Guildford - where to live?(20 Posts)
We are looking to move from Wimbledon to Guildford asap and hoping someone can give us some advice. Have a 20mth toddler and a second baby on the way so need to bear in mind schools, nurseries etc. We really like the Pewley Hill area but have waited months for a house to come up with no joy.
Can anyone give us an idea of whether it is worth waiting for a house to come up there or if there are other areas that are equally nice or better. We need to be relatively close to Guildford main station and would ideally like a reasonable size garden . Any advice gratefully received!
Pewley Hill area - and anywhere top end of town - has good schools for both state and private sector - I think that much depends on a combination of budget/catchment (if relevant) and commute. The three residential areas of town in my mind are top end - Pewley and off Epsom road areas (by the downs) and Farnham Road area - nearer mainline station but further from the schools that you will hear advocated on here and the Echo Pit Road/towards Shalford area. In terms of commute - station parking is very expensive at the mainline so from the top end of town - there seems to be a combination of commute via London Road (change at Guildford or take slow train), bike, moped or drive to a station - such as Worplesdon that has cheaper parking costs - I know people who do each of these - this is however an expensive area - but has good open spaces and is a walk into town. Not really sure what you are looking for but if you have specific questions I would be happy to give an answer/opinion.
Are you only interested in Guildford itself, or have you considered some of the villages/towns outside, some of which also have good links to the mainline, and can be easier to get to and cheaper to park than Guildford. What sort of property are you looking for, and in what price range? Schools - state or private?
Thanks for you messages. We have considered the villages but have ruled them out because they add extra commuting time. Basically we want to keep the commute fairly simple so are looking for a 15-20 minute brisk walk to the station then quick train to Waterloo.
Budget is around £800k for 4 bedroom with good garden. At the moment we are trying to keep our options open re schooling as know so little. If we end up near a good state then we will go with that but would be good to have back up of private in the area in case we don't get in to the state. Don't know how oversubscribed the primary schools are in Guildford. We also need to bear in mind being a reasonable distance from a nursery which does morning sessions. Seems we might be trying to tick too many boxes but it is difficult to know when you don't know the area very well.
Fast trains from Guildford take 36 minutes, and from Worplesdon 33 minutes, Farncombe 45 minutes and Godalming 46/7 minutes - so you could look at living within 5 minutes (walk or drive?) from those stations without increasing your commuting time. You will usually get more for your money outside Guildford. Worplesdon and Compton (5 mins drive from Farncombe) are nice, but in both cases you would then be living in a village rather than a town, which is very different. Most of the state primary schools are good and there's a good selection of private as well.
Having said that, have you seen this one on the Farnham Road? here
Godalming is really nice and as Cosette says, on the Waterloo mainline. Bit more rural than Guildford. Good selection of state primary schools too, and then there is Charterhouse!! Loads of estate agents as well! I work there so anything you need to know...
I dont use the state primary schools but understand that they are generally oversubcribed so catchment would be a serious consideration which may have an impact in house requirements versus budget- In terms of private - IMO there is more choice for girls than boys - but they are generally all competitive (in terms of entrance at any age) and oversubscribed in the main. I think Cosette has a point re villages - there are also some nice areas which have stations - Godalming and East Horsley spring to mind. Busbridge school in Godalming is very well thought of and has an infant and junior. House price madness has calmed but as there is little coming to the market in the family house bracket they seem to go quickly and I am aware if two that have gone to sealed bid in the last couple of weeks I think for this reason - sorry if this sounds negative - it is not meant to - we moved here for the schools - but would look at surrounding places if this had not been the main driver for change.
I am in the middle of Guildford, short walk to London Road station and the main line. Town centre is nice actually but nosiy at night sometimes.
The thing is that you just have to be open and look at what comes up because there are nooks and crannies. The pewley area is lovely as is Epsom road etc but they do not move very quickly and the location so close to Royal Grammar School, Guildford High and Tormead means that lots of people with lots of money will be competeing for the same houses.
Given that ( and whilst it is ) actually £800,000 doesn't give you much choice.
If you find properties you like and give me a road I can always wander past . I am always in town and I walk everywhere.
If you are in a position to move (i.e under offer or coming from rented) it is worth registering with the local agents - family houses in particular when they come on do go quickly - and sometimes don't make the advert stage. I live top end of Town by Downs - and ex of Godalming - happy to give a personal opinion also on these areas if something comes up for you. There is a fair amount of rental available in the areas you are looking at if that is a short term option - you are in a good position to be choosy and cast your net - being at the pre-school stage.
Thanks again for your many responses. We have exchanged and have a month to move so things are getting desperate. We have been signed on with the agents for a while but Surreylady's point about family houses not coming to market very frequently is certainly right! We have looked at the house Cosette recommended and ruled it out as we felt the Farnham Road was too busy to live right on. I think we have ruled out villages too as we quite want to be walking distance to the hustle of the town and yet not right in it. It is why Pewley Hill appealed so much with the Downs so near by. Godalming would have been great but it is just that extra 10 mins on the train. We hadn't looked into renting in Guildford so maybe that will be our next step.
Have you thought about Woking? 23 mins to Waterloo. This s the sort of house you could buy www.curchods.com/display/31968
That would be 12 minute walk to station too.
Big thumbs up from us about Woking - and Guildford is only 10/15 mins drive away for good shopping.
Can't really comment on the schools though.
Personal opinion only - but agree re Farnham Road being too busy - however know a few people who live thatend of town off this road and it is nice area they are all happy with it- and this would be an area worth consideration - closer to the station than Pewley - not sure about catchments though - needless to say rental isn't cheap but there seems to be quite a lot available at the moment.
Hello OP - this was emailed to me today - might be some clues if you look at the aerial view as to which house it is - suspect it wont last long
Another Guildfordian here and living in your prime catchment area. Affordable family houses are like golddust round here and I know of two families who are desperate to buy in the Pewley area and have been waiting ages.
There is a detached house on Pewley Way which is being rented at the moment but has been off and on the market for a couple of years and I believe they are still keen to sell. Now the agent I think might be Savills, it is under your price range and has potential for enlargement (could be three beds at the moment but can't remember). The garden isn't the biggest on the road but perfect school catchement until 12.
The roads behind Farnham road - Wodeland avenue are good and very strong community.
I would say all the primary schools in central guildford are off a high standard. And to be honest, although people whine about them, the three main comps are all good.
Burpham, Merrow and Boxgrove are the other three big residential areas.
Boxgrove you get a very strong community, not the most attractive of houses but big rooms and big gardens. Schools are the excellent Boxgrove and very well thought of George Abbott. Burpham near the A3 so noisy. Merrow, some very nice and expensive bits so probably out of price range.
Wodeland avenue - St Nicholas primary school or queen eleanors and then the County School
We did what you are planning to do 5 years ago but moved to the Farnham Road side of Guildford, in Wodeland Avenue, which is excellent for station, town and schools. St Nicolas is a gorgeous little infant school, 4 to 7, and after that the kids go either to Queen Eleanor's or HT, both very good schools. There's a house for sale in Wherwell Road with Curchods but may be too small for your needs but ideal for the station.
Nurseries are good too. There's Bright Start (now called Child's Play) which does morning termtime sessions and Fitzsimmons which is your full on day care nursery open all year.
The NCT have published a Tots about Town book which has lots of useful stuff too; on sale in Watersotnes on hte Hight Street.
Thanks for all your messages. Sorry to have not been in touch. Have now moved out of our house, currently staying with parents. We are still hoping for something to come up in the Pewley Hill area - baby no 2 due at end of October so clock is definitely ticking. We would rent in the area but there is currently very little and ideally i don't want to upheave daughter1 more than necessary. Have visited several houses on the London Road side of town recently but we are still holding out for the Downs area. Realistically if we found a good 4 bed house in the Wodeland Avenue side of town we would go for it but there is just no choice at the moment. Unfortunately the link Surreylady put on had expired by the time i got to it but i am hopeful that i will have seen it when it was live. Did a trawl of all the estate agents last week but to no avail - very little coming on to the market. So if anyone hears of / sees anything.......
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