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what are the best yet affordable London suburbs?

(66 Posts)
allchangeplease Wed 14-Nov-12 16:52:30

My Mum needs to move from abroad so we are looking for somewhere quite safe for her. Either suburbs or the counties within an hour travel time on trains, no more than an hour! Prefer trains to long noisy/rattling tube journeys but would consider the tube.

By 'best' I really mean not too sleepy and lifeless in the weekdays, low crime rate, easy commute to Paddington or Victoria, at a push Waterloo, also some choice of shops and cafes right there without having to travel by transport to the nearest shop. She doesn't drive. Also not too old an area even though she is in her 60s.

Looking for a 2-bed plus study or large loft storage, or even a 3-bed for about 280K max! she would have guests staying, maybe even a lodger in one room. Ideally period property as good ceiling height/light space is a must,
the garden can be minimal or none, but with a park nearby somewhere, and she would prefer a large conversion flat or top floor maisonette (no basements) to a house, for less maintenance and security issues. Ah and also somewhere in good-ish condition for that price.

Does such a place exist?

allchangeplease Wed 14-Nov-12 16:55:08

forgot to say, that 280 max has to include stamp duty!

suburbandream Wed 14-Nov-12 17:01:25

Bromley is good, lots of shops but countryside/large parks and woods nearby. 20-30 minutes into London (Victoria, London Bridge, Cannon St, take your pick!). Depending on which part of the borough its zone 5-6. Some areas very quiet, others busier - Rightmove is a good place to look.

allchangeplease Wed 14-Nov-12 17:17:00

thanks suburb, do you know where in Bromley, as it's large? I thought it was more expensive if it's nearer the shops, more like 325 for a good flat, but as she doesn't drive she wouldn't want to be further out, as I remember from my brief visit that the buses are not frequent if you go out of the centre of Bromley. I don't know the whole area though.

Iggly Wed 14-Nov-12 17:19:27

Clock house in Beckenham (that's Bromley borough)
Short lands

Iggly Wed 14-Nov-12 17:24:46

Or you could try Croydon. South Croydon has good connections. Not sure about parks though.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 14-Nov-12 17:26:30

3 bed first floor maisonette

2 bed first floor

two bed period cottage Spoilt for choice in Bromley.

I like Shortlands, it is lovely.

Iggly Wed 14-Nov-12 17:29:40

Yes shortlands is nice. We have been looking there (currently in Beckenham)

allchangeplease Wed 14-Nov-12 23:00:27

ooh, impressed by the size of he maisonette! looks pretty too.

So Shortlands is the same as Sundridge Park? What do I actually put into search engine - just 'shortlands' or postcodes? do trains from SP go to Victoria?

Beckenham I've heard good things of but isn't it expensive?

NotQuin and Iggy, can you tell me more what's nice about Shortlands, any good parks? what are the shops? is crime low? Is it different from Central Bromley which is all chain shopping? thanks so much!

allchangeplease Wed 14-Nov-12 23:04:13

just noticed that Sundridge Park borders with Mottingham, but that's a very rough area, even as mentioned on MN, does it not spill into Shortlands? I can't actually see the name on the map, or is Shortlands a station?

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 14-Nov-12 23:24:34

Shortlands has a station with trains to Victoria, some are fast trains with few stops. A little high street with some nice shops. Park with playground, nice walk along the canal. Bus into central Bromley, but withing walking distance along the canal, through the park. Perfect day is walk in, do shopping, bus home. Easy distance by bus to Beckenham, for more shops, coffee shops and restaurants, and cinema.

nancy75 Wed 14-Nov-12 23:29:35

Op none of the right move links are in short lands, they are the other side of bromley, the first one is heading towards downham. Du drudge park is not the same place as shortlands

allchangeplease Wed 14-Nov-12 23:57:09

thank you everyone! NotQuin that sounds nice. Is it safe in hte evenings more or less?
will search under shortlands, any area of Bromley generally to avoid?

Devora Thu 15-Nov-12 00:28:31

Teddington is lovely - river, shops, cafes, Bushy Park, low crime. Only minuses is that it is teeming with small children (which your mother may not love) and it is pricey. Still, there is property within her price range:

Or, a bit further afield:

Ooh, look at how much you get for your money in Shepperton:

And this one is right by Norbiton station, 40 minutes into Waterloo, in a nice part of Kingston:

suburbandream Thu 15-Nov-12 12:03:07

Computer playing up today and doesn't seem to want me to do links, but there are a couple of nice flats under £280K in central Bromley, near Bromley north. Look on Rightmove.
Chislehurst is also lovely, very green and countrysidey but flats and houses v.much in demand. I saw a 2-bed flat on for £250k
Buses in and around the Bromley/Orpington/Chislehurst area are excellent, v.regular

DoNotDisturb Thu 15-Nov-12 12:08:44

Sevenoaks is lovely. 30 min trains to Waterloo and Victoria. 280 would get a two bed flat or terraced house if it was at least 15 mins walk from the station. It's very safe and a vibrant town.

madammoose Thu 15-Nov-12 12:15:54

Brentford & Isleworth in the London Borough of Hounslow are pleasant and within your price range.

Ups include 35 mins into Waterloo, good transport links, lots of green (Osterley Park, Syon Park, Kew Gardens), river, canal, places to eat out, Watermans Art Centre plus easy to travel to Richmond for theatre & shopping.

Downs include being under Heathrow flight path and LB of Hounslow not having the social cache of say neighbouring Richmond or Ealing...frankly each area has it's nice bits and grotty bits.

Solo Thu 15-Nov-12 12:31:20

You could get a Victorian house in or around Bexleyheath for that money and many of them have postage stamp sized gardens. Good links from Bexleyheath and Barnehurst. Lots of buses too to get to other local towns including Bluewater.
Victorian terraced
The cheaper end of the market and there are more going into Bexleyheath, but I have no more time to look.

PigletJohn Thu 15-Nov-12 12:35:56

If she doesn't drive, it needs to be close to shops, library, doctor, church perhaps, tubes and buses. For some reason there don't seem to be as many tubes South of the river but it is likely to be more convenient than mainline trains.

Dinnerdinnerdinnerbatman Thu 15-Nov-12 17:21:55

Re Bromley, personally I would avoid Mottingham, Grove Park and Downham.

I used to live in Bromley North/Sundridge Park, in a house similar to this 2 beds with loft (area sometimes called 'Bromley Old Town'). There may be some maisonettes round there. Nice community, 10 mins walk to Bromley High Street but quiet enough. Also handy for trains (either Bromley North which is closest, or Bromley South at end of high st).

I know Bromley also has a U3a and Red Hats group which may be useful for your mum to meet people?

skandi1 Thu 15-Nov-12 17:23:24

Beckenham or west wickham. Parts of Bromley. Should tick all the boxes inc budget. Beckenham junction is 20min on train to Victoria.

allchangeplease Thu 15-Nov-12 18:11:41

wow, so many replies! thank you!

Devora, thanks for all the links! impressed with Shepperton's spacious flat! what's it like though, and how long to london? it's almost Weybridge! My Mum doesn't like open plan kitchens (not do I btw) so that would rule out some closer areas where it's 2 bed on paper but then the kitchen as a room is missing. Still, a flat in Teddington is quite good - I'm quite surprised, as thought Teddington was much more expensive - I do know the surrounds, lots of greenery. Maybe it depends on the fly paths...

I had a look on rightmove, yes definitely some choice in Bromley and Beckenham - especially I like the look of period conversions though not that many of those. So I take it, Bromley is best in the south and the west, is Clock House good? what is the best park in Bromley (and safe)?

Dinnerdinner, isn't Mottingham right next to N Bromley though? what's U3a btw? thanks for info on community.

skandi do you think Beckenham better than Bromley, and why?

Piglet, property on the tube tends to be moreexpensive unless it's right at the end of the line which is truly soul-destroying to travel on, cold rattly tube - so much better and quicker on modern trains. She can walk (she's quite fit) and happy to use buses though, so thanks suburb for info on good buses.

Solo, is B-heath in Kent also? any particular pluses about it compared to areas mentioned? is it further and cheaper?

DoNotDisturb, Sevenoaks is expensive though - though maybe prices gone down this year?

madam sadly these are out as Mum can't stand being under flight path, they can sound something shocking in Hounslow!

No one yet mentioned anywhere going into Paddington, anything good there too, maybe going into Berks, or is it too expensive there (she wouldn't live in a big modern block like they have in this price range in Newbury)? Just want to have a few diff areas to compare, diffrent character maybe.

Looks like Bromley is most likely, it's a question where in Bromley is best.

allchangeplease Thu 15-Nov-12 18:15:57

just had a very quick look at Bexleyheath - oh my, big places, 3/4 bed houses even! can anyone tell me more about the area - there must be a catch? or is it just on a slow train, or Gatwick flight path?

fluffygal Thu 15-Nov-12 18:30:12

I would think Bromley is better then Bexleyheath, the high street has gone downhill recently. The buses were (not sure if they still are) having police escorts at school run time due to problems with kids on them. There are nice houses there though, Bexley or Bexley Village are nicer areas. Bromley would be quicker into London though.

My parents live in Barnehurst right next to the station for links to the airport and I grew up in Bexleyheath, Sidcup and then Bexley Village so know the area well.

fluffygal Thu 15-Nov-12 18:32:12

Bexleyheath is only on a slow train to my knowledge and no flight path.

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