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Moving - Sudbury? Letchworth? Marden? Thorpe Bay? Other?!?!

(9 Posts)
typolisa Tue 12-Jan-16 15:43:53


I am 30 weeks pregnant and we currently live in Essex. We’ve been wanting to move out of Essex for about a year but have had trouble deciding where to go and now I am pregnant we really want to do it in the next couple of years before she is at nursery or school as we don’t want to uproot her.

To give you an idea we want somewhere a little quaint and villiagey BUT I don’t drive and we both work in London - so the commute can’t be too terrible. We need to live within a mile of a station.

Ideally we want to be about to buy a 3 bed house within a mile of a station for under £250,000 - it CAN be done! But it’s been a difficult search!!!

Our current picks are:

Sudbury (Suffolk) - it is pretty and has 3 bed houses near the station for as little as £165,000! But quite an expensive and long commute - although I think the cost can be easily offset against the house prices. And some of the houses are pretty.

Letchworth Garden City (Hertfordshire) - I loved the common with the black squirrels and deer, nice open green spaces, 3 bed houses near the station are nearer £255,000 but the commute is shorter and cheaper.

Marden (Tonbridge, Kent) - I don’t know much about here - it’s a new addition to the list! Seems like a nice place (I found it looking at Cranbrook which doesn’t have a station at all!), houses about £210,000.

Thorpe Bay (Essex) Or stay in Essex on our current train line - at least my friends and family are here for baby support, but we really DON’T want to stay!!! Houses from £200,000 (well - this is more Shoebury where we are now), shortest and cheapest commute. But … we’re not feeling it!

Does anyone have any suggestions for places or thoughts on the above places? Does anyone live in any of these places?

Floowho Tue 19-Jan-16 15:02:15

Live in the Sudbury area. You have to look out for engineering works between here and London, and the branch line is 'quaint'. There can be other factors that affect the commute on the main line too. Good nurseries in the area, Crocus in Gt Cornard and Anglia Sunshine in Sudbury. Selection of Primary Schools with a variety of Osted ratings that will probably change by the time your child is ready to go! Lots of toddler groups and two children centres, one of which is attached to the nursery in Gt Cornard. Nice walk along the disused railway line and across the water meadows around the town. Town is in a slight jumble at the moment since a big fire burnt down the building oxfam was in. Does suffer from small town mentality. Good farmers market last Friday of the month. Nearby towns of Bury St Edmunds, Colchester and Ipswich for both high st and independent shops and Cinemas. Supermarkets Waitrose in town, does click and collect for John Lewis, Sainsburys further out of town, and Tesco just before the main industrial estate. Sometimes get whiffs from the Purina pet food factory on the industrial estate. Any other info?

typolisa Tue 19-Jan-16 16:01:37

Thanks Floowho!

We're actually coming for a visit at the weekend as we have only been once, for our wedding last year (Smeetham Hall). My cats will love the smell of Purina ;)

I think the commute would be the only real drawback - and I don't intend working in London again, my husband might be better off looking for work closer to Sudbury I think. Looking forward to trying out the walking trails at the weekend if it's not too icy/snowy/rainy.

You'd generally recommend it though? You're happy there? x

Floowho Tue 19-Jan-16 16:35:49

Lived near here for most of my life, so I have chosen it as an area to bring up my children. Sometimes I despair at the small town feeling of it all, but I think that's a more personal thing smile. Remember your wellingtons as even though it has stopped raining, rural walks are still muddy. I'm not sure what the buses are like, as I do drive, but you can get the train to Colchester or the coast. I lived in the centre of town when my ds was a baby (he has just turned 13), and used to walk around to get the baby weight off. One bonus is that the night club known as Easterns is closed due to liscencing problems, which has made the area near the station much more attractive in terms of late night noise. My children are a lot older now, so I don't know the details about baby groups, I know there is an NCT group. There are loads of coffee shops, some chain, some independent. Similar with restaurants, takeaways. I have eaten good food at The Waggon and Horses pub, and heard good things about The Gainsborough.

typolisa Tue 19-Jan-16 17:14:15

Thanks! Now all I have to do is get up the courage to tell my mum we're going to be moving away with her first grandchild :S

Buses are never good! And I'm glad the nightclub shut down (how old am I!!!?) It sounds great for us! We'll try out some of the coffee shops and pubs at the weekend! We ate at a great Fish and Chip shop last time (The Codfather I think) and... oh actually we have been up another time! We came to go to the Angel for valentines day before the wedding - it was lovely!


Floowho Tue 19-Jan-16 19:09:42

Yes Codfather is good, it expanded recently. Never been to the Angel! One reason we are still here, near the grandparents wink.

nougatsquirrel Wed 20-Jan-16 09:18:26

Marden is a lovely village. It is on the Southeastern line into London Bridge/Cannon Street and Charing Cross/Waterloo East. If there are disruptions on weekends trains may go into Victoria.

I live in Staplehurst which is one village before Marden. It has a really nice community feel (strong parish council), feels safe and has a wide variety of housing. There are nice country walks around as well, one being behind the old church on the high street. There is a great budgets, coffee house and Indian restaurant. You should certainly be able to get something there in your budget. It takes us 1h10 mins door to door to get into work in London Bridge.

The really beautiful villages are not served by trains, such as Cranbrook, Tenterden but are accessible by car.

Good luck with your search!

Florin Sun 24-Jan-16 07:01:08

Cranbrook is lovely, could you learn to drive. Even if you can walk to a station/village living further out you would find it very restrictive not being able to drive and relying on buses.

Knittysticks Thu 28-Jan-16 23:17:50

Letchworth is a lovely little town surrounded by fields you can walk through. The commute is pretty good, just half an hour to King's Cross. There are lots of pretty towns and villages in the area too. The common is nice and there is a farm to visit with children.

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