we also have a boy and a girl so ruled it out but with 2 girls would consider it. £800k would get vast majority of houses there.

Laffinalltheway Thu 25-Feb-21 09:34:49

Watford Grammar is only part selective so there's a good mix in both boys and girls schools.
If you live outside the catchment then you'd need the 11+, but for Watford Grammar I'm sure you're inside, Clement Danes I don't think so, so the 11+ would need to be taken.
But I really think Ricky Secondary is just as good to be honest.

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