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Tunbridge Wells or Milton Keynes?

(20 Posts)
Womaninthecity Fri 29-Jan-16 12:35:34

I would really appreciate some advice ladies and gents!

The husband and I (married less than a month!) are looking on and buy a house in the next month or so.

I was raised in NW London, but now live in central London with the husband. He was raised in Tunbridge wells.

We're in two minds about where to buy;

Milton Keynes; good links to London, 40 mins drive to my family and can afford a lot of house for our money. Looking close to the station - two ash?

Twells; great schools, good links to London, in laws still live there. Thinking St James / High brooms...

Is anyone from either of these areas or better yet lived in both MK and TWells and can give us their two cents.. We are hoping to start trying for a family soon, so focus is children.

Many many thanks all!

Womaninthecity Fri 29-Jan-16 23:13:48


StepAwayFromTheThesaurus Fri 29-Jan-16 23:19:42

I lived on MK for a couple of years. I would advise against it, vociferously.

DH and I are so glad we moved away. So, so glad. I don't have anything positive to say about the place at all.

DS1 hated it too (DS2 was too young to realise how awful it was).

But, on the other hand, lots of the people who live there seem to be positively evangelical about the place.

DH and I think this may be to do with some sort of cult-like brainwashing we, thankfully, missed out on while we were there

Marilynsbigsister Thu 04-Feb-16 20:06:45

Have lived in Tunbridge wells for 20 yrs. it's beautiful, and interesting. I think my 'urban' drum n base son sums it up perfectlyy. 'God we're lucky' .. I've done gigs in some fucking holes' ... No hesitation. Tun wells. ! (Be prepared . V expensive)

Marilynsbigsister Thu 04-Feb-16 20:08:09

In fact do like us.... Go for crowbourgh... 4 miles away. So much cheaper..

seven201 Thu 04-Feb-16 20:25:57

I live in Sevenoaks so have visited tunbridge wells and my aunt lives there. My sister lives in Milton Keynes (Newport Pagnell for many years and now into a nearby village). They lie there because of work and initially didn't enjoy it but now do. Personally I would definitely pick t w as it's just so pretty and lots to do.

clam Thu 04-Feb-16 20:43:31

I grew up in TW and my parents finally moved away last summer after 46 years. Beautiful place and nice for families. Near to fabulous countryside, villages and pubs. Schools good, but for secondary you'd need to be sure of passing the 11+.
Traffic in recent years has been horrendous, however.

CoperCabana Thu 04-Feb-16 20:47:28

I grew up in London and loved MK when I lived there. Wish I could move back. I am perfectly normal and not brain washed at all.

CoperCabana Thu 04-Feb-16 20:49:51

Two Mile Ash I think you mean. Very good schools. Very reasonable housing. Lovely green areas close by and lovely play parks on the estate. Very family friendly. Close to the station, theatre, shops, snow dome, cinema etc. etc.

OolonColluphid Thu 04-Feb-16 20:56:20

Two mile ash has good schools, Loughton is also good for the station and schools, parks and lakes running through it, and even period properties.

HelpfulChap Thu 04-Feb-16 21:01:07

I don't know MK but I lived in T wells for many years. I can recommend it. The traffic is bad though as mentioned up thread. The grammar schools are excellent.

Smartiepants79 Thu 04-Feb-16 21:10:02

Lived in MK all my life (apart from university)Two mile ash is a pretty good area. Good primary school. All MK estates have parks and shops.
I like MK very much but (having visited tunbridge wells) they are very different places. MK is a modern, large and growing town (almost a city!)
MK is good for children, lots of places to visit and lots of parks and lakes.
I would say that you don't need to be living near the station, nowhere in MK is much more than 15/20 drive from the centre and most places much closer due to the way the roads are organised. Also if you are close to Bletchley the station there also has excellent links to London.
MK is not perfect but I think it has much to recommend it.
You really need to decide what kind of life you want and which family you wish to settle near.
I'd be interested to hear what previous posters found so awful about the place!

ThroughThickAndThin01 Thu 04-Feb-16 21:12:18

Grammar school area which is T Wells, is great if you have grammar school kid. If you don't, it's pants.

Fadingmemory Sat 12-Mar-16 16:04:15

Lived in TW for many years and think of it fondly. Expensive for property, good schools for those who pass the 11+, lovely countryside, within easy reach of the sea. Traffic awful.

SqueegyBeckinheim Sat 12-Mar-16 16:11:14

currently in Tunbridge Wells primary places are at a premium, and this is starting to knock onto the secondaries. If you have pre school or primary aged children do your homework carefully on catchment areas and how far from the school the furthest accepted child last year lived.

SqueegyBeckinheim Sat 12-Mar-16 16:13:41

I've also heard on the grapevine that because of the amount of new houses built in TW in the last few years, principally the Royal Wells estate on the old hospital site, the catchment areas for the grammars have shrunk. I don't know the veracity of this but it's worth looking into.

bebo100 Sat 12-Mar-16 22:26:50

Have you spent some time in both places?
I worked in MK for several years and have a friend who lives near Tunbridge Wells, so know both places a little.
They have such totally different characters I think it's really down to personal preference. Milton Keynes just works as a city, there are lots of venues, shops and for a city that size really easy to get around. That said I don't think I could live there. I just find the whole new town look and feel depressing (sorry MKers).
TW in the other hand has bags more character, but like you say you'll need to live somewhere much smaller. For me that would be worth the compromise, but I know lot of people who'd prefer the house.
Maybe a couple of day trips, or a weekend stay in each, would make things clearer for you....

Reggybalboa Sun 15-May-16 23:42:12

We have recently left London with young family and bought in MK. I used to be quite negative about it until we realised that there are places with "character" in MK - it's not all new estates - there are old villages dotted in MK which have a lovely rural feel about them but you can still benefit from the convenience of shops and good links to London.
Also have you considered how your position in the country would work? We considered Kent for the schools and its beauty but in the end decided that it is a bit of a pain to get to anywhere else in the country because you're kind of cornered in by London. MK on the others hand means you can reach almost anywhere relatively easily.

bojorojo Wed 08-Jun-16 00:07:26

The whole of MK swallowed up
Old villages. I just about remember them as they were. Even in MK lots of children go to the grammar schools in next door Bucks. The comps in MK are not that great by comparison but some are better than others. I prefer Olney - it is lovely and we have friends who live in Wolverton and love it.

milkybeans Sun 10-Jul-16 21:18:12

Milton Keynes is fantastic. Yes there are some parts of it which are housing estate, but as the above poster said there are many old villages / towns which have been swallowed up by it too and have loads of character. Even the newer estates though are all surrounded by deep green zones. You can traverse the whole city without a car via the redways, or get in your car and never see a traffic jam. Older, more characterful places with a rural tinge would be Stony Stratford, Olney, Newport Pagnell, New Bradwell, Old Wolverton, Castlethorpe, Haversham, Middleton and the Brickhills. Got everything really, good transport links, nice green areas, jobs. Love it.

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