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Moving to London

5 replies

SwissCanada · 22/06/2011 09:40

Moving to London in September with our toddler and looking for a family friendly neighbourhood with close proximity to Kings Cross St Pancras (husband will commute two days a week to Leicester) We want a place with toddler friendly activities, good daycare, and cafes and restaurants. Budget will likely be 1300pcm for a two bedroom rental. Where would you live? We are moving from Switzerland and do not know London well.

OP posts:
suzydelarosa · 10/07/2011 19:55

hi - not sure if anyone has posted on here but I'd recommend Islington, Clerkenwell and possibly Highbury areas. £1300 will get you a very small 2 bedroom; unfortunately London is just bonkers extortionate! Islington is pretty child-friendly and just a jaunt from Kings cross.

Firawla · 10/07/2011 20:02

holloway or finsbury park is not far from there and is good for toddler activities etc, we just moved a little further out from there but found it a friendly place, actually i still go back there all the time for activities. you should be able to get for 1300, just about. i think its maybe a bit cheaper than some other areas of islington like highbury, definitely cheaper than angel. islington is a really good borough for children so somewhere within islington is definitely a good idea but not sure if you might struggle to find something for that money in the more expensive areas of islington because prices have gone up a lot

RobynLou · 10/07/2011 20:05

how long a journey to kings x would you be willing to have?

go 25mins nw on the metropolitan line and you're in the pinner area which is really lovely - totally suburban, but lovely, and you'd get something nice for that money.

good schools, lovely children's activities, tonnes of parks....

threefeethighandrising · 10/07/2011 21:19

Hi. Kings Cross isn't really a residential area. Well people do live there, but it's not somewhere I'd want to live with kids. Rather than looking necessarily at places in close proximity, you should be looking at places which you can get to Kings Cross easily. You're in luck as Kings Cross has lots of tube lines running to it, so it opens up lots of places for you.

Have a look at the London Tube map

I agree with Islington as a good bet. The tube stops you have in Islington are (in order of my personal preference) Angel (Northern Line), Highbury & Islington (Victoria Line), Caledonian Rd and Holloway (Picadilly Line). Holloway is possibly a bit rough around the edges (depends what you're after!)

Looking a bit more at the tube lines, firstly the Northern line (black)

There are lots of nice places to live on this line.

The following are really desirable but probably out of your price range, but worth a look just in case!

Camden Town
Chalk Farm
Belsize Park
Hampsted (seriously posh!)

These might be slightly more affordable, also worth a look:

Tuftnell Park
Kentish Town

Victoria Line (light blue). Going north after Islington you have:

Finsbury Park: I'm not sure I would advise Finsbury Park as a first place to linve in London. Some people like it but I'm not keen personally. Too busy. Too many dodgy characters hanging around at night IME.

Tottenham / Seven Sisters - Avoid Avoid Avoid. Tottenham is a miserable, horrible place IMO!

Blackhorse Road / Walthamstow - these used to be quite unfashionable, but lots of families with young children have been moving out that way recently, because houses are more affordable. I know some people are very keen on it. Your money will go further there, could well be worth a look.

Another nice place to live is Alexandra Palace. (It has a train line into Kings Cross - see this map for London Rail and tube connections
Some friends of mine have just moved there with their LO and they love it.

threefeethighandrising · 10/07/2011 21:33

An important question: how long do you intend to live in the flat?

If you're happy to move again, or not planning to be here very long, then it's not a concern, but if you plan to be the when your child is of school age (4.5) then you must take schools into consideration.

The school system is bonkers here. Basically there are big differences in the quality of education provided between different schools, a problem which has been exacerbated by all children at all schools being tested, the results published and the schools rated in national league tables, ranked from 1 (outstanding) to 4 (poor).

There is intense competition for the good schools. The criteria is distance, so many people move to make sure they can get their children into a good school. I don't want my son to go to the rubbish one near me, so we'll most likely be moving to make sure he can get into the good school. Of course this drives prices up near the good schools, and further damages the not so good schools as they're not getting the support of the community. It's bonkers but what can you do?

You'll find on some of the property websites there's a function that will not only show you where the nearest schools are but it links to their school OFSTED inspection report. (OFSTED is the inspecting body).

So, if you do intend to be there for years, you'll need to take schools into account and make sure you're near a good one!

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