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The commute

(23 Posts)
foolserrand Thu 25-May-17 19:57:50

Dp and I are hoping to uproot our lives in a deepest Hertfordshire, university town and crash down into an Oxfordshire village. Dp will be keeping his job, which is located into London, just off the a40. We've 3 dc, 2 in primary and 1 nursery age. Then there's the cat and the totally bonkers puppy.

I'm anxious. While the idea of this new life excites me greatly, I'm awkward and find it hard to make friends at first. I'm also worried about the dc's extra curricular clubs, I believe there are options in the nearest town, but how does one do that several times a week?! Does anyone have any experience of moving from a busy town to almost total isolation they'd be willing to share?

Then, this should possibly be the most worrying, dp's boss (close relative of mine) is convinced dp will not be able to continue in his job if we move.

The commute time will not change, but the distance increases by about 10 miles. Is that such a big deal? It would be an easier journey... Can anyone offer any light on the m40 southbound rush hour traffic?

I know this is disjointed, but I'm just babbling through my fears quickly before cracking on with the cleaning, tidying and packing!

YokoReturns Thu 25-May-17 20:21:38

DH commutes from an Oxfordshire village (takes train from Bicester Village station). It's over an hour's commute but I don't see it as particularly different to when we lived in London.

I can't comment on the extra-curricular stuff particularly, although DS1 goes to nearest town for swimming lessons, it's 10 minutes away.

YokoReturns Thu 25-May-17 20:23:21

Would it be outing for you to say which village? PM me if you fancy a chat about the area.

foolserrand Fri 26-May-17 06:19:42

We have a few houses we're trying to choose between so whilst I wouldn't mind sharing, we haven't actually settled on which yet! Middleton Stoney is a strong contender!

Dp would be driving it, but thank you! The commute feels very similar to me to (from the comfort of my sofa, looking on a map!) and it's great that swimming and hopefully other clubs can be reached easily!

YokoReturns Fri 26-May-17 11:39:43

Middleton Stoney is 5 mins from us and very handy for A40. It's also absolutely lovely! Good luck with the move.

foolserrand Tue 30-May-17 23:21:48

Yoko, we saw the house today.... I am in love! We fully intend to put an offer on. Would you mind telling me everything you know about the area? I'll trade knowledge for wine

tiba Sun 04-Jun-17 21:49:21

I just did the opposite move from small Oxfordshire village to large Hertfordshire town to suit jobs.

I much preferred life in Oxfordshire village.

(I haven't given Hertfordshire much of a chance yet though)

CheeseCakeSunflowers Sun 04-Jun-17 22:52:10

I live in a village near Bicester. You will only be a few minutes down the road from the town so assuming you drive you should be able to find most things you need there. Oxford is also not far. Villages are not really isolated when you drive you just have to be prepared to travel slightly further for services than you would in a town.

CaulkheadUpNorf Sun 04-Jun-17 22:56:11

A close friend did a similar move, from the middle of birmingham to a small Worcestershire village.

Her children do a lot of extra curricular stuff, meaning that she and her DH have to drive them a long way. They car share with others locally a lot and I think you just accept it.

One of her children has struggled at school, he was one of only three boys and 11 girls in the class and didn't get on with the other boys.

Other than that, and the cost of travelling back to birmingham for concerts, events etc they love it.

YokoReturns Sun 04-Jun-17 23:00:34

Hi OP - sorry I've been on holiday with no phone reception!

Happy to furnish you with details - easiest way is to draw up a list of questions and I can answer them. Glad you love the house!

foolserrand Tue 06-Jun-17 21:46:45

Thank you all so much!

tiba how are you finding the move? If you're anywhere near the university, my condolences! That's the hell hole where I am.

CheeseCake yes, we both drive. I was worried about how much more I'd need to drive though. Currently, everything is within a mile or two. Still, it'll be worth it!

Caulkhead thanks for that! It's a useful anecdote to be aware of. I'm going to visit the school hopefully soon so I'll get a feel for the kids then. My lot are fairly easy going and friendly so I don't foresee many big problems. I hope!

Yoko! Good holiday? Where did you go without phone signal?!shock I suppose the first questions are, in no particular order of importance:

From ds: does everyone play cricket? Do I have to to fit in? Do people still like Arsenal? Will I have a club to play for? (Loosely translated, are there any children's leagues locally?)

What are the grounds like for the estate? Are they public or private?

Dog walking? Hyper pup will not do well on lead all the time walking past fields of livestock and crops and never able to run free

Off the back of that, are there any dog training clubs? (I'm aware only a dog owner would be likely to know that and even then, not all of those!)

Gyms? For me

Nice swimming pools?

Children's gymnastics?

(I'm trying to type while dp shouts things at me from the kitchen! Sorry they're abrupt)

Children's ballet?

(Can you tell my kids like their clubs? grin)

Is there a village shop? If not, where is the closest?

What's the free school like in Heyford?

We read something about Bicester having a drug problem, but that is a few years old... what's it all really like?

Where is good to go and explore and climb and run and just have fun in the area? We are fairly outdoorsy.

Is there any chance you could find out where the other interested parties live and trash their houses?

Oh, there are hundreds! I think the most pressing is, what's it like? Are people generally friendly (unlike your stereotypical Londoner wink) .... I will be back with more later I'm sure!

Oh, last one from dp, do you know anyone who ever does the run from there into London during rush hour? How long does it roughly take?

foolserrand Tue 06-Jun-17 21:47:33

Bet you're regretting offering now! Sorry! blush

Thank you so much for offering to answer. I will appreciate any info you can give us

Fortheloveofscience Tue 06-Jun-17 21:53:42

I can't help with the local info, but I am used to the M40. When you say 'into London' how close are we talking? Because once you get past the M25 exit the traffic's hellish at anything approaching rush hour, and a few times a week you'll get stuck at Wycombe as well. Would he need to be there for standard office hours, and have you checked estimated journey times at rush hour?

Fortheloveofscience Tue 06-Jun-17 21:54:45

I'd definitely look into getting the chiltern line from bicester village into marylebone as an alternative, even if he then needs to head back out west a bit.

foolserrand Tue 06-Jun-17 22:03:02

He's already used to the post m25 bit. By a few times a week, how often are we talking? The office is near Wembley (vague so not too outing.... nope, totally outing me to anyone who knows me!)

Fortheloveofscience Tue 06-Jun-17 22:30:11

Ok not too central then. Wycombe's really variable, you lose a lane for the exit so if anything's happened it just completely backs up, and then on busy days it's volume of traffic. School holidays are generally ok unless there's an accident but mon/tues/thurs morning and Friday evenings are often a pain. Though from bicester I suppose you've got the option of going cross-country through aylesbury I feel it's bad as long as you know about it as you're setting off.

Fortheloveofscience Tue 06-Jun-17 22:30:58

if not I feel.

foolserrand Tue 06-Jun-17 22:34:10

That's amazing! Thank you for that! He's now preaching shit about rat runs and local knowledge.

YokoReturns Wed 07-Jun-17 04:31:22


Nearby Ardley has a cricket team. Lots of boys and girls play football (we have two Chelsea youth players from the village!). Most kids are Chelsea or Oxford United fans. There is a 'Joggy Doggy' in our village, and definitely nearby dog trainer.

Woodstock gym club is 10 minutes away, ballet classes are at Upper Heyford free school or Deddington. There is a gorgeous exclusive gym at Bicester golf club and spa.

I can't comment on the free school as I teach at another nearby school, have heard good things. Not sure about village shop - I stayed in MS once and I don't think there was one.

There are MILLIONS of walks nearby. Kirtlington Quarry is good.

Can't help with the rat run as most people I know take train from Bicester village. I know M40 turn gets busy at Arsley from v early morning.

YokoReturns Wed 07-Jun-17 04:33:08

Ardley. Not Arsley.

I agree with PP who said take train from Bicester Village - it actually goes through Wembley so there might be a 'stopper'.

foolserrand Wed 07-Jun-17 14:42:22

Wow! Thanks so much!

Dp thinks the train journey from Bicester to work will take 2 1/2 hours plus travel either side so has written it off.

I've not broken the news about Chelsea yet! Ds won't want to move if he finds out about that!

CheeseCakeSunflowers Thu 08-Jun-17 18:12:15

I've just checked the train times, Bicester to Wembley stadium station varies between 1hr 5mins-1hr 25mins depending on the time you leave with around 10 mins drive into Bicester I'd guess + the travelling the other end.
My suggestions for getting out and about are the village of Brill where the dc's can run around on the common by the Windmill and Bernwood Forest.

foolserrand Fri 09-Jun-17 22:54:16

He's near Wembley, but not near enough to use that station sadly. That's a decent time! He's old though and likes listening to radio 4, the drive won't really bother him. Plus, with driving he gets that view just after high Wycombe where it feels the whole world opens up.... or perhaps that's just me! He just wanted to know what the roads were like so he could plan his drive I think.

Thanks for the Brill advice, we will definitely check it out.

All this hinges on our house getting an offer this weekend so we can make one on our dream house Monday. Somebody else offered yesterday sad

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