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Share your secrets of lovely villagey (and affordable!) places to live in London, please!

(103 Posts)
PiperG Tue 15-Sep-09 11:31:07

Having ummed and ahhed a lot about moving out of the Big Smoke, we have now realised that we are not quite ready to give up London life, so are looking for somewhere to move in London that will give us a bit more space. Can anyone recommend places in London that have a friendly, villagey feel - good independent shops etc (I long for a decent local butcher!) - and lots of green space nearby - and good primary schools - where we could get a 3 bed house for around 350K?? seems a tall order! We are currently in Zone 2 east London and ideally want to stay north/east ish London so we are not moving too far from everyone we know around here. However we realise we'll have to move a bit further out to get more for our money. We've been looking at Walthamstow but there seems to be a bit of a dearth of green space. Any suggestions v welcome!

BigusBumus Tue 15-Sep-09 11:33:56

I lived in Walthamstow for ages, near Lloyd Park (Winns Ave) which was alright, but i don't rate Walthamstow as a place. We moved there from Crouch End which i loved, but tres expensive. Muswell Hill / Ally Pally / East Finchley?

twelveyeargap Tue 15-Sep-09 11:40:53

Muswell Hill N10/ Bounds Green N11/ Alexandra Park, N22 (the Muswell Hill side of Alexandra Palace station). It's not especially easy to find a house for £350K, but there are some available. Would you consider half a house? Some of the big houses are split top/ bottom and the bottom flats are usually 3 bed and have the whole or half the garden.

The areas all have lots of green space (especially around Alexandra Palace) and a lot of the houses are Edwardian, so have massive gardens.

You could also consider Southgate/ New Southgate, but I'm not that familiar with what those areas have to offer.

twelveyeargap Tue 15-Sep-09 11:41:15

Cross posts!

PiperG Tue 15-Sep-09 11:41:35

BigusBumus - It's quite nice round Lloyd Park, isn't it, but the park itself is pretty ropey, and most of Walthamstow is so grotty. Have looked at Muswell Hill/East Finchley but way too expensive!

Bramshott Tue 15-Sep-09 11:43:33

Try South East - we lived in East Greenwich and Charlton when we were in London. Loads of parks and close to the river. Really nice feel to it.

NewPenName Tue 15-Sep-09 11:48:40

Blackheath!gorgeous, a "village", loads of shops, loads of green space

PiperG Tue 15-Sep-09 11:49:12

Thanks twelveyeargap: have just looked up houses in N22, and found one for 255K in N22! It's more Wood Green, so no idea what it's like there - bit grotty? House looks very nice though. Lord, this is so hard ...

PiperG Tue 15-Sep-09 11:49:58

I'd live in Blackheath at the drop of a hat, NewPenName, but isn't it super expensive??

Bramshott Tue 15-Sep-09 11:55:02

Blackheath yes, but other places nearby (Charlton, Lee, East Greenwich etc) not nearly so bad (or weren't a few years ago).

preciouslillywhite Tue 15-Sep-09 11:59:50

I think your 350k would stretch a bit further in south east London tbh..

why not try Nunhead/Brockley? (relatively) quiet, lots of open space, little local shops, good transport links, zone 2. I made the jump from East London about 10 years ago and I've never regretted it!!

PiperG Tue 15-Sep-09 12:04:21

Think you are right, preciouslillywhite, about SE london: seems much cheaper, but then have to move so far away from all our friends ... boo. One of the things I have learned over my years of living in London is how important it is to be near friends ... though I guess we would make new ones

Bramshott Tue 15-Sep-09 12:07:26

this sort of thing for example.

monkeychambers Tue 15-Sep-09 12:09:00

PiperG - don't move to Wood Green if you need state primary schools. Rhodes Avenue School in Bounds Green is lovely - but you'll have no chance of getting children in. We live in Alexandra Palace / Wood Green border and are having to move due to lack of decent schools.

PiperG Tue 15-Sep-09 12:11:34

Does look nice, Bramshott. Don't know that area at all, but perhaps we ought to go and have a look. Looks slightly alarmingly close to all Blackwall tunnel traffic ...

PiperG Tue 15-Sep-09 12:13:40

Where are you going to move to monkeychambers? this whole schools thing is doing my head in. Eldest DD is three and a half so we are realising we need to start thinking about it all properly ... where we are in Hackney there are actually quite a few decent primary schools but we just need more space so reckon we may as well move before she starts school.

daftpunk Tue 15-Sep-09 12:17:04

Wimbledon/Barns areas of SW London...very nice, but not cheap.

monkeychambers Tue 15-Sep-09 12:29:11

Piper G - have been through all the schools in Barnet and Enfield - you seem to get more property for your money in Enfield and there are some nice areas, lots of green, good parks etc...(also some horrid ones - same as everywhere).

Think we will be heading for Enfield - trying to get our place on the market at the end of the month and hoping it gives us enough time. I'm with you on the whole 'doing my head in thing' about schools. Deadline for applying is January - which makes it all the more scary! I need to get myself organised quick time.

BigusBumus Tue 15-Sep-09 12:36:02

I moved away from London to Bedfordshire when DS1 was 7months as i didn't want him growing up in Walthamstow particularly. This was in 2002 and my DH (at the time) and i desperartely wanted to stay in London, around Crouch End as thats where all our friends lived. It was so hard to find something and in the end we gave up and headed out.
I just had a look online and am shocked at the prices now (since then). You really are looking only at Barnet, Enfield and Hendon. Although if you don't mind the Harringey Ladder (lived there too, its not toooooooo bad), there is this

mussyhillmum Tue 15-Sep-09 12:36:36

I think you would have to be very lucky to find a 3 bed house for £350k in the catchment area for Muswell Hill primary schools. You may find something around Bounds Green station. There are lots of lovely Edwardian terraces being bought by the sort of creative types who used to live in Muswell Hill when it was affordable to those on a "normal" salary. The local primary is Bounds Green Primary. Although it's OFSTED isn't as "good" as the primary schools in Muswell Hill, I know parents who rave about it. My sister-in-law teaches at Henrietta Barnet and she has had a few girls from there so it can't be too lax! I believe your local secondary would be Alexandra Park - highly rated by parents and I know some Muswell Hill parents who have chosen it over Fortismere (gasp!)

SomeGuy Tue 15-Sep-09 12:40:18

There are some cheap parts of Barnes

PiperG Tue 15-Sep-09 12:40:31

Lovely house, BigusBumus, but I do find that part of Harringey bit full on, not sure I could cope with living round there. It feels soo hectic. Too much traffic and retail parks. I'm probably being a terrible snob and completely unrealistic and will have to start making some compromises!
Thanks mussyhillmum re advice on schools: v v useful!

KnickersandVests Tue 15-Sep-09 12:52:07

Try having a look at Crystal Palace. Lots of independent shops, a beautiful big park, lots of bars, a few good primary schools, the small community village feel you're after.

I lived there for a few years before leaving London and loved it.

It currently doesn't have a tube but the east London line extension will go to there hopefully by 2012 which would help you to see a return on your money.

SE19 is where you want to concentrate on, only one postcode, it's quite small!

WobblyPig Tue 15-Sep-09 12:57:05

wimbledon is probably too expensive but Raynes Park is cheaper and you can make use of Wimbledon facilities.

KnickersandVests Tue 15-Sep-09 12:57:24

There's also Dulwich Village, SE21, but I'm not sure what you'd get for 350k there and Herne Hill, SE24, but again you might only get a shoebox on the outskirts but certainly worth a look at the moment.

All three places are fantastic for kids/families and exactly what you want in terms of the village feel and green spaces as all are small towns that have their own parks.

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