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Good place to Live near london- budget included

65 replies

AmyLou100 · 20/03/2021 18:54

Hi all, Dh and I are moving to london with DC (5, 2) and looking for an area to move to that suits our family needs.

Good independent schools
Commute to Canary Wharf
Diverse (no offense, we are non white and have had previous bad experiences)
Rental budget of 3500 pcm, could go a little higher

Areas of interest to us:

Richmond: There seems to be a few good independent schools in Kew. However , what is the commute like to Canary Wharf?
Have also read about plane noise, is it really that bad?
It seems like the area has a lovely vibe, lots to do.

Blackheath: Obviously much closer travel to work BUT i'm not sure if it is very 'villagey' (no offense meant).
There isn't a very wide options for independent schools it seems.

Any thoughts and advice will be very appreciated. We are not from the area or country even, so pretty clueless.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Magicmonster · 20/03/2021 19:20

I have never commuted from Richmond to Canary Wharf but my best guess is that it would take around an hour. As you say Blackheath is much closer and looks nice to me. Lots of independent shops/restaurants. I think that if you want more villagey than Blackheath you will need to be further out of the centre of London and commuting in.


Fairystory · 20/03/2021 19:22

Dulwich has Dulwich College, a top independent school. There is the exclusive Dulwich Village area and also East Dulwich with lots of trendy bars and restaurants. Dulwich Park is lovely as well.
I would count Blackheath as "villagey" and Colfe's School is nearby.


Magicmonster · 20/03/2021 19:23

Perhaps you would like one of the commuter villages in Surrey? Somewhere like Thames Ditton?


Magicmonster · 20/03/2021 19:23

Dulwich is a good shout.


sbhydrogen · 20/03/2021 19:26

How about Surbiton? 20mins on the fast train to Waterloo and then it's an easy journey on to Canary Wharf.


MajesticWhine · 20/03/2021 19:27

Thames Ditton is not great for transport to Canary Wharf.
I used to visit a friend in Blackheath it's lovely. So many nice wide open spaces


djini · 20/03/2021 19:34

Sanderstead or nearby, south of Croydon. Don't dismiss because of Croydon proximity.

Leafy, great schools (state and independent, all ages) villagey feel in parts but close enough to town for deliveroo and the like, plus when all this is over, plenty of restaurants, shopping and days out within easy reach (eg Bromley for shopping, Gatwick for flights, both 25 minutes, south coast less than an hour for paddling).

Regular train service into Victoria and London Bridge, both approx 25 minutes (change to tube for Canary Wharf).

And diverse!


Jarstastic · 20/03/2021 19:38

Greenwich? I lived there many years ago and a neighbour walked through the tunnel under the Thames to Canary Wharf.


MajesticWhine · 20/03/2021 19:40

Another idea is to look to northwest london which is surprisingly quick to Canary Wharf on the jubilee line. Even though it's the wrong side of london. Eg St. John's Wood or West Hampstead. The surrounding area has a lot of independent schools.


yetmorecrap · 20/03/2021 19:47

I would say richmond/twickenham/ northKingston/ Surbiton - — they aren’t that diverse ethnically if I’m honest- but they do have nice liberal residents in the main (and politically too) who won’t give a shit. Good schools, lovely parks, riverside walks. I’ve lived in blackheath in the past too— looks nicer than it is I would say— we had scuzzy neighbours and there were always dodgy, druggy geezers prowling around housing areas - sorry if that’s not what people want to hear- that’s how we found it.


Clarinet1 · 20/03/2021 19:52

Dulwich is certainly a possible - besides Dulwich College there are other independent schools with good reputations such as James Allen's Girls and Alleynes and various prep and pre-prep schools for younger ones like your DC.

When you are thinking about the commute to Canary Wharf, is this for one or both of you and would you be doing it by public transport or thinking of driving? If you are thinking of public transport, you may want to know that major hubs for the Jubilee line of the tube which goes to Canary Wharf are London Bridge and Waterloo. This gives you quite a lot of South London aand the suburbs which you could access from Canary Wharf with one change of transport. There is also London Overground which interchanges with the Jubilee at Canada Water and also goes to large parts of South London.

Another area which you might want to consider is Herne Hill. Very villagey, large park on the doorstep, good transport connections, definitely diverse, not far from Dulwich for the schools (but also with some other options nearby).

Hope This Helps.


debbrianna · 20/03/2021 20:00

Julie line is your friend. Starting from kilbum, swiscotage, hamstead, belsize Park, St John's Wood. Northern line, conection from London Bridge is very easy. All of northwest can be thrown into tge mixed. Great schools around too with buses.


Ginuwine · 20/03/2021 20:17

Hmm. I think some of your criteria is conflicting.

If you want to live in typical Conde Nast recommended nice" areas that are leafy and villagey with artisan bakers, pavement cafes and independent butchers etc? You may not get the diversity you need yet. There'll be POC (like me!) there but they won't be numerous.

I see people recommending Thames Dutton and Surbiton - wtf - these are not diverse.

It all depends on whats really important to you and how long you're prepared to travel to drop off kids to school. I'd be recommending some areas in East London around the park, but I may get shot down in flames for that.

If you'd like to keep it straight and safe, Greenwich would be ideal I reckon - you could get the Docklands Light Railway into Canary Wharf, you have neighbouring Blackheath nearby. I lived there for a while (ooh - "outing"! GrinHmm) and for me it ticks the boxes you require


AmyLou100 · 20/03/2021 20:26

Thank you so much for the replies! Commute will be for DH at the moment, as I will be with my youngest at home for a year or so.

DH is very keen on Richmond, and we have spotted a few good schools in nearby Kew. I do like a busier place as well. The commute does seem longer but It sounds like an hour is standard for alot?

Diverse - this is a big concern as we have had a few bad incidents. Just as long as people are tolerant and will not bother you.

This is a very huge move for us. Trying to do this across continents (Africa) where it is all so different.

OP posts:

LittleBearPad · 20/03/2021 20:30

How much are you going to need to go to Canary Wharf in our post covid world.

Getting on the jubilee line at Waterloo is a squash in normal times.

Richmond is nice but it is noisier when normal plane loads are in the sky.


365sleepstogo · 20/03/2021 20:33

Dulwich, East Dulwich, Herne Hill, Peckham, Crystal Palace, Beckenham (the London side) - all within 3-4 miles of each other.
All diverse areas.

Trains to London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing X, Victoria from various stations. Sydenham & Peckham Rye are on the London Overground.

Excellent private schools — JAGS (girls), Dulwich College (boys), Alleyn’s (mixed) all go to 18, all three are sought after with JAGS & Alleyn’s higher up the tables, FWIW!
Dulwich Prep (boys) - until 13y
Herne Hill - until 7+

Good luck!


notdaddycool · 20/03/2021 21:41

Hopefully in about a year crossrail will open and there will be many more possibilities. Worth considering.


JackieWeaverFever · 20/03/2021 21:54

Richmond would really not be my pick. Think carefully on that one.
My now husband was living there when met (this is 2-3 years back)
I am caucasian and a native Londoner.
I initially liked richmond but what really put me off was the weekends in Richmond.
All the white chavs from Staines and beyond go "out out" in Richmond. They are loud lairy and a bit scary. I didn't enjoy it at all.
District line is also a pain in the goddamn balls. I utterly hated commuting from there.

I strongly recommend crystal palace.
-Your husband will have a fairly dreamy commute.

  • great value

-The park is amazing.
  • Loads of young families /community atmosphere
  • Amazing low/mid priced restaurants (i miss them)
  • diverse crowd of "normal" people who are generally friendly.
  • Safe. Lived there 6 years and never felt unsafe.

LaurieFairyCake · 20/03/2021 22:04

Blackheath is VERY VERY villagey and diverse and you can walk through the park down to Greenwich which is Uber villagey Grin

The commute is stupidly easy - don't give yourself an hour for no reason


Tangelo · 20/03/2021 22:18

Echoing Blackheath or Greenwich - there are decent private primary schools and plenty of kids go to Dulwich private schools afterwards (I think there are buses etc). Good diversity in south east London and the commute to Canary Wharf is so quick - my trek to west London less so, but we wouldn’t move from this side of London. We’re close to Blackheath and would move there if we could afford it.


Piglet89 · 20/03/2021 22:20

@Magicmonster i just did a TFL journey planner check; Richmond to Canary Wharf is 55 minutes of a morning - but that’s not taking into account the walk from home to Richmond station, which could be substantial. I reckon budgeting 1hr 15 for this journey is a fair conservative estimate.


Noodle765 · 20/03/2021 22:21

I live in Richmond & my best friend is in Canary Wharf. Commute is a NIGHTMARE.


Piglet89 · 20/03/2021 22:24

@Noodle765 that’s what I immediately thought.


VestaTilley · 20/03/2021 22:29

Brockley or Blackheath, very diverse, great commute from the DLR and several private schools in Lewisham and Greenwich.

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