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House under 2 hours drive to London and less than 300k suggestions...

58 replies

runningpram · 23/01/2023 13:13

I'm not sure whether such a place exist!
Some older family members are keen to move closer to us from up North. Unfortunately house price differences make this quite tricky - although I'm not sure they quite realise how much prices have gone up by.
Does anyone have any thoughts on a good place - obviously the SE is going to be very difficult so need to look further afield? They don't drive and would struggle with home repairs - so period properties on the edge of a town without a good bus service is a no go. They are also unlikely to consider flats.
It would also be great if there were things for them to do, like cafes, nice walks and pubs, a reasonably safe vibe and some community spirit.
I've thought of Newark but have never visited, just heard good things but suitable places all seem to be on the edge of town and not sure what public transport is like. I've also thought about Norwich but nice affordable homes seem to be on the edge of town, so perhaps it might be difficult to get around. Grantham seems a possibility but I think they might find it a bit dull without a car but happy to stand corrected
I'm happy to go up to 2.5 hours drive to widen the choice if necessary

OP posts:
Crikeyalmighty · 23/01/2023 13:55

Chippenham ? It's not amazing but is 12 minutes on train into Bath, very easy 1.30 from London- has all the amenities and something like this is well within budget

runningpram · 23/01/2023 13:56

I'm North London. Don't want to be too specific but family are moving from NW, from nice suburban street but in very rough and pretty desolate town. However they've lived there a long time and public transport to nicer, more interesting places is pretty good.

OP posts:
Crikeyalmighty · 23/01/2023 13:58

Same applies to newbury- in budget and just over an hours drive- nice town too.

runningpram · 23/01/2023 14:00

their house is a nice semi with a big garden but obviously will be hard to find something like for like down south

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Crikeyalmighty · 23/01/2023 14:03

Or this in beautiful Bradford on Avon- 6 miles from Bath and on train- again around 2 hours drive but lovely for you to visit- beautiful little town, cafes, restaurants and a very active program for the 'more mature' canal walks etc - personally I think it's a really good price too

Crikeyalmighty · 23/01/2023 14:05

3 bed semi here with massive garden but wants work

Aworldofmyown · 23/01/2023 14:08

I would go North Essex or Suffolk.

Pinkspottedbanana · 23/01/2023 14:43

We used to live in a village half way between saffron Walden and Royston, both have good train links but Royston is better. As far as the towns go Walden is much nicer having better shops and community. My parents had a lovely retirement flat in both Walden and Royston with good community feel. Both have good links to larger shopping areas, Cambridge and Stevenage. We also lived in Peterborough, Werrington village is very nice and just a short bus ride into the town centre, budget wise, Peterborough is better value, also good train and road links.

TheAirbender · 23/01/2023 15:08

Warwick is just over an hour from Marylebone on the train and a quick drive too

ChiefWiggumsBoy · 23/01/2023 16:34


Use the 'Where can I live' function on Rightmove - you plug in your distances and prices and it'll sort out what you want.

larchforest · 23/01/2023 16:58

The northern half of Northamptonshire / south Leicestershire. Plenty of reasonably-priced properties in Rushden, Kettering, Market Harborough areas. To give you an idea, you can get a nice 3-bed semi for around £300k in the Kettering area.

Barnabyted · 25/01/2023 16:00

Downham Market in Norfolk and any of the towns on that train line. Ely is lovely but more expensive. Both towns have lots of new builds, so hopefully not so expensive to heat and maintain (unlike my older property).

runningpram · 28/01/2023 10:53

thank you for all these suggestions. I'm investigating Reading as it's on the Lizzie Line and hear it's public transport is ok

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TheClitterati · 28/01/2023 11:04

What part of london are you in? Not much point in looking at Kent if you are in NW lining for example. You'd spend most time on the m25.

Dibbydoos · 28/03/2023 07:46

Would you travel by train instead of driving?

Earlsdon Village, Coventry is a great spot, walking distance to train station (c1 hour into Euston), lots of green space, great village centre and you should pick up a 2 bed for 300k. Just be wary about parking.

Also Solihull, Leamington Spa, Warwick all within that time by train and again 2 beds for £300k.

If you're driving I'd take a look at MK and Leighton Buzzard.

Good luck.

LookingOldTheseDays · 28/03/2023 13:10

So they would be leaving behind their friends, community etc, moving to a totally unfamiliar area, to come and live 2hrs drive from you? This seems like the worst of all worlds for an older person. They won't be close to you, and they won't be near their existing support network either.

Are they thinking you will visit frequently if they are 'only' 2hrs away? How frequently? Where does your life fit into this?

Whereabouts are they living now?

LookingOldTheseDays · 28/03/2023 13:13

Their best bet might actually be staying up north, close to their existing network of friends and activities, but moving closer to a train line that has a quick connection to London.

Moving is expensive, so by saving that money they will free up cash for train fares.

Sundaefraise · 28/03/2023 13:25

LookingOldTheseDays · 28/03/2023 13:13

Their best bet might actually be staying up north, close to their existing network of friends and activities, but moving closer to a train line that has a quick connection to London.

Moving is expensive, so by saving that money they will free up cash for train fares.

I agree with this, it sounds like a bit of an uneasy compromise which could be hard if they are older and might struggle to uproot themselves.

LookingOldTheseDays · 28/03/2023 13:34

You don't say exactly how old they are, but older people can find it hard to make friends/establish networks in new areas (although obvs there are exceptions to this). Also, the area they move to will be totally unfamiliar to them - familiarising yourself with a new set of bus routes, walking routes etc. is harder the older you get, and can be a particular problem if any kind of dementia starts (again, it might not happen, but you don't know).

You may well end up being put under pressure to drive that 4hr round trip every single weekend, or even a couple of times a week. That 2hr drive will only be 2hrs in good traffic conditions - often it will be more than that due to roadworks etc. And because they can't drive, it will always be you doing it.

After all, they are moving to be 'close' to you, right? There is nothing else that is motivating this move.

LookingOldTheseDays · 28/03/2023 13:37

If an older relative told me that they wanted to live closer to me and were therefore going to move to Manchester (which is 2hrs from me by car, but a bloody inconvenient journey whether by car or public transport), where they don't know anyone and have no existing contacts or other interests, I would do everything in my power to persuade them out of it.

drpet49 · 28/03/2023 14:04

Swindon is 55 minutes on the train to London Paddington

Kay286 · 28/03/2023 15:36

Cornelious · 23/01/2023 13:19

Peterborough. Fast train links to London.

Not Peterborough! It’s awful

LilyKitten · 28/03/2023 15:45

Thread is from January....

Turmerictolly · 28/03/2023 18:47

Canterbury? Lots to do, good transport, close to the sea, easy to get the train to London (just over an hour).

Ceilin · 28/03/2023 18:49

Westbury in Wiltshire is cheap and train to London

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