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Move from West London to Thames Ditton a good idea?

(17 Posts)
uberconscious Tue 15-Dec-15 17:42:37


We are 2 parents living together with 1 dc almost 2yo and considering moving to Thames Ditton.

We're looking for :

- Calmer pace
- Friendlier community (where you might get to be on first name basis with newsagent or bakery owner.
- Close to riverside
- Quick commute to London (when we feel we need a hit of the city life e.g. theatre shows)
- Child friendly community
- Good role models ( well mannered people / children)
- A bit more space than a West London apartment for a bit less monthly rent.

If you know the area, can you recommend any good parts or better pockets of the area?

Thank you :-)

Buttercup443 Mon 18-Jan-16 19:52:44

Hi OP,

Typed a long reply and then the site crashed so here a more condensed version:

Please bear in mind the pressure on school places in Esher and by extension Thames Ditton. There are only 1-2 good state schools in the area and we ended up having to split kids in different schools which made the school run an absolute nightmare. Add heavy traffic stretching all the way into London and not enough parking areas esp around school drop off and you have one he'll of a mix.

You're right in the flightpath approach/take off of both London and Gatwick, too.

Around Esher, Oxshott, Cobham you'll find plenty of KEEP OUT / PRIVATE DRIVE signs so don't get your hopes up for great friendly community spirit.

We left after a year of all off this and are now so happy, an hours train ride away from London, small village school, beautiful national Trust parks and lovely neighbours, no traffic jams and oodles of space.

If you have your heart set on TD, please check out schools before you go looking at houses.

HTH smile

Buttercup443 Mon 18-Jan-16 19:55:00

Saw your dc is 2. Try get his name down for Esher Church school, join the Parish in Esher and keep your fingers crossed.

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 18-Jan-16 19:58:31

I moved from TD just over a year ago and I still miss it! Village schools are fantastic and I heard Hinchley Wood secondly (the local secondary) is good too.

Lovely, lovely pretty village, great gym, library, cafes... Bushy Park nearby, Hampton Court, Kingston for shopping, the river...

I was SO happy there. (Moved to sell the ex-marital home; made a fortune.) Do it!

Buttercup443 Mon 18-Jan-16 20:02:55

Check out Little Sparrows nursery. Half a year waiting list but comes highly recommended.

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 18-Jan-16 20:03:46

Just re-read your post. Thames Ditton isn't really big enough to have "pockets"! Have you been there? It's like 6 roads in total. It's TINY.

The only not-amazing area is in/around Longmead Rd. The rest is idyllic.

TD is vair vair vair expensive. Surbiton and Long Ditton are cheaper. Not quite as tiny and idyllic, but still nice (and Surbiton has a better train-link into London). Avoid Tolworth (obv).

My kids went to TD infant school and TD Junior school and both were great. The schools in Surbiton are good too, though.

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 18-Jan-16 20:04:24

Never heard the planes.

MyballsareSandy2015 Mon 18-Jan-16 20:04:55

I'm amused that Thames Ditton is under 'rural living'!! grin

WhatsGoingOnEh Mon 18-Jan-16 20:11:21

The infant school, gym and tiny high street are the real heart of the village, so stay round there. There are a couple of houses for rent on Old School Square, which would be IDYLLIC. Right in the centre.

You can also live across the bridge on the tiny island, too (opposite the Swan pub) which would be nice, but a hassle when you come home with shopping. (No parking on island.)

It's all lovely, you can't go wrong.

Yours, Homesick x

uberconscious Tue 19-Jan-16 08:11:50

I suppose Thames Ditton is not rural at all. To me it seems that way in comparison to inner London. And we have been looking for a place that's within reach of London but feels relaxed and has a slower pace vibe about it.

I'm really glad I posted here because at first look it seems as idyllic as described however really useful to read about the heavy traffic into London. It seems that the traffic could be blocking the shorter local journeys such as going into Kingston for shopping. Not good.

I didn't fully realise how tiny the area is :-) or that it's 'vair' :-) expensive.

We are checking out East and West Molesey and Surbiton (love the train link).

Instinct after reading your comments feels maybe we need to look further out. Family friendly community and stress free school place is also as important as community atmosphere and nice people in the neighbourhood.

WhatsGoingOnEh Tue 19-Jan-16 10:14:30

Driving into London from TD is easy! 40 minutes to central London. There is a bottleneck right at the very end of the A3, but only at busy times.

Driving to Kingston is easy as pie - there are two main ways you can go (Hampton Court Way, or Portsmouth Rd) and they're both fine, although HCW gets a bit snagged around the bridge at busy times. But only for a few minutes, not hours.

It's lovely. Honestly, I LOVED it. I'd move back in a shot if I could afford it -- I made so many lovely friends there.

WhatsGoingOnEh Tue 19-Jan-16 10:17:42

East Molesey is naice, I think parts of W.Molesey are a bit rougher.

Look into Long Ditton -- it's between TD and Surbiton and is slightly more affordable. It has a few great nurseries, and you'll be in catchment for LOADS of schools. Rental-wise, Surbiton is booming. Full of places to rent. Or, of course, Kingston is fantastic for families. Not sure the train into London is as fast from Kingston, but there is/has always been talk of adding a high-speed train line/tube extension.


uberconscious Tue 19-Jan-16 13:30:19

Hi what'sgoingon, it's so useful to read all the different points of view. I thought same as you when I looked at TD area at a glance. It's helpful what you've written as it supports my insticts and equally I liked reading what buttercup wrote so I can hopefully be a bit balanced. I tend to see all the good and can feel disappointed in myself for missing obvious things later. Maybe a day out in the area will help.

I understand about homesick feelings towards an area you've lived. It's normal to miss familiar and liked things :-) not long before you feel the same about where you are now I hope!

WhatsGoingOnEh Tue 19-Jan-16 13:56:40

Aww thanks, me too! I lived in TD for 12 years, had both my kids there (in Kingston hospital) and made millions of lovely mum friends, and had great neighbours, so I'm bound to be nostalgic. trembly lip Where I live now is equally nice, and only 45 minutes away, so I must buck up!

Lilymaid Tue 19-Jan-16 14:07:30

Brought up in TD - (Weston Green). It isn't like Esher/Oxshott - seemed to be inhabited by professionals rather than tycoons/footballers - and, unless it has changed greatly, "the village" has always had a good community vibe. From where I lived I was in walking distance of three different rail stations (TD/Esher/Hinchley Wood). Plane noise isn't a great problem compared with much of West London. Lots of open space around the village.

QueenC Tue 19-Jan-16 17:51:03

Unless the planes have changed routes I never found it a problem. I used to live in Surbiton which was great. Fast train to London for work, lots of families, kids groups etc but I'm glad we moved before starting school as it was likely we wouldn't get in despite it being very near. Not sure what schools are like in TD-the people I knew there opted for private. It was lovely to be able to walk to Kingston along the river but driving anywhere was often busy imo.

hooliodancer Fri 05-Feb-16 10:35:59

Parts of Epsom/Ashtead feel rural without actually being rural. Is that what you are looking for? There are small villages, eg Headley that could be in Cornwall but are 5 minute drive to Epsom train station! Thus they are expensive, but cheaper than London.

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